I often marvel at the intensity and shameless conviction which drive some Dominicans in trying to woo the United States of America (USA) to impose certain punitive, socio-economic and political sanctions on Dominica. They have banded themselves together in a loose grouping of what they refer to as patriots and have spare absolutely no opportunity to remind the USA that Dominica has forged a progressive foreign policy that endears it to some countries that they (Dominica’s patriots) think the United States is politically at war with. It is interesting that patriots cannot or are unable to identify a leader with political credentials with whom they can rally around a program of development for Dominica, but they want to run the affairs of Dominica.
The latest such manifestation of the patriots appealing to the USA to ditch Dominica came on the heels of an ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America) resolution calling on ALBA member nations to expel the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) its representatives and agents from their respective territories on the accusation that the USAID agency is meddling in the internal affairs of the respective countries.
The resolution apparently was passed at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of ALBA member nations which took place recently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dominica had a four man delegation in Brazil at the time attending the RIO 20+ conference on the environment and development. A press release published in the Granma (Cuban) newspaper states that Dominica was a signatory to the resolution, but Antigua and St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not sign the resolution. Obviously, such a report is bound to evoke a certain amount of reaction and perhaps outrage from any well thinking Dominican who knows the tract record of the USAID’s assistance (albeit in the past) to Dominica. Is it true? How could Dominica do something like that?
Immediately the ruling party’s public relations machinery went to work seeking clarification and attempting to clear the air. As it turned out, the newspaper reported on the draft of the resolution and not the final communique’. Dominica’s Ambassador to the United Nations His Excellency Vince Henderson was a member of the delegation to the Rio 20+ conference. He denied that Dominica signed on to the resolution. Hon. Rayburne Blackmore, head of Dominica’s delegation to the conference in Rio came on radio and he too denied that Dominica was a signatory to the resolution. Later, Dominica’s ambassador to Venezuela and ALBA, His Excellency Philbert Aaron, came on radio and vehemently denied that Dominica was a signatory to the resolution.
They all advanced the fact that Dominica’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit had given strict instructions not to sign the resolution. Now call me naïve, devoid of a university education, call me a “trough feeder”, call me partisan, call me non patriotic, but all of the above from government officials represents for me a forthright and sterling denial that Dominica had indeed signed the resolution. If they deliberately lied to the Dominica public over the issue, that would be a national travesty of goodwill. In a nutshell, Dominica did not attend any meeting of ALBA and so did not sign or approve the resolution as was published in the Cuban Newspaper or any other media.
A few days later, officials of the Barbados based USAID office was in town (Roseau) to sign a very important multi-lateral agreement offering the OECS financial support to the tune of approximately 13 million dollars for a very important social development program. At the signing ceremony, these USAID officials had some very interesting words of commendation for the Hon. Prime Minister as regional leader. I could not believe what I heard coming from the officials. It is true that in diplomatic language, so much can be said with as few words as possible. But who would believe that officials of the powerful USA would be slight in their comments about anybody/country in circumstances where the character and reputation of the USA was called into question? I am sure the nay sayers would have contented themselves if the USAID official had repudiated PM Skerrit. Even then the print media would not review the contents of some of its contributions. The attacks on the character and reputation of the PM were scathing to say the least.
Those who invite the USA to wage a war of attrition against Dominica increasingly preach “truth to power”. They promote the attributes of “good governance” and seek after “integrity and honesty in government”. They seemingly are champions of a free press to be able to say whatever, however and wherever it pleases them to say. They and their media arm seemingly have forgotten their record of governance during their short sojourn in government before they were physically catapaulted to the dung heap of political misery.
Collectively they have an insatiable desire to see the back of Prime Minister Skerrit, no matter what it takes, come high or low waters – the end will justify the means. Their repertoire of negative talk and actions aimed at unseating PM Skerrit is now contained in a bottom less pit of more non achievers and certain disgruntled business executives. After each of their campaigns, waged mostly in the media, the Prime Minister prevails much to their chagrin. They dare not take their campaign to the ordinary man where it matters the most. They have now turned their attention to disparaging the psyche of the Dominican public as unethical and immoral concerned only about its own survival. Interestingly, it is this same electorate that they wish to win over to their side.
These self same patriots see nothing, absolutely nothing that is good or positive about Dominica or is taking place in Dominica today. Even whilst they complaint 24-7 about threats as they see it to free speech in Dominica, they fail to even appreciate the fact that they are free to speak as they wish today. Every development initiative is fraught with a media frenzy of lamentations after lamentations. Every single organ of society has come in not only for criticisms but indeed for a tongue lashing laced with a deadly potion of serious partisan rhetoric. Even those who posit themselves as non-partisan and assume the high pedestal of morally upright and ethical men of society, consistently fail to hide their partisan colours, veil as it may seem in their writings.
So America is seen as their only hope to wrest Dominica from the leadership of PM Skerrit. One Dominican citizen among the patriot band who hold dual citizenship (Dominica and America) have written to America complaining about a break down in law and order here in Dominica and asking America to disclose what plans it have to rescue its citizens from the “chaos” as he see it in Dominica. If only America would get mad with Skerrit and so unleash the power of the Central Intelligence Agency in Dominica, their agenda would be complete. Without American interference they know their plan for controlling the reigns of government is doomed for many years to come.
To suggest that America is at ease with Dominica’s foreign policy is tantamount to burying ones head in the sand. America would like to see the back of Cuba, Venezuela and China from Dominica. But you know what, America knows which government and when took Dominica into formal diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba. America also knows the expression “economic terrorist” as penned by an official of the government of Dominica during a speech at the United Nations sometime during the period 1995-2000. Everyone who heard the speech knew who or which country was referred to as an “economic terrorist”.
So to seek to continuously woo America to reign “bombs” on Dominica simply because we have sought to deepen our relations with old friends on one hand (Venezuela) and make new friends (China) on the other hand to assist us with our development agenda is simply unpatriotic. America is not hearing the lamentations. Our friends are deaf to the cry of the political sadists among us and importantly, the people of Dominica has not been listening in a manner that would let them to put their boots on.
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