The Government of Jamaica has announced that it’s temporarily closing its Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela effective April 1.

In a statement this morning, Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith says the Ministry along with its Embassy have been experiencing significant challenges in the operations at the post for some time. She says temporary closure is now the practical solution.

Minister Johnson Smith adds that over the past two years, the Ministry has been reviewing its resident diplomatic presence overseas, due to the changing global environment, new trade patterns and other things. She says later this year, there will be further announcements regarding Jamaica’s diplomatic representation overseas.

The Ministry says during the Embassy in Caracas’s closure, Jamaica’s relations with Venezuela will be managed from the Ministry’s Headquarters in Kingston, as they have largely been done for some time.

The announcement comes a day before Prime Minister Andrew Holness is set to meet with US President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-lago residence in Florida.

Mr. Holness will join the leaders of four other Caribbean countries – the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Saint Lucia, for the meeting.

The White House says the US President is expected to discuss the Venezuela situation, as well as Chinese “predatory economic practices”, security cooperation and the potential opportunities for energy investment.