Geopolitics and Spying on Friends (Satellites?)

Submitted by Kammie Holder

David, does our Defence Force still get computers from the Chinese and other foreign governments?

I remember in either 2016 or 2017 laptops were donated to our parliamentarians. Unfortunately, they were lapped up by our grateful  representatives with the most excitement like kids getting a candy treat.

My concern was expressed and I was assured by the IT person in parliament the laptops would be wiped, which was laughable. Thus, the question begs how secure is our IT infrastructure and what is the protocol on receiving computers from foreign governments by state agencies and government employees?

Something as simple as accessing the Accounts Department of a state enterprise can be a treasure trove. The person with lowest net pay if not of high moral persuasion can be an ideal target for bribery. Just another stupid weird silly concern. The below shows how naive some countries can be and how those who are compromised can destroy any semblance of an orderly society by their stupidity. #TrustAllSuspectAll

  • China denies claim its hacking African Union Headquarters (2018) 
  • African Union like sheep renew Huawei contract(2019)
  • China and AU denies hacking  of African Union Headquarters
  • Independent investigations reveal African Union board room and cameras are bugged

Fast forward to 2020. Some African leaders are compromised into sheep or risk exposure of their dirty dealings. The greatest treat to humanity, are humans who corrupted and compromised. Future of generations are destroyed and the present becomes chaotic and meagre

An Age of Development Diplomacy

Submitted by Caleb Pilgrim

I read with interest Kemar Stuart’s (Young Democrats) recent intervention on Barbadian foreign policy – Foreign Policy in Barbados and CARICOM [Link inserted by the Blogmaster]. It helps if it causes us to re-think and re-examine our foreign policy, as necessary. Who was it that said that the unexamined life is not worth living?

Let me confess an interest at the outset. I was once, decades ago, a Temporary Foreign Service Officer II in the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At some point, I was posted abroad to the Barbados High Commission (U.K), as a Temporary Foreign Service Officer II, subject to dismissal on one (1) day’s notice. Shortly thereafter, I left the Foreign Service. Beyond that, I know little or nothing about Barbados’s foreign and international policy.

I know this, however. Back in 1976, the then newly elected BLP Adams’ Administration, per its electoral Manifesto, had expressed concerns that Barbados, in terms of cost/benefit analysis, gained little from its OAS membership. (Read the Manifesto and its section on External Affairs. Even now, it makes interesting reading). It thus fell to some one of us, Temporary Foreign Service Officer II, to undertake such a c/b analysis.

This leads to the crux of my argument, which is, that limited resources must always reasonably compel proper management of a state’s foreign policy.

Developing countries cannot afford to treat diplomacy, and diplomatic postings/representatives abroad as a mere “sinecure”. This approach is foolishly ignorant, if not downright dangerous, especially in the international context. It is like the proverbial monkey playing with a loaded revolver/glock

As I see it, in a highly inter-dependent world, and in international fora, the Barbados representative should not therefore be a simple minded buffoon, a jester who crawls the cocktail circuit, posturing and pretending, eating excellent “horses douvers”, drinking the finest liqueurs, attending Ascot and Wimbledon, and/or selling booze on the side sufficient to retire the national debt or a significant part thereof. Or, as a late colleague once related, unwise delegate(s) at a Women’s Conference (probably in Copenhagen), dispensing fabulous fishcakes as delicious Bajan delicacies, while Palestinian women activists and other women delegates were fighting energetically for their particular cause or debating unimportant issues such as Women and Development, Women and Health Care, Women and Education.

Note that fortunately there have been exceptions such as a former Barbados Ambassador to the USA and the OAS, excellent, knowledgeable, serious and incisive. Yet again, Sir Henry Forde, a wise, diligent and highly intelligent Foreign Minister, who among other things invariably pushed for training for Barbadians as well as jobs for Barbadians in international organizations. Again, I still recall meeting a Timorese official at The Hague Academy of Public International Law, by sheer serendipity. He had been present when Dr. Don Blackman delivered his maiden speech at the UNGA and was highly impressed. In a nutshell, his position was that Dr. Blackman “did Barbados proud”.

Even today the threat to Barbadians who remain “illegal” aliens in the USA remains an important issue, as it was per the BLP 1976 Manifesto. Is there not a consular duty, under Public International Law to legally protect one’s nationals, or do we simply throw any such less fortunate to the wolves?

