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Caricom urges dialogue in Venezuela
New Caricom chairman, Grenada
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, said
the regional movement must use its
close ties with Venezuela to encourage
dialogue to resolve the on-going po-
litical tensions in the South American
Mitchell said that during Tuesday's open-
ing of the Caricom Heads of Government
Conference at the Grenada Trade Centre.
There is a food and medicine crisis in
Venezuela and the Opposition has been
engaging in daily protest in Venezuela
demanding the resignation of President
Scores of people have been killed dur-
ing the protest. The Maduro Government
is moving to change the country's constitu-
tion. Mitchell told the meeting: "We must
find the resolve to commit to a unified posi-
tion on Venezuela. We cannot ignore what is
taking place in a country with which all our
members States have strong historic ties,
and one which Grenada, T&T and Guyana
share maritime borders."
He said those realities, along with "our in-
ternational record of standing up for politi-
cal order, democracy and respect for human
rights, ought to inspire us to arrive at a clear
stand on the current crisis in Venezuela."
Mitchell said Caricom leaders "appreciate
that there is a duly elected Government in
place in Venezuela and that many of the
internal struggles and manifestations of a
struggle for political power."
Without calling names, Mitchell said
there were international advocates who
were seeking an "unconstitutional regime
change, we must give pause but (that) pause
must not result in paralysis."
He said Caricom member states "need
to be concerned about the anomalies and
excesses about extremism on all sides of the
fence. We must stand united to condemn
violence from whichever quarters it comes."
Mitchell stressed that Caricom must use
its close ties "to urge all parties to a position
of dialogue, that will be in the best interest
of the people of Venezuela."
He also feels McDonald should tender her
resignation as Port-of-Spain South MP.
Lee Sing, who resigned from the PNM in 2015 af-
ter serving the party for 50 years, said the move by
Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley to reappoint Mc-
Donald to his Cabinet
last week Wednesday
was another illustration
of his "ineptness in his
judgment. That was his
choice. He now has to
live with it. He choose
Marlene despite having
a comprehensive file in
Given Rowley's blun-
ders and missteps, Lee
Sing said in a serious po-
litical organisation, the
Prime Minister would
have had much to an-
Stating that McDonald
should have never been
made an MP in the first
place, Lee Sing said the
nation has come to real-
ise that neither the Unit-
ed National Congress or
PNM holds a future for
Lee Sing said while
some of McDonald's constituents have been
calling on her to form her own party, there have
been tremendous rejoicing by others with regards
to her axing.
"Those who are rejoicing are not the vocal ones.
That is what has been coming from the ground."
As McDonald remains deputy political leader
of the PNM for legislative matters, Lee said she
should do the honourable thing and resign.
"This is a lady who has questions to answer, yet
she is chairman of legislative group of the party.
That gives you an indication of the seriousness
of the party in dealing with matters that are not
above board. She should be asked by Dr Rowley
to resign. That would have never happened under
Patrick Manning if he was alive as prime minister.
Marlene is still a powerful woman in the Govern-
ment. Let us put it that way."
Lee Sing, who was bypassed by the PNM for
the Port-of-Spain South seat in the 2015 general
election, said he was not crying sour grapes, as he
was very discomforted by all that was taking place.
"What will Marlene say to the legislative group
that is made up of councillors, Senators and MPs?
They all have to answer to her at the level of the
legislative group. What is to be the agenda?"
In the best interest of democracy, Lee Sing sent
a message to McDonald.
"I would say you should withdraw from all po-
sition of office and go into private practice. That
includes the position as MP as well. In private
practice you are free to do as much as you want
within the limits of the law. She should withdraw
from politics altogether."
Lee Sing said the country has got to start to
demand from politicians better service and per-
resign as MP,
--- Lee Sing
Mayor Louis Lee Sing
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