Tag Archives: Caribbean
Book Review – Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and Diaspora, 1919-1939
(From our archives: originally published on May 25, 2014) – This ground-breaking book, based on research undertaken in the archives of the Comintern in Moscow as well as archives in France, Britain, the US and West Africa, documents the activities of the Communist International in relation to Africa and the African diaspora. It focuses on a period when the world was in flux, with inter-imperialist rivalry at its height, when African and Caribbean countries, amongst others, were under colonial domination. Black people in Africa, the Caribbean and other western countries were officially considered inferior, had few rights and racism was at the level of open state policy from so-called “Jim Crow” laws and lynching in the US, to pass laws and segregation in South Africa and the colour bar in Britain. Continue reading
Telesur (April 1) – Cuba pledged its support Friday to the Caribbean Community’s quest to receive an apology and compensation from European powers for the transatlantic slave trade.
The Caribbean Community or CARICOM, which has 15 states as members, wants reparations from the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands in an initiative it says is based on diplomacy and engagement, without resorting to confrontation.
“We support the just demand for compensation hoisted by the Member States of the Caribbean Community,” said Ana Silvia Rodriguez, Cuban ambassador to the United Nations.
“People from the third world are still feeling the effects of the inhuman exploitation of people in their homelands and these peoples clearly deserve compensation for the horrendous crimes committed against their ancestors,” said the diplomat during address to CARICOM officials.
Last October, on an official visit to Jamaica, British Prime Minister Cameron acknowledged the “wounds of slavery run very deep” but avoided speaking on the issue of reparation.
Cameron, the first British prime minister to visit Jamaica for the last 14 years, said the slave trade was one “from which history has drawn the bitterest of lessons.”
“Slavery was and is abhorrent in all its forms. It has no place whatsoever in any civilized society, and Britain is proud to have led the way in its abolition,” but offered no compensation.
In late February the chairman of the CARICOM Sub-Committee on Reparations, Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart sent a letter to the British Foreign Office, on behalf of the 15-member countries, for London to formally acknowledge the region’s demands for payment for the transatlantic slave trade.
CARICOM has reportedly given the British office two years to respond to its call, but warned that it is prepared to bring its complaint to the International Court of Justice in The Netherlands.
Cuba highlights the importance of strengthening the activities of international organizations on issues related to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade
Intervention by the Permanent Alternative Cuba Representative to the United Nations, HE Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, in item 118, “tracking the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade” Commemorative Meeting on the occasion of the International Day remembrance of victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 70 UN General Assembly – March 29, 2016
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Slavery and the transatlantic slave trade are among the most serious crimes against humanity that have not been adequately studied, nor its consequences in today’s society duly recognized.
Tragedy and unspeakable horror was the fate of some 15 to 20 million men, women and children that the trans-Atlantic slave uprooted from their homes and were sent to the Americas as commercial cargo receiving an inhumane, unjust and despicable treatment.
Cuba attaches particular importance and sensitivity to the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Cuba supported and cosponsored the Resolution 61/19 of the General Assembly commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and appointed the day we commemorate today.
Major players in the different stages of the wars to exercise self-determination
Colonial plantations of Cuba emerged as part of this cruel trade, as about one million 300 thousand Africans were taken by force from their villages and families and sold as slave labor on the island. Freed slaves and their descendants, have been major players in the different stages of the wars that allowed the Cuban people to exercise self-determination.
Cuban identity, therefore, was the result of a process of acculturation occurred with the contribution of various ethnic groups in difficult first colonial, then neo-colonial environments. We are a mixture, in the main, of the Hispanic and African. We also influence Asian and Native American peoples.
The Cuban people are most proud of their African roots, which are present in our character and our cultural manifestations. Cuban culture and nationality emerged and nourished African heritage. Cuba has also provided the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of their children to contribute to the emancipation of Africa, a continent to which all humanity will always be indebted.
There is a lot of gold stained with the blood of slaves
There is a lot of gold stained with the blood of slaves, and much of the wealth generated produce shame and reproach. The fate of peoples of the third world was altered greatly by inhuman exploitation and it is these peoples who clearly deserve compensation for the horrendous crimes committed against their ancestors.
The developed countries and their consumer societies responsible for the accelerated and almost unstoppable destruction of the environment, have been the main beneficiaries of the conquest and colonization, slavery and trafficking trans-atlántica, the ruthless exploitation and extermination of hundreds of millions of children of the peoples of the South. They have also enriched the unjust economic order imposed on humanity and international financial institutions created exclusively by them and for them.
Cuba supports the just demand for compensation hoisted by the Member States of CARICOM. Cuba also claims the special and differential treatment required by developing countries, particularly Africa, in its international economic relations. Cuba rejects selfishness and shameful opulence of a few that serve as guidelines to ongoing globalization.
