Editorial

Region Must Be Assertive

DESPITE North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un boldly showing his delight in ruffling U.S. President Donald Trump’s feathers, it seems the latter is better prepared to invade Venezuela, a country that has decided to set the legal processes in motion to assure its future development.

Notwithstanding even Venezuela’s neighbours having misgivings about its recent successful vote for setting up a 545-member National Constituent Assembly to rewrite the country’s Constitution, some are equally opposed to the U.S.’s response of additional economic sanctions and hinted-at military intervention.

With the growing list of domestic issues the U.S. is now grappling with, many posit that Trump would serve his country best if he toned down on his utterances, some of which are being interpreted as irrational, others as threats. In Kim’s mind, Trump seems to represent a leader – as he also is – willing to do just about anything to assert his and his country’s dominance. And so the battle of wills is being played out daily.

Unfortunately for Venezuela, it just so happens that the South American nation is having way more hiccups than it can handle. Viewed as a lesser military power than North Korea, Venezuela seems a prime target the U.S. can use to vicariously send a strong message to North Korea. Not that North Korea is particularly intimidated by the U.S., anyway.

As these war games play out in the minds of Trump and Kim, the Caribbean and Latin America need to make a more emphatic statement as to their stance on the U.S. response to the Venezuela situation. The region must also demand a sit-down with Trump himself to air their views on the matter.

After all, if former President Barack Obama was bold enough to see pass a five-decade-old economic blockade and dialogue with his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, Trump should be able to grant a sit-down to Caribbean leaders with whom he has no quarrels, right?

If the Caribbean truly needs to assert itself that it does play a major role on the international scene, then it must demonstrate that not only should it bask in its peaceful environment but that it can spread the message of peace to prevent war here and elsewhere. It is time the Caribbean proves that it can be dominant in global matters.

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