David Comissiong - Caribbean First Peace Conference
I want, to begin by, speaking. About. The. Fundamental. Paradox. Of. The. Caribbean. There's something, very. Paradoxical. About. Our. Caribbean. Region. On. The one hand. Our. Region. Was. Founded, in. The most. Extreme. Forms. Of, violence. Warfare. Genocide. Criminality. Terrorism. We. Go back to. The. End. Of the 15th century, in. A. Couple days time we will be, marking. The 12th, of October. The. Day on which, Columbus. Stumbled. Into the, Caribbean, in. 1492. And. Immediately. Began, engineering. A process. Of genocide. Genocide. Of. The, indigenous. People. And. That. Was only a prelude. To, the. Centuries, of. Enslavement. Of, the. People. Of Africa. It. Was, terrorism. Terrorism. Against, the. Indigenous. People, terrorism. Against the African, people, but. It was also, incessant. Warfare. The. Caribbean, was known as the. Cockpit, of Europe. It. Was. In the Caribbean that European. Nations, for. Their Wars in fact. There. Was a phrase a well-known. Phrase in, the, 16th, century a. Phrase. That said, no peace. Beyond. The. Line and, in. Fact. The. European, nations, actually enshrined. In, the. Treaty of Catawba embracing a. Treaty. That was entered into between in in. 1559. Between. France and Spain. In. Which, they said and I quote and, they. Are talking about the Caribbean. West. Of the, Prime Meridian, and. South. Of the, Tropic of Cancer. Violence. By, either party. To the other. Side. Shall, not be regarded as, a, contravention. Of the, treaties so, in other words, even. When they came together in Europe, to. Negotiate, peace in Europe, they said. Don't. Mind we have negotiated. His peace treaties, for Europe that is only for Europe in the. Caribbean, we are at liberty to commit. Whatever. Violence we like and it. Will not be considered a breach. Of the treaty so the Caribbean. Was. The scene for. European. Warfare. And they fought, Spain. England France. Holland. Denmark. The. German, state of Brandenburg pressure, Sweden, they, fought each other over. These, Caribbean. Territories. In. Fact, in. The. 18th. Century. The. Anglo-french. Wars, were largely fought the wars between. Britain. And France were largely fought in. The Caribbean, so, this. Has been the face of the Caribbean, the Wars, of, the European, powers against, the kalanoro people. The. Institutional. Violence of, slavery, and the oppression, of our people. Forcing. Our people, to. Resist, with. Slave rebellions. The. Century. And more of, American. Imperialism, in the Caribbean, the invasions, of. Cuba. Of. Puerto. Rico, of Haiti. Of. Panama. Of the Dominican, Republic, if. We look at the whole history, it. Is, a history of everything. Except, peace a. History. Of war and. Terrorism. But. You know what is paradoxical. In, the. Midst of all of that, violence. That organized. Violence. And mayhem. The. Nations. Of, the Caribbean. The. Independent. Nations, of the Caribbean have. Never, fought. A war against. Each, other, all. Of the wars all. Of. The wars were, impositions. From. European, and North American powers. Jamaica. Never fought a war against Trinidad and Tobago. Barbatus. Never fought a war against, Guyana, or said, Lucia Cuba. Has never attacked any. Caribbean. Nation. We. Have never fought. Engaged. In warfare, in. A. Region, that is. A. Caribbean. Region that is synonymous with, warfare. And violence the. Autonomous. People of the Caribbean, have never, carried. Out warfare. Against. Each other and so. I. Say. That there, is something special. About the Caribbean people I, make. The, claim that because. Of our, peculiar. History. The. Oppression, that was inflicted upon us the. Fact that our whole history is about resist. Exploitation. Terrorism. Oppression. Trying, to resist, it and transcend, it that. We. Caribbean. People have. A very, special. Vocation. In this. World to. Speak for. Peace, to. Speak for. Moral. Principles. And I address, this in a. Book that I wrote, a couple years ago called reasonings, with the youth and, this. Is what I said in a chapter called. The Emperor, is naked, I. Said. Somebody. Some. Small, and, morally. Clear-sighted. Nation. Has. To, tell the, Emperor, that. He is naked and, that. His actions, are a perversion, and a. Repudiation, of, international. Law and of. The sacred, principles. Of justice and, morality. And, so. Acting. On behalf of and, in the name of the, people of Barbados. We say, let. Little barbarous. Accept, this challenge of, speaking. Truth to the. Powerful, pompous. Setting. Morally. Deluded. United. States of, America. You. See the, citizen, of Barbados is, the. Citizen, of a country whose. Government has. Never, invaded. Any other. Country. Never. Bombed any, foreign. City. Never. Carried, out any, political. Assassination. Nor. Ever committed, any.
