The FNM Government Interferes In Venezuela’s Business Senator Mitchell condemns the decision

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From Senator Fred Mitchell
Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs

On Decision At OAS Today By The Bahamas

For Immediate Release

24 January 2019

The Bahamas today took the extraordinary and precedent setting step to delegitimize the government of another country by its decision at the Organization of American States to recognize the Opposition’s leader in Venezuela as Interim President.

The explanation given today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this naked and open interference in the internal affairs of another hemispheric state does not provide a rationale which holds water. This is an issue of principle…not a question of whether or not we like the Government of Venezuela, but rather do we no longer stand for the non-interference with the internal affairs of another country. Even when there were military dictatorships in Haiti, we did not break diplomatic relations with them and dealt with the de facto regime.

Now the Minnis government has acted against what has always been the professional advice of the Foreign Ministry on such matters which is to abstain, and the Government has set a new precedent.

From time to time, countries with whom we have relations will face accusations related to democratic practices or human rights. Foreign policy should be undertaken in a careful manner, mindful of the implications of decisions being taken. In the past, The Bahamas has not turned a blind eye to such issues but has always sought to promote dialogue and peaceful solutions and to act in ways that preserved the credibility of multilateral institutions such as the OAS which might serve as an honest broker on matters concerning democracy and human rights.

Given we now support the opposition leader in Venezuela as interim leader, do we also now support overthrow of the de facto Government? Does this now mean that an Opposition party in any other country that claims it is the legitimate government should garner our support as well? Look what that might mean for us in The Bahamas in the future.

End