Social activist David Comissiong is viewing with suspicion the “fortress-like” United States embassy in Wildey, St Michael, questioning whether it was or it was not a nest of spies.
Addressing the inaugural two-day Caribbean Peace Conference organized by the World Peace Council, the International Network in Defence of Humanity and the Cuban Movement for Peace and People’s Sovereignty, Comissiong posed a series of questions about the functions of the embassy that suggested he felt there was more to than meets the eye happening out there.
“We have a massive American embassy in Wildey, and we have to ask ourselves what actually goes on within the precincts of that fortress-like embassy. Is that fortress-like just simply for processing visa applications? Might it be that the territory of Barbados 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?” Comissiong questioned.
Comissiong has been a strong defender of the Bolivarian revolution started by former president Hugo Chavez after he led his Fifth Republic Movement to power in 1998, and continued by current president Nicolas Maduro after Chavez’s death in March 2013.
The attorney-at-law has held that Washington is determined to destroy the socialist government in Caracas because it sees the revolution as a threat to the capitalist system espoused by the United States.
Comissiong is not alone in his thinking. It was in June this year, amid a flurry of activity within the Organization of American States (OAS) during deadly unrest in Venezuela, the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves cautioned his Caribbