Venezuela lauds India’s hands-off approach

Venezuelan Ambassador to India Augusto Montiel.  

The world would be a safer place if the U.S. emulates India’s policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries, says Venezuelan Ambassador to India Augusto Montiel.

In an interview to The Hindu, Mr. Montiel observed that India had maintained an independent position on the ongoing disturbances in Venezuela and has avoided pressure from the U.S.

“We respect India’s stance of non-interference in internal matters of developing nations and would wish the U.S. to emulate this position; we believe the world would be a safer and more stable place,” he said. “A strong nation like India makes its decisions based on other countries’ opinions. In June, when the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. threatened to leave the U.N. Human Rights Council if it did not sanction Venezuela, India was one of the 57 countries that cosigned a statement of support for Venezuela.”

Venezuela has been facing unrest since March when the government of president Nicolas Maduro faced protests from the Opposition following his attempts at constitutional reforms.

Cautious stand

The subsequent crisis has seen clashes almost every day. On August 17, clashes between government guards and convicts in a prison claimed 37 lives and drew strong comments from various members of the U.N. However, India has maintained a cautious position on the issue and is yet to criticise either of the parties in the crisis.

The envoy said the Non-Aligned Movement, of which Venezuela is the current chair, have been supportive of the government of Mr. Maduro.

The previous NAM summit was hosted last year in Venezuela where the Indian delegation was led by the then Vice-President, Hamid Ansari. He said the support of NAM will be visible in the U.N. session in September-October.

Venezuela has been one of the main energy suppliers to India from the western hemisphere and there are obvious concerns that instability in the country could affect India’s energy needs.

However the envoy discounted the possibility and said, “The industrial and oil sectors are completely normal; just a few months ago ONGC inaugurated a high-pressure water pump as part of a multimillion dollar deal signed in November last year.”

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:22:43 PM |

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