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A big let-down

Obama must improve relations with the Caribbean - Comissiong

United States President Barrack Obama should use his visit to Cuba this week as the “springboard” for a more meaningful, respectful and engaging relationship between Washington and the Caribbean, social activist David Comissiong has recommended.

Comissiong is not enamoured of Obama’s policy towards the region, describing it as “a big disappointment”.

However, he has complimented the American leader’s efforts at normalizing relations with Havana and saw this week’s visit as “one of the rare positives” of Obama’s tenure.

He told Barbados TODAY that despite the limited time left in his presidency, America’s first black leader still had time to chart a new path in US/Caribbean relations.

“I would say that generally speaking, Obama’s administration has been a big disappointment to people of African descent and people of the Caribbean and people of the Third World in general . . . . People like me thought when Obama came to power, that he would have used his position to engineer a new type of relationship between the United States of America and the                   Caribbean and Latin America,” Comissiong said.

“He should use this idea of opening up to Cuba as the springboard, even in these last few months of his administration to try to put in place a new relationship, a new policy between the United States and the Caribbean.”

Obama’s visit was the first by a sitting US president since 1928 and was a demonstration of his vision to normalize relations with one of Washington’s most bitter and long-standing enemies.

Barbados’ Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Robert Bobby Morris saw the trip as a sign that normalization of the relationship between the two countries was inevitable.

Morris pointed to the strong interest in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean from American firms, suggesting that reluctant US politicians would be forced to follow the lead of the businesses.

“I am optimistic that in the years coming . . . there would be free intercourse between Cuba [and the United States]. . .  . So these are exciting times for me and I believe for people of my age. All of us are seeing a turnaround that we could not legitimately have expected when we were younger; just as the fall of Russia [the Soviet Union], we never anticipated that. We are seeing the inevitable ebb and flow of history which washes certain things away; and no matter how strong the bulwark seems, the ebb and flow of history can sometimes turn things over,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Morris described Raul Castro as a man of “tremendous” courage, but warned that political and social change would not be “an easy walk over,” in Cuba.(EJ)

6 Responses to A big let-down

  1. Tony Webster March 24, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Sir, there Is one thing that I admire, and respect, about you: the ability to think things through on yourvown, nd tp shart – and to cut- your own path through the actual, and proveril jungle out there. But , like me, we all have our own foibles, ungoverned passions, and bridges just a tad too far.

    Presidnet Obama, is President of the United States. A totemic man, who the whole world – quite unfairly and un-realistically- expected him to solve the whole world’s problems. He is not there , either because he is black, or for any other purpose than to lead America for two four-year terms. He HAS been hobbled by an unconsccienebale congress, then joined later by an equally wuffless senate. (BTW: both elected into such positions of power by the SAME democratic process, that installed Mr. Barack!!)

    However, there be sprats and there be Great White Sharks (ouch!)..and there also be other Dragons across God’s Green Earth, all of which he has had to contend. He most likely, respects the “principle of priorities” in his duties. We in this hemisphere are neither G.W.S., or dragons, and he has had only a little time to feed the sprats. We must recognise, Sir, that we all have our place in the grand scheme of things. Yes, we should aspire to use our abilities intellects to the max, and those of us who have swum in bigger pools, have grown and shone with great light. But let us be realistic, and not lean overmuch on over-weening – and unrealistic ambition.
    And I agree with you , yet again: the fat lady…is yet to sing: we here must trim our sails; tighten the rigging: and prepare for what lies ahead. There be shoals ahead, and someone, somewhere, should be brave enough and tap the captains shoulder where he yet rests, lest he sleep over-long.
    He- or she- is required “on deck” …urgently.

  2. BaJan boy March 24, 2016 at 6:13 am

    @tonywebster you just wasted the space on this blog. You made absolutely no sense. David is absolutely correct as it relates to Mr. Obama’s contribution to the development of third world countries during his tenure. More deportations,more refusal of entry visas,no trade agreements, and the list goes. He isn’t saying we should go begging for anything but Mr. Obama found absolutely no time for these countries. Cuba adds to his legacy so it became priority before he demitted office. Bobby Morris has also said nothing not surprise consistent with the DEMS.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 24, 2016 at 8:57 am

      I like to read your contributions. You do not spare any criticism when you have to rationalize what you consider as the ignorance of others. So spare me a few thoughts to critique, constructively and personally, your expressed criticisms at one blog.

