No To Venezuela’s OECS Request

A former Caribbean diplomat has suggested that the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) turn down Venezuela’s membership request and instead focus on strengthening its existing union.

“The governments of OECS countries would want to be very careful about Venezuela joining their organisation. The OECS is a natural alliance born out of a common history, common culture, common language, common laws and traditions and shared problems,” said Sir Ronald Sanders. “While a relationship with Venezuela should be cultivated, the small OECS countries ought to do so collectively and in areas of mutual benefit. There is no need for Venezuela to join the OECS.”

“The only logical benefit for Venezuela of OECS membership is the considerable influence that the (Hugo) Chavez government would exert on these small countries,” he added.

Sir Ronald further questioned why the Venezuela government would opt to pursue membership in the OECS, rather than forge stronger ties with the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which is made up of not only the nine-member OECS, but also includes the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

He pointed to comments made by a West Indian Commission, established by Caribbean Heads of Government to chart the course for the region’s future, as relevant to the situation facing the OECS.



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