We reproduce the statement of Jomo Sanga Thomas, speaker of the House of Assembly in St Vincent and the Grenadines, on the presidential elections in Venezuela:

As the speaker of the House of Assembly in St Vincent and the Grenadines, I want to extend congratulations to President Maduro, United Socialist Party and the people of Venezuela for voting yet again for peace and development with the reelection of President Maduro to a much deserved second term as President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The people of Venezuela have gone through much suffering because they choose the alternative path to development. The enemies of the popular masses are committed to making the economy scream, but the growing consciousness of the people has ensured that more than 66 percent of those casting their vote committed to staying the course initiated by President Chavez in 1998.

This journey started 20 years ago has not been an easy road. The sabotage and embargo has made life difficult for the people. The big powers are doing everything possible to make the economy scream. But the Government of Venezuela has shown much restraint. It has done its very best to ensure that that the basic needs of the people are met and to ensure that society does not spin out of control amidst the great pressure.

I commend the effort of President Maduro and the Bolivarian Government. I offer solidarity and recommit to spread the Bolivarian good news that can help to remove the thick, negative media fog that hovers over your country. By the vote for President Maduro yesterday the people have shown that they are up to the task and will not be fooled.

Please convey my sincerest greetings and solidarity on the victory of President Maduro to the Bolivarian authorities in Caracas.

With the deepest of respect.

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Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela