Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. E.P Chet Greene, is bemoaning what he sees as a shift away from internationalism and multilateralism which have accounted for the economic successes and stability that have characterized world affairs over the past several decades.
The minister made the point this week in his contribution to the debate on the 2019 national budget for Antigua and Barbuda.
“There is a shift away from internationalism and multilateralism that have been the bulwarks of respect for our place in the global economy. Today, there is an increasing shift to unilateralism by powerful states, and an erosion in the strength of the international system. There is a visible turning to the doctrines of the past in which might is right and the rule of the jungle, not the rule of law, prevails,” Greene noted.
According to the foreign affairs minister nowhere is this resurgence of this doctrine of past eras more visible than with the current crisis taking place in oil-rich Venezuela in South America. He said what is taking place in Caracas is a clear example of powerful countries using their full force to assert their national positions on the rest of the world.
Greene noted that a few governments have decided to declare the Government of Venezuela as illegitimate and they have opted to anoint an opposition leader as Interim President and to claim that he heads the real Government in Venezuela.
He disclosed that in pursuing what he termed ‘this reckless action’, the governments concerned are coercing others into joining them. The minister decried the move as an afront to the very sovereignty of Antigua and Barbuda and what its government sees as its best interest.
Greene restated his government’s position that it stands on the principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of sovereign states. He said Antigua would be against any external toppling of any government nor would it support the external installation of a new one.
Instead, he said Antigua and Barbuda would favour any move that would bring the various interests in Venezuela together to peacefully resolve their differences.