Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales Letter to HoGs Leaked

It is not often ordinary citizens get the opportunity to read communication meant for the eyes of the Heads of Government (HoGs). BU was able to secure a letter authored by Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales urging his colleagues to unite around the table at the Organization of American States (OAS) on the issue of Venezuela. Subsequent events at the OAS have revealed that several of the HoGs did not heed the request from Prime Minister Gonzales.

Can a Caricom divided itself stand?

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50 Comments on “Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales Letter to HoGs Leaked”

  1. George C. Brathwaite May 15, 2017 at 8:50 PM #

    PM Gonsalves is not the only leader in the region to realise the divide and achieve tactic. Unfortunately, his sage advice falls on deaf ears if at least information emerging from at least three other sources are correct. I wonder what are the implications going forward for a divided CARICOM.

    Like

  2. Pachamama May 15, 2017 at 10:12 PM #

    We will posit that the demise of the USSR was maybe the worst recent event for the peoples of the Caribbean, poor countries, small states.

    For reasons that must include the presence of the global ideological fight which gave small island states a semblance of flexibility.

    We are well aware that the people here on BU who like to denigrate communism and promote capitalism hold some narrow views about communism or socialism.

    In their ignorance they will ignore the contributions Communism or socialism have informed capitalism.

    This might not even make sense to them.

    However, with America’s quest to be the sole superpower failing miserably – largely by imperial overreach and the failure of its internal logic – these exclusive lovers of capitalism, in their monumental ignorance, fail to see that the USA itself is currently collapsing just like the USSR.

    Imperial failures don’t often happen at one event. However, we have been witnessing many deep tremor across all spheres. Currently, we have several political failures which could continue for at least 4 more years.

    Indeed, some scholars have argued that there was a symbiotic relationship between the USA and the USSR which encouraged global balance and that was integral to mutual coexistence.

    In the scenario of a single hyper-power that framework was thrown out.

    As a result all small island states, weak countries, have become lambs just waiting for the butcher to make mutton of us.

    Dr. Gonzales is no paragon of virtue and he may indeed have an interest in defending the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. And all of us should. In this he merits our wholehearted support.

    Like

  3. Ping Pong May 16, 2017 at 2:10 AM #

    Et tu Ralph? But then again, he is as legitimately the popularly elected head of Government as Trump! All the sophistry from those suffering delusions and fantasies of being revolutionaries like Guevara will NOT feed the hungry Venezuelans, nor save the Venezuelan mothers dying in childbirth nor their malnourished babies. The people of Venezuela in a free and democratically held election administered by the Maduro Government elected members of the National Assembly. Now Maduro seeks to abolish that National Assembly because it will not do his bidding.

    Like

  4. David May 16, 2017 at 5:24 AM #

    @Ping Pong

    In many ways what Maduro is trying to do is reminiscent of the political class in Barbados frustrating the workings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

    Like

  5. angela Skeete May 16, 2017 at 6:40 AM #

    Not surprising that Gonsalves would be the first to stick his neck out among the Caricom members as the rallying force for the support of a dictatorship , As i remember Comissiong in one of his political speeches supporting Gonsalves stating that Gosalves is one of such leaders akin to Chavez , Gonsalves might now in all fairness and clarity have to return a favor to Commissiong that is durable and long overdue ,Many people underestimate the influence of Commisiong words and those with whom he attaches himself this might just be a moment and time when his words matter and have influence in helping to push his communist agenda forward

    Like

  6. David Comissiong May 16, 2017 at 7:24 AM #

    Venezuela’s National Assembly has not been carrying out its law making or legislative function ever since the Opposition parties won a majority of seats in the December 2015 Elections. They have openly stated that the only thing that they are interested in is getting rid of President Maduro before his term constitutionally comes to an end in 2018. The Opposition controlled National Assembly has also flouted rulings of the country’s Supreme Court.

    The Venezuelan Constitution provides that if any organ of Government fails to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities that the Supreme Court may intervene and temporarily take over the functions of that dysfunctional organ.

    This is the Constitutional provision that the Supreme Court invoked on 31st March 2017 when it purported to temporarily take over the functions of the National Assembly.

    President Maduro recognized that this move was actually playing into the hands of his enemies, and his Attorney-General and the country’s National Defense Council intervened with the Supreme Court and persuaded the Court– in the interest of peace and security– to rescind its ruling. And as a result the ruling was rescinded in less than two days time.

