Our Readers' Opinions
February 4, 2005
NDP position on Cuba backward

Editor: Last week, following the successful visit to Cuba by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the NDP unleashed a vicious, childlike attack. The position of the NDP as gleaned from the article on the PM’s visit to Cuba can only be described as retrogressive and silly.

The party questions a meeting between the Prime Minister and a leader of the young communist league, “Clearly we can see his interest in the young communist league was that of an understudy nature, presumably to transfer such ideology to the youth of SVG.” {{more}} It’s as if the NDP really doesn’t understand that the young communist league is simply the youth arm of the Communist Party of Cuba, which is lead by Fidel Castro and which governs Cuba. There is absolutely nothing mysterious about any visiting Head of State meeting with leaders of the various organs of the governing party, since they are part of the governing machinery.

While trying to bring cheap politics into the very fruitful relationship between SVG and Cuba, the NDP exposed its hatred for the government and people of that country. The article stated, “The remnants of the MNU are really making the quantum leap to prove to the SVGLP and the people of this country that communism, even if in limited terms, has to emerge under Papa.”

The NDP ignorance and deceit continued with this even more revolting statement “the hallmarks are there for all to see and we have to be very vigilant in our quest to keep persons with communistic tendencies away from the helm of this country.”

How can the NDP spin a mere official visit to a sister Caribbean country into an attempt to transfer their system of governance to our country? Maybe the leader of the NDP can explain why in July of 1997, after the return of the NDP leader Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, from an official visit to Cuba with an 18 member delegation, The Vincentian Newspaper reported that Sir James had invited Cuban President Fidel Castro to visit SVG. Was the NDP then trying to bring Castro here to indoctrinate the people into the communist system?

And what about all of the students who have studied or are studying in Cuba? It will be logical to assume from the illogical positions of the NDP, that they should all be brainwashed and ready to launch their own communist party in SVG. And maybe the Cuban professionals, who have been selflessly helping us, have all been conducting underground sessions here in communism. Utter rubbish coming from a party which governed this country for 17 years and should know better.


Has the NDP leadership forgotten that it was on our very own soil in Canouan, at the Caricom heads meeting in July 2000, with Arnhim Eustace as the Minister of Finance, Sir James Mitchell Prime Minister and Chairman of Caricom, signed an economic and trade agreement between Caricom and Cuba, to allow for the promotion and expansion of trade.

Is the leadership of the NDP aware that in 2002, the Heads of Government of Caricom countries and Cuba designated December 8, annually as ‘Caricom-Cuba day? This was done to celebrate the anniversary of the historic establishment of diplomatic relations back in 1972, between Cuba and the four independent states: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Over the years Cuba has done much to help us in Caricom. Here in SVG hundreds of our young people have benefited from scholarships and have come back to help develop the country. Cuba has provided nurses, doctors, architects and surveyors to assist us where we have shortage. Yet with all this interaction there has been no effort on their part to indoctrinate anyone. So what is the NDP talking about? Are we to be so ungrateful?

Thirty years ago, four Caribbean leaders: Errol Barrow, Forbes Burnham, Michael Manley and Eric Williams took a bold and visionary step to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, which the super power USA considered a pariah. Many commentators have since recognized that the move, in 1972, by those heads, showed the political independence, unity of purpose and courage which they possessed. The Cuban President himself has commented that “it was an historic breakthrough which encouraged the reinsertion of the republic of Cuba into hemispheric relations and constituted an affirmation that Cuba is an integral part of the Caribbean family.”

Today we hail the foresight and initiative of those leaders and we see our own Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves continuing the work of deepening the integration of our region, while Arnhim Eustace and the NDP publish backward and infantile positions in the newspapers and on the radio.

Glenn I. Jackson