Remember Grenada


Remember Grenada

Many of  our readers will remember the invasion of Grenada by the United States back in 1983.

Some preferred to call it an “intervention.”

But invasion it was.

Grenada, the spice island in the Eastern Caribbean, became the focus of world attention when leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several persons loyal to him were gunned down and United States President Ronald Regan sent in the marines.

As the current crisis in Venezuela intensifies, we could expect another US invasion in the Caribbean anytime soon.

The danger signs are there for all to see and the meeting last Friday of five Caribbean leaders at the Florida residence of United States President Donald Trump was, as one Prime Minister described it,” troubling.”

That Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, was not one of the select few invited to the meeting in West Palm Beach but what he said was a reflection of the views of many people in the Caribbean and the wider diaspora.

As  he correctly pointed out, the meeting of the five Caribbean leaders was no true representation of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Where was Prime Minister Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and Nevis, the current chairman of Caricom?

He was not invited. Nor were the members of the Caricom advisory committee, including Prime Minister Gonsalves, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley.

As Gonsalves explained to reporters last Saturday, “to be a true Caricom representation, you must have at least the chairman,” in keeping with the agreement that has been put in place with respect to discussions on the Venezuela issue.

Instead, the select few were  Caribbean leaders from St.Lucia, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Haiti and Jamaica, all part of the Lima group which supports regime change in Venezuela.

Let us not forget that when the United States was planning to invade Grenada, it had the support of several Caribbean governments.

We do not know how many pieces of silver those states received for supporting the United States at that time and we do not know how many the chosen few will receive for supporting an invasion of Venezuela.

To its credit, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the countries which did not support the invasion of Grenada and is not supporting the United States in its call for regime  change in Venezuela. It is not part of the Lima group which unfortunately includes Canada.

We must  register our deep disappointment with the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in supporting the call by the Trump government for regime change.

We do not believe that a former Trudeau government – the one headed by Justin Trudeau`s father – would have taken this position. Pierre Trudeau was never known as a leader who would support the United States on issues of this kind.

We are calling on the Justin  Trudeau government to review its position on Venezuela before it is too late.

The Canadian government should not be marching in lockstep with the government of Donald Trump on the road to regime change in Venezuela.

Even at this hour, we still believe that the Venezuela crisis can be settled by negotiation.

And  we hope that Caribbean leaders, including the five who met last Friday with Trump, the same Trump who described some developing countries as “shit hole”  countries, will continue to work for a peaceful resolution to the Venezuela crisis.

As Prime Minister Gonsalves noted,” we in Caricom have to be very alive to the mischief that some persons may be up to, to seek to divide us in a manner which we ought not to be divided and therefore reduce the extent of our work.”

Remember Grenada.