Cuba supports and co-sponsor the draft resolution
Cuba supports and co-sponsor the draft resolution presented each year under this theme by member countries of CARICOM and the African Group. Cuba recognizes the importance of strengthening the activities of the United Nations and other international organizations such as UNESCO in the field. It is the least the international community can do to repair the crime against humanity committed in the trans-Atlantic African to be enslaved.
Thank you very much.
(October 21, 2013) – Cuba endorsed today at the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization (UN) the claim of the countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to their former metropolis for compensation for damage of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.Rodolfo Reyes, Cuban permanent representative to the UN, called the demand fair, which includes recognition by the powers that benefited from slavery such as France, Holland and the United Kingdom, of the atrocities resulting from this scourge, Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The ambassador recalled that the industrialized countries and their consumer societies are responsible for the accelerated environmental destruction, and have been the main beneficiaries of the conquest and colonization, slavery and the extermination of the peoples of the South.
They have also profited from the unjust economic order imposed on humanity (…). That rich and wasteful world has technical and financial resources to repay its debt to humanity, Reyes said in the Assembly that today tracks the theme of the celebration of the bicentenary of the abolition of slave trade.
Reyes added that his country claims the special and differential treatment required by the underdeveloped nations, especially in Africa, in their international economic relations.
Cuba rejects shameful selfishness and opulence (of a few) that serve as guidelines to ongoing globalization, he said.
Reyes announced the support and sponsorship of the island to the draft resolution presented annually by Caricom members and the African Group on the subject, as well as other related initiatives in the UN.
It’s the least that the international community can do to repair the crimes against humanity committed in the trans-Atlantic African slave trade, Reyes said and added that Cubans are proud of their African roots.
Source: Cuban News Agency
Communique issued at the conclusion of the First Regional Conference on Reparations
The Conference was mandated by the historic, unanimous, decision of CARICOM Heads of Government in July, 2013, in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Heads of Government also requested each CARICOM Member State to set up its own National Reparations Committee to document the effects of European genocide against the indigenous inhabitants of the region, the slave trade in and the enslavement of Africans, and the colonization of the country.
The evening began with the unprecedented singing of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ national anthem in both English and Garifuna.
Source: 1804 Caribvoices.org | Read more at: Pan Caribbean Civil Society Reparations Network
Drama at the UN: Caribbean nations sue for reparation
(September 30, 2013) – Here is what Al Jazerra America is reporting :
In a speech Friday at United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said the European nations must pay for their deeds.
“The awful legacy of these crimes against humanity – a legacy which exists today in our Caribbean – ought to be repaired for the developmental benefit of our Caribbean societies and all our peoples,” Gonsalves said. “The European nations must partner in a focused, especial way with us to execute this repairing.”
The lawsuits – which are likely to amount to a lengthy battle – are being brought by The Caribbean Community, or Caricom, a regional organization that focuses mostly on issues such as economic integration. They will be brought to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, based in The Hague in the Netherlands. It is not immediately clear when court proceedings will begin.
On Monday, the Nicaraguan government approved the route for the future canal that will cross the country and unite the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Continue reading
Yuri Paniyev, Russia Beyond the Headlines (May 14) – Moscow and Managua are to cooperate over the next few years on the construction of the so-called Interoceanic Grand Canal, a new alternative to the Panama Canal. Deeper, wider, and longer than its rival in Panama, the new canal will challenge U.S. control over the region, though experts are divided on its geopolitical benefits for Russia.
I had the honour to meet and briefly discuss with Dr Norman Girvan, when he spoke at a most interesting two-day symposium held in October 22009 at St Mary’s University SMU) in Halifax, along with the Cuban, Bolivian and Venezuelan ambassadors and several other invited guests from Latin America. Dr Girvan gave a terrific presentation on ALBA, pointing to a number of forces that have combined to bring about positive change for the majority of people in the region who have been marginalized for centuries. The topic of our own discussion was the actual role that Canada plays in the Caribbean and Latin America, which is nefarious and long-standing. Unlike imperialist academics who come to Canada to lecture, he was most open to our views, experiences and researches. (He visited SMU again in November 2013, speaking at a conference on alternative trade.) That encounter led me to read some of his writing and studies on his website. I share all the positive sentiments expressed by David Abdulah and Isaac Saney about Dr Girvan, his internationalist outlook, life and work, and his enduring legacy. Continue reading
Most of the Caribbean nations have adopted a single plan to solicit from former slaving nations an apology, more aid and damages for 300 years of slavery, which have hobbled their economies and public health
PHilip Sherwell, Daily Telegraph (March 11) – A coalition of Caribbean countries has unveiled its demands for reparations from Britain and other European nations for the enduring legacy of the slave trade.
The leaders of 15 states adopted a wide-ranging plan, including seeking a formal apology from former colonial powers, debt cancellation, greater development aid as well as unspecified financial damages for the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery. Continue reading