So eager were the latter 2 countries to confirm their new found ‘choir boy’ status, that they were prepared to join the so-called ‘Lima group’ which is a purview for Latin American countries and the rouge leader USA, in flouting article 36/103 of the United Nations which deals with the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States.
The other members of the Lima group include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela.
What is equally galling and shameless in this ‘spanish machete’ action by the renegade leaders of these three Caribbean states, is that it’s happening in the midst of Black History Month , where the predominant majority of their population have their ancestral roots in Africa, that have been so derisively dismissed as one of the ‘shithole countries’ by US president Donald Trump.
It therefore begs the question as to what is the ‘carrot’ that their jingoistic masters in the US would have ‘dangled’ in the faces of our 3 supine Caribbean leaders, or equivalently, the ‘big stick’ that was held over their collective heads, ala recent vote in United Nation to transfer Israel capital to Jerusalem.
Could it be the US aid to the region which in 2016 amounted to US$437.6 million being shared among 14 ‘sovereign’ states with Haiti receiving the lion’s share of US$376.7 million?
The balance is divided among the other 13 countries namely Jamaica US $28.9; Guyana US $9.6; Belize US $8.6; Barbados US $5.4; Bahamas US $3.2; St Lucia US $38.000; Suriname US $232,672;Trinidad and Tobago US $302.775; St. Vincent and the Grenadines US $616,000; Antigua and Barbuda US $635,781.
When you Juxtapose these aid figures against a trade surplus of US$4.58 bllion which is over 10 times the amount of aid given to the 14 above-named countries, is a clear indication of who benefits from this unequal and inequitable relations with Uncle Sam and why it boggles my mind for why the genuflection of the leadership of the Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia.
Our region has been cited by none other than the head gendarme of international finance capital, IMF, Christine Lagarde, who on her last visit to Jamaica in November of last year, said ‘”youth unemployment in the Caribbean is the highest in the world , fuelling criminality” which further negatively impacts our beleaguered economies at a rate of 4% of gross domestic product per year.
If you add a bone-chilling murderous rampage which has seen Jamaica ‘s body count being equated to that of a war zone (over 200 since the beginning of the year) which is a clear and present danger to tourism our second largest foreign exchange earner, coupled with a wider Caribbean problem of the devastating impact category 5 hurricanes becoming the norm as a consequence of climate change, the ever present energy security issues, should leave us with little time ‘fi faas inna’ our sister Bolivarian Republic business.
A sovereign country that has one of the fairest electoral systems in the world, according to former US president Jimmy Carter, that controls its god-given natural resource, oil and harnessed its profits for the benefit of the majority of the poor and dispossessed with over 5 million homes being built since 2005, as one such indicator. Oil resources that they have willing shared with our energy-dependent regional states in a model ‘one of a kind’ arrangement, such as Petro Caribe.
Black history month gives us cause to reflect on our past, as one way of looking ahead to the future. As a people lets heed the words of Bob Marley in the song ‘So much things to say” by not being equated with ‘selling out Marcus Garvey for Rice’ (and Peas), which our three Caribbean leaders represent.
I am etc
Trevor G Brown
- Countries: CARICOM