The Caribbean’s Rapprochement with Venezuela Tests U.S. Hegemony

The Caribbean’s economic difficulties and the ongoing energy crisis have pushed these countries closer to autocratic Venezuela’s sphere of influence

Leonardo Di Bonaventura-Altuve

National Interest | July 23, 2022

On July 5, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which comprises twelve Anglophone Caribbean states plus Haiti and Suriname, held its forty-third Heads of Government Meeting, the community’s principal political organ. The meeting’s agenda focused on the recurring energy and food crises faced by these small states due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Specifically on the energy front, a unified CARICOM collectively asked for help from authoritarian Venezuela through PetroCaribe, a geo-economic tool created in 2005 by the late President Hugo Chávez to buy CARICOM’s loyalty by financing participants’ oil imports and increasing intra-bloc trade and investment. In exchange, the highly democratic CARICOM ignored Venezuela’s descent into authoritarianism and shielded the regime from condemnation in multilateral organizations like the Organization of American States (OAS).

After the 2014 global oil price slump, chronic fiscal mismanagement, and U.S. sanctions, the ability of President Nicolás Maduro to buy CARICOM’s support virtually disappeared. However, given CARICOM’s current urgency for cheap oil and leveling off in Venezuela’s oil production, PetroCaribe is likely to return from the dead. The re-marriage of CARICOM and Venezuela will likely hurt democracy prospects in the South American nation and, critically, continue to show the United States’ hegemonic decline in the hemisphere.

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The world’s peoples can always count on Cuba to be present for just causes

Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez yesterday conversed with Latin American intellectual Atilio Boró in a radio interview, discussing Cuba’s creative resistance in the face of continuing U.S. attacks and imperialist threats around the world

Granma | April 25, 2022

Artwork by Ernesto Rancaño 

“We are not going to surrender, we are going to continue resisting, but with the concept of creative resistance, which is precisely the way in which we have faced COVID-19, that is, we resist, but with talent, effort and intelligence, we also grow; as we resist, we are capable of advancing.”


This observation was among those shared by Communist Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in an interview with Latin American intellectual Atilio Borón, for the Argentine radio stations Madres de la Plaza de Mayo and the Universidad Nacional de Avellaneda, also broadcast on several community radio stations in Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and elsewhere.

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2021 Latin America and the Caribbean in Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again

Roger D. Harris

Orinoco Tribune | January 01, 2022

US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia. 

Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures, considered illegal under international law. Following the review, Biden has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis

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COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN CARIBBEAN 

COVID-19 in the Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Lessons Learnt from Extreme Weather Events

Ian R Hambleton, Selvi M Jeyaseelan and  Madhuvanti M Murphy

The Lancet | June 02, 2020

The UN recognises 58 small island developing states, with 29 in the Caribbean.

The World Bank classifies most of the Caribbean islands as middle-income or high-income countries, and the UN Human Development Index is generally categorised as high across the region (2018 values range between 0·7 and 0·8).

Despite these positive development indicators, the Caribbean small island developing states share a common set of environmental, economic, and social vulnerabilities because of their absolute size and geographical remoteness.

The resources available to individual small island developing states limits their capacity to prepare for, and respond to, acute environmental and health emergencies. The Global Health Security Index—measuring the national capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies—is below 40·0 across the Caribbean (average of 32, range 24–38) against a global average of 40·2 and an average among high-income nations of 51·9.

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Cuba offers its hand to the Caribbean

by

Granma | March 30, 2020

Photo: Prensa Latina

Several Caribbean island countries have expressed the gratitude of their peoples with a warm welcome as Cuban doctors arrive, offering a helping hand with invaluable medical support to the battle against Covid-19, as a gesture of solidarity.

It was already late into the night in the Lesser Antilles when an airplane landed on the main island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to deliver its precious human cargo, Cuban health professionals arriving to help.

At the foot of the plane’s stairway, stood Ralph Gonsalves, Premier and dear friend of the Cuban Revolution, who stepped forward to receive them, and found no other words for welcome and gratitude than to evoke the founding fathers of Cuba’s vocation for healing. He thanked “the Cuba of Fidel and Raul”, and President Díaz-Canel, the “continuator.”Read More »

The real interest of the United States and transnational corporations in Latin America and the Caribbean

by

Granma | December 13, 2019

The history of Latin America has been one of plunder and the theft of our natural wealth. Photo: Heinrich Bóll Foundation

Our America is again suffering escalating aggression by U.S. imperialism and local oligarchies. The region is experiencing a sad reality involving dangerous turmoil and socio-political instability, promoted by Washington. The hemisphere’s most reactionary forces are attacking sovereign governments with coups, methods of unconventional war, brutal police repression, militarization, unilateral coercive measures, rigged judicial persecution of progressive leaders, while proclaiming the validity of the Monroe Doctrine and McCarthyism.

What are the real interests of the U.S. and corporations in the region? Freedom, democracy, human rights? No. Their goal is to preserve imperialist domination of our natural resources.

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UN agency announces lowest growth rate for Latin American and Caribbean economies in 70 years

Granma | December 13, 2019

Photo: Internet

The region has experienced a generalized, synchronized economic slowdown in most countries and sectors, completing six consecutive years of limited growth, ECLAC reported on Thursday, in its latest annual report released by its headquarters in Santiago de Chile.

In the preliminary report on the performance of Latin America and Caribbean economies in 2019, the United Nations agency indicates that in 2019 the region will grow only 0.1% on average, while growth projections for 2020 will remain low, around 1.3%. As a result, 2014-2020 would be the period of lowest growth for the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean in the last seven decades.

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Haiti: Caribbean Dignity Unbowed

by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

teleSUR | January 14, 2017

A girl holds national flag of Haiti before Pope Francis

The United States should daily bow before Haiti and thank it for the lessons it taught in how to conceptualize and create a democratic political and social order.

The democratic, nation-building debt the U.S. nation owes the Caribbean, and the Haitian nation in particular that resides at its core, is not expected to be repaid but must be respected. Any nation without a nominal notion of its own making can never comprehend the forces that fashion its origins.

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Puerto Rico, a U.S. disaster in the Caribbean

Granma | June 08, 2017

On Sunday June 11, Puerto Ricans will vote on whether or not to remain an Associated Free State of the United States. Photo: AFP

SAN JUAN.— In San Juan, chants of “the debt is illegal” and “colonial dictatorship” fill the morning air, as students from the University of Puerto Rico block a palm-lined avenue.

Across the street, a board of overseers imposed by Washington is meeting with student representatives to hear their demands as they mull ever deeper cuts to pull this “Greece of the Caribbean” out of bankruptcy.

To some, it’s a necessary corrective to get a stumbling Puerto Rico back on its feet.Read More »

Caribbean reparations movement must put capitalism on trial

 by Ajamu Nangwaya

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