Left to Right: DR RALPH GONSALVES & Renwick Rose
July 13, 2021
210 years of Venezuelan Independence celebrated in SVG

“The independence of Venezuela 210 years ago led the way for the liberation of South America, and the right of the peoples of this hemisphere to govern themselves,” stated Renwick Rose – president of the Vincentian/ Cuban Friendship Association.

He was delivering remarks at the Independence Anniversary celebrations of Venezuela, held on Friday July 9, 2021 at the Embassy of Venezuela, at Ratho Mill.

210 years ago, on July 5, 1811, Venezuela became the first nation to gain its independence from Spanish rule, when representatives from the country’s seven provinces united to end the Spanish monarchy, and subsequently signed the Act of the Declaration of Independence of Venezuela.

According to Rose, “in today’s world, one cannot be a friend of Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, without being a friend of Venezuela, the Venezuela people, and the Bolivarian Revolution.”

Rose spoke of the similarities between the Venezuelan Revolution and the Haitian Revolution, as “the fight to end slavery, the quest for independence in our Caribbean island.”

He added that “the Republic of Venezuela was one of the earliest friends of newly independent St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that friendship has grown and developed, solidified by the common aim of exercising our sovereignty to benefit our peoples, and not be subservient to any foreign power, interests or dictates. Venezuela has proven to be a genuine friend of our country and its people.”

He called for a rejection of all attempts by certain interests to drive a wedge between the two peoples. Rose added that it is ironic that having fought off the yoke of the Spanish Empire over two centuries ago, “today the people of Venezuela are still having to fight against the designs of a modern empire which is determined to try and control the resources of our sister country in the interest of a privileged few, and I cannot help but repeat our continued rejection of the sanctions unilaterally imposed by the United States on the peoples of Cuba and Venezuela which are creating a lot of difficulties not only for them but for the people in this hemisphere.”

Delivering the feature address at Friday’s ceremony, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said: “By now it is well established that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which I have the honour to lead, is an uncompromising defendant of the independence and the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as we are Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela and for every country in our Americas and elsewhere.

“ I singled out Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, because in recent years, these four countries have been subjected to immense challenge to their sovereignty and independence and their right to pursue their own path as the peoples of those countries see fit in all the circumstances.”

Dr. Gonsalves pointed out that the history is a very important one for the peoples of the region to study, “for even when you gain your independence as we said here …in 1979, independence is the beginning and not the end.

“But the epoch of all these struggles from the standpoint of our own country and other forces on the world, we see how the circumstances arose for [Simon] Bolivar to lead the struggle for the restoration of independence in Venezuela, because before Spanish colonialism, the people were independent. Independence was restored, was reclaimed.”

Gonsalves called on persons to ensure that they know the history of the region, “so that we do not desecrate tomorrow.”

He also was critical of the United States of America for its double standards, pointing out that in February 2015; the US president [Barack] Obama signed an executive order that Venezuela is a security threat to the United States of America.

He queried whether Venezuela could be a security threat to America, if Venezuela has nuclear weapons, and if Venezuela has the military capacity to go to Miami. The posture of the USA towards Venezuela was labelled as “absurd” by Dr. Gonsalves who added that when the banking system was turned into a criminal enterprise by the USA saying ‘you cannot do normal banking’
because of the sanctions, PetroCaribe is closed down.”

Depending on the price of world oil prices, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) use to save between 20 to 40 million dollars a year out of PetroCaribe. This Dr. Gonsalves said went to deal with poverty and housing, and infrastructural development in SVG, and reminded persons that “without Venezuela and Cuba, we could not have built the Argyle International Airport.”