United States acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan has highlighted the need for the region to support the Venezuelan people and their right to have a voice in government through free and fair elections.
His comments came on Saturday when he met with the Caribbean heads of government and foreign ministers of The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and St Lucia on the margins of the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru.
During the meeting, Sullivan underscored America's commitment to enhance engagement with the region, as envisioned in the Caribbean 2020 strategy, including increasing private-sector investment; ensuring a steady, long-term supply of clean, affordable energy; building resilience to natural disasters; and supporting economic growth for a more secure and prosperous hemisphere.
The acting secretary and the Caribbean leaders pledged continued engagement on security and energy initiatives, through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, as well as disaster-preparedness and emergency-response efforts.
The US government provided nearly US$22 million in humanitarian assistance to support immediate emergency relief efforts in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Martin, and St Maarten in response to two major hurricanes last year. This assistance helped an estimated 83,800 people with more than 185 tons of supplies.