Saturday 20 July, 2019

As Venezuela crisis heightens, T&T securing borders

Despite the escalation in the political crisis in Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago will maintain its position of non-interference and non-intervention in the country's internal affairs.

That's the response from National Security Minister Stuart Young who, in a statement on Tuesday, took notice of elements of the Venezuelan military indicating support for Venezuela's Opposition leader Juan Guaidó - support which has resulted in disturbances in the South American nation.

 

Speaking on behalf of the Government, Young said he is hopeful that the Venezuelan people will resolve their affairs peacefully.

He added that the relevant Divisions of the National Security Ministry have been working together and have been focused on securing the country's borders.

Below is the full statement from National Security Minister Stuart Young:

It has been reported that certain elements of the Venezuelan military have indicated support for Mr. Juan Guaidó and that support has resulted in disturbances in Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago maintains its principled position of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela and hopes that the Venezuelan people will resolve their affairs peacefully.

I advise that the relevant Divisions of the Ministry of National Security have been working together and have been focused on securing our borders and we will continue to do so.

The Associated Press reports that armored vehicles plowed into anti-government protesters as troops loyal to the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tried to restore order Tuesday after Guaidó took to the streets in a risky attempt to lead a military uprising against the embattled socialist.

The ambassador to Washington representing Guaidó says the United States had no role in coordinating the uprising in Caracas against President Maduro.

Carlos Vecchio said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the protest "is a movement headed by Venezuelans" and the U.S. did not intervene.

The United States has recognised Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president and Vecchio as its ambassador in Washington because it views Maduro's re-election as invalid.

U.S. officials issued statements of support almost immediately after Guaidó appeared in the streets Tuesday to call for the military and civilians to rise up.

There have been clashes between demonstrators and pro-Maduro troops, but the Associated Press reports that the revolt so far seems to have only limited military backing.

As events continue to unfold, a group that monitors internet censorship says Venezuela's state-run internet provider has been restricting access to YouTube and Google services following Guaidó's call for the military to revolt against Maduro.

Non-governmental group NetBlocks says access to the services remains available intermittently since the restrictions do not seem 100 percent effective.

According to the NGO, Twitter, Facebook, and several other services were briefly restricted earlier on Tuesday, although core internet connectivity is unaffected.

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