Just like selling out of Marcus Garvey for rice

Trevor G
Brown

Thursday, March 01, 2018

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The co-opting of Jamaica, St Lucia and Guyana in the regime change agenda of the USA against our sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a classic case of the 'divide and rule' tactic and marks a historical low in the relations of our Caricom member states.

So eager were St Lucia and Guyana to confirm their new-found 'choir boy' status that they were prepared to join the so-called Lima Group, which is a purview of Latin American countries and the rogue 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, and Venezuela.

What is equally galling and shameful in this 'Spanish machete' action by the renegade leaders of these three Caribbean states is that it was happening in the midst of Black History Month, with the majority of their population having their ancestral roots in Africa, and they have been so derisively dismissed as one of the sh**hole countries by US President Donald Trump.

It therefore gives rise to the question as to what is the carrot that their jingoistic masters in the US would have dangled in the faces of our three supine Caribbean leaders, or equivalently the big stick that was held over their collective heads la the recent UN vote in the transfer of Israel's capital to Jerusalem.

When you juxtapose the US aid figures 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, then Jamaica (US$28.9), Guyana (US$9.6), Belize (US$8.6), Barbados (US$5.4), The 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) — against a trade surplus of US$4.58 billion, which is over 10 times the amount of aid given to the 14 above-named countries, it is a clear indication of who benefits from this unequal and inequitable relationship with Uncle Sam, and it boggles my mind why the genuflection by the leadership of Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia.

Our region has been cited by none other than the head of gendarme of international finance capital, International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, who, on her last visit to Jamaica in November 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 four per cent of gross domestic product per year.

If you add Jamaica's bone-chilling murderous rampage, which is a clear and present danger to tourism, our #2 foreign exchange earner, along with a wider Caribbean problem of the devastating impact of Category 5 hurricanes becoming the norm as a consequence of climate change, and the ever-present energy security issues, it should leave us with little time 'fi faas inna' our sister Bolivarian Republic business.

Black History Month gave us cause to reflect on our past as one way of looking to the future. As a people, let's 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”, which our three Caribbean leaders represent.

scribe.brown@gmail.com

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