The resounding diplomatic and political victory that our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nation states won against the powerful quintet of the United States of America (USA) , Canada, Mexico, Peru and Panama at the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting that was held in Washington D.C on Wednesday 31st May 2017 may be likened to the biblical triumph of the pure and principled David (the little shepherd boy) over Goliath, the mighty and power-drunk warrior!
The issue at stake was the fate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and both the David-like CARICOM states and the Goliath-like “quintet” of large and powerful states came to the meeting armed with a draft resolution.
The CARICOM draft resolution was based on an understanding that at the heart of the conflict in Venezuela is a determined effort by an economic elite to wrest political power and control over massive petroleum resources from the hands of a socialist Government that – for the first time in Venezuela’s history – has been sharing these resources with millions of impoverished citizens.
Our CARICOM Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers are not naïve neophytes! And they are aware that the wealthy Opposition forces in Venezuela are pursuing a conscious policy of orchestrated violent street protests that are designed to produce personal injuries and loss of human life, that can in turn be magnified and used by the all-powerful Western media as a propaganda tool against the Government of Venezuela.
As a result, the CARICOM draft resolution radiated respect for the sovereignty of Venezuela and demanded an immediate cessation of violence, adherence to the rule of law and constitutional processes, absolute respect for human rights, and the implementation of a process of dialogue in the country.
This fair and principled draft Resolution effectively challenged the interventionist “might makes right” posture of the “Goliath quintet” and their draft Resolution, and led to a stalemate which was only broken when the CARICOM states proposed that the meeting be adjourned and that an effort be made to honestly discuss and negotiate a mutually acceptable draft Resolution.
The “Goliath quintet” – desperately seeking a way out of a humiliating diplomatic defeat by a group of micro states – accepted the CARICOM proposal!
This brilliant diplomatic triumph has showcased CARICOM at its very best – standing up for such critical international law principles as respect for national sovereignty and independence; courageously speaking truth to power; expressing solidarity with the universal struggle for social justice; and acting collectively and in unity.
And this is how it should be! This is how it always should be where the Caribbean people and their Governments are concerned.
Indeed, if there is one people on the face of this earth who possess both a right and a duty to stand up for the inter-linked principles of freedom, independence, social justice and human dignity it is us – the people of the Caribbean!
We, after all, are the descendants of a people who were subjected to the most horrendous forms of the denial of freedom, justice and human dignity.
Our history has therefore prepared us for and given us a great purpose and mission in this troubled world – and we must dutifully fulfill that purpose and mission.
We, who have never invaded any foreign country or ever committed any acts of assassination, genocide or other crimes against humanity, are uniquely qualified – morally and otherwise – to confront the big powers of this world and to speak up for principles that are critical to the survival of human civilization!
We must therefore humbly and modestly recognize and accept this as our duty– a duty that we perform in honour of our ancestors who suffered so much for the cause of freedom and human dignity. And we must therefore always be prepared to stand resolutely against all those who seek to deflect us from performing this sacred mission that our history has bequeathed to us.
It is against this background therefore that I now hereby call upon all Caribbean people to– with one voice— denounce the four former Central American Presidents who recently arrogantly and perversely publicly attacked our CARICOM Governments for the stance that they took at the May 31st OAS meeting.
The former Presidents in question – Felipe Calderon of Mexico, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, Mireya Moscoso of Panama, and Alfredo Cristiani of El Salvador – are all multi-millionaire doctrinaire Capitalists who have been accused of or implicated in wrongs ranging from the massacre of students and intellectuals (Cristiani), extra-judicial killings in a so-called “drug war” (Calderon), corruption scandals (Moscoso), and constitutional abuses (Arias). Furthermore, three of them hail from nations with sordid records of genocide and crimes against humanity.
The “Open Letter” that they so arrogantly addressed to the political leaders of our CARICOM nations is a one-sided, extremist document that is riddled with half truths, distortions and outright lies. Every self-respecting citizen of the Caribbean should recognize it for what it is– an outrageous piece of right-wing propaganda, and reject it out of hand!