Open letter to prime ministers of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and the president of Suriname

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Global Afrikan Congress – North American Region
P.O. Box 27024, 4190 Finch Ave. East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M1S 4T0
Email: [email protected]

January 13, 2019

Rt. Hon Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Rt. Hon Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister of Dominica

Rt. Hon Desi Bouterse
President of Suriname

Re: CARICOM’s votes on the OAS Resolution on President Maduro’s 2nd Term and President of Venezuela and Democracy Restoration in Venezuela.

Dear Sirs:

Let me first congratulate you all for standing up for the fundamental principle of Venezuela’s sovereignty and its right to self-determination.

Secondly, you must all be congratulated for upholding the principle of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which articulated CARICOM people’s right to Sovereignty and independence and not bowing to big imperial power and authority.

Your stance demonstrates once again, our proud heritage of standing up against the most inhumane and heartlessness of conditions known in all of human history, that is the history of slavery and colonial and neo-colonial domination. Nothing should stand in the way of eroding the consciousness of our people to defend our rights to self-determination in all spheres of life.

Regardless of however small our countries are, we should not live in fear and we should not compromise National Sovereignty, Independence and Integrity simply to avoid difficulties. We are not offending anyone by way of defending our sovereignty and our right to stand in solidarity with our sister nation of Venezuela. We have all the rights to choose our friends, equally, we have a right to be reciprocal in our geopolitical and bilateral commitment to Venezuela.

Venezuela through regional institutions such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of our America(ALBA) which came into being with the joint effort of our sister country Cuba in 2004, and which presently include 14 states within the Latin America and Caribbean(LAC), gives practical expression that through unity, cooperation, complementarity and solidarity, progress can be made for the peoples of Our America.

In its relative short existence, ALBA has chalked up a list of very impressive achievements particularly in areas relating to the Human Development Index (HDI) and include the following, over three million eight hundred thousand people have been taught to read and write, which UNESCO has championed as the first regional space that has been able to eradicate illiteracy in its territory. An enviable feat attained by the Yo Si Puedo (Yes I Can) Cuban method of instruction. More than twenty thousand integral community physicians from 123 countries have graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) and over one thousand five hundred have received post-graduate scholarships. Finally more than three and a half million people have recovered their sight or have had significant improvement to their vision through ophthalmologic surgeries and treatment, free of charge.

It therefore begs the question who would want to live with or to be your neighbor? Is it someone who sees you as an equal human being and who stands with you regardless whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times? Or is it some who derisively dismisses your ancestral homeland and sister Caribbean state as ‘shit-hole countries’, whose primary interest it is to rape and control your neighbor’s rich mineral resources, to satisfy the gluttony of a privilege elite and who also employs a combination of bribery and bullying tactics to get your support to effect ‘regime change’ of your good neighbor.

The Trump administration does not give one iota of care about the humanitarian challenges in Venezuela. Likewise, they do not have any concern whatsoever about any of the social, economic and/or developmental challenges facing any of the CARICOM and Lima Group Member States.

The CARICOM member states that voted in support of the US-orchestrated Organization of American States (OAS) Resolution — Guyana, Jamaica; St Lucia; Haiti and Bahamas — are dead wrong. They are wrong on all of the fundamental principles contained in the Charter of the OAS; on principle of CARICOM tradition, and self-respect.

The Charter of the OAS states: Chapter 1 (Nature and Purposes); Chapter 2 (Principles), Chapter 4 (Fundamental Rights and Duties of States); Chapter 5( Pacific Settlement of Disputes), and Chapter 7 (Integral Development) – all of which commit the OAS and its Member States to the principles of respect for the territorial integrity of states, respect for national sovereignty, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the right of states to self-determination and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.

If the Trump administration had concerns about Human Rights in Venezuela, Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras do you not think the administration should have the moral fortitude to discontinue the push to construct a 3,000 kilometre wall at the US-Mexico Border?

Donald Trump opened his political leadership campaign with his pejorative language against Mexicans and continues with his toxicity of racism against people looking like us. What is so difficult for the leadership elites of the political parties in Jamaica, Guyana, St. Lucia, Haiti, and the Bahamas to see, that the US domestic and foreign policy are bedeviled by pervasive white supremacy and therefore the Trump-led administration’s so-called concerns for Human Rights is nothing but red herring.

Are these political elites speaking on behalf of our people? Are these elites looking through the blind Eurocentric eye that sees themselves not capable of standing up to a bully? Is it the case that we are creating a generation of Caribbean leaders incapable of recognizing the evil of racism and/or unrepentance in their commitment to imperialism to the point of evaluating every human activity as a commodity for sale?

What moral authority does the US have in lecturing Venezuela about the democratic practice in the area of electoral processes and politics? When former US president and Head of the Carter Centre Jimmy Carter that observes elections across the world, pronounced that Venezuela’s electoral process was the fairest in the world.

Why is it that some of our misleaders in CARICOM are incapable of voicing concerns about the unmistakable political practices of disenfranchising African American votes in US elections, historically and as recently as the last US mid-term one in November 2018, for House of Representatives, Senate, State, and local governments?

The attack on Venezuela are three-fold: 1) The super billionaires and local Venezuelan oligarchs do not want to share the country’s resources with the working people and historically disenfranchised, such as the Blacks and Indigenous peoples.

2) The US Transnational Corporations, including financial capital, want to return to the unholy alliance existing in Venezuela before the Bolivarian Revolution, in which the super-billionaires and their foreign partners have unfettered access to our sister country’s enviable mineral rich resources.

3. To repudiate and destroy the challenge to the USA’s political and economic hegemony by the Venezuelan state, in a region which it considers to be its ‘backyard’, through institutions in which Venezuela plays a leading role such as ALBA, Petro Caribe and CELAC.

As a result of your stoic action on behalf of Venezuela’s self-determination, you have also shown unflinching support not only to your peoples’ right to self-determination but paradoxically you have also extended solidarity to our sister CARICOM states who chose to take stances contrary to the stated principles of CARICOM’s foreign policy.

As such you can and should collectively hold your heads high and proudly, as representatives of the best of a long-standing tradition among our Caribbean nations, that you know who your real friends are when your back is against the wall.

Fraternally,

Cikiah Thomas
Chair
Global Afrikan Congress

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