Other, Crime, against. Humanity. Many. Of us in Barbados, often, wonder, what, it must feel like to be, the citizen, of a, country, whose. Government routinely. Murders. And. Exterminates. Other, human, beings, in one's. Name. What. We. Wonder, does. It feel like to, be the citizen, of an nation that. Exterminated. Three million. Vietnamese. That. Dropped two atomic bombs, on, Hiroshima. And, Nagasaki. That. Wiped out hundreds, of thousands, of Iraqis. That has. Carried out scores, of illegal, foreign. Invasions. And that. Has assassinated. Foreign, leaders, ranging. From Africa's, Patrice, Lumumba. It's, a Latin America's, Salvador. Allende. How. Is the average American. Citizen able, to live with, the consciousness, that such, acts of barbarity. Are routinely. Committed, in his. Or her name. End, of end. Of court, and. I. Used barbarous, but I could just as easily have said Jamaica. Or. Cuba, or. Trinidad, and Tobago or, Guyana or. Any of the other Caribbean. Nations. Whose. Records, are the same. The. Caribbean. Because. Of our peculiar. History. Must. Be. A zone. Of peace, it must be our aspiration. To. Be a beacon, of, peace in this. World and. That. Concept. We. Have to give credit, we. Have to give credit to the. Caribbean, leader who most. Articulated. That concept, when that Caribbean leader was, none other than the, late Maurice, Bishop of, Grenada. It was Maurice Bishop, who. Most. Insisted. That the, Caribbean, must. Be a zone. Of peace, and. Although. Maurice. Launched. The idea I, think. It is true to say that, the. Idea has. Suffered, from, not being. Concretize. Not. Given, it has, remained for too long and abstraction. But. In. January. Of, 2014. At. The. Summit, of the, community, of Latin. American. And Caribbean, states. That. Was held in Havana, Cuba. 28th. And 29th, of January, 2014. The. Leaders, of. Scylla, our, community, of Latin America, and the Caribbean. Issued. A very important. Declaration, the Havana, declaration. That. Began. To. Give. Concrete. Meaning. To that phrase. Zone. Of peace, and, I. Want to just bring to your attention. Some. Of the principles. And goals that, our. Celac, leaders. Have. Set, before us, they have said to us that. We must create. A, zone. Of peace in the Caribbean, and in order to do so, these.
