The United Workers Party (UWP) notes that to date neither the prime minister nor minister with responsibility for external affairs has seen the need to explain to the citizens of Saint Lucia their rationale for joining ALBA and to facilitate open dialogue on such a critical matter.
In light of the fact that there was no public consultation with key stakeholders, such as the private sector and civil society, and nor was ALBA debated in Saint Lucia’s House of Parliament before the government of Saint Lucia took that major foreign policy shift, we call on minister of finance and the minster responsible for foreign relations to explain to the people of Saint Lucia their justification for joining ALBA.
This is of particular concern given the rising tensions between the USA and ALBA member states, prompting recent heightened security measures by the USA, evidenced by its recent denial to an aircraft carrying Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to use its airspace over Puerto Rico.
Has the government of Saint Lucia adequately assessed the implications of our membership in ALBA? Has the government thoroughly thought this through and how this will affect our relations with existing friends and allies in the international community such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom?
Saint Lucia’s voting pattern in the United Nations demonstrate that Saint Lucia is voting along with ALBA countries and not with the USA as had obtained previously.
Does the government of Saint Lucia clearly understand the ramifications of a distinct change in its voting pattern in the UN and foreign policy posture? This is especially poignant as we observe increased tensions between the USA and Syria (an Observer Member of ALBA). Of even greater concern is the call by ALBA member Bolivian President Evo Morales to CELAC member states (of which Saint Lucia is a member) to follow with reprisal measures by: “withdrawing their ambassadors to the US” and “boycott the next meeting of the UN”.
The government of Saint Lucia owes it to the citizens of this land to show transparency and accountability and to provide reasoned explanations for assuming a major foreign policy shift, without going through the proper channels for so doing. This raises a huge red flag and MUST be attended to by the government of Saint Lucia with due urgency.
The government of Saint Lucia must bring some comfort to our citizens who remain concerned about our un-explained alliance with a bloc of nations which at this time do not share a common philosophy and whose political ethos is at odds with ours on important matters of politics, security, economics and human rights.