Antigua & Barbuda Abstains From Vote on Nicolas Maduro

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Friday 11th January, 2019-Antigua and Barbuda abstained from an OAS resolution on Thursday presented by several countries not to recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro who has begun serving a second term as Venezuela’s President.

The resolution was presented by Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the United States, Paraguay and Peru, to the Permanent Council. The votes were 19 in favour, with eight abstentions and six against. Antigua and Barbuda was among the eight abstentions. Other countries within the region that didn’t take a side included Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.

Those that voted against the resolution included Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. Grenada was absent. Jamaica, Guyana, Bahamas and St. Lucia along with the Dominican Republic are among regional countries that voted with other nations for the resolution.

According to the OAS, Venezuela’s Ambassador Samuel Moncada described the measure adopted as “a hostile act… against the will of our nation.”

The Government of Prime Minister Gaston Browne has always maintained its position of non-interference in the internal affairs of nations. Prime Minister Browne has been quoted as saying he is supporting what is in the best interest of the country, adding that pragmatism is involved in the country’s foreign policy.

President Maduro’s second term will last for six years.

Mr Maduro was first elected in 2013, succeeding Hugo Chavez who died of cancer after governing for 14 years.