Are The principles, and goals that we must pursue, number one. Respect. And uphold. The. Inalienable. Right. Of every. State to, choose its, own, political. Economic. Social, and cultural, system. In other words. Respect. The right of. Self-determination. And. This. Right. Of self-determination, is. At, the heart of. The. Illegal. Campaign. That, the United. States of America, is now. Waging, against Venezuela and has. Been waging against. Cuba for. Some. 60, years now. As part. Of our concept, of a zone of peace we insist. That. Every. Sovereign nation, has the right, to. Determine for, itself in. Consonants. With the wishes of its own people what. Type of political economic. Social. Cultural. System, it intends, to pursue. So. If Venezuela, says that, its system, is 21st. Century. Socialism. Who. Is. Donald. Trump or, other. Members of the u.s. establishment. To say to Venezuela, that you are wrong and, if. We have to destroy. Your country or invade. You we. Are. Determined. That you must abandon, the. System, that you have determined, is, correct. For you, so. We. Have to stand for that principle our leaders have also told us, that. There must be a commitment. Not. To intervene in, the, internal, affairs of. Other. Countries and. Men. Some of us have been fighting that battle over, the last two years. With. The in the Organization. Of American States. No. Intervention. In, the, legitimate, internal, affairs, of, the. Countries, of the Caribbean. Thirdly. The, Havana declaration. Says, that. We must be committed to resolve, disputes peacefully. Through. Dialogue and. Negotiation. Or other. Forms, of peaceful. Settlement, established. In. International. Law. Number. For our, Havana. Declaration. Commits, us to the. Principle, of global. Nuclear. Disarmament. And. Specifically. We are committed, to uphold, the, 1967. Litella. Teleco. Treaty, which, established. Our, region of Latin, America, and the Caribbean, as, a, nuclear-free. Zone. And. You. Know as Hope. Indicated. And. Our brother from Guyana, has indicated, we hadn't yet the world is now in an, era of nuclear, threat, but. Mr. Trump threatening. To totally. Destroy. North, Korea. Threatening. That. The. World is will see fire, and fury, in North. Korea, on a scale, never, seen before, in world, history. We. The. People of the Caribbean we, who have no aspiration. To. Develop. Our own nuclear. Weapons, we. Must stand for. A nuclear-free. World. We, must insist, on, nuclear. Disarmament. And we, must target the, country, that. Is Klaw the nuclear, power that is closest, to us and that. Has by far the biggest. Nuclear. Arsenal. In the world the, United States of America, it is really amazing that. The. United States of America, arrogant. State serve the right. To. Have to possess, nuclear, weapons. To. Determine. Which. Other countries are. It may possess as well and which other countries may, not possess and, yet, the United States of America, is the only country, in, the world that. Has ever used nuclear. Or atomic, weapons, on other, human beings in. 1945. When they bombed, Hiroshima. And, and, Nagasaki.
So We. Are saying that. We. The. People of the Caribbean we, must be in the vanguard of. Demanding. Clear free, world of demanding. Universal. Disarmament. And we must send a very clear message, to the USA, you, are right on our borders, with the largest. Most. Menacing, nuclear. Armament, right on our borders, and we, consider, that unacceptable. Number. Five our. Leaders, has said have said that. There must be a commitment. To, pursue, peace. By. Undertaking. Agricultural. Development. In our region and. Striving. For and. Achieving. Food, security, of. The. Caribbean, so. Zone. Of peace. Well. We focus on. Those. Heavy matters, of. Warfare. And. Nuclear. Warfare, but. We also understand. Peace. As, extending. To, putting. Social. Systems. In place, to. Secure the. Health and well-being. Of, our. People we. Understand, that just, as violence, just. As the, violence, that comes from the barrel of a gun. Damages. Human, beings, that. The violence, that comes from, poverty, the. Violence, that comes from lack of education. The. Violence, that comes from lack of nutrition. Also. Damages. Human. Beings and, so. They have. Conceptualized. The, pursuit of peace as also the pursuit, of the. Nutrition. And the. Food, security, of our people, they. Also commit. To pursue peace by. Striving, for, and achieving, the, literacy, and education. Of the Caribbean, people they, have committed, to pursue peace by. Striving, for the achievement, of universal. Public. Health services. To the Caribbean, people. And as. I said that's a legitimate. Conceptualization. Of peace. How. Do we, protect. Our people from. The. Damage. That. Is wrought, to their lives. By. The lack of health. Care facilities, for example and finally. They said that. We must commit, to the promotion, of, a. Culture of peace in, the Caribbean. Based. On the principles, of the United Nations, Declaration. On a culture. Of peace, and I, would like us I would like to end on that note of the promotion. Of a, culture of, peace. Because. That. Is the concept, that we have to further flesh, out now. What. Does, it mean to promote a culture of peace I think, if, we're talking about the Caribbean, the. Logical, place to start, in. Envisaging. What. A culture of peace means, the. Logical, place to start is to recognize. And acknowledge. Those. Genocides. That. Are at the very, foundation. Of, Caribbean. History. It. Is, critical, we can't talk about fostering. A culture of peace if we do not recognize and, acknowledge the. Genocide, committed against, the. Indigenous, native. People of the Caribbean if we, do not acknowledge and. Recognize, the. Centuries. Of genocide, committed against the, enslaved, African. People, and if we do, not demand, reparations. So. Reparations. So and. Knowledge. Meant of those genocides. And. The. Building. Of a campaign, for, reparations. Is critical. To, any. Culture. Of peace, that makes sense in the Caribbean, for by doing so by. Insisting. Upon reparations. We send a message, there. Will be no, impunity. For. Those who commit crimes against, humanity. You. You commit, those crimes you. You, committed, genocide in. The. 15th. Century against. The native, people of the Caribbean you thought. You. Had gotten away with it that, you are not going to be called to account well. 500 years, later we, are said there. Is no impunity. You. Are being called to the bar of justice, you. Are being called to account, for those crimes, even. If they were committed. 500 years ago that's, the importance, of the reparations, movement it sends. A message there. Is no, impunity. For criminality. It also sends, a message that, we.