As I see it, therefore, in an Age of Development Diplomacy, based on the Estimates and stringent financial requirements, the Barbados representative must produce in actual, substantive, measurable terms; what are the metrics? How many scholarships did s/he negotiate with universities and colleges in the host country; how much technology transfer(s); on what specific terms; how many preferential loans; trade agreements; what technical assistance; what assistance re agriculture and infrastructure, etc, etc?

How much aid, for example, did Barbados ever get from Austria, Switzerland etc, over the years, assuming we have diplomatic relations with such states?

Some will have decried Mr. Barrow’s allegedly robust treatment of the late Ronald Reagan in an encounter decades ago. However, one should also remember Reagan’s call to Nixon, circa 1971, wherein he described African diplomats at the UN as “monkeys”. (I once did a Master’s thesis essay on African States and the UN. Any one of my erstwhile African fellow students was intellectually far superior to “Great Communicator”. Ditto Trump and his abuse of “s-hole” African and black countries). It remains a dangerous world.

Barbados Foreign Policy Should be Based on ‘Ínterest’

Submitted by Caleb M. Pilgrim

Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow labelled Barbados foreign policy “friends of all and satellites of none”

Time was when a foundational principle of Barbados’ foreign policy was that we were “friends of all and satellites of none”. The idea carried, then as now, a certain charming naïveté about it. For me, however, even as a Temporary Foreign Service Officer in the Barbados Foreign Ministry eons ago, the idea seemed slightly preposterous.

Curious that Sir James Cameron Tudor, (Keble College, 43), Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, P.R UN, and H.C UK should have embraced such intellectual nonsense. He was, after all, a contemporary student of World War II. In such context, could any one seriously imagine Churchill, filled with constant rage and his natural bile at Nazi aggression and even subsequent anti-colonial developments, ever declaring that Britain was a “friend of all and satellite of none”?

Ditto any number of other states on the world stage, e.g the US, France, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, Israel, Cuba, North and South Korea, and a ton of others, more or less powerful and influential? Not one of them would have predicated their foreign policy on a foundational principle of universal friendship that makes no sense, even at the rhetorical, aspirational and declaratory level.

Logically, adherence to such a foundational principle would also have meant that The Barbados Government would be “friends” with the Apartheid white minority Government of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), which preached as a cardinal principle the innate inferiority of the black man. Similarly, Rhodesia under Ian Smith post 1965 and their system dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of white minority rule. Did the architects of Barbados’s foreign policy intend such strange friendships?

By analogy, even at the individual level, we may ask any ordinary, reasonable, prudent reader, whether growing up he or she was “friends” with everyone in their neighbourhood? Or, whether he or she was “friends” with everyone in their individual class or school? Or, yet again, whether he or she was “friends” with everyone in their place of employment?

As Aristotle reminded us long ago “a friend of all is a friend of none”.

At the empirical, existential level, this notion of “friends of all”, therefore makes no practical sense. Rather, it seemed a superficial, empty meretricious, sorely misplaced idea, naturally inimical to Barbados’s best national interests. It has clearly outlived any usefulness.

Rather, Barbados’s foreign policy should be at all times closely aligned, if not inextricably intertwined with advancing the goals articulated in its National Development Plan(s), dealing with various sectors, e.g trade, industry, banking and finance, international business, technology, security, law and order, tourism, agriculture. education, energy, infrastructure, human rights, etc, etc.

Let us therefore re-state the argument. Properly understood, any Barbados Government should not boast a foreign policy based on some erstwhile ethereal, unaudited bogus hocus pocus about being “friends of all and satellites of none”.

Rather, Barbados, as a small developing country of limited resources and facing serious political, economic and social challenges, has only interests (interests underlined, not “friends”) to be protected as a matter of its foreign policy, more than 50 years after independence, and various allies to be cultivated and maintained.

The Mad Rush for Dominance in Central Asia

Submitted by Pachamama

Central Asia

Central Asia

For years foreign policy aficionados have been thinking and writing about the ‘‘Great Game Theory”. Brzezinski for nearly 50 years has been theorizing that the relative winner of the stupendous resources of Central Asia will, to a large extent, determine global dominance for the foreseeable future. There are those who argue that most of what we have seen in the last half century was merely the movement of the lesser chess pieces to open up this grand chess board and for the checkmating of other interests in this geo-political, geo-strategic game for global dominance.

