Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The lawmaker representing Abia North in the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, said his interest in the peace process in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was borne out of the need to galvanise support for the country’s suffering masses.
The former governor of Abia State also said his interest in the peace of Venezuela was to demonstrate what the Holy Father, the Pope, told him.
Kalu made the disclosure in Abuja when he hosted the Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Aristibulo Isturiz Almeida, in company with the Vice Minister of Foreign Relations of Venezuela, Mr. Yuri Pimentel in his residence.
The visit of the Venezuelan helmsmen followed Kalu’s recent visit by Kalu during which he met with President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela regarding the peace initiative. On his return to Nigeria, Senator Kalu had delivered a special message from President Maduro to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kalu, who described the visit of the Venezuela vice president as commendable, said he would continue to call for diplomacy of peace to let all countries calm down and allow every country live in peace.
“As a Catholic, the Pope told me that everywhere we go, we must make peace. And peace is taking me to Venezuela and I will continue to be going to Venezuela to see how we can allow Venezuelan people to exist.
“This problem is not even about Venezuelan leadership; it is about the Venezuelan people on the street so that they could allow them open the economic doors. The United Nations, the United States, the European Union, President Buhari and President Putin should put their heads together to be able to make everlasting peace for this country.
“This issue is not about the leadership, it is about the downtrodden because I need countries that are not liberated to be liberated because this is not really politics. I appeal that the Norway people and the EU who have started a peace initiative; let everybody come to the table and talk. There is nothing wrong in talking.”
Kalu added that Venezuelan nationals were brothers and sisters to the rest of the world, even as he said there were Nigerians living in Venezuela.
“That is why I am concerned. There are Nigerians who are Yorubas who are Afro Venezuela. They are living there and they are our brothers. And we should feel very concerned that every door of Venezuela should be open in terms of peace and the opposition should calm down because the opposition didn’t participate in the election. There was election and they boycotted election.
“We will appeal to President Maduro and the leadership to accommodate them in the government so that in the next election, if they want to run, they can run because the election has passed. So, I call on the United States, I call on President Trump and all allies to see reason why this country should exist. When you are punishing, you are not punishing President Maduro, you are not punishing his ministers, you are punishing the lowest level of the people of Venezuela,” Kalu noted.
Vice President Isturiz said he was hopeful that peace will return to Venezuela soon.
“The principal goal for us is to have peace in Venezuela. The dialogue is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. We are under attack from the US government –the inflation, the economic blockage, the financial blockage and the commercial blockage. They took from us more than $30 billion and only God will help our country from the peoples’ revolution.”
Isturiz added that the sanctions were against the international rule of law and the multilateral instruments, adding that the sanctions were criminal actions against the people of Venezuela.
Isturiz recalled the excellent diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Nigeria.
Nigeria, he said, is important to Venezuela within the African continent, nothing that both countries are forging ahead to have agreements in the fields of oil and gas, mines, agriculture, cultural, education and communications.
“We need to find some common areas in the aerospace and aeronautical relationship too, including tourism and commerce,” Isturiz said.