Blockade, Remains and Cuba Relations!!!

By Brian Lindsay-Campbell

I was a little bit surprised when the Consultant of the New Today Newspaper, Mr. George Worme said to me: “I thought that Dr. Marryshow was helping you with the articles”.

I smiled, knowing full well that I have come a long way, but also understand that I have a long way to go in that regard as an effective writer.

It is not my wish only but the wish of millions of people worldwide that the current financial and commercial and economic blockade against the Cuban Government and people must be lifted unconditionally in order for ordinary Cubans to have a better life.

The blockade has impacted negatively and severely, especially during the Special Period of the1990s in unimaginable ways, when Cuba lost 80% of its trade overnight and was forced to make changes and tremendous sacrifices in order to survive.

I was not amused or excited to hear Chester Humphrey, President of our Senate, making representation during a GBN Newscast on Tuesday, the 15th of September 2015 to table a resolution in our Parliament and the region in support of the lifting of the inhumane and immoral, financial and economic blockade against the government of Cuba.

Humphrey wanted this resolution to be presented to the US Congress as a matter of solidarity with the Cuban Government and people because we could get more from them when and if the blockade is lifted.

This resolution is not new because the world since 1992, started to vote against the USA and it self-imposed blockage against Cuba which was implemented on February 3rd 1962.

I see that not as solidarity but political expediency by him because the blockade against the Cuban People is more than fifty years old.

Moreover, as the second longest serving Parliamentarian in the history of the state of Grenada, the first time I heard his voice on this subject matter post the Grenada Revolution of March 13th 1979 was in July 1998 when both of us were on MTV representing the people who were in support of the visit of the historical leader and Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Dr. Fidel Castro.

The second time he touched the issue was during the NDC rule of Tillman Thomas in 2008-2013 when he was able to table a resolution condemning the blockage, which was passed in both Houses of Parliament.

Senator, where were you all these years from 1984-1998 on the issue of the blockade as a parliamentarian?

I am just making an observation of your trajectory on the issue, post the demise of the Grenada Revolution of October 19th, 1983 when our Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, Cabinet members and friends were executed in the then Fort Rupert.  As the saying goes it is still better to be late than never.

Cuba’s contribution towards our human resource and infrastructural development will continue whether the US blockage is lifted or not because of their foreign policy and solidarity regardless of which government is in office here in Grenada.

History has shown us in our recent past that the Government of Cuba will continue to share the little that they have with the rest of the world.

As for me I will not table a resolution on the economic and financial blockade on Cuba because we could get more from them when the blockage is lifted. That statement sounded very disgusting to me as a Grenadian.

I will table a resolution on the economic and financial blockade on Cuba because the Cuban people deserves to have a better life as the blockage has impacted negatively and severely on their overall development for more than fifty-two years especially during the special period of the 1990s when Cuba lost 80% of its trade overnight when the USSR and Socialist countries and Socialism collapsed.

I also believe that after forty-two years of independence and without any blockade we should be in a position to give also and not only depending on handouts – that gimme, gimme mentality.

Let me hasten to say that we must find a way to produce our way to prosperity. History will show why we are stuck in our overall development as a people and why we are going through hard economic times today?

When the history of Grenada/Cuba relations are finally written it will show that the MBPM of Kendrick Radix, George Louison and Dr. Terrence Marryshow were the first post-Revolutionaries who were advocates on this subject matter in a very honest and passionate manner.

If there is one bi-partisan agreement that exist between Caribbean Politicians is on the blockade against Cuba because all governments voted against the USA every October since 1992 at the UN General Assembly.

In our case both the NNP and NDC governments voted in favour of lifting the criminal blockage against Cuba on several occasions.

Furthermore, in October 2015 the new governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana followed in the footsteps of their predecessors at the UN General Assembly when they voted to lift the blockade against Cuba, 191to 2 – a record vote at the UN General Assembly.

The people must also know that it was the NDC of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite which re-established diplomatic relations with Havana on March 10th 1992.

And during the annual solidarity meeting with Cuba at the GBSS Auditorium in 2014, the Deputy Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress, Joseph Andall who spoke on behalf of his party, stated in his address that “we recognise that Cuba is part of our civilisation”.

Despite the reaching of a nuclear deal with Iran by the USA and its allies, re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba by the USA,  and the recent visit of the first American President in almost 90 years, Mr. Barrack Obama, there is still one outstanding issue to be resolved.

It is the remains of our former Prime Minister Bishop, his Cabinet colleagues and friends who were massacred on the fort by the RMC thugs.

The remains should be unconditionally returned to their respective families for a proper Christian burial, which is crucial for closure and reconciliation of our people.

I am not hearing any Parliamentarian at home especially the President of our Senate, Chester Humphrey making representation to our Parliament and to parliamentarians in the region in the form of a resolution here at home and the region to the US Congress for this very important exercise to take place.

Comrade, many persons want to see the proper burial of the remains of our former beloved Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop and his Cabinet colleagues.

We must also remember that former Prime Minister Bishop, Unison Whiteman and Norris Bain were parliamentarians before March 13th 1979.

We must always be mindful about our internationalist duties and responsibilities as a people but we must also remember that charity begins at home.

In closing we must take into consideration the words of the Flying Turkey’s “Grenada Belongs to Us”- Bear in mind that no amount of foreign assistance can ever compensate for our Nation’s independence”.

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