ALBA membership announcement criticised by St Kitts-Nevis opposition
The St Kitts and Nevis head of government has been taken to task for having announced in Cuba, that the federation is about to become a member state of ALBA – the Venezuela-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas.
According to Team Unity leader Dr Timothy Harris, that kind of foreign policy development should have been announced in Basseterre, not overseas. Team Unity is an alliance of three opposition parties that have six of the eleven members of parliament.
”He ought to first advise us before he is leaving that he is intending to go on a particular visit, and those kinds of arrangements or decisions are what he intends to make on our behalf,” Harris told WINN FM.
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas was among CARICOM leaders who attended this week’s CELAC summit in Havana.
Douglas made the ALBA announcement there in an interview with Caribupdate News. He said that ALBA, PetroCaribe and CELAC are seen by regional heads as organizations helping push further integration in Latin America and the Caribbean “and we must be included”.
“My political forefathers have always treated regional integration with the highest consideration on our political agenda. And this government which I have the opportunity to lead at this time cannot but do the same,” the prime minister said.
Harris said he is concerned about the manner in which foreign policy initiatives are undertaken.
He also suggested that not enough attention is being paid to regional groupings while individual states are joining ALBA, an organization described as spouting 21st century socialism. OECS/CARICOM member states already part of the grouping are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia, which signed on in mid 2013. Grenada also announced this week that it has applied to join.
Harris acknowledged that ALBA member states are benefiting from the organization. However, he said ALBA has to be looked at in its totality because its basic thrust is to have a different orientation than what is being proposed by the United States.