Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (CMC) — St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, on Tuesday, praised the position taken by his Barbadian counterpart Mia Mottley as some regional leaders prepare to meet in Jamaica with United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo.

Mottley, speaking at a weekend ceremony to honour the late Barbados prime minister and regionalist, Errol Barrow, said Bridgetown had not agreed to accept the invitation to the talks and warned about efforts to divide the 15-member regional integration movement, CARICOM.

“As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region,” she said.

Gonsalves, speaking at a news conference here, said while the United States had every right to invite whoever it wanted to the talks with Pompeo, who arrives later this evening in Kingston, “I have a strong support for Mia Mottley where she said she couldn’t, as chairman of CARICOM accept an invitation to go where some countries are invited and some are not invited.

“I think that’s the correct position because it would appear as though you are dividing CARICOM. Having said that it is the right of every sovereign country to invite who they want to invite and for those sovereign countries to go,” he said.

Gonsalves recalled that last year, President Donald Trump had invited some regional government leaders to Miami for talks adding that he had no idea as to why Washington had adopted that position regarding the Caribbean.

“All I know is this we are functioning in a straightforward manner within the four walls of the United Nations and we are friends of the United States of America. We have friendly relations, but I reiterate this that there is a section of the political leadership in the United States, which seems to think that if you are not ‘yes’, ‘yes’, ‘yes’ all the time with everything they say or do, somehow …you with us or against us,” Gonsalves said, adding, “well I am not a leader who can accept that”.

Gonsalves told reporters that while SVG and the United States enjoy good friendly relations, the section in Washington bent on dusting off the Monroe Doctrine of the early 19th century “and given new clothing, which will give a right to interfere and intervene wherever they would like in the hemisphere and to weaponise trade and weaponise the banking system.

“St. Vincent and the Grenadines says no to those things. Not because I am your friend that I must be subservient to you because I am small. I am your friend it does not mean that I must be slavish to you because you are powerful.

“I and the government, we accept the tenants of the United Nations, equality of states, respect for sovereignty and independence. Non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of a country save and except if there is a right of self-defence … or any form approved by the Security Council”.

Pompeo, who is visiting several countries in Latin America, said his two-day visit to Kingston will allow to meet with “many Caribbean leaders to discuss how we can all work together to promote our common democratic values and prosperity for all of our people,” adding “I’m looking forward to a fantastic set of meetings”.

Pompeo said he would also participate in a round table with the foreign ministers of Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia.

Another issue on the table will be the current situation in Venezuela as Washington continues to lead the efforts to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office in the South American country in support of the Opposition Leader Juan Guaido..

At their summit in St. Lucia last July, CARICOM leaders agreed to maintain their position of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela and agreed also “that mediation-related activities would be continued to be pursued by the Prime Ministers of St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

Gonsalves said while he was unaware of the reasons why the United States government invites some countries and not others, “what I do know United States of America has a position in support of Guaido as the president of Venezuela and St. Vincent and the Grenadines says no.

“[I] don’t see how Guaido can be imposed as president. I don’t see how United States of America can seize US$25 billion of Venezuela’s money and then take three or four billion out of it and say you sending some humanitarian aid, not through the United Nations system but you politicising humanitarian aid,” Gonsalves said.

He said that the humanitarian aid going to Syria has the backing of the United Nations, adding “we don’t support unilateralism for any entity that believes it can be a hegemon.

“We believe in multilateral consensus and we support international law. We are friends of all and we strive for a better world,” Gonsalves said, adding, “I don’t know because of the Venezuela issue we have this difference, I don’t know if it is because Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines presumptuous enough to say we not supporting [Luis] Almargo to be the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS)”.

The two Caribbean countries have named the Ecuadorian diplomat and former president of the United Nations General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa, as a candidate to oppose Almargo, who is seeking re-election in March.

Apart from Almagro she will also come up against Hugo de Zela, Peru’s Ambassador to the United States.

“CARICOM as a whole has said we are not supporting Almargo,” Gonsalves said, noting that Washington has sent out a document urging support for the incumbent.

“If they supporting Almargo and I ain’t supporting Almargo, we have to have a different candidate,” Gonsalves said, adding that he is very “open and transparent” in my dealing.

“I don’t know if by doing that (inviting some countries) they are looking votes for Almargo but that group is divided because a number of them don’t want Almargo, some of them may want the Peruvian ambassador, but I happen to think that most of the CARICOM countries that I know of support the candidacy of Maria Fernanda Espinosa,” he said.

16 replies on “Gonsalves supports PM Mottley’s rejection of US meeting invitation”

  1. Master's Student says:

    contempt and disrespect for America is not DIPLOMACY. THE HATE IS WAYYY TOO CONSPICUOUS. what have you done to us? SVG established diplomatic relations with the US before 2001 AND BEFORE YOU BECAME PRIME MINISTER. why is there a breakdown in relations? THIS IS TELLING ME …THAT WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL WHO OUR LEADERS ARE!!!! YOU DONT KNOW WHO THEY ARE GOING TO ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH…. AT THE EXPENSE AND DETRIMENT OF INNOCENT CITIZENS!!!! ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOU RATHER BE FRIENDS WITH RUSSIA, IRAN, CUBA AND VENEZUELA??? WE ARE A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM!!!!!! VINCENTIANS ARE NOT AWARE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO US!!!! WE WANT PEACE DR. GONSALVES!!! YOU NEED TO COOPERATE! ARE YOU A TYRANT? MIA MOTTLEY IS NOT ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL! YOU ARE!!! COOPERATE AND DO YOUR WORK!