    DAVID COMISSIONG

    Like

  7. Vincent Haynes May 16, 2017 at 7:27 AM #

    An interesting letter.

    ….A case of divide and rule within Caricom is made.

    ….he acknowledges that Maduro, the elected head is inept but notes that regime change will not solve the problem

    ….the May 22nd meeting will further fracture Caricom.
    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    All cogent points that gives support to the Venezuelan journalist who lives in Bim and was on Vob yesterday highlighting the facts of regime change and how medicine and food restrictions are part of the plan.

    The end result is simply to take back the the ownership of the lucrative oil industry.

    How come the bleeding hearts on this site are not making noises about South Sudan and Yemen, two countries that are going through a far worse lack of food and drugs situation due to civil war?

    Like

  8. David May 16, 2017 at 7:31 AM #

    It would be interesting to find out the Caricom countries NOT in attendance at the meeting.

    Like

  9. David May 16, 2017 at 7:50 AM #

    Good observation Vincent, a part of the answer lies in the unending consumption of the CNN newsfeed by many.

    Like

  10. Bush Tea May 16, 2017 at 8:08 AM #

    @ David
    Good observation Vincent, a part of the answer lies in the unending consumption of the CNN newsfeed by many.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Take 100% !!
    If you want to run the world, control CNN
    If you want to run Barbados, control the Starcom group…

    This is a lost cause.
    Small countries can only exert independent positions if they are not bankrupt and prostrate before the bankers of this world.
    With 23 downgrades to shiite status, and dim prospects for the future, what chance is there that Barbados can defy the USA?
    Shiite … we cannot even defy Trickidad, least they close their ATM….

    Bottom line….
    if you are in hopeless debt, then you are a SERF
    ..and serfs have no rights to ‘principles’
    They do as they are told by their masters.

    Like

  11. Pachamama May 16, 2017 at 8:22 AM #

    ”””Small countries can only exert independent positions if they are not bankrupt and prostrate before the bankers of this world.”””””

    Bushie

    That is not true. We cite Libya.

    No debt, nuff gold, small population, large land mass

    But the nature of the albino-centered system made that impossible.

    Like

  12. David May 16, 2017 at 8:24 AM #

    @Bushie

    Those who doubt what you ar’e saying let us add that we have to find 300 million in forex this year to repay loans.

    Like

  13. Ping Pong May 16, 2017 at 8:27 AM #

    Steups David, maybe you watch CNN, I don’t. Consider that maybe some of us have contacts on the ground in Venezuela. Commissiong writes about the Supreme Court taking over the functions of a dysfunctional organ of Government. I am curious who takes over the functions of the (appointed) Supreme Court when it fails to function properly? In any event Maduro no longer wishes to abide by the constitution anyway. He proposes to form an appointed constituent assembly to write a new constitution. Vincent writes nonsense about bleeding hearts and the lucrative oil industry. The world is weaning itself off a carbon economy. Even Saudi Arabia is desperately trying to build new economic sectors. The simple fact is that Maduro (under whatever label one chooses to assign him) is incompetent and corrupt. If the USA wants to destroy Venezuela then it could have no better accomplice than Maduro.

    Like

  14. David May 16, 2017 at 8:42 AM #

    @Ping Pong

    The simple point you are not grasping is that Venezuela’s problems did not begin with Maduro. Is is very complicated.

    Like

  15. millertheanunnaki May 16, 2017 at 8:57 AM #

    @ David Comissiong May 16, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    How come Venezuela never aligns itself with China? By snuggling under the belly of the ‘Red’ dragon like North Korea, America would have to think more than twice about any regime change.

    Is it that Venezuela does not have the kind of resources China wants badly and which it cannot ‘exploitatively’ extract from black-managed Africa?

    It would be most interesting to see what would be the position held by the Barbados government and its yard-birds on the BU blog should China- in its geo-political games with America- openly support the tottering regime in Venezuela.

    Would you still be labelled a communist and an “enemy of the State” given that Communist China is Barbados’s current financial tooth fairy to save its sorry ass from default in respect of the upcoming foreign loans repayments?

