We must raise our voices to defend our region

Dear Editor,

The looming threat of a US military invasion of Haiti, now supported by CARICOM, demands that the people of the Caribbean raise our voices against such a threat and against the unending US-led militarization of the region. This militarization undermines the 2014 Community of Latin American and Caribbean States’ (CELAC) declaration that our region should be a zone of peace.

The USA and its core group, who operate as colonial overlords of Haiti, wantonly violate Haiti’s independence and sovereignty, as they pursue their centuries’ long spiteful policy of punishing the Haitian people for using force of arms to end the enslavement of African people and pushing for the same outcome in other territories in the Caribbean and Americas. Today, the Haitian puppet leaders, installed by the core group, are unable to suppress the Haitian people, and the US is planning to intervene militarily to achieve this goal. To its eternal shame, CARICOM has thrown its weight behind the US threat.

In addition to the threat to Haiti, from July 14, this year, the US military’s Southern Command kicked off its annual Tradewinds regional military exercise. This year, it is being held in Guyana and is scheduled to run for 2 weeks, ending on July 28th. Operation Tradewinds involves 1500 troops from CARICOM member states, the old colonial powers, namely Britain, France and Holland and the new colonial powers, the US and Canada. In addition, Brazil, which led the previous UN military occupation of Haiti, is participating in the exercise. The Tradewinds military exercise was initiated in 1984, a year after the US invasion of Grenada. It is intended to ensure that the people of the Caribbean stay within the parameters set for them by the old and new colonial powers. It is a reminder to us that these powers will use military force against us, as they have repeatedly done in the past, if we dare to step outside the boundaries, which they have laid down for us.

The current military threat to Haiti and the ongoing Tradewinds military exercise demonstrate clearly that the colonial and enslaving powers do not respect the Caribbean as a zone of peace. Instead, they constantly increase military activities and threats in the region to achieve their goal of maintaining control over us and our countries.

The people of the Caribbean must raise their voices to defend Haiti against attack, to demand the end of the militarisation of the region and to push for the termination of the annual Tradewinds military exercise.

In unity and struggle, Caribbean Organisation for People’s Empowerment –St Lucia
Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP) – Guyana Caribbean Pan Afrikan and Indigenous Movement – Trinidad & Tobago Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration – Barbados Pan African Coalition of Organizations – Barbados

Regards,

Gerald A. Perreira

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