PM warns Caribbean could also be destabilised as a result of situation in Venezuela


Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the Caribbean should be careful not to be drawn into the ideological war unfolding in Venezuela where attempts are being made to remove the socialist Nicolas Maduro from office.

“These people are fighting an ideological war. They believe that socialism in Venezuela would plunge the people into poverty and so on. They want to get rid of these socialist regimes. Okay fine, they can fight their ideological wars but we have to deal with the practicality and the effects (on the region),” Browne said.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne

The United States, backed by several countries including Canada and Brazil have said they support the Opposition Leader, Juan Guaido, who last Wednesday proclaimed himself as interim president.

But China, Russia and Cuba have said they will continue to support Maduro, who was sworn into office earlier this month for a second consecutive term.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries though divided on the issue, have nonetheless said that were against any interference in the internal affairs of the South American country and has sent a delegation to the United Nations seeking the intervention of Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the matter.

Browne, who said his administration will not support Guaido, warned that the unfolding situation in Caracas could cause serious problems for the Caribbean.

“Further, the destabilisation of Venezuela, you will have more refugees starting to come north. They coming to the Caribbean, they coming to us.

“So you will have a refugee problem. Now if there is say, any form of military action, especially if you have the intervention of other states outside of this region, then you could imagine that we could turn a region right now that is a hemisphere of peace and tranquillity into a war zone”.

Browne said there were other implications for the region, many of whom have depend on tourism and have open economies.

“I am saying here the implications are very serious for us because we have an open economy. So if there’s any instability in this region and all of those containers and ships that normally come to the Caribbean they get diverted or they can’t move or can’t come, what you think is going to happen to us?

“What if the tourists decide based on the instability in the region they do not wish to come here. What is going to happen to our tourism receipts?

“I am saying here the consequences for us in the region, they are grave,” he said.

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  1. Socilism has plunged Venezula into poverty.
    From a once thriving econmy to a Shit Whole wear people are forced to scrounge
    In the street for food.
    This was done in ten short years !

  2. So let me try understand correctly ; US and allies should not take sides , yet you take a side ?”Browne, who said his administration will not support Guaido” , Cause this is basically what I’m getting from this statement .
    Correct me if I’m wrong .

  3. Wow, you really bought into the propaganda…hook, line, and sinker. Venezuela has been a good friend to Antigua, and we must refuse to be drawn into this conflict. Too bad you don’t understand what is really happening there, and who is behind it. Think rationally, please. As one good Antiguan put it, “The Empire strikes back!” They have a history. Mudoro is the elected President of Venezuela, and whether the rich like it or not, he is still recognized as such by most of the countries of the world. Our policy must be one of noninterference in the internal affairs of other Caribbean nations. The People of Venezuela will make these decisions themselves.

  4. dictators should be stopped. Let the people decide. democracy. I believe in checks and balances, if there was that innocent people would not have been charged with a prima facie showing, and imprisoned and beaten, killed.

    • innocent people would not have been charged without a prima facie determination from trained and educated people with legal training.

  5. It doesn’t matter what the PM thinks, the fact is, issues in Venezuela will erupt and inevitably spill over to the entire Caribbean region. Instability is what all these government officials did not take into account when they were busy taking poor peoples money and flying first class. The Domino effect is coming and here is where keeping up with the national debt payments will escalate and lenders will call in the debts owed.

  6. The fact is that there is no true 100% socialist or 100% capitalist economic or political system in the world. They are all hybrid systems that have a mixture of both capitalist and socialist principles. So the prime minister is right that this is an ideological war. It is simply Capitalism vs socialism, basically a debate on the world stage. Countries who identify as Capitalist must ensure thst socialist regimes fail. So now everyone is forced to pick sides as usual, however its too early to tell how that will affect everyone. The real worry is if international military intervention ever occurs. China and Russia will not stay out of it if we intervene. This isnt Syria and Venezuela’s large oil reserve will be up for grabs. This is concerning.

  7. We are indeed troubled by what is happening and the ramifications are grave. The real battle though has never been human rights but oil.

  8. Antigua should always stay neutral, like how the Swiss do. It’s time for Antigua to be known as the Switzerland of the Caribbean. Anyways, the USA is a joker country, doesn’t matter if Republicans or Democrats are in control, they always try to cause trouble.

  9. The PM is on the right side of history. With this one The US is dangling their diplomats to provoke the Venezuelan President
    One thing for certain an invasion of Venezuela by the US will NEVER HAPPEN. THEY SIMPLY CANNOT FINANCE IT THEIR BLUFF IS REALLY A BLUFF.

    At this time in history the only reason the US will consider going into Venezuela is to extract their diplomats if things heat up with the opposition. BUT AN INVASION THAT AND A PINK HORSE YOU SHALL NEVER SEE…

  10. I always knew something like this was bound to happen and it started inadvertently under Hugo Chavez. Let’s be honest here, in his ideological war with the US, Chavez was using Petro Caribe to basically buy goodwill and gain the support of this region. However, in my humble opinion, Chavez and subsequently Maduro ignored their first responsibility as leaders. Whether you’re in a democracy or a socialist state your first responsibility as leader is to your people. You cannot be basically giving away your oil to gain regional support and ignore your own citizens. If both leaders had paid more attention to first ensuring the prosperity of Venezuela and its citizens, both supporters and opposition alike, then the entire country would be behind them. And that would be their greatest weapon in their ideological war with the US. Show the world how prosperous a socialist country can be. But you cannot be giving away oil and your people are suffering, they will eventually rise up against you. This should be a lesson to all leaders, take care of your citizens first. Just my humble opinion.

  11. So is the rhetoric being spewed about the Scotia Bank sale could destabilize the ECCU banking system. Look in the mirror!

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