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IDB Cancels China Meeting after Beijing bars Venezuela

 Ricardo Hausmann from Harvard University speaks on Day 1 of Securing Sport 2015 - the annual conference of the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS). Photo Andrew Kelly for ICSS Ricardo Hausmann from Harvard University speaks on Day 1 of Securing Sport 2015 - the annual conference of the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS). Photo Andrew Kelly for ICSS
WASHINGTON – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it will no longer hold this week's meeting of its 48 member countries in China after Beijing refused to allow a representative of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to attend.

 The decision was made in Washington on Friday at a meeting of the executive board of the IADB, Latin America’s largest development lender, after China refused to change its position.

The meetings were scheduled to be held in in Chengdu, People’s Republic of China, from March 28 to 31.

“The Director of China informed the Board that in keeping with China’s neutral stance on the situation in Venezuela, the government of China had informed the Bank that it would not issue visas to the representatives of either side of the Venezuelan conflict to attend the annual meetings in Chengdu,” the IDB statement said.

In a statement, the IDB said that management will “present its recommendations for the location and date of the 2019 Annual Meetings of the IDB within a period of 30 days”.

On Thursday, the United States threatened to derail the meeting unless Beijing granted a visa to Guaido’s representative, Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann.

In a separate vote, the Governors of Inter-American Investment Corporation, known as IDB Invest, the IDB Group’s private sector lending arm, also approved Hausmann’s appointment.

In a statement sent to all IDB member governors, the IDB said Friday that China had been asked to “provide an update on the issuance of visas to representatives of Venezuela”.

The statement said that the United States and several of its allies that are pushing to replace President Nicolas Maduro as President of Venezuela with Guaidó, later indicated that they would not attend the meeting if the new Venezuelan delegate is not granted a visa.

Caribbean countries on the IDB board of governors are the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago.

CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St Kitts and Nevis last month had reiterated their position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, informed sources have told the Caribbean Media Corporation that Guaidó was due in Barbados on Saturday for a meeting of officials of the Lima Group that opposes Maduro. 

 

  • Countries: Latin America

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