Images of burnt flesh from napalm bombs, wounded and dead soldiers, scenes of U.S. soldiers burning the simple huts of Vietnamese villages, eventually turned the public against the war in Vietnam and produced the dreaded affliction, from the ruling class point of view, known as the “Vietnam syndrome.” This collective Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made it impossible for the public to support any foreign military involvement for years. It took the rulers almost three decades to finally cure the public of this affliction. But the rulers were careful. The brutal reality of what the U.S. was doing in Afghanistan and Iraq was whitewashed. That is why the images now being brought to the public by the corporate media are so shocking.
The island was so central to Britain’s transatlantic slave trade system it was commonly referred to as ‘Little England’. Today, Barbados marks a defining break from 400 years of British rule. While there are still many challenges in overhauling all structures of governance inherited by the colonial system, Barbadians should be proud of this moment. Barbados has completed its transition to a republican system of government. From 30 November, which marks the 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Barbados’s head of state is no longer the British Queen. The word ‘royal’ will be removed from the names of its institutions, which will no longer bear the insignia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In her place, the tiny Caribbean island has its first elected president, Dame Sandra Mason, who represents the Barbadian struggle for self-determination and whose term won’t last a lifetime.
On November 30, 2021, on the 55th anniversary of its political independence, Barbados will become a republic. It is commonly assumed this was some sudden decision by Mia Mottley’s government. The most bizarre suggestion came from British voices, who asserted this had to do with Barbados tilting to China. But the roots of this change go back decades, and are anchored in the politics of the wider Caribbean. Forbes Burnham’s decision in 1970 to proclaim the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and Eric Williams’s push towards the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, are the key precedents. Both were underpinned by the politics of what I have called ‘secondary decolonization’, for which, in the long 1970s, the global Black Power moment was central.
At midnight on Tuesday, November 30, Barbados, an island nation in the Caribbean, declared itself a republic. Sandra Prunella Mason was promoted from governor general to president after by Parliament. In a formal ceremony, attended by Prince Charles representing Queen Elizabeth II, the country ceased to be a constitutional monarchy, removing the queen from her position as head of state. The country, however, will remain part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Wednesday denounced that the U.S. President Donald Trump administration is seeking to "destroy" the negotiations being carried out by President Nicolas Maduro's delegates and the Venezuelan right-wing opposition in Barbados. "Due to the resounding failure of all forms of aggression against Venezuela, the Trump Administration intends to destroy the political dialogue process between the Government and the opposition, trying to impose its warfare agenda. They will not be able to do it. Peace will prevail!," Arreaza tweeted.
As concern mounts over food security, two community groups are on a drive to mobilise average people across Antigua and Barbuda to mitigate and adapt in the wake of global climate change, which is affecting local weather patterns and by extension, agricultural production. “I want at least 10,000 people in Antigua and Barbuda to join with me in this process of trying to mitigate against the effects of climate change,” Dr. Evelyn Weekes told IPS. Food security is a growing concern, not just for Antigua and Barbuda but all Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as changing weather patterns affect agriculture. Scientists are predicting more extreme rain events, including flooding and droughts, and more intense storms in the Atlantic in the long term.