      I chose not to read David Commisiongs assertions because it is all articulated noise in my head. You see, the fight has to be genuine in order for it to be believed and dare say that Commisiong has always presented himself as more an opportunist than one who really wants to take on a real cause.

      Further to this, Mr. Commisiongs contribution to the development of Barbados is nothing to be compared or deserving of a shout of- hooray. He has, indeed, champion a few causes and one who has stood in the gap as the mediator for a few black concerns. However, his battles are chosen carefully and his fights must have a particular reciprocative effect beneficial to his preferred image as he wants to be seen as a champion of the poor and the saviour of the helpless. For me, there is nothing, whatsoever, wrong with that as long as it is sincere, and genuine.

      So, taking your comments into stride, as you critique the contribution of the one you definitely are holding in contempt, where do you get off being so highly abhorrent to President Obama’s tenure. Did it not occur to you and the other critics exercising their constitutional right to be ignorant that President Obama first had to grabble with the colossal failings of the Bush dynasty, the global economic melt-down that subscribe to high inflation and unemployment in the States, the collapse of the real estate market, the devastation of an Iraq war that place significant financial pressure on a weakened US economy, internal turmoil in the US created by the fail policies of the republican elect, and a list of other hideous achievements, inherited, that contributed to a weaken America. Did not President Obama spend the first 6 years of his presidency in the fix it, repair it, strengthen it and reshape it mode? How could you and all other asinine critics be so singular in you thoughts and selfish in your desires, expect that under extenuating circumstances that President Obama inherited, he should remember his blackness and pay some attention to fixing trade agreements and doing a bit more for the Caribbean and Barbados as a whole? The last time I remember, the majority of Caribbean islands switch modes to independent states and said to the world we can manage our affairs without the overseers of colonial rule no more. This is the same Caribbean that are still all busy playing the nice game of keeping it insular as reflected by the failings of the Treaty of Chagaramus and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy. This is the same Caribbean that cannot even agree on a fishing agreement between Barbados and Trinidad, and to whom many restrictions for trade are placed against their Caribbean neighbors? The last time you checked have you notice how poo-pawish Barbados tends to operate? Do you know that because or lack of proper infrastructure and standards Barbados can hardly export anything to the US or to countries in the European Union. Why blame Obama for this and that when we have some home grown problems in the Caribbean that does not provide for the type of lobbying strength we need as a Single Caribbean Economy when each SIDS is busy enjoying their reigns of power? You are hard on the blogger for stating what he stated and castigated Obama for what you and others see has his failures. You are indeed parochial as you are unfair and astigmatic.

      • Olutoye Walrond March 24, 2016 at 8:06 pm

        What are the opportunities Comissiong is after? He is still a practising Lawyer outside of the circle of political power and privilege after all his agitation.

        So he must be doing what he’s doing for other reasons. One thing can be said about him: he is making his presence felt and has the courage of his convictions unlike those who find it convenient to hide under pseudonyms.

  3. jrsmith March 24, 2016 at 6:30 am

    People who thought because the president of the USA is a black man, that things would change for blacks in the said USA and in our region seems not to realize ,blacks played no part in electing Obama, he was chosen elected by the establishment as a stop gap to take the heat of the mess the US economy was in, and to safe guard the establishment politicians both Democrats and Republicans, but part of the plans backfired ..

    As for our region and American presidents, we have nothing to offer , we have nothing of an establishment , to impress anyone we are still playing corn beef and biscuits politics, in the region we have no one who seems to even want to try and do anything for ourselves, we are so educated but what, people with CV using the media as they soap box to think they are so educated , trying to teach us how to count to 5 ,when we supposed to be able to count to a 100..

    The politicians haven’t failed us , we the people of Barbados have failed ourselves loosing our culture , loosing our heritage expecting the politicians to do for us when we are not doing or would not do for ourselves..We are seeing decades things getting worst and just sit back and watch it happening.. what we see church after church is being built , no consideration for businesses , every time some one claims to be reborn the first thing comes out ,God tell me to build a church,

    Is it that God only think bajans are not capable of anything else but building churches, look who owns our Barbados a minority of people who don’t even take part in our politics, our Barbados is there for the taking but not by bajans , we have become a guinea pig island open to any abuse by the Corporates who have Barbados in they sights…the Corporates come and go as they please. See how bajans are treated even by our Government…

    • Donild Trimp March 24, 2016 at 11:37 am

      jrsmith you are so right. I could not have said it any better myself.


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