Chairman of ruling CPN Pushpa Kamal Dahal has hit back at fellow chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli for calling his statement on Venezuela a faux pas and stressed that an individual opinion does not matter when the party’s secretariat has already endorsed his statement.
“I have not watched in what context PM spoke. What one individual says does not have any meaning now that the secretariat meeting also participated by PM himself has already called out American interference in Venezuela and issued a statement condemning that,” Dahal told media persons in Chitwan when asked about his response on Oli’s comments.
“That was a political statement. It was issued to prevent external interference in political developments of an independent and sovereign country. The Foreign Ministry also later issued a statement in the same spirit,” Dahal argued. He stressed that the statement issued by the secretariat remains the party’s official position on the issue.
Speaking in the television program ‘PM with the people’, PM Oli revealed that he told US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry Tuesday evening that the statement by Dahal was a faux pas.
“This issue naturally came up during the meeting with ambassador yesterday,” he said in the program broadcast live on Wednesday. “That issue has created ripples or so much has been created from that. This is not that necessary. It was a little slip. I was returning the next day. There was no compulsive reason to issue the statement on the earlier day.”
He also conceded that the language used in Dahal’s statement was not appropriate. Dahal issuing a press statement on January 25 had condemned America accusing it of attempting an imperialist coup in Venezuela and called the intervention in internal affairs of Venezuela unacceptable.
PM Oli said there was no necessity to issue such a strong-worded statement. “First, the issue was not an important one. Second, the language that was used was also not appropriate. That created ripples,” PM Oli said. “But relationship between countries is not based on a statement by a comrade. This relation has not originated from that and will not end through that. There can be some minor incidents and fluctuations knowingly or unknowingly. That statement of a few lines did not declare a war,” he tried to downplay the incident.
He argued that a big and strong country like America should not be hurt on such small issues. “Some animals die when touched by a small object. Big animals may not even feel if something sits on its head. It ill behoves such a big country like America to get stuck on such small issues,” he opined. “There are rumors that the relationship has been damaged. It is not so. America may have been hurt a bit by the statement issued taking its name.”
He pointed that US President Donald Trump also has faux pas from time to time. “The big ones also slip sometimes. We can see that. Should we not be more hurt if someone says that a small country like ours is a part of another country?” he pointed at the news reports about Trump assuming Nepal and Bhutan are part of India during security briefing about South Asia. “Can one not even be hurt if one is small and weak, and big ones should be hurt more?”
He claimed that such a statement would not have been issued if he were in Nepal then. He was in Swtizerland when Dahal issued the statement. “We have clear and stable policies. We have already clarified our position on that. It is not as frightening as it is being presented,” he stated. “That was a slip. It is not right to get stuck on that.”
“Communist Party of Nepal issues this statement in support of the people of Venezuela, the sovereignty of the state and the recognition of democratically elected constitutional President of Nicholas Maduro,” the press statement issued in the name of Chairman Dahal on January 25 read, “Communist Party of Nepal also strongly denounces the US and its allies intervention in the internal affairs of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the intention of increasing the violence by diving the people and challenging democracy, sovereignty and peace.”
In the press release, Dahal accused the US of trying to create chaos and violence in Venezuela by putting inhuman economic sanctions and threatening military intervention. “It’s a serious challenge to the UN Charter and Principle of peaceful co-existence. Therefore, we call the US and other countries to respect the principle of noninterference, national sovereignty and peaceful co-existence.”
Juan Guaido on January 23 declared himself interim president claiming that the constitution gives him, as president of the congress, the authority to take over as interim president and form a transitional government until he calls new elections. The US and 16 nations of the Organization of American States immediately recognized Guaido as interim president.
Dahal had also appealed to the international community including the UN to stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela in their struggle to defend the national and people’s sovereignty.
The US Embassy in Nepal had sought the government’s official position on the political developments in the Latin American country after Dahal’s statement and the Foreign Ministry on January 29 issuing a statement said the government believes that there should be no external interference in internal affairs of any country.
The US State Department also summoned Nepali Embassy in America Arjun Karki to clarify about Nepal government’s position on the issue while US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry did not attend the government’s briefing to foreign diplomats held in presence of PM Oli last Thursday.
The ruling CPN then reiterated its stance against American interference in Venezuela and said the problem there should be resolved by the Venezuelans independently and through peaceful means.
The party’s secretariat meeting held at the PM’s official residence in Baluwatar on Monday clarified the party’s stance against American interference in Venezuela, and warned everybody concerned to not have any illusion about the issue and not indulge in misinformation about it.