Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Arson destroys Venezuela Embassy in St. Kitts

Arson destroyed the Venezuelan Embassy and damaged offices used by the Organization of American States in St. Kitts and Nevis in what the prime minister of the small Caribbean nation said Monday was a politically motivated attack. The fires at the buildings in Bassettere, on the island of St. Kitts, burned in pre-dawn darkness of Sunday. Authorities responded to the fire at the OAS offices around midnight, and were called out to the nearby embassy several hours later. The Venezuelan Embassy was reduced to charred rubble while the OAS office sustained only minor damage. No one was injured in either fire. Police Inspector Lyndon David said two men, whose names were not released, were in custody but had not been charged. He said there was no evidence to suggest a motive. But Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said the fires occurred after a political demonstration by allies of the opposition Unity Party and he blamed them for what he called “extreme political tactics” aimed at destabilizing the government. St. Kitts and Nevis is a member of Petrocaribe, the agreement that allows developing nations to buy Venezuelan oil under preferential terms, but relations with the South American country are not a major point of contention in local politics.


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