    1. Vincy in New York says:

      Did you even read the article?

      Barbados and Trinidad decided that if the other caricom members are not invited to the meeting they would decline any invitation.

      That is caricom diplomacy and solidarity on full display.

      1. Master's Student says:

        Our banking system has also collapsed too….what they standing in solidarity for and where is the diplomacy? you are still in mental chains vincy in new york…please enlighten your self and be awakened…

  2. Master's Student says:

    ITS NO WONDER, NO ONE CAN PURSUE LIFE, LIBERTY AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!!!! IT IS BECAUSE OF YOUR FOREIGN POLICIES AND CONTEMPT FOR PURE AND GENUINE DEMOCRACY! YOUR POLICIES, ACTIVITIES AND OPERATIONS GO AGAINST HUMANITY! LOOK AT WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE!!! MY GOD!

  3. I support our Prime Minister in this. I have certain past experience to concur that he is very accurate on practically everything Foreign Policy. He is VERY WELL informed! I am against his economics and a few other things but he is very keen in Foreign Policy and much that relates to it.

    1. With all due respect, from where I stand, I don’t see the benefits of the PM being an expert in talking about foreign policy when it doesn’t benefit a single soul in SVG. What leverage do we have? What is our bargaining position? What do we bring to the table? What is our foreign policy?

  4. The Gonsalves effect:

    Sorry for my fat finger I should have given you this post and not Professor George Ayitteh
    Twice on how “Socialism Destroyed Africa”. However the Pseudo-socialism of Ralph Gonsalves will destroy SVG just as it has done Africa, Cuba and Venezuela and just as it had brought the UK and Sweden to their proverbial knees.

    What Socialism Does to Economic Prosperity in any country large or small like SVG here is the case of Sweden.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4zpKBVwV9c

    Go back to seven years before the death of Fidel Castro on the 25 November 2016 and learn “How Cuba’s Socialist Dream Failed” see how a country falls apart under socialism and see where Ralph Gonsalves is taking us. Keep us dunce with a few freebees.

    They say with age comes wisdom but it did no such thing for Castro nor with Ralph Gonsalves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdUST2KVnyM

    By the way Duke, he who pays the piper calls the tune, while flies can never be elephants, even though they may sadly think that they are elephants. It can only be a delusion on the fly’s part!

  5. There is something to be criticized about every leader. I am critical about many things about the leadership here in SVG but some of you are thinking too extreme sometimes. SVG has not severed any relationship with the USA. Yes, we are sympathetic to Cuba and Venezuela but at the same time we do not make enemies of any country. I could go into detail on many things indicating why MOST of what Gonsalves does in Foreign Policy has kept us from being bombed or sanctioned from the USA and nevertheless keeping ties to and benefiting from “less-liked” nations. Our tie to Taiwan is not economic but a perk the US may want to remain in place, seeing that few countries support Taiwan. That “tie”possibly allowed SVG to get temporary membership to the Security Council without some sort of Veto from the USA. I see much to support from Ralph Gonsalves in the Foreign Policy arena but how are we going to get him to make drastic corrections in his Economics and a few other minor corrections in other areas? Maybe the “mind-benders” can help…LOL!

  6. I think that you are being rather naive DUKE, in assuming that this opportunist pseudo-Marxist is ever likely to change or as you put it “how are we going to get him to make drastic corrections in his Economics and a few other minor corrections in other areas” We are never likely to get him to ever do that.

    Ralph Gonsalves, ever the opportunist, has had going on twenty years now to change his bad ways liking that of Stalin, Castro, Mao, Saddam and that of all the other grubby dictators that have walk this earth, instead he has got worst. He is more reminiscent of the last days of Saddam and Chavez. The question is DUKE is Barbados now becoming part of the Caribbean Axis of evil?

    We the suffering descendants of African Slaves have had enough oppression in our days of shackled slavery to now come to being bullied by a self-appointed grubby dictator hell-bent on kingship. Just listen to him;

    https://www.iwnsvg.com/2020/01/22/ganja-still-illegal-but/

    “I want to advise them, I am keeping an eagle eye on what is happening. And when I am ready, in the appropriate circumstances to act. Ah warning — or a piece of advice to the wise should be sufficient. And I want just to remind them to that I am not afraid of anything or anybody because I am a soldier with experience”

    The departing British had handed to us a plural Democracy, only for this man and his family, to turn the state into an unaccountable dictatorship, aligned to Cuba and Venezuela.

  7. Master's Student says:

    This is 2020 and you have not been awakened…..CSME has not come to fruition, LIAT is walking a thin line, our judicial system a total mess and UWI is still 20 years behind…..solidarity and diplomacy for?

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