Validate, The. Intrinsic. And precious, humanity. Of. Our. Native. American ancestors. And of, our African, ancestors, because if we. Permit, those kinds, of horrendous. Crimes. To be committed, against, our ancestors. And we do. Not demand accountability. And, justice it. Means that, we are saying to the world that, we accept, that, our ancestors were, less than sacred. Beings. Entitled. To, respect, and justice. And so. The. Fostering, our leaders, have said to us that we must promote a culture of peace and we say it has to start without, knowledge, in those. Genocides, and. Pursuing. A program, of reparations. Fostering. A culture of peace. All. Of our Caribbean countries, we. Have to ask ourselves the. Value system, that we are pursuing now is that. Value system, consonant. With. A culture of peace, we. Were warned, our. Great. Caribbean. Scholar and historian Gordon. Lewis professor. Gordon Lewis, warned. The Caribbean, back, in the 1960s. When he wrote that book the growth of the modern West Indies he said look. You. Are now embarking. Upon. Independence. You. Have a very. Important. Decision to, make, already. And. Meshed. In your. Colonial. Culture. Social. Deformities. That that. Were created, by colonialism. That. That lend, themselves towards. Social. Inequality. That lend themselves towards. Attitudes. Of violence, and so forth, the. Newly, independent countries. Of the Caribbean, have a choice to make. Do. You, choose. To. Place yourself, under the, sway of the. Cultural. And material. Imperialism. Of capitalist, North America, or do, you seek another, part another, path and he, said be careful about the choice you make because. Have, a look at Porto Rico. Porto. Rico, was. The Caribbean, country. That. Was placed. Under. The sway of. American. Cultural, and material, imperialism. From. Way back at the, beginning of the 20th century he said looked at Porto Rico look at what has been the face of Porto Rico look, at the crime. Look. At the violence. Look. At the incest. Look. At the drug addiction. Look. At the social, disarray. In the society, he. Said to us be careful. Porto. Rico is an example of, where. You will end up if you. Adopt, that, value. System. Unfortunately. Many. Of our leaders did not heed the wise words of. Professor. Gordon. Lewis and today. In the Caribbean, we are all be, mourning. The. Gun culture. The. Violent, crimes the young people shooting each other. The. Lack of human, empathy. The. Increasing. Social. Inequality. A system, of social winners. And losers. The trivializing. Of human, life, so. I'm saying our, leaders, have, said to us to. Foster, a culture of peace it means we. Have to seriously rethink. Our. Predominant. Value, system, we have to seriously rethink the. Values that we are imparting to our young people through, all the, movies. That we watch. The. Social, media. The. Television programs. The. The, models, of success that we are holding up before, them. Culture. Of peace and. So. In, in. In thinking, of the Caribbean as a zone of peace those are issues that we have to, grapple with we have to say to the carrot we have to say all, foreign, military bases out of the Caribbean, that's a given we, have to say with.
