The Unit­ed States and T&T have a good re­la­tion­ship but don’t see eye to eye on every is­sue, es­pe­cial­ly the Venezue­lan is­sue.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion from the Sun­day Guardian on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Unit­ed States and Venezuela and the Unit­ed States and Cu­ba, the US Em­bassy said that the US wants what’s best for both coun­tries but these coun­tries must make de­mo­c­ra­t­ic re­forms if the re­la­tion­ship is to be im­proved.

This comes as Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley called on the US to im­prove its re­la­tion­ship with both coun­tries for the ben­e­fit of the Caribbean re­gion.

Row­ley said the US “scorched earth pol­i­cy” is wreak­ing hav­oc on Venezuela which is desta­bil­is­ing the re­gion.

Speak­ing vir­tu­al­ly as chair­man of Cari­com dur­ing a Ques­tion and An­swer seg­ment host­ed by the non-par­ti­san or­gan­i­sa­tion the At­lantic Coun­cil on Thurs­day, Row­ley al­so said the en­tire Caribbean would ben­e­fit from a sig­nif­i­cant thaw­ing of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Cu­ba and the US.

In its state­ment, the US Em­bassy jus­ti­fied its po­si­tion on Venezuela and Cu­ba with these points:

• While they have a good re­la­tion­ship with T&T, they don’t see eye to eye on every is­sue.

• The Biden-Har­ris ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­view­ing the US Cu­ba pol­i­cy, but the main prin­ci­ple at the core of our ef­forts will be sup­port for democ­ra­cy and hu­man rights through em­pow­er­ing the Cuban peo­ple to de­ter­mine their own fu­ture.

• Pres­i­dent Biden un­der­stands the pain the cur­rent cri­sis in Venezuela is in­flict­ing on Venezue­lans and their fam­i­lies.  How­ev­er, that pain is on­ly the re­sult of the dic­ta­tor­ship of Nicholas Maduro, which has left mil­lions of peo­ple in Venezuela in need of hu­man­i­tar­i­an aid.

• The Unit­ed States is the num­ber one provider of hu­man­i­tar­i­an aid and the sec­ond-largest food ex­porter to Venezuela.

• The Unit­ed States has stood with the peo­ple of Venezuela in pro­vid­ing them with this aid and in do­ing all that they can to en­sure that their pres­sure on the for­mer Maduro regime is not wors­en­ing the hu­man­i­tar­i­an im­pli­ca­tions and the hu­man­i­tar­i­an suf­fer­ing of the Venezue­lan peo­ple.  That is why sanc­tions are de­signed to al­low for the pro­vi­sion of hu­man­i­tar­i­an as­sis­tance and the ex­port of agri­cul­tur­al com­modi­ties, food, med­i­cine, med­ical de­vices to Venezuela.

• The re­cent repa­tri­a­tion of 100 Venezue­lans from T&T demon­strates the hu­man­i­tar­i­an ex­emp­tions their sanc­tions pro­gram pro­vides.

• They com­mend the T&T peo­ple and gov­ern­ment for their hu­man­i­tar­i­an as­sis­tance to the Venezue­lans who fled their coun­try due to the for­mer Maduro regime’s cor­rup­tion, re­pres­sion, and mis­man­age­ment.

The Cuban Em­bassy

The Cuban Em­bassy in its state­ment to the Sun­day Guardian said the po­si­tion ex­pressed by T&T’s Prime Min­is­ter is con­sis­tent with the “coura­geous po­si­tion” that Bar­ba­dos, Guyana, Ja­maica and T&T adopt­ed on De­cem­ber 8, 1972, to es­tab­lish diplo­mat­ic re­la­tions with Cu­ba, break­ing the iso­la­tion that the US tried to ap­ply to their coun­try af­ter the tri­umph of the Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion.

“Dur­ing all these years, the Cari­com Mem­ber States have op­posed in one way or an­oth­er the un­just eco­nom­ic, com­mer­cial and fi­nan­cial block­ade of the Unit­ed States against our coun­try.”

The state­ment added that Cu­ba has re­it­er­at­ed on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions its full will­ing­ness to main­tain re­la­tions with the Unit­ed States based on re­spect for dif­fer­ences and non-in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of our coun­tries, which en­cour­ages di­a­logue and co­op­er­a­tion.

“The cre­ation of an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to di­a­logue and mul­ti­lat­er­al co­op­er­a­tion in the hemi­sphere will al­low more ef­fec­tive ac­tion to con­front the COVID19 pan­dem­ic and its dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the eco­nom­ic and so­cial life of our pop­u­la­tions.”

Source: Guardian T&T