As we write some very interesting manifestation about the state of the game are appearing. These may indicate the relative positions of the contenders on this ‘Grand Chess Board’ are shifting. It may not be totally clear as to which side/s are in the ascendancy. This is the problem with intrigues, you see, we never really known on whose side the various forces are deployed until the game is over. However, we are persuaded that the power to control the world more generally and Central Asia in particular has reached, what is called in project management, a significant milestone. This has been the central project of the white power system for dacades.

Indicators include, the Iran/Western powers, rapprochement which is proceeding apace despite the pleadings of the Zionist regime; the stupefying tantrums from the Saudis to minimize the geo-strategic importance of Iran; the feeble efforts by Zionist elements in the US Congress to sabotage the Three-Plus-Three agreement, over the nuclear issue, with Iran in Geneva; the decision in Lebanon by Saad Hariri to, after years of obfuscation and hoping that the Saudi terrorist initiative in the wider region would lead to the destruction of his political enemies and Iran’s staunchest ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah; the coming agreement for the formation of a national unity government with the dominant Hezbollah; warnings from the US ambassador to Lebanon that prince Bandar al-Saud will be replaced as chief intelligence officer in Saudi Arabia by a committee of three; the failure of the USA to convince Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign the so-called Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the USA by the end of 2013; raw tensions between the USA and the Zionist regime over the Palestinian issue; the weakening of Turkey’s President Hamid Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Obama’s blue eye boys for the western region surrounding Central Asia – the so-called Middle East; the force acceptance by the Western sponsored terrorist elements in Syria to attend ‘peace talks’; the collapse of western sponsored efforts to remove President Assad of Syria as his government gains ascendancy over the Western-sponsored Takfiri-Salafist terrorist forces which continue to be cleanse from the Syrian countryside.

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Notes From a Native Son: Mottley Can Make History – Cometh the Moment, Cometh the Woman

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

The newly elected DLP government has now spelt out its programme for this parliamentary session and, it is fair to say, it must be seen as the best shot this government has in its armoury. In the Queen’s Speech, the nation was told: “The centre piece of Barbados’ economic strategy will be the creation of a Renewable Energy Revolution which will enhance the competitiveness of the productive sectors by reducing energy costs, reducing the fuel import bill, creating new jobs and helping to lower the cost of living.” It continues: “My government will therefore immediately prepare a Renewable Energy Bill to bring in to effect the relevant budgetary measures of 2012, and establish a Bds$15m “Hotel Refurbishment, Energy Efficiency and Food Production Fund” within the National Insurance Scheme investment portfolio….” This is waffle. Does it mean that the objective to to provide wind, solar and wave energy within the next five years? Does it mean that privately-owned run-down hotels badly in need of refurbishment can now depend on taxpayers’ pensions contribution to be refurbished? Does it mean the government now has a food security policy, if so what is it?

The other important reference is that on technology. It states: “To further drive economic growth and social development, it is important that Barbados be at the cutting edge of the new information technology.” How does it plan to do this? Not by training young people in the various aspects of the new technology; not by introducing technology across the entirety of the public sector; but by reducing the cost of the internet and broadband to households with a tax reduction.

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We Promise…

Do we need a Political Ombudsman?

Election manifesto is a statement by a political party,explaining what it will do if they win the elections.Through election manifesto the voters come to know about the policies of the political party they are going to vote for.They can easily think that which party will prove the best for them,they can decide that with whose policies they want to go.therefore an election manifesto is very important – WIKI

Political parties the world over will make promises to an expectant electorate. Based on the ‘complexion’ of the political climate these promises are as outlandish as they come and bear no relationship to the reality of getting the promises implemented if the party is elected.

To be fair to political parties there is nothing wrong with using a manifesto to ‘promise’ what it will do if elected. What must be challenged is the need to establish a ‘check’ for John Citizenry to exact accountability. Why shouldn’t the electorate feel comfortable knowing that the UWI, Cave Hill, Fourth Estate and other entities in civil society have the credibility to challenge, clarify and demystify promises made by political parties on the campaign trail? Why should John Citizenry not have recourse in the law to recall ministers and members of parliament who they are perceived to have under-achieved?

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The Government And Opposition Party In Cahoots To Keep Transparency Legislation Off The Statute Book

Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)

The month of November seems appropriate to blog about transparency in government. Thirty plus years ago the Tom Adams led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) attempt to proclaim Integrity Legislation was still born. The incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government – led by the late Prime Minister David Thompson – promised Barbadians within 100 days of being elected Integrity and Freedom of Information Legislation would have been a priority. One wonders how MP Mara Thompson feels when she reflects on the promise made by her late husband to Barbadians.

