Stand up and be counted, regional leaders told
A regional activist has accused some politicians of being afraid to stand up for the Caribbean’s interests.
Guyanese Gerald Perreira of the Georgetown-based Organization of the Victory of the People levelled the charge as he spoke at a ceremony in Payne’s Bay, St. James to mark the 40th anniversary of the downing of Cubana Airlines flight 455 yesterday.
He paid tribute to past regional leaders, including Barbados’ father of independence Errol Barrow, his Trinidadian counterpart Eric Williams, as well as the late Forbes Burnham of Guyana and the late Michael Manley of Jamaica, all of whom he said were instrumental in the regional integration movement.
“Today some political leaders and politicians are telling us that we are victims of historical and geographical circumstances – in other words, we live in the backyard of empire. But as much as that might be a geographical reality, it is time that we free ourselves of what Wade Nobles called this ‘conceptual incarceration’ and say, like the great Caribbean hero Maurice Bishop, ‘in nobody’s backyard’,” Perreira said.
He added that the Caribbean does not have to resign itself to “some form of historical or geographical fatalism as some would have us believe”, but must continue to pursue its goals for the advancement of citizens.
“I honestly believe that our destiny shall be determined by the faith that we have in our principles, the faith that we have in our people, and the faith that we have in Almighty God who is a God of justice and righteousness.
“And as he promised us in the two holy books – the holy Koran and the Bible – the mighty shall be humbled and lay low, and the weak meek should be exalted. It is this that gives us hope to resist,” Perreira said.
His comments also came as family and friends of the victims of the Cubana Airlines bombing vowed to continue to press for justice for their loved ones. (MCW)