Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah says Venezuelan nationals cannot determine what T&T’s foreign policy should be. He was commenting on calls by Venezuelans in this country for Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to support their country’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. A group of Venezuelans on Saturday marched around the Queen's Park Savannah in support of Guaido and distributed copies of an open letter to Rowley. A
At a press conference at the MSJ’s headquarters in San Fernando, Abdulah said, “Citizens of Venezuela can appeal to the Government of Venezuela and the parties in Venezuela but Venezuelans here in Trinidad and Tobago cannot determine what the foreign policy of Trinidad and Tobago ought to be. It is the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago ultimately and the governments of Caricom and the citizens of Caricom who must determine the foreign policy of Trinidad and Tobago and of Caricom.”
Reiterating his support for the initiatives of Caricom and the position of the T&T Government on the political turmoil, Abdulah said he was glad that Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro was open to dialogue and mediation. “Very regrettably, but not surprising, Guaido has taken the consistent right-wing line of the opposition rejecting any talks, rejecting any mediation and simply wanting for resolve the thing by force backed, of course, by the United States and some other countries.”
He said Maduro got significant support at Saturday’s demonstration in Venezuela which was much bigger than Guaido’s rally. “So it is not as if President Maduro is clinging on to power by himself and so on and the vast majority of the Venezuelans are against him. That is not the case.”
Addressing Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement that she is not interested in a coalition, Abdulah made it clear that his party was never interested in uniting with the UNC. MSJ was one of the parties in Persad-Bissessar ’s 2010 coalition government, but it severed ties just two years into office. “So it is not a disappointment or anything for us to hear what Mrs Persad-Bissessar said, because that (uniting) was not in our realm of thinking whatsoever.” He said both the Persad-Bissessar-led administration and Rowley-led government have failed the country and its people.
MSJ, he said, will be contesting all seats in the 2020 general election.