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The NDP’s adolescent Foreign Policy


Dr. Richard A. B. Cox

Arhnim Eustace says his mission is building “a kinder and gentler society”. This is a nice slogan borrowed from the American right, who apart from Lincoln, freed the slaves and is famous for being kind and gentle only to the grand bourgeoisie.

There is nothing inherently wrong in borrowing especially if it could be useful. However, Eustace seems to want to make SVG a victim of rum and coca cola without any Yankee dollars, particularly in the area of foreign policy. {{more}}

SVG while small and poor is not a satellite of any nation, besides that, we are seriously disadvantaged by an international climate dictated by the G7 club. In all seriousness, it seems that Arhnim has forgotten these and also that everything we have came by bitter struggle against domination. From our liberation in 1838, to adult suffrage in 1951 were won with blood, sweat and tears, and this is not figuratively speaking. Indeed we are a nation today because we rejected servitude. So any hint from the NDP of our laying prostrate in front of the US dishonours our history of sacrifice.

What am I talking about? Well let’s start with Ralph’s Libya trip. The NDP’s paramount reason for opposing was fear of displeasing Uncle Sam. Eustace was not concerned with what is in it for us; he forgot our sovereignty and right to pursue our own foreign policy. Fixation with the super power up north so consumes his reasoning seems impaired.

Then there was Haiti. Even though “democratic” is central to Eustace’s party’s name and they cannot forgive Ralph for hijacking their fourth term with the “road Block Revolution”, democracy was relegated to irrelevance once the Oval Office said that Aristide must go. Ralph dared to differ and again the NDP were at his throat. Is the party’s chief task ensuring that Ralph is a Washington choirboy?

And let’s not forget Petro Caribe. Arnhim immediately pointed to the animosity between Chavez and Bush demanding that Ralph unsign the agreement. Any demerits of the deal were secondary, for as a lackey of Uncle Sam SVG’s foreign relations are remote-controlled from Washington. Conclusion: NDP agrees that Chavez is an anathema deserving of crucifixion and Ralph to be hung on an adjacent cross, his crime: buying oil from a neighbour.

Now I turn to relations with Cuba. Fidel is communist, no denying that, but so are China and Vietnam, friends of the US. Anticommunist Taiwan had to leave the UN when Richard Nixon changed allegiance from Taipei to Beijing. Now, the USA set the standards for the NDP so what’s wrong with Castro’s communism? Irrespective of how I feel about his political ideology, Fidel reminds me of the woman with the dime in the Bible, with so little he has contributed more to human development the world over than any of his contemporaries. Still for all, America says he is a pariah and the NDP seconds, so Ralph is again blacklisted.

No, I am not done for there is the Texaco impasse. Predictably, the NDP became the company’s chief defender. It mattered not that he might be seen as unpatriotic, Leacock went on radio to remind us that Texaco is US based and wrangling with them could make Washington vitriolic towards us. He couldn’t understand why Texaco didn’t defend itself and assumed it took the moral high ground, unlike Ralph. So a senator paid by our taxpayers felt duty-bound to stand against us in the defence of the rich and powerful. In so doing he failed to underline that Ralph was given an ultimatum; neglected to show the true consequence to the poor should Texaco prevail; forgot to underline that unlike Texaco that could call on its money, power and fraternity including the NDP, Ralph only has his constituents and that is what he did. Where would SVG be with such nationalism? Leacock should apologise.

I am ever cognisant of US power and our location in “their Backyard”. But that does not mean we are their Jean and Dina? Prostitution might be an old profession but it’s certainly not honourable. It is clear that the ULP makes errors in the execution of our foreign policy but they have the basics right, i.e. our country and people come first. Eustace should not feel insulted that I suggest he “follow suit” on the basics. A word to the wise is usually enough. Antigua challenged the US over Internet gambling rights; Barbados and Jamaica rejected the original Ship Riders Agreement; Guyana and St. Lucia washed their hands of Latortue, but when America whispers the NDP shivers with the fear of a defenceless child in the presence of an abusive adult.

The above was not said lightly and I have made more enemies. But it doesn’t matter; I already have my highest honour, citizen of SVG. And if I may add a personal note, I might have never entered a university, spoken fluently a modern classic or any of the other foreign languages I command, never travelled the world and most certainly not for free if SVG was a US acolyte. Arnhim, believe me, you need a serious rethink.

Finally, Arnhim should reflect on this: One of Mitchell’s finest moments in foreign relations is his bold declaration to Clinton, “There are not two classes of prime ministers in the Caribbean”. He has publicly rebuked Eustace on PetroCaribe; during my time at Foreign Affairs he led a major delegation to meet Castro and took a principled stand on the Palestinian question. So if Eustace so loves borrowing, why not borrow from his benefactor in this case?

Over to you, Mr. Lynch, my sores are all exposed, the biggest of which is my patriotism.