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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says Barbados stands ready to be of assistance to struggling Venezuela.
The oil-rich South American country has been rocked by an economic crisis highlighted by a shortage of food and medical supplies and electricity blackouts — the effects of a sharp decline in oil prices.
During debate in the House of Assembly on amendments to the Immigration Act, Opposition Member of Parliament for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds called on Stuart to lend support to Caracas.
“We have to see, Mr Speaker, as part of this country’s foreign policy, a way forward in which we would be able to collaborate in order to identify as CARICOM [Caribbean Community] countries, areas where we can offer concrete assistance to Caracas whether it be offered in the area of security and the economy, public sector reform or development,” said Symmonds, pointing to Barbados’ strengths in education and health care.
He also urged the Prime Minister, the immediate past chairman of CARICOM, not to abandon Haiti in light of the ongoing deportation of its nationals from the neighbouring Dominican Republic, as part of new immigration policy introduced last year.
Symmonds said he wanted to know how much pressure CARICOM was prepared to apply on the Dominican Republic in that regard, adding that it should be of concern to Barbados and the rest of the region.
“It has serious consequences to us because we in Barbados . . . are part of fundamental regional institutions which are expected to have their voice heard on these matters of regional governance and it would be a useful thing to work out exactly where CARICOM stands on this matter,” said Symmonds. READ MORE...
Added by Marlon Madden on May 19, 2016.
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