    Like

  16. David May 16, 2017 at 8:58 AM #

    The average Barbadian is clueless about what is happening in Venezuela read the struggle between the haves and haves nots as far as distribution of wealth. The destabilization of the country by anti socialist forces and the like. Unfortunately for Maduro he is fighting a loosing battle -no support.

    Like

  17. David May 16, 2017 at 9:02 AM #

    @Miller

    China is playing a role in Venezuela and beyond:

    http://thediplomat.com/tag/china-venezuela-relations/

    Like

  18. Ping Pong May 16, 2017 at 9:13 AM #

    You want to make it complicated. The great irony is that the shadows which support Maduro do NOT include the poor or middle classes. Where did the billions borrowed from China go? One cannot manage the past or the present. One manages the future. Maduro is just not competent. Cuba went through an even more trying period with very much less resources than Venezuela. Cuba did not experience malnutrition and reversal in the quality of health care. In fact it pursued innovations and experiments that not only got the country through that special period but formed the basis for new economic development.

    Like

  19. David May 16, 2017 at 9:23 AM #

    There is always incompetence to be found in political leaders -same in Barbados. Ever since Maduro took over from Chevez the opposition parties in the country have railed against his policies never giving anything a chance to work. It was the opportunity forces outside the country were waiting for years.

    Like

  20. angela Skeete May 16, 2017 at 9:26 AM #

    Let the Venezuelan people solve their own domestic problems no need for small island nations who have domestic problems of their own be fighting political battles on behalf of the communist foitsoldiers living amongst our dwellings.
    If Gonsalves was so interested in the betterment of Venezueal he should have said so long ago.
    However his own interest supersedes that of Venezuela now when the feathers fly he puts pen to paper acting as the lone soldier prepared to fight for the people of venezuela give me a break

    Like

  21. David May 16, 2017 at 9:32 AM #

    Go and read the mandate of the OAS of which Barbados is a member.

    http://oas.org/en/iachr/mandate/what.asp

    Like

  22. Artax May 16, 2017 at 9:36 AM #

    @ David

    That yard-fowl reads information from the DLP’s web-site only.

    Like

  23. David May 16, 2017 at 9:40 AM #

    Today’s Dr. Tennyson Joseph column makes for interesting reading if only because he had reason to visit Venezuela last week.

    Like

  24. millertheanunnaki May 16, 2017 at 10:19 AM #

    @ David May 16, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    David, that ‘question’ about China’s role was designed to shift the focus from the small fry Commisiong to the much bigger players in the geopolitical game of one-upmanship.

    Venezuela might just be another pawn ‘just’ like Cuba was in the imaginary cold war between the USSR bear and the USA ‘gorillaphant’. Aren’t the bear and the beast at peace today?

    Like

  25. CUP/BFP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI May 16, 2017 at 10:45 AM #

    Many governments this time are very dirty and in land, money and drug laundering, SVG has also been in the reports of its new airport backed by drug money and others crime lords, Maybe they don’t need to get deeper, SVG PM and his own fraud election running neck and neck with Barbados. Everyone seem to want to mine their own business as all are being watched when it comes to drugs and money laundering of the USD.

    If we want to help we can send what the people need, The government has wasted a lot of oil money when things were good, Greed and the Greedy, If the lawyers were to blame at the level they are in Barbados they would their heads off by now, Barbados can not send them any thing as we can see , DBLP full of shit and need the toilet paper for its own ass-ets.

    Like

  26. angela Skeete May 16, 2017 at 11:14 AM #

    Barbados does not have to involve itself in overthrowing or supporting anti govt forces agendas.
    The OSA mandate directs and dictates that nations be supportive of the rights of the people to govern having those mandates that are crucial and important to the betterment
    OSA does not call on govts to go around sticking their noses in domestic issues unless called upon by the people of those nations affected
    Gonsalves has now become thespokesperson for the communist appartus and quite willing and happy to do their bidding even if it means a division within the Caricom community.
    Gonsalves needs to go back to running the affairs of his country instead of digging a hole which can bury himself and other small island nations from which they would never get out

    Like

  27. David May 16, 2017 at 11:27 AM #

    Did you even read the letter before dripping blood? All Gozalves has done is to encourage fellow Hogs not to be manipulated by Trump led forces whose geopolitical interest does not align with Caricom.

