“We, the under-signed representatives of the sovereign people of the Caribbean hereby declare that President Donald Trump of the United States of America is ‘Persona Non Grata’ in our Caribbean region.
“We further declare that as a ‘Persona Non Grata’ President Donald Trump is NOT welcomed in any territory of the Caribbean, and we hereby affirm that we – the Caribbean people ‒ will vehemently protest against and take whatever measures are necessary to prevent President Donald Trump’s entry into any portion of the sovereign territory of our Caribbean region.”
The above quote is taken from a Declaration issued Saturday, January 13, 2018 by an organization called the Pan African and Socialist Forces of the Caribbean Nation of Barbados.
Is this organization serious? Does a Pan African and socialist organization speak on behalf of our indigenous people, Indians, Portuguese, Chinese and mixed race people of the Caribbean? Does it even speak for all Caribbean people of African descent? Does it speak for persons born and bred in the Caribbean who do not support socialism but instead endorse free enterprise, peoples’ capitalism (my ideology) and other non-socialist ideologies?
While this organization enjoys the right to pass declarations and issue statements, these should be done in the name of its members. I have vehemently condemned Trump time and again, including over his most recent reported comments about Haiti and Africa inter alia. But we must be careful that in our condemnations of Trump we don’t make ourselves look as foolish as him. This organization is in order to say Trump is not welcome in the Caribbean. But it can’t say so in the name of the people of the Caribbean, it has to say so in the name of its members and no one else.
Further, as much as Trump is himself what he has described some countries to be, he is the President of the United States with which the Caribbean has enjoyed long standing mutually beneficial relations based on traditionally shared values, especially with the American people. America is home to millions of Caribbean nationals. It is our largest trading partner. If Trump has an interest in visiting the region, or if there is any regional meeting to which the President of the US is normally invited, the usual protocols should remain in place; he should be welcome to visit.
As he goes low the governments and people of the Carib-bean region, including its diaspora must go high.