Regional lobby wants Caricom heads to boycott Summit of the Americas


File photo: At Left PM Dr Keith Rowley with other heads of Government at the opening of the 18th Special meeting of heads of Government of Caricom single market and Economy.

Photo courtesy Government Information

THE ASSEMBLY of Caribbean People (ACP) is calling on Caricom heads of government to boycott the upcoming Summit of the Americas scheduled for June in the United States.

In a statement, signed by the representatives of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Haiti, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Martinique, the Dominican Republic and the Cuban chapter of the ACP, the group said there was a need for regional governments to defend the sovereignty of its people.

The group said it had serious concerns about the US’s strategy of “divide and rule” for the region. A letter making the call to boycott the summit was sent to the various heads of government, the statement said.

“The call was made to ensure that our principled leaders resist the US manoeuvres and did all that was necessary to maintain unity, reject all attempts at interference in the affairs of sovereign states and stand firm on the principle that the Caribbean is a zone of peace,” the statement said.

The ACP said there was a decision to exclude three member states from the summit: Cuba; Nicaragua and Venezuela.

“We, the people of the Caribbean, therefore, insist that you hold fast to the established principles in international relations, namely that there be respect for the sovereignty of nation states and that a state must not interfere in the internal affairs of another sovereign state; and further,those states should not seek to manipulate treaties and/or multilateral institutions for the achievement of their perceived national interest,” the statement said.

The group said the decision by regional heads of government to attend the summit in Los Angeles, California, from June 6-10, demonstrated the acceptance of the US to “pick and choose” the countries it preferred to attend.

“That position must be firmly rejected. It is therefore in this light that we reiterate that all independent nations of the Americas must be included in such an international forum – a position that that has been recognised in this exact forum on previous occasions.

“… We urge you to maintain a united and common position once again on matters of foreign affairs so that we can not only speak with one voice, but that we can maximise our voting strength in multilateral and international fora and organisations.”

The ACP added that they had a hope that the instrument of Caricom would be strengthened and asked that the Caribbean be deemed a “zone of peace.”

TT’s representative on the ACP is David Abdulah.

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