Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told protesters against conditions in Venezuela that Barbados would do whatever was within its power to help restore the country to calm.
That assurance came at the Intern-American Press Association conference where he was questioned by a protester on what his administration would do for Venezuela where that person contended democracy was under threat.
Placard-bearing protesters had lined themselves along the back of the conference hall of the Hilton while Stuart was delivering remarks to the media meeting yesterday, and during time allotted for questions, former director of RCTV in Venezuela, Macel Grannier, posed the query.
“I am aware that there is a certain amount of restlessness on the streets of Venezuela,” Stuart said, and added: “I think it is desirable that countries are allowed to settle down so that the pursuit of developmental goals can be undertaken.
“I can assure you this: if there is anything that Barbados can do to end that situation and to help the country to settle down so that the elected government of Venezuela can get on with its work, Barbados will use its good offices in that regard.”
Protester Mirna Hughes told Barbados TODAY that RCTV, which was regarded as anti-government, was closed in 2007 because the broadcast licence was not renewed after expiration.
Commenting on Stuart’s response, she said: “I find his answer [was] like I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t want to get involved. A very light answer. I find that he did not compromise himself. And he did not really answer the question.”
Speaking outside the conference hall after Stuart’s address, Hughes and a number of other protesters dismissed the Prime Minister’s assurance that he was constantly updated on happenings in the South American country through Barbados’ ambassador.
They argued that this island’s representative does not see the unrest and restricted living conditions all over the country.
They were equally dismissive of Stuart’s indication that he would soon meet the Venezuelan Ambassador to Barbados
“The ambassador is for the regime and he comes here with instructions,” one protester said.