In fairness to the DLP, a lukewarm attempt was made to read the anti-Corruption Bill but both political parties have cried foul. The bill when last we checked was languishing in a sub committee of parliament. BU is not sure what is the status of the proposed Freedom of Information bill.

That both parties would conspire to mamaguy Barbadians about their intention to introduce transparency legislation is instructive. The fact we are still to mature as a nation by crafting a governance system which holds politicians accountable, contradicts the billions we have invested in education post-Independence. Introducing transparency legislation does not call for any significant demand on the treasury of Barbados. What possibly could be the reason successive governments have delayed enacting Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation?

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A Case Of Champagne Taste And Mauby Pockets –Time For Government Ministers To Lead By Example

CHOGM (Commonwealth Conference 2011) Official Photograph

It is generally accepted civil servants in Barbados are technology averse. A litmus test would be to ask the question: how many government departments use teleconferencing facilities? The technology is not very expensive and can repay on the investment in short order by generating cost saving from reduced travel and overseas calls. There is also saving time if we were able to reduce the number of man hours civil servants spend on our highways and byways negotiating traffic to attend meetings.

A search of the Internet will toss-out millions of results of ways companies have adopted to reduce cost brought on by the world recession. One of the popular decisions is to introduce teleconferencing. For example, Bayer Corporation is using high-tech teleconferencing, or telepresence, to help cut the cost of travel; local and overseas. BU understands many private sector companies in Barbados have installed teleconferencing facilities in their board rooms to communicate with employees located in different offices. It seems a no-brainer if private sector companies see the benefit why shouldn’t the public sector? The civil service seems to be living up to the label appended to it by a former Prime Minister as an army of occupation.

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It Is Very Easy To Forget: Short Economic Memories In Barbados

Submitted by Trained Economist

Graph Credit: Barbados Economic Society

The challenges we now face must be put into a context and avoid the Tea Party like angry lashing out and politicizing of issues. The Barbados situation reminds me so much of what Obama faces in the USA.

1. It is easy to forget how dependent the Barbados economy is on tourism and international capital flows (especially for property investments). Given that the global recession was been especially long and severe, and the recovery weakest in the major source markets for our tourists and capital flows, it meant that Barbados would be severely impacted in terms of tourist arrivals, tourist expenditure and international capital flows. Aggregate demand, GDP, employment, government revenues and foreign reserves were bound to be negatively impacted. In 2008, Real GDP grew by 0.2%, it declined about 4.8% in 2009 and grew by around 0.3 % in 2010. Given those numbers and the length and depth of the global recession in our major source markets I am not persuaded by arguments which suggest that domestic policy aggravated the impact.

I would like to take you back to 2001 after the September 11 bombings. Our major source markets went into recession after the September 11 bombings and in 2001 Real GDP in Barbados fell by 3.4% and again by 0.4% in 2002. Very few would have argue that the post 911 recession was of the scale of the current recession, and the recovery was far more robust and sustained, but look at the impact it had on Barbados. The reason it had that impact was not because of a failure of local policy then, it was because of the openness of the economy and the reliance on tourism and international capital flows. The then government launched a major counter cyclical program but we still had two years of declining GDP. In the face of a recession of the scale encountered by our source markets and the slow recovery, a domestic growth solution is not a very practical one for Barbados given the structure of our economy.

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Commander-In-Chief Barack Obama Poised In History – Avoiding World War III At All Cost

Mother of All Bombs (MOAB)

There has been much debate regarding the role of Israel in initiating an attack against Iran. Israel is part of a military alliance. Tel Aviv is not a prime mover. It does not have a separate and distinct military agenda.
Israel is integrated into the “war plan for major combat operations” against Iran formulated in 2006 by US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). In the context of large scale military operations, an uncoordinated unilateral military action by one coalition partner, namely Israel, is from a military and strategic point almost an impossibility. Israel is a de facto member of NATO. Any action by Israel would require a “green light” from Washington.
An attack by Israel could, however, be used as “the trigger mechanism” which would unleash an all out war against Iran, as well retaliation by Iran directed against Israel Michael Chossudovsky

President Barack Obama’s arrival at the White House signalled hope to many in the USA and around the world. On that unforgettable night his victory speech resonated around the theme ‘Change Has Come To America’. How quickly we have forgotten the emotional scenes which were highlighted by the global media  on the night of 4 November 2008. The fact that he was the first African-American to assume the presidency no doubt made it special given the history of Blacks which is forever embedded in world history.

