US Aircraft Carrier Group To Visit Trinidad as “Signal to China” – Skips Barbados

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The US Navy Carrier Strike Group fronted by the Nimitz-class USS George Washington (CVN 73) is making a two-month visit to the Caribbean "…to touch base with our partner countries…" says US Brig. General Kenneth Glueck.

The Carrier Strike Group will be visiting in St. Maarten on Good Friday – April 14, 2006. Other countries on the tour include Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Curacao, Aruba* and St. Kitts – but not Barbados.

According to a policy wonk at the "Inter-American Dialogue Policy Institute", the Caribbean operation is also a message to China that the United States will not ignore that China has been investing heavily in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our Take: Barbados Is Also Being Sent A Message

Besides spreading havoc and mayhem among smugglers throughout the Caribbean, the visit by the US Carrier Strike Group is an important political exercise to deliver messages on the world stage.

In this case, the most likely intended recipients of the primary messages are Venezuela and China – but the non-visit to Barbados (not even by one of the auxiliary minor ships in the Group) might also be a message directed to Barbados.

Barbados Cozying Up to China, Cuba & Venezuela 

The Government of Barbados has of late been seen cozying up to Communist states Cuba and China – as well as leftist Venezuela.

Just last week, the People's Republic of China "gave" new boats, engines, electronics, equipment and computers to the Barbados Defense Force. This China-Barbados "co-operation" is nothing new, according to the Barbados Advocate

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"In the last six years, the Barbados Defence Force has been receiving technical assistance from the People's Republic of China in various ways including training and exchange programmes. They now have new equipment. In the picture above, members of both the land forces and the naval forces look over some of the equipment donated to the BDF from the Chinese Embassy."

We have already covered the increasingly cozy relationship between Barbados and Cuba – and in particular between Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who seem to be The Best of Friends

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Where is Prime Minister Owen Arthur Taking Barbados?

Barbados must never be anyone's lapdog – whether we are talking about the USA, Britain, China or anyone else… But true independence is not to be found in trying to sell yourself to the highest bidder. True independence, whether for a person or a country, comes from self-reliance.

If the PM plans to court all the super-powers like a pretty maiden at the dance who enjoys making all the boys jealous – he had better think again. Sometimes the pretty maiden just ends up looking like a whore.

Primary Story Source: Chron.com, Associated Press Story

Ship photo courtesy of the US Navy.

* Aruba Visit by USS George Washington

We have to wonder how much of the reason for the visit is to repair US-Aruban relations after the infamous botched Natallee Holloway murder investigation.

UPDATE: Last Royal Navy Visit Was When?

A reader just emailed and asked if we knew when the last time a Royal Navy warship visited Barbados. It has been years since I've personally seen one visiting Bridgetown, and I can't find anything on Google. Can anyone advise?

posted by Robert

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4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

4 responses to “US Aircraft Carrier Group To Visit Trinidad as “Signal to China” – Skips Barbados

  1. Comment Maker

    I think your argument about Barbados buddying up with the US’ “foes” doesn’t hold water. Barbdos was one of only two countries not to sign PetroCaribe, it was one of the only countries to engage Haiti before elections. We were soundly criticised by the so called “progressive” groups for both of these moves.

    Washington withdrew military aid from Barbados after they refused to sign a waiver on the International War Crimes Court for US Soldiers. They chose not to offer aid, are we to turn down all other offers of military aid because it may make the US uncomfortable? Your comment about Barbados never being a lapdog seems to fit the circumstances.

  2. BFP

    Hello Comment Maker

    Thank you for your most insightful observations, and yes, you are correct that we believe Barbados must never be a lapdog for anyone.

    Insofar as the withdrawal of US military aid to Barbados – in the Caribbean, the US also halted aid to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago (not to mention a host of countries in Central and South America). All this was to do with the refusal of these countries to sign the waiver.

    Yet, whether the US is “uncomfortable” or not with Barbados receiving aid from brutal Communist dictatorships, we and many Bajans ARE uncomfortable with this new development. We understand that Barbados may have to make some adjustments in it’s relationships, and we also understand that countries do not have friends – only interests.

    But the enthusiasm with which Owen Arthur embraces despots – both literally and figuratively – is what is truly most disturbing. That, coupled with the PM’s distinctly anti-American and anti-British attitude (often to the detriment of Barbados), makes us wonder.

    Our main question still remains – Where is Prime Minister Arthur taking Barbados?

  3. China and Venezuela have been courting the Caribbean island nations, Latin America, Central America and Mexico with favors, and during that time there was not a word from the U.S.

    Chavez is also spending billions in the rest of Latin America – exchanging contracts for oil tankers and infrastructure projects and buying up debt in Argentina and Brazil – and cheap oil to the Caribbean.

    If Caribbean leaders are looking to get rid of their debt, finance new infrastructure projects, then Chavez will be more than willing to assist.

    Now, on to the US Carrier mission in the Caribbean . . .

    Our government has been too busy trying to bring “democracy” to the Middle East, and has just recently decided to look into matters closer to home. The U.S. has lost Latin and Central America, and the threat of no aid to the Caribbean only serves as another reminder to the world how low our foreign policy has sunk.

    Since China has already infiltrated the region, and Chavez is taking over the Caribbean oil market, someone in Washington came up with the bright idea to send out our “goodwill ambassadors” in the form of navy destroyers for a “show of commitment” to the region.

    Brig. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., the Southern Command’s chief of staff, called the tour an “opportunity for us to touch base with our partner countries.”

    He added: “There’s no other symbol of American power like the carrier.”
    Now, that’s a sure way to win friends, and influence people!

    This whole carrier mission of “goodwill”, according to Washington, is to send a message to China and Venezuela. China needs oil and lots of it, and Venezuela’s oil reserves are bigger than those of the entire Middle East – including Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Iran and Iraq.

    China and the US are in a big battle for oil. This mission has nothing to do with “goodwill”, it’s all about OIL, and another attempt to show off US military strength.

    Love your recent articles – keep up the good work!

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