Caricom rechaza intento de Estados Unidos de dividir a la región
La Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom) rechazó hoy los intentos de Estados Unidos de dividir a la región, a propósito de una reunión mañana martes entre el secretario de Estado, Mike Pompeo y varios líderes en Jamaica.
La primera ministra de Barbados y presidenta de Caricom, Mia Mottley, criticó el encuentro que sostendrá Pompeo y un grupo selecto no revelado de representantes del Caribe, el cual intenta fragmentar a la región.
En un discurso en la gala por el centenario del nacimiento del difunto primer ministro de Barbados e integracionista regional Errol W. Barrow, Mottley manifestó que su decisión de rechazar la invitación para enviar a su ministro de Asuntos Exteriores a la reunión en Kingston el martes se basó en el derecho a la paz.
‘No busco pelear, pero soy consciente de que si este país no representa algo, caerá por cualquier cosa. Como presidente de Caricom es imposible para mí estar de acuerdo en que mi canciller deba asistir a una reunión con alguien a quien los miembros de Caricom no estén invitados. Es un intento de dividir esta región’, expresó.
Igualmente, Mottley manifestó que los principios solo significan algo cuando es inconveniente defenderlos, consciente de que Caricom siempre ‘debe verificarse a sí misma para asegurarse de que no nos convertimos en peones de otros’.
Pompeo arribará a Jamaica procedente de Costa Rica y sostendrá conversaciones oficiales con el primer ministro, Andrew Holnnes, y se espera que pronuncie un discurso sobre la importancia de la región del Caribe para Estados Unidos.
El año pasado Holness, junto a los gobernantes de Santa Lucía, Bahamas y Haití volaron a Miami para reunirse con el presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, donde discutieron la situación política en curso en Venezuela y los intentos de Washington en derrocar al mandatario Nicolás Maduro.
La Comunidad del Caribe ha reiterado su oposición a la injerencia en los asuntos internos de las naciones y convoca a los gobiernos a trabajar unidos en busca de alcanzar los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible.
Mottley warns of attempts to divide the Caribbean
Prime Minister Mia Mottley has warned of attempts to divide the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, as some regional leaders get ready to meet with the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.
Addressing a gala to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Barbados prime minister and regional integrationist, Errol W Barrow on Saturday night, Prime Minister Mottley said she is conscious that in the next week, questions will be asked as to whether the Barbados Foreign Minister “happened to be missing” from a meeting in Kingston, Jamaica that will take place on Tuesday.
“We don’t look to pick fights. I don’t look to pick fights, but I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something, then it will fall for anything. As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region,” Mottley told the ceremony.
Last week, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, said Pompeo’s two-day working visit, which begins on January 21, is a commitment to strengthen relations with the Caribbean.
“We welcome the visit of Secretary Pompeo as a demonstration of the commitment of the United States of America to once more strengthen its engagement with Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. We truly look forward to this opportunity to engage and reinforce our longstanding ties,” she added.
Pompeo will hold talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and senior members of his cabinet on the second day of the visit and is expected to give a policy speech on the Caribbean region’s critical importance to the United States, and the country’s renewed commitment to closer ties, based on shared values, interests and economic prosperity, Johnson Smith said.
Both the Jamaica Gleaner and the Observer newspaper, quoting sources, said that Pompeo is also due to meet with several Caribbean leaders.
But a CARICOM source told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the regional grouping had not been formally invited to participate in the discussions during Pompeo’s visit.
However, last year, Prime Minister Holness, was among four Caribbean leaders – St Lucia, the Bahamas and Haiti – who flew to Miami to meet with President Donald Trump where they discussed the ongoing political situation in Venezuela where Washington is seeking to remove President Nicolas Maduro in favour of opposition leader Juan Guaido.
CARICOM leaders at their last summit in St Lucia last July reiterated their position of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.
Mottley told the gala that she was conscious that when Errol Barrow stood and remarked that “we shall be friends of all and satellites of none,” little did he know that that statement would be embraced by every single prime minister of Barbados that succeeded him.
“It is as valid today, perhaps even more so than it was at the time of its initial delivery. And I say so conscious that principles only mean something when it is inconvenient to stand by them.
“Conscious that this region must always check itself to ensure that we not become the pawns of others, the satellites of others, but that we keep ever most and uppermost in our minds what we must do for our people without simply becoming pawns on a chessboard for others to be able to benefit from,” she added.
The CARICOM chairman said that sense of commitment to principle and that sense of commitment to the thesis expressed by Barrow “that we have lived by, friends of all, satellites of none,” is really what inspires us to this position today.
“And therefore, it didn’t take a lot of thought as to what our decision should be because this country does not pretend to be what it is not and does not pretend to have that which it doesn’t. But it does aspire to be sincere and to be correct and to be moral and to be principled.”
She said “Barbados first, as expressed by both former prime ministers Grantley Adams and Errol Barrow, has come to mean for us that Barbados must stand for something.
“And I give thanks, that that expression of leadership to that person who first gave us the right to vote, then that person who gave us the right to independence, has been followed for the most part by this country and its leaders.
Similarly, the understanding that we shall not loiter on colonial premises or loiter on any premises where we are not wanted, continues to be as relevant today as it was then.”
She told the audience that the expression delivered to the President of the United States of America, “who offered to pay our dues to join the Organization of American States when Mr Barrow politely refused and said, “in our part of the world where I come from, if you cannot afford the dues, you do not join the club.
“That is the Barbados first to which I speak,” she told the gala.
PM: Barbados, CARICOM must not be ‘pawns on chessboard’
Errol Barrow’s well-known declaration that an independent Barbados would be “friends of all and satellites of none” remains as valid today as when those words were uttered in the past.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley made this view clear as she delivered remarks at a recent fundraising gala to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Barrow. She said Barbados, will not be used as “pawns on a chessboard” in an attempt to divide the region. The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), she noted, must maintain focus on enhancing the lives of the island and region’s people.
The current CARICOM Chairman was speaking in reference to a meeting scheduled to be held in Jamaica on January 21 with the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is expected to meet with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other CARICOM leaders.
PM Mottley expressed concerns that not all CARICOM representatives were invited to the meeting.
“As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region.”
“This region must always check itself to ensure that we not become the pawns of others, the satellites of others, but that we keep ever most and uppermost in our minds what we must do for our people without simply becoming pawns on a chessboard for others to be able to benefit from.”
During her remarks, Mottley also reflected on the strong, personal influence “the father of independence” had on her growing up.
“Our country has been blessed to have been guided and nurtured, in the last seventy-five to eighty years, by a number of people who understood that excellence must be their hallmark in the determination of the paths that they chose to carry us.
It is important for us to recall that this country was not forged simply by political speeches and political statements, but it was forged by character and forged by persons who were committed, first and foremost, to Barbados,” stated the Prime Minister, “and that commitment to Barbados meant that there are some things that simply shall not divide us.”
She said the legacy of leadership left behind by Barrow and Grantley Adams means that Barbados must stand for something and “not loiter on colonial premises, or loiter on any premises where we are not wanted”.
The Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust raises funds and makes financial awards to enable Barbadian and Commonwealth citizens to pursue a course of study that will further the development of Barbados and the Caribbean.
Since 1991, the Trust has made awards of approximately BDS $1.5 million to over 140 students, according to Trust Chairman Professor Avinash Persaud. The first-time gala event, which hosted 430 guests, was a new avenue for the Trust to raise funds.