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Caribbean Activists Turn Up The Volume For Reparations

Demands for reparations are growing across the Caribbean, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The British monarchy have come under heightened demands from several Caribbean countries to undergo the reparatory justice process and issue an apology for their part in the slave trade. It comes after Royal tours of the Caribbean earlier this year led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, followed by Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex were bundled by photo-ops disaster and tone deaf gifts. Niambi Hall-Campbell, Chair of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee, said: “As the role of the monarchy changes, we expect this can be an opportunity to advance discussions of reparations for our region.”

For People In Caribbean, Leaving British Monarchy More Than Symbolic

Born in the Bahamas in the late 1940s when the archipelago was still under the British rule, Niambi Hall Campbell-Dean’s mother was taught in school a version of colonial history that did not focus on the suffering of the slaves who were brought to the islands against their will. "Their version [of the history], I think, more than changing the story was the story of a mission. For example, my mother, who was born as a baby boomer, grew up learning that coal came from a certain part of England. But it was never about the archipelago of the islands of the Bahamas. Their focus of the education was really on creating good Commonwealth citizens. As citizens of this land, you learned about their history, their story, and all the wives that King Henry had.

Ninth Assembly Of Caribbean People Meets In Cuba

Caribbean social movements and organizations, artists, and intellectuals, among others, gathered in Cuba’s Santiago for the IX Assembly of Caribbean People under the theme: “Culture, resistance, sovereignty, revolution.” Participants honored and paid visits to National Hero José Martí; Carlos M. de Céspedes, the Mother of the Homeland, Mariana Grajales, and to the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro. Welcoming remarks were made by René Berenguer Rivera, secretary general of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC) in Santiago de Cuba. Camille Chalmers, organizing secretary of the Assembly of Caribbean People (APC) made the opening speech on behalf of the delegates, stressing the importance of this assembly being a forceful response to the hybrid wars and the new imperialist offensive.

For the Peoples of our Region, the Failure of Biden’s Summit of the Americas Would be a Welcome Event

I applaud the decision by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador not to attend this week’s so-called Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles and hope that by Wednesday a majority of the nations in our region would have joined him. However, I am hoping that unlike President Lopez Obrador who is still sending the Mexican foreign minister, other nations demonstrate that their dignity cannot be coerced and stay away completely. Why do I take this position? If the threat by the Biden Administration as host of the Summit not to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all sovereign nations in the Americas’ region, was not outrageous enough, the announced rationale that the administration did not invite these nations because of their human rights record and authoritarian governance is an absurd indignity that cannot be ignored.

Another World Is Possible, But We Have To Make It So

The People’s Summit for Democracy began in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 8. However, it is much more than just an alternative to the Biden administration’s and the Organization of American States’ Summit of the Americas. The Summit of the Americas has historically been a place for the United States, which plays a central role in the OAS and which continues to exploit the Americas for resources and markets, to present its own agenda for the region. But this year, beginning with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, many Latin American leaders across the continent decided to boycott the summit entirely. The boycott was a protest against the exclusion of the Latin American nations that the United States is most hostile towards: Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Haiti And The Americas Syllabus

What does it mean to defend our Americas? For the Black Alliance for Peace, defending our Americas begins with a re-drawing of the map of the Americas. No longer can the United States stand at the center of the hemisphere, upholding an eternal whiteness while imposing a suffocating capitalism. Instead, for BAP, Haiti is the center of the Americas. Solidarity with Haiti is key to the defense of the Americas. Haiti endures the original territory of Black emancipation from slavery, of Black independence from colonialism, and Black resistance to racism and global capitalism. Yet Haiti has also become the region’s laboratory for neocolonialism and neoliberalism and a centuries-long counter-revolution against Black freedom and sovereignty.

Maduro’s Success: Principled Resistance To Imperialism Pays Off

The world has been stunned by a double wonder: Bolivarian Venezuela’s political survival and its miraculous economic recovery: the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has reported that it expects the Venezuelan economy to grow for the first time since 2014, by 5 per cent, one of the highest in the region. Venezuela’s rate of inflation has come down from something like 10 million per cent, as reported by CNBC in 2019, and described as the “biggest economic disaster in modern history” by the Washington Post in the same year, to 7.1 per cent in September 2021 and to an incredible 1.4 per cent in March 2022. The March 2022 issue of the PSUV magazine Economia Politica y Revolucion reports that corn production, essential for arepas — Venezuela’s staple food — has increased by 60 per cent, rice 17 per cent, with an increase of non-oil exports of 76 per cent.

