The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Kingstown has issued the following statement on the incident in Union Island on Sunday during which three nationals of that South American nation was killed during a reported shootout with local police. Vincentian Customs guard Othneil Whyte drowned during the incident.
“In connection with the events that occurred on the afternoon of Sunday, June 3, 2012, on the Coast of Union Island, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines wishes to express the following:
“1. On the evening of Sunday, June 3, 2012, the authorities of the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force communicated by telephone with the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Yoel Perez Marcano, informing him that, at approximately 600 hours on Sunday 3 June 2012, there had been an incident between Coast Guard officials in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuelan citizens who were crew members of a fishing vessel and that as a result of the confrontation which had occurred, several were dead and injured while others were arrested , the authorities offered to provide more information on Monday morning concerning the case aforementioned .
“2. On Monday June 4, 2012, in compliance with international protocols on consular proceedings concerning foreigners detained as part of a criminal investigation, there were several telephone conversations with the Office of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Keith Miller and the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in order to cooperate with investigations of the event and to receive information on the full identification of those arrested, injured and dead, so that the relevant authorities and families in Venezuela can be informed. A Consular visit was made to the injured person, who is at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, the Captain of the boat and the four detained at the police station in Union Island. As for the bodies, we are awaiting authorization from the authorities to collect fingerprint information to be sent to the national territory in order to confirm the full identification of these persons.
“3. We share with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the police authorities the fight to combat all forms of criminality, including fuel smuggling, illegal fishing and drug trafficking that under the existing “Agreement Between the Republic of Venezuela (today Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) and the State of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Illicit Traffic and Consumption of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances”, signed on February 03, 1993, in the city of Kingstown, support all inquiries from the Vincentian authorities aimed at the clarification of these unfortunate events and where all detainees meet an internationally recognized fair trial, with absolute respect for the right to humane treatment and other human rights .
“4. Finally, we deeply regret the death during these events of customs official Othneil Whyte, whose family we send our heartfelt words of sympathy and offer our respect and consideration in this painful time.
“Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
“Saint Vincent and the Grenadines”