KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, Wednesday June 21, 2017 – Amid efforts by some members of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) to put pressure on Venezuela to call elections, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has warned Caribbean countries that forcing regime change in that country may have a negative impact on them.
He issued the caution in a June 16 letter in which he said “an activist quest for regime change” in Caracas was bound to destabilize Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.
“Venezuela has a population of 27 million possessed of abundant small arms, legal and illegal. A further exacerbation of the deepening political tensions by external intervention, in whatever guise, is likely to cause a flood of migrants, legal and illegal, onto our lands and seas,” he warned.
“Unwittingly, we may turn our peaceful geographic spaces into makeshift refugee settlements. Experience in today’s world teaches that this is not an alarmist scenario.”
The Vincentian leader is adamant that there should be no intervention by the OAS in the situation in Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro is accused of delaying elections, jailing opposition activists and pressing to overhaul the constitution.
He said Venezuelans should be allowed to resolve by themselves their intense political conflicts or challenges “without unwarranted meddling”.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has been pushing for Caracas to be suspended from the hemispheric body if it does not swiftly hold general elections amid the economic and political crisis in the South American nation.
“At the end of the day, it is imperative that we see the OAS not as a battering ram or a sword to be used in factor of one or another of the groupings of political combatants in Venezuela. The OAS in our modern era, beyond the ghosts of a debilitating Cold War, is required always to be a shield in defence and promotion of tried and tested civilized and civilizing, precepts of international law and relations. The resurrection of ghosts from the past, in whatever form or fashion will be a huge mistake. We must avoid this,” Gonsalves said.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday June 16, 2017 – Seaborne Airlines will resume non-stop service between the carrier’s hub in San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua and Barbuda next months.
Flights on Seaborne’s 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft begin July 21. The airline will operate four non-stop round-trip ﬂights per week.
As a result of the service, passengers from over 30 destinations in the Americas and Europe will be able to reach Antigua with a single stop in San Juan through connections with Seaborne’s partner airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and Vieques Air Link.
“A convenient schedule has been designed to beneﬁt local customers with easy access between the islands, while connecting passengers will beneﬁt from direct transfers through Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean” said Hector Montanez, Vice President of Commercial at Seaborne.
“An overnight ﬂight with a morning departure from Antigua will maximize convenience to both tourists and residents.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism Asot Michael says the additional airlift is a plus for the destination as it prepares for a busy summer season, with visitors travelling to the twin-island nation’s July 27-August 8 Carnival.