Almost 2 years later Obama can list of his significant achievements,  the stabilization of the US economy after the Bush handover. When he got to sit in the Oval Office he had inherited an economy which was tottering on the brink of disaster. Although some financial analysts have warned of a double dip on the horizon, most agree there has been stabilization. Obama has reason to list the healthcare legislation which was ramrod through the US legislature. It is not what he wanted (watered down version) but it is an achievement which not even former President Bill Clinton was able to achieve as one of USA most popular presidents. Another proud moment is his success at depositing 2 relatively young women on the bench of the US Supreme Court.  His selections will influence US law agenda for decades to come.

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Iran And Guyana Make Strange Bedfellows:Implications For Caricom

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran and President Bharat Jagdeo of Guyana

The President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo recently visited a few middle eastern countries, of interest to some was the visit to Iran. BU finds it surprising that we have had little if any analysis in the local media about what motivated the visit to Iran and possible implications for the region. It should be noted that Guyana is a sovereign nation and is solely responsible for shaping its foreign policy.

Press reports suggest that and a MOU was signed with Iran which will see Iranian medical doctors  fill shortages at state [Guyana] hospitals and build a medical school to train students and junior physicians. Additionally, Guyana is to benefit from a $1.5 million grant to target the healthcare system and resources to map mineral resources. Other countries like Jordan and Kuwait provided financial and other resources.

The foreign policy positioning of the Jagdeo led Guyana seems at odds with that of other countries in Caricom. Given the intrigue of geopolitics at large, it seems surprising to see Guyana formulating a foreign policy which could see it at odds with the only super power. Despite the boast of being a sovereign country it is one of the lowest rated if measured by GDP or HDI. Taking on a conflicting position with the USA might prove unwise.

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Sir Lloyd Sandiford Goes To China

Barbados Ambassador to China, former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford (left), chatting with China's Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu after yesterday's signing ceremony. (Picture by Nation Newspaper)

Barbados Ambassador to China, former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford (left), chatting with China's Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu after yesterday's signing ceremony. (Picture by Nation Newspaper)

It is unusual for a former Prime Minister to be appointed Ambassador to a foreign country. It is a first for Barbados! Sir Lloyd Sandiford’s appointment as Ambassador to China can be viewed from several angles, the one which appears worthy is the emergence of China as the global economic power and the need to hedge our foreign policy. To have a former Prime Minister stationed in China acting in the interest of Barbados at this juncture of geopolitics creates the opportunity for Barbados to ride potential economic opportunities.

The worry point for Barbados as we develop a closer relationship with China is the issue of trade-off. Barbados has developed a decent relationship with China over the years. In the last 25 years Chinese money and labour has supported several projects in Barbados, Queens College, Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Salvation Army Headquarters, completion of the problematic NHC building in Warrens to name a few.  If we are not mistaken China has made money available to the Caribbean Development to fund a few projects.

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North Korea: A Real Challenge For President Obama?

Submitted by Yardbroom

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Il

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Il

Kim Jong-Il’s Government of North Korea has warned America, that if any of its vessels were intercepted as part of a US-led initiative to search ships for nuclear materials, it will launch an attack on South Korea.  This was a direct response to South Korea joining the Proliferation Security Initiative an American-led campaign to search ships carrying suspicious cargoes.  As if to ratchet up the temperature US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned North Korea, over its “provocative and belligerent” threats.

The US Government knows that a military threat from North Korea cannot be taken lightly, provocative and belligerent it might be, but North Korea has about a million men in uniform and only last week it exploded a nuclear bomb the size of the one dropped on Hiroshima, in addition to firing six short-range missiles.  Confrontation with North Korea will not be like an escapade in Iraq, if the history of the Korean war is used as a guide.

The Korean war lasted from the 25th June 1950 until the Armistice on 27th July 1953.  The North had invaded the South and it was under the United Nations, nations allied with the United States intervened on behalf of South Korea and was able to push back the North Koreans.  Then the North with allied  Chinese forces were able the halt the South Korean advance.

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2008 Olympic Games, China, Cuba & Lies

olympic symbolIt is ironic that the Olympic Games which can be traced to Greek origin in 776BC, and despite the early hiccup when the games took place as part of a religious exercise, it soon evolved to one where it was used to celebrate the achievements of the human body. How many of our readers know that the early competitors were restricted to young males who had to compete in the nude? The winner was given a crown of olive leaves which to this day symbolizes hope and peace.

