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Saint Lucia’s opposition leader, Allen Chastanet, has called out Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and some other unnamed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, accusing them of attempting to appease Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in the current border controversy with Guyana.
Chastanet posted his remarks in the St. Lucia Times comments section.
The remarks responded to Prime Minister Pierre’s call on Monday for a peaceful settlement of the border controversy.
““We are asking for both parties to respect international law,” Pierre said.
“The PM’s clarification on his previous statement is even more concerning,” Chastanet wrote.
“There should be no ambiguity,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader declared.
Chastanet asserted that Venezuela was acting illegally, challenging the sovereignty of Guyana and, by extension, Saint Lucia.
“His (Pierre’s) attempt and some of the other Caricom leaders to appease Maduro because of their “personal relationship” is threatening Caricom’s- our own security by inviting other more powerful countries to challenge our sovereignty,” the Saint Lucia opposition warned.
“Given the aggressive and unprovoked actions of Venezuela and the statements by the President of Guyana, does anyone expect either side to back down?” Chastanet asked.
“Saint Lucia should have made a strong, unequivocal statement to Maduro that we stand with Guyana, and they should stand down until the Court has given its final decision,” he stated.
Chastanet also said Thursday’s meeting between Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro should be to reinforce waiting for the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision on the border controversy and peacefully accept the outcome.
The UWP leader said it was not too late for the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia to do the right thing and ‘stand strong’ with Guyana and all Guyanese citizens.
“Saint Lucia’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law and our own integrity demands nothing less,” Chastanet said.