The letter noted that although efforts had been made to get Cuba back into the organization, including the passage of a resolution in 2009 that “the participation of the Republic of Cuba in the OAS will be the result of a process of dialogue initiated at the request of the Government of Cuba”, Cuba has made no effort to re-join the organization and has publicly said that it will not do so.
The United States is sponsoring an 18 month project aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to advocate for electoral reform in accordance with regional and international standards.
With the incumbent People's National Movement [PNM] and Progressive Patriotic Democrats [PDP] deadlocked at 6 constituencies each after Monday's Tobago House of Assembly elections the people of the island remain as bystanders watching the politicians decide the direction of the country over the next four years. Tobago Writers Guild member Victor Laptiste in his poem shares his observations of the elections landscape.
Gradually, voter participation has declined to such alarming levels that questions of legitimacy and the right to rule - constitutionally authorized by Westminster first past the post (FPTP) formalization - must become an agenda issue if democracy is not only to be preserved but evolve.
The Time to Start is now! Most importantly though, is the approach to be adopted to fashion a political organisation, culture, and mobilization strategy distinct from the bases upon which the tribal monoliths of the present were formed, and now function.
Does it matter to the democratic process if the electorate go out in large numbers or not? Is governance any different when it is apparently endorsed by landslide victories or through small margins? Is democracy, as it is presented on paper, served according to the vaunted place it holds as a societal ideal? What does the term democracy that is thrown around so freely in the western political process mean? Should we be rethinking the concept and moving towards making government work for us?
NEW buildings, paved roads and community centers — all known activities and actions taken by governments to secure votes for ruling parties — have been the norm for years. But people’s needs are a-plenty and We The People have long come to value more than just concrete structures, as we also have to worry daily about law and order, food security, education, healthcare, employment, as well as preservation of our lands.
In the middle of the alarming daily exponential increases in Covid cases and a virus that needs to be handled with delicacy, Jamaicans will go to the polls defying the laws of mandatory social distancing as per the World Health Organization. Consider this! In what is now probably showing up as ground zero, the parish with the most cases has been put under curfew from 7 PM to 5 AM until September 02...elections are on September 03! Holness gambles with the safety of the nation and the body politic is allowing him to.
Some Jamaicans like the excitement and fervour. They claim that it makes the election contest hot, trendy, topical and vibrant. This approach will no doubt have a special appeal to the youths, but are these youths simply being manipulated by the hype rather than the political reality that Jamaica faces?
We cannot continue on a road that will lead to the destruction of our country. We are still at a point where sanity about race relationships is strong enough in both our communities, where there is enough genuine goodwill and recognition of our co-dependence and common interests for us to arrest what is potentially a very destructive slide. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Power revolution in Trinidad and Tobago we need to revisit its lessons which can teach us the principled path to achieving harmony in diversity in a society which needs it, even more so with the challenges which are just ahead.