Government minister in St. Kitts warns about Venezuela crisis

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Monday, 13th March, 2019, ( – Though it was organized as a town hall meeting to address local issues of residents of Cayon and surrounding districts, Tuesday night’s public forum by the ruling coalition government, also turned attention to regional and international problems that may affect the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Member of Parliament for Cayon, Eugene Hamilton, told those in attendance at the forum, that they ought to pay close attention to the growing crisis in Venezuela, because if it eventually leads to military action, Caribbean countries like his, could be negatively impacted.

Speaking while in the presence of the Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Timothy Harris, MP Hamilton said, “If things were to escalate in Venezuela where there is war, you can have an influx of individuals in this very country who may not be running away from Venezuela but trying to avoid war.”

The possibility of war and its impact on the entire Caribbean has been one of the fuel pumps driving a regional initiative led by CARICOM, to find a democratic and peaceful solution to the impasse between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition forces that are backed by the USA and European nations.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó woke up one day and decided to declare himself president, claiming that Maduro was illegitimately installed after flawed elections.

There has been food shortage and electrical blackouts, while many companies have left the South American country, following tough economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure from the USA.

President Trump in the US and some other officials there have, from time to time, hinted at the possibility of military action. However, though the US has the backing of Canada, some Latin American Countries and Europe, on the matter of recognizing the opposition leader, they are not in favour military intervention.

That is why Hamilton is warning citizens of St. Kitts & Nevis that if there is an exodus from Venezuela to the Caribbean, including St. Kitts and Nevis, “…it will affect the quality of you as an individual and of us as a people.” Hamilton added, “It will affect the health situation; it will affect the food and nutrition situation in St. Kitts, so I don’t want us to ignore what is happening in Venezuela.”

Hamilton, who is the Deputy Leader of the largest block of parties in government also noted that persons might be of the view that it is not happening in St. Kitts and Nevis, but it is right on their doorsteps, adding that “it is not yet in your house because no war has started so let’s not ignore it, let’s pay attention.”

He also praised his colleague, Prime Minister Harris, as Chairman of CARICOM, for the role he has been playing amongst his Caribbean counterparts in trying to bring a peaceful end to the crisis.

Both Venezuela and St. Kitts & Nevis have been close diplomatic allies for over three decades.

Featured Photo: (L-R) Prime Minister Harris and Minister Eugene Hamilton, exchanging words at the forum