ALBA-TCP On The Summit Of The Americas (Declaration)

Cuba has once again hosted the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean that make up the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) for their 21st Summit. The main objectives of Friday’s meeting, held at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, was to share common development strategies and analyze the regional political situation. ALBA-TCP is currently made up of 10 countries, following the reincorporation of Saint Lucia in the last edition of these summits, also held in Havana: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.

And Then There Was No More Empire All Of A Sudden

Empire denies its own existence. It does not exist as an empire but only as benevolence, with its mission to spread human rights and sustainable development across the world. However, that perspective means nothing in Havana nor in Caracas, where ‘human rights’ has come to mean regime change, and where ‘sustainable development’ has come to mean the throttling of their people through sanctions and blockades. It is from the standpoint of the victims of empire that clarity comes. US President Joe Biden is to host the Summit of the Americas in June, where he hopes to deepen Washington’s hegemony over the Americas. The United States government understands that its project of hegemony faces an existential crisis caused by the weaknesses of the US political system and the US economy, with limited funds available for investment within its own country, let alone for the rest of the world.

Caribbean Asks For Reparations

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic on September 26, 2020 during the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said that [...] the international campaign for reparatory justice, widely promoted by governments across our Caribbean Community and by social activists within the industrialized metropoles, must form part of any serious efforts to achieve the sustainable development agenda […]. On November 3, 2020 during the "Peacebuilding and sustaining peace" debate organized by the United Nations Security Council the President of the "CARICOM Reparations Commission" Hilary Beckles [...] called on the Council to acknowledge the global reparatory movement, adding that while most crimes against humanity were committed in past, the current century will be one of peace and justice […].

Black Alliance For Peace: Boycott The Summit Of The Americas

The arbitrary decision by the government of the United States to exclude Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela from participation in the regional Summit of the Americas - scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, June 6 to June 10—represents another example of imperial hubris and delusion. Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently announced that he would boycott the Summit unless all countries in the region are invited. Some member states of CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, including Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and Grenadines, are also considering not attending the Summit. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, stated that his country “does not believe in the policy of ostracising Cuba and Venezuela.”

These Dark Times Are Also Filled with Light

In early March, Argentina’s government came to an Agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $45 billion deal to shore up its shaky finances. This deal was motivated by the government’s need to pay a $2.8 billion instalment on a $57 billion IMF stand-by loan taken out under former President Mauricio Macri in 2018. This loan – the largest loan in the financial institution’s history – sharpened divides in Argentinian society. The following year, the Macri administration was ousted in elections by the center-left Frente de Todos coalition which campaigned on a sharp anti-austerity, anti-IMF program. When President Alberto Fernández took office in December 2019, he refused the final $13 billion tranche of the IMF’s loan package, a move applauded by large sections of Argentinian society.

The Venezuela Coup, 20 Years Later

On April 11, 2002, Venezuela’s democratically elected government, headed by Hugo Chávez Frías, was ousted in a military coup d’etat. Then, dramatically, two days later, the coup was overturned by a mass mobilization of Venezuelans. They demanded the restoration of democracy and the return of a government that appeared to be making good on its commitment to redistribute Venezuela’s oil wealth to benefit the country’s most marginalized sectors. These events led to lasting ramifications not just for Venezuela, but for Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole, paving the way for a “pink tide” of progressive movements that took power democratically throughout the region.

Latin America Is Rejecting US Assistance

Latin America and the Caribbean is partnering with China on multi-billion dollar development projects and while turning down assistance offered by the United States. 21 of 31 countries of the region, both friends and foes of Washington alike, have joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to the dismay of U.S. lawmakers. Congressional Representative Lisa McClain sought an explanation for the phenomenon at this week’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on National Security Challenges and Military Activity in North and South America. McClain, a Republican representing Michigan, remarked on the failure of the U.S. Build Act (2018), which had been introduced in an attempt by Congress to counteract China’s BRI.

Latin America Is Moving Towards Plurinationalism

The Latin American and the Caribbean region is advancing towards breaking free from colonial mentality and recognizing nationalities of the Indigenous people and their cultural heritage. In recent years, various progressive leaders across the region have presented in their election campaigns proposals for a plurinational state to work towards eliminating perceptions of ethnic and cultural inferiority and a form of internalized racial oppression. In practice this means the shift from the colonial one nation, one culture and one language state model to the plurinational state model, which recognizes different nations with their own languages, cultures and identities that were historically neglected, within a polity.
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