As we blog tonight there is tremendous controversy which shrouds the games and some say threaten the start. The political overtone which has increasingly enveloped the games in the last thirty to forty years conflicts with why the games were established so long ago. Like many we have become deeply saddened at how the games have become a political football and are quickly degenerating to nothing more than a side show.

The decision to host the games in Beijing, China is interesting on many fronts. At the top of the list is the need to question the relationship between the USA and Cuba and the USA and China. Cuba is a relatively small island which in defiance to the world and the USA in particular, has practiced a system of government the text book refers to as communism. The main characteristic of a communist system is the promotion of a classless and stateless society predicated on common ownership. Political scientists readily admit that the definition of communism or capitalism for that matter is far removed from what is the reality. They will also admit that the two ideologies are seen as conflicting in a modern world which prefers to promote capitalism at the expense of communism. It is interesting that China where the Olympic Games will be held from August 08 – 28, 2008 practices communism, a similar system of government to that of Cuba.

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PetroCaribe:The Cat & Mouse Game

300px-hugo_chavez_in_brazil-1861.jpegFormer Minister of Social Transformation Hamilton Lashley was quoted in the media from his contribution to the current Estimates Debate, that against the backdrop of rising oil prices, Barbados should accept the President Chevez sponsored PetroCaribe deal. Funny that we can’t seem to remember Mr. Lashley shouting so loudly on this matter when he was on the government side. If we are being too harsh on the sitting member from St. Michael, we apologize.

There has been a lot of debate about the PetroCaribe offer from President Chevez of Venezuela to his Caribbean and Latin American neighbours. At the end of it all Barbados under the former Arthur government excused itself from the arrangement. Interestingly however, Dominican Republic (DR), Jamaica and Dominica have signed on. Remember that DR is now part of Cariforum which is the Caribbean group thrashing-out an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). It is no surprise that Cuba and Nicaragua are also PetroCaribe members.

Hamilton Lashley should be careful what he is wishing for. We recently read a document that is highly recommended reading for Lashley.

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David Thompson & The Taiwanese Connection Resurfaces

During President Chen Shui-bian’s (³¯¤ô«ó) recent trip to Latin America to attend the inauguration of Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom, Zelaya reiterated his support for Taiwan and promised to push for closer Taiwan-Honduras ties during his remaining two years in office, Yeh said. In other developments, the ministry declined to comment on speculation of possible Taiwan-Barbados ties, except to say Taiwan seeks to establish relations with any country that upholds democratic values and recognizes its sovereignty.

Talk of Barbados switching allegiance from Beijing to Taipei came after the Caribbean nation elected Taiwan-friendly candidate David Thompson as its new Prime Minister last week. During Thompson’s campaign, he promised to break 30-year ties with China once he entered office.

Thompson’s rival, outgoing Prime Minister Arthur Owen, has accused Taiwan of meddling in the election by providing a large cash donation to Thompson’s Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Owen and his Barbados Labour Party said that Barbados’ intelligence services had reported that there had been frequent contact between the DLP and Taipei, via St. Kitts, and said that the campaign finance came after Thompson made his promise to switch diplomatic ties.

Taiwan has categorically denied the accusations.

Copyright © 1999-2008 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.

St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Dr Denzil Douglas (l)and newly-appointed Taiwanese Ambassador Mr John K. Liu

During the recent political campaign in Barbados, the accusation was leveled by the former Prime Minister Owen Arthur that some deal was cut between the then Opposition Leader David Thompson and the government of Taiwan to assist with DLP campaign financing. Arthur produced information which sought to connect recent travel arrangements with a Thompson confidant, Mr. Leroy Parris to St. Kitts, and clandestine meetings with Taiwanese officials. The gist of the accusation alleged that a DLP government would establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan at the expense of China. The end result of the accusations was that Barbadians did not see it as a key issue in the election.

Less than a week after the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) won the government of Barbados the story has resurfaced. In today’s Taipei News reference has again been made to friendly relations which exist between Prime Minister David Thompson and the Taiwan government. We expect that after the Thompson cabinet is sworn in on Monday, the first order of business for the new Minister of Foreign Affairs is to clarify this issue. We will be listening very carefully to the response and any subsequent mouthings from the new government on this matter.

There is some smoke here, but will we see fire?