    Like

  28. Simple Simon May 16, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    Cuh dear David. Ya didn’t have to call the fellas HOGs. Ya cudda find a different acronym.

    Like

  29. Simple Simon May 16, 2017 at 11:38 AM #

    @David the blogmaster “Can a Caricom divided [against] itself stand?”

    Probably not.

    Like

  30. angela Skeete May 16, 2017 at 11:42 AM #

    Do not worry as to whether i read the letter or not !much easier and eye opening to follow and connect the dots

    Like

  31. Simple Simon May 16, 2017 at 11:46 AM #

    @David May 16, 2017 at 8:24 AM “Those who doubt what you ar’e saying let us add that we have to find 300 million in forex this year to repay loans.”

    And whether or not we vote with the USA they are not going to pay our debts for us.

    And if their banksters get hold of our debts I very much fear for us.

    Merchant[s] bankers have no friends

    Like

  32. Simple Simon May 16, 2017 at 11:49 AM #

    @Ping Pong May 16, 2017 at 8:27 AM “Even Saudi Arabia is desperately trying to build new economic sectors.”

    Indeed. People are always surprised to learn that Saudi Arabia has the highest rate of female university graduates in the WORLD.

    If there is no market for oil, there is always a market for smart well educated women.

    Like

  33. Simple Simon May 16, 2017 at 11:54 AM #

    @millertheanunnaki May 16, 2017 at 10:19 AM “Aren’t the bear and the beast at peace today?”

    In this Trumpian era, I would say that the bear and the beast are in bed together, and enjoying it greatly.

    Like

  34. angela Skeete May 16, 2017 at 12:59 PM #

    David Commisiong always up in those things that divides now he sets out a path of percision directed on which to divide the Caricom community using Gonsalves as his political vessel.

    Like

  35. Vincent Haynes May 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM #

    Maduro was given a difficult hand by Chavez….corruption is part of Venezuelas DNA……

    I would posit that mismanagement by Maduro and his total lack of cash other than printing money for the army and civil servants(sounds familiar)has been responsible for his inability to deal with the western power play and his own oligarchs.see below re the fall off in oil production.

    snapshot of Venezuela’s oil production

    With production in its fourth consecutive year of decline and output at a 32-year low, a default at PDVSA is now “probable,” said Fitch Ratings on January 31, as Venezuela faces stagnant prices globally that make production an increasingly unprofitable endeavor. Daily production in December 2016 was down by 45,000 barrels from the month prior, one of the larger drops among OPEC members. The value of Venezuela’s crude oil shipments—which represent 96 percent of all the country’s exports—were down 62 percent in three years from a high point in 2012. Though the details of Venezuela’s deals with the two countries are largely kept under wraps, Venezuela owed China roughly $30 billion in oil shipments in early 2016, according to a Moody’s estimate.

    By the end of January, Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm PDVSA had 45 cargo shipments—more than 13,000,000 barrels—outstanding to China and Russia, most of it in the form of refined products like jet fuel and diesel.

    Explainer: Venezuela’s Oil and Military Ties with China and Russia …
    http://www.as-coa.org/articles/explainer-venezuelas-oil-and-military-ties-china-and-russia
    Feb 15, 2017 – Venezuela owes China and Russia lots of oil—more than 13M barrels. … another aspect of Venezuela’s relationship with China and Russia.

    Like

  36. Vincent Haynes May 16, 2017 at 4:24 PM #

    David May 16, 2017 at 9:40 AM #

    Today’s Dr. Tennyson Joseph column makes for interesting reading if only because he had reason to visit Venezuela last week.
    ……………………………………………………………

    Could you do a link to it on here?

    Like

  37. mitchlans May 16, 2017 at 5:23 PM #

    David May 16, 2017 at 8:58 AM #
    “The average Barbadian is clueless about what is happening in Venezuela”

    Oh please! The average Barbadian is clueless about what is happening in Barbados!

    Like

  38. Vincent Haynes May 16, 2017 at 5:48 PM #

    The US intervention
    THE LISTENING POST: Venezuela – Protests, propaganda and self-censorship (25:00)

    It is important to remember how successful Chavez’s policies were during his time in office between 1998 and 2013. “Impressive gains,” the historian Greg Grandin recalls, were achieved “in healthcare, life expectancy, education, and social security; radically expanding political participation, bringing the excluded and marginal into the debate and giving diverse social movements access to political power; and charting a foreign policy independent from Washington”. But a lot has changed since Chavez passed away almost five years ago.