Our Brother from Martinique, that. A. Zone. Of peace. Cannot. Accommodate. European. Colonies. If, the Caribbean, is of a zone of peace it must be a colonial. Free, zone. Because. Intrinsic. To colonialism, is. Exploitation. Is. Domination. Cultural. Domination. Psychological. Domination. Anything. But peace so. We as part, of our campaign for, a zone of peace in the Caribbean, we, have to support, the, anti-colonial. Struggles. Of our brothers and Martinique, Guadeloupe, French. Guiana, and wherever there. Are colonies, in the. Caribbean. And. I. Want. To end. By. Bringing. To your attention. That. Our. Blade, brother Tim Hector. Addressing. The South. Paulo forum. I, think in the year 2001. He. Made a call. That. The Caribbean, be declared, a zone. Of peace. By. Vote of the. United Nations Security, Council and. United. Nations, General, Assembly. In. Other words what time Hector was saying is that. Because. Of the peculiar. Experience, of the Caribbean, because of the need for, the. Caribbean, region to, be held up before the world as. A. Unique. Zone. Of peace, that. That, should be validated. At, the. Highest levels, of international. Law and. Diplomacy. That. We, should actually call, upon. The. United Nations, Security Council and. The General, Assembly. Of United, Nation by resolution. To. Affirm, to declare, and affirm the. Caribbean, as a. Zone of peace of course if that is done, it. Means that well if your zone of peace a. Foreign. Power like, the United States for example but, there are other foreign powers as well are. Not entitled to use the territory, of the Caribbean. To. Be attacking. Sister. Countries, and. This. Is something that we at barberis have to take seriously. We have a, massive. American Embassy, there, in. Wildung. Massive. And. We have to ask ourselves what. Actually, goes on, within. The precincts, of that, fortress. Like. Embassy is. That. Fortress, like structure. Simply, for. Processing. Visa applications. Might. It be that. The. Territory, of barbara's is, being. Used as, a location. For. Intelligence. Gathering and. Other. Military, and intelligence, activities. That. Are detrimental, to. Sister. Caribbean, nations like. The. Bolivarian. Republic, of. Venezuela. Or like. The. Republic, of Cuba and, what, about that facility, at the, district. A police. Complex. That. You can that. Is that is so shrouded, in mystery. And security. The barbarian, people we need to start asking these.
Questions Is. Our. Sovereign. Independent. Nation. Being. Used. Being. Used from. Military, and intelligence activities. That. Are detrimental to, sister. Caribbean. Countries, of course if the, Caribbean, is designated. As zone of peace it means that. Those kinds, of activities are. Totally. Off-limits. We. Have to ask. Our. Our. News. Media. Being. Used as a, conduit, of. Propaganda. For. Aggressive, Wars and attacks illegal. Attacks against. Sovereign nations, such. As Venezuela and, Cuba. These are serious questions if, we're talking about a zone, of peace and wien, barbarous, especially. Perhaps. Of all the Caribbean, people because, we, have seen first, land. The. Damage, and Evo. Of. Terrorism. Went in on the 6th of October. 41. Years, to. This very, day the 6th, of October. 1976. They. Bombed. Villian Cubana, Earline. In. The. Airspace, of Barbados. Killing, all, 76. People. On board, and we have. Launched. A campaign to, have the 6th of October, declared, by, the United Nations the International Day. Against. Terrorism, that too is a part of a component, of a. Campaign, to establish the. Caribbean, as. A. Zone, of peace, and this afternoon when, we finish this, conference, here, we. Are going to be going to the. Monument, and panes veil and. Everybody's. Invited, we're. Going to make our way to pierce Bay at. 4:30. To. Lay. Wreaths to, pay respect, to, all those who perished as. Martyrs. In. 1976. And we, must make, we. Must make the tragedy, that. Engulfed. Them, we. Must make it meaningful. In. Terms of our. Effort. To establish, the. Caribbean, as a. Zone of peace our, effort. To. Transform. The, Caribbean. Into. Great. Advocates. For, peace all over this, world so. Brothers. And sisters. Essentially. That. Is what this conference, is, all, about, it. Is about us, coming. Together putting. Our heads together, to. Give concrete, shape. And meaning. To. This aspiration. That. The Caribbean, be ours, own a piece and then. To go beyond that to. Concretize. A. Pan. Caribbean. Peace, movement. Whose. Job it will be to make. That aspiration. A reality. I thank you very much.