The 2020 US elections and the Caribbean
By A.T. Freeman
Following the November 3 presidential elections in the USA, a number of Caribbean political leaders and public figures have sent congratulatory messages to the Democratic Party candidates, Joe Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris on their predicted election victory. Although such messages are seen as a normal part of diplomatic protocol, the content of these messages severely distorts the relationship between the government of the USA and the Caribbean and invites greater US interference in the region.
In his congratulatory message, Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, declared: “Given the close familial ties of both our countries and our joint economic and security connections, we look forward to the strengthening of those bonds in the months and years ahead”. In this way, Dr Rowley calls for a strengthening of the unequal and exploitative economic relationships between the USA and the Caribbean and encourages more US military intervention in our region which is supposed to be a zone of peace.
History of military aggression
The USA has a sordid history of military aggression against countries in our region, stretching as far back as the military occupation of Haiti in 1915 and including the invasions of the Dominican Republic in 1916, of Cuba in 1961, of Grenada in 1983 and the current regime change operations against the people and government of Venezuela. There is no justification for any Caribbean political leader to promote the continuation of such military aggression against the states in the region.
Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, asserted that the people of the world were inspired by the election of Biden and his running mate. But what is there to be inspired about in one faction of the US ruling elite coming out on top in its power struggle with another faction? Neither faction stands for the rights and well-being of the people of the USA, let alone the people of the Caribbean.
Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, speaking on behalf of CARICOM, proclaimed: “The President-elect has been a friend to CARICOM and the Community looks forward to working with the new administration of the United States, in pursuing our common goal of advancing the wellbeing of our people. It is a country with which the Community is inextricably linked through geography, shared values, familial ties, and economic and security relations”.
The fact is that Joe Biden is not a friend of CARICOM and its people and neither is his vice president Kamala Harris. They are both hardened political representatives of the US financial oligarchy, which persistently seeks global hegemony and domination at the expense of the well-being of the people of the world, including those in the Caribbean and in the USA itself. The people of the Caribbean share no common values with such an imperialist project.
Not to be left out, Professor Hillary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies stated that: “The Biden victory, the Democratic Party victory, is also a Caribbean victory” because, he claimed, it represented the spirit of “progressive democracy” infiltrating the Democratic Party. This is disinformation pure and simple. What the recent election actually shows is that the entire system of governance in the USA, which is based on the rule of the financial oligarchy hiding behind a fig leaf of democracy, is in deep crisis and that even elections can no longer play their historical role of sorting out the differences between the various factions in the ruling elite.
It is dangerous for the people of the Caribbean to harbour any illusions about the nature of the incoming administration in the USA. Like all other US governments, it will pursue the interests of the US oligarchy. The people of the Caribbean need to press on with our struggle to strengthen our independence, protect our region as a zone of peace and bring about a situation in which our people are empowered and their fundamental human rights are properly guaranteed.