    The economic and social crisis that Venezuela is now experiencing under the leadership of Maduro raises questions not only about whether he was the right successor to Chavez but also about how Chavez’s death was used as an opportunity to try once again to take over the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

    A lot has changed since Chavez passed away almost five years ago, writes Santiago Zabala.
    Maduro is not Chavez
    Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarianism is destroying the defiant participatory democracy his predecessor set up in Venezuela.
    aljazeera.com
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/05/maduro-chavez-170513145531916.html

    Like

  39. David May 16, 2017 at 6:28 PM #

    Finally the Bar Association has been persuaded to come out publicly to defend Comissiong against the silly utterance by Minister Kellman that he is an enemy of the state for pursuing a right available under our law to apply to the court for judicial review of the Hyatt approval.

    Like

  40. Gabriel May 16, 2017 at 7:23 PM #

    Yes it is refreshing to hear the Bar Association and the NOW speaking out on issues which should be of concern to all Bajans.

    Like

  41. vincent haynes May 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM #

    David

    Are you being trolled…..loads of new names.

    Like

  42. David May 16, 2017 at 9:29 PM #

    @Vincent

    Spammers!

    Like

  43. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 17, 2017 at 7:02 AM #

    Lawyers at the Bar are well aware that they have the legal power to keep stupid government ministers, starting with Fruendel…….. in check.

    Like

  44. Gabriel May 17, 2017 at 2:32 PM #

    Barbados seem to have stopped producing its most brilliant servants of the people post 1950.For the first half of the 20th century the country birthed a type of bajan,from the most humble to the loftiest, who saw service to country as objective nr 1.Now we have crooks and corrupt politicians in the House,many of whom are incapable of understanding what service to country is.

    Like

  45. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 17, 2017 at 7:03 PM #

    http://bit.ly/2rsCnTJ

    The beginning of the end for trump….

    “WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has named a special prosecutor for the FBI’s Russia probe.

    Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will oversee the investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced. The move takes the pressure off Rosenstein, but could greatly ramp up the pressure on the White House.

    “Based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” Rosenstein said in a statement. “A special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the Public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly.”

    The move is one Democrats have demanded since the moment President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, arguing that Rosenstein had to recuse himself because of his role in Comey’s firing.

    The move drew immediate bipartisan praise.

    “Having known him for years, I believe special counsel Mueller is a very good thing. He is one of the best — independent and no-nonsense,” former former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was also fired by Trump, tweeted right after the announcement.”

    Like

  46. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 17, 2017 at 7:11 PM #

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-russia-comey-latest-news-no-president-treated-worse-speech-quote-a7741571.html

    Really now…there were at least 6 or 7 presjdents who were either shot or assassinated and this clown claims he has been treated the worse that’s why I am all for hanging presidents and prime ministers who are wannabe dictators. And he is one who led the charge in insulting and lying on Obama.

    “Donald Trump has said that “no politician in history…has been treated worse or more unfairly” than him.

    “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” the US President told cadets graduating from the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

    “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can’t let them get you down.”

    Like

  47. Gabriel May 17, 2017 at 8:05 PM #

    Trump continues to open his mouth and spews forth crap every time.He is not known to read other than the National Enquirer however if he thinks he has been treated worse than most politicians particularly US Presidents,he is no match for the insults and barbs thrown at President Obama and worse,Abraham ‘Africanus’ Lincoln.Trump by comparison gets an easy pass although he is by far the dumbest the ignorant uneducated rednecks were able to throw up on the world.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-obama-lincoln-bin-laden-muslims-perspec-1212-jm-20141211-story.html

    Like

  48. David May 18, 2017 at 12:09 PM #

    Now we have a situation where the local Venezuelan Embassy has cried foul local protesters impeded free flow. Why would local authorities allow this situation by not being proactive? Could it be the anti Maduro position taken at the OAS influenced the situation?

    Like

  49. angela Skeete May 19, 2017 at 12:49 PM #

    Gonsalves have his Ministry of FA calling on Caricom members to back Maduro
    This shit can get ugly and Barbados would be better off keeping mouth closed in this matter and let the Venezuelan people decide their own destiny

    Like

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