One person who has been critical of the Prime Minister’s speech is Opposition Leader Moses “Shyne” Barrow. Barrow described PM Briceno’s speech as diplomatic prostitution and supportive of dictatorships. Responding to Barrow’s comment today was Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay.
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “I would have thought that when one gets a head injury one would seek medical attention before speaking in public. The 9th and 10th of December last year President Biden hosted the Summit of Democracies Prime Minister Briceno attended, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela were not invited because that was an American conference, an American summit. As the Prime Minister has said the Summit of the Americas does not belong to the United States the United States merely hosted the summit, the summit belongs to the Americas. The last two summits these countries attended. It is curious to me that less than a month ago the United States announced new measures with Cuba the supposed dictatorship. It is curious to me that about two months ago the United States and Cuba actually had bilateral talks on immigration one of the main topics of the summit. It is curious to me that less than a month ago the United States announced a waiver for Chevron to do business with Venezuela. It is curious to me that less than a month ago the United States National Security Council sent a delegation to negotiate with Venezuela. Bilateral discussions are taking place but they want us to believe that when it comes to the entire hemisphere these countries are dictatorships. Well if they can have relations with them and we can have relations with them and this is a Summit of the Americas there is absolutely no justification for excluding them but what is more important is what the summit is about. How can we talk about migration as a hemispheric problem and two of the countries that are countries of origin for hundreds of thousands and millions are excluded? How do you find a solution for the problem if you exclude those countries? How can we talk about COVID19 recovery when the country that was on the front line around the world when there was no vaccine is not invited to be part of the discussion on dealing with the continuing problem and future pandemics ? We regard that as myopic, we regard that as shortsighted, we regard it as misguided. Mr.Barrow appears to be trapped in a mindset set in the cold war. We will urge him to read the United Nations charter from 1945 it spoke about non intervention. We don’t judge countries on the basis of their domestic policy.”