Ministry distances itself from Dahal’s criticism of US and its alliesFour days after the ruling party’s co-chairman released a scathing statement, criticising the United States and its allies’ stance on Venezuela, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distanced itself from the statement on Tuesday,
Four days after the ruling party’s co-chairman released a scathing statement, criticising the United States and its allies’ stance on Venezuela, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distanced itself from the statement on Tuesday, saying that internal political problems of a country needs to be resolved within its constitutional parameters in a democratic manner, free from external interferences.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the government of Nepal has been closely following the recent political developments in Venezuela and the people of the Latin American nation have the ultimate authority to take a decision on the country’s political and constitutional course.
“We stand for peace, stability and unity of Venezuela and call for the resolution of differences through peaceful manners,” the statement further read.
Following the statement by Nepal Communist Party’s Pushpa Kamal Dahal last week, foreign policy experts said the government had come under pressure to clarify its position on the ongoing political turmoil in Venezuela and come up with a “moderate and soft” response.
“The US has been trying to create chaos and violence putting inhuman economic sanctions and threatening military intervention in Venezuela since last decade,” Dahal had said in his statement.
Nepali diplomats said that had Dahal not mentioned the word “intervention,” the government would not have to follow up with a clarification.
“Very few countries have made statements on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, so there was no reason for Dahal to issue such a harsh statement,” said Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, the former Nepali Ambassador to the United States. “It was Dahal’s statement that prompted the government to issue this new statement.”
The wordings and contents of the statement issued by Dahal and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are starkly different, but the government still refused to toe the US position that calls nations “to pick a side.”
On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while addressing the United Nations Security Council in New York, said that it was now time for countries to take a side on Venezuela after Washington recognised Juan Guaidó as the head of state. Pompeo also urged countries to disconnect financially from Maduro’s government.
“The ministry’s statement also disapproves the American position which Dahal had also written in his statement,” said Lok Raj Baral, a political analyst and former ambassador to India.
Both the government and Dahal use the phrase “free from external interferences,” in principal disapproving the American position on Venezuela.
The US Embassy in Kathmandu had asked the foreign ministry for clarification on whether Dahal’s statement reflected the official position of the government of Nepal. It is unclear if the ministry sent a separate response to the US embassy.
“The government’s reaction dismissing Dahal’s statement is completely normal,” said Thapa. “Dahal’s statement was his personal opinion but the authentic stance of the government is when the prime minister, the foreign minister or the government’s spokesperson release a statement.”
In an interview with the Post on Sunday, a senior ruling party leader said Dahal’s statement was issued at the behest of a “strong lobby group” from Venezuela that requested the ruling party in Nepal to support Nicolas Maduro. Dahal’s statement was issued when Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was away in Switzerland with Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali.