Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday February 5, 2019
Jagmeet Singh questions Canada’s recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is questioning Canada’s decision to recognize a Venezuelan opposition leader as the country’s interim president, after prominent members of his party lashed out at the Liberal government’s foreign policy move Thursday.
In a statement to the Toronto Star, Singh said it should be up to Venezuelans to decide who leads their country, which was roiled by deadly protests this week as the socialist regime led by Nicolas Maduro tries to cling to power amidst economic collapse and a mass exodus of migrants from the South American nation.
Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced Wednesday that Ottawa will recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and support his “commitment to lead Venezuela to free and fair presidential elections.” Canada was among the “Lima Group” of countries that called on Maduro to step down earlier this month, declaring that he seized power through “fraudulent and anti-democratic elections” last year.
Freeland’s decision came after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Guaido as Venezuelan leader, prompting the Maduro regime to cut diplomatic ties with the United States.
The NDP leader, however, is calling for a United Nations-led dialogue to “avert a disaster” in Venezuela, and said Thursday that all countries deserve to choose their leaders without “authoritative pressure or foreign interference.” He also condemned military action against protesters by the Maduro regime.
“Canada should not simply follow the U.S.’s foreign policy, particularly given its history of self-interested interference in the region,” Singh said.
“The question of who is to lead Venezuela should be in the hands of Venezuelans.” (Sourec: Toronto Star)