United States Must Stop Taking The Caribbean For Granted

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The following was written in February of 2006, but I just came across it. Some of our readers were recently talking about the invasion of Grenada, and I thought this might be of interest.

Here’s a sample of the article. You can find the full piece at National Review Online (link here)

What should we do to counter China’s moves in the Caribbean? First, we must stop taking the region for granted, reacting only after the fact, as we did after a communist coup in Grenada in 1983. That crisis, it is well to recall, would have been much worse if other Caribbean nations had not taken a firm stand against the Russian and Cuban-supported coup, and voted in favor of U.S. intervention. Would the new crop of politicians, so assiduously courted by China, come down on our side in the event of a similar problem?

To put it another way, can we allow China, an up-and-coming superpower, to replace the U.S. as the predominant political influence in the region? Opening embassies in each of these states, so that we are in a position to make America’s case directly to local government officials, is essential. Thwarting China’s efforts to buy friends and influence governments requires not just foreign aid — although this should be increased — but private investment as well. Increasingly, foreign investment is coming from everywhere but the United States. A Free Trade Zone for the West Indies would be a good first step toward fixing this.

China has a long history of establishing tributary relationships between it and lesser states, supporting local tyrants in return for their allegiance. While we work to bring transparency and openness to China, we don’t want China to bring corruption and deception to existing democracies and international organizations. The Caribbean can’t wait.

From NRO’s Red China On The March

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9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, China, Corruption, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

9 responses to “United States Must Stop Taking The Caribbean For Granted

  1. ILLUMINATOR

    what a load of crap . i guess the US is not known for supporting any tyrants or dictators or ousting democratically elected leaders when they don’t help to further their interest . I guess their corporations don’t have any major links with China either. Give me a break. I suggests the author read about US’ role in places like Saudi Arabia , Panama , Chile , Ecuador ,Iraq , Haiti . Just to name a few.

  2. joke

    the height of arrogance. as if the us has not supported murderous dictators and despots from latin america to africa, asia and the middle east and continues to do so. china is just doing what europe and the us did and they dont like it. and let us not forget that us big business helps to prop up the chinese despots because they make much more money with the chinese status quo remaining as it is. the writer should tell the us government to change its approach to china first!

  3. Tony Hall

    The author of the article is an example of persons from a superpower trying to insult the intelligence of so-called third world countries. He doan know that massa day done.

  4. whose fault is it that they neglected us? and exactly what tyrants in the Caribbean are china propping up?

  5. I am prepared to act Devil’s Advocate on this one.

    The article in the National Review correctly attempts to wake up its readership (Americans)that, after 50 years of keeping on its toes to ward off further Castro’s, Cheddi Jagan’s and Maurice Bishops at a time when the Cold War against the USSR was at its most critical, it can no longer sit back and say “Thank God we no longer have to keep a daily watch on our little neighbours to the South.”

    It is a Wake-Up Call of realisation that, although Russia is no longer scheming in this neck of the woods, others have taken their place in the international chessboard.

    True we are just humble pawns in the global game of chess, but even a pawn can get Queened when it goes across to the other side.

    Our two-bit sovereign states all have a vote in the United Nations Assembly, on the International Whaling Commission and many other influential bodies.

    When the Taiwanese, South Koreans, Japanese and Chinese are throwing bait our way to denude our waters of fish, it is with the ulterior motive of buying our influence and support on international forums with gifts like gymnasiums.

    Even in Asia it is well known that we resent the economic and cultural dominance of Uncle Sam, and can be played for suckers by toying with our loyalties.

    We are being used shamelessly in this battle, and I do not resent the article in the National Review for casting a spotlight on the significant role in which Caribbean states are finding themselves.

    Check, Mate!

  6. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    Do you believe that an Obama administration would be a positive developm,ent for the Caribbean ?

    Is it possible you can do an article featuring Obama’s speech about racism…..that he delivered in Philadelphia today ( 18th March 2008 ) ?

    From reports , observers are applauding his vision to point the way forward on this age – old issue of
    ( race ) which is closely connected to the Caribbean experience.

  7. Rumplestilskin

    I am not offended by the article.

    The subject matter is merely analysing international political strategy and presenting an opinion on the way forward for the US.

    That said, there should be nothing unexpected in China’s diplomacy, no matter it be accompanied by ‘assistance’ seen to sway allegiances.

    What did the US expect, for other nations to ignore the Caribbean after the virtual abandonment by US foreign policy.

    Take for example the islands and the ‘banana issue’.

    The North wiped out a major source of foreign exchange for these islands. A terrific blow.

    Now these islands have found a new international relationship to assist in their economic development.

    Further, Barbados only survived an attack by the OECD, rich nation’s club, on its offshore business significant and aggressive defensive actions by the previous administration (I do give them credit for this).

    So, what approach are these islands to take in the future?

    It would appear that the price of ‘friendship’ has risen and such is justified.

    Large nations play the ‘international game card’ all the time, to survive we need to play it too.

    Let us not be naive and think that these large nations nor their corporations are benevolent.

    Their driving force? Business, money, survival.

    Nothing else.

    Peace.

  8. Rumplestilskin

    Further to my above post (currently on moderation),

    As far as locale and logistics are concerned, contrary to the view expressed above, Barbados et al are in a distinctly strategic position when it comes to international security, particularly to the Americas.

    It thus is in the interest of those nations to ensure that we are in a position to cooperate politically and specifically in respect of security.

    Such position of capability must include both financial capability AND intent.

    Recent events internationally have made the near future political ‘plays’ very cloudy and any wise policy strategist will be filling their pack with every card possible, for what events may transpire, in the future.

  9. Rumplestilskin

    Apologies, above should read ”offshore business by significant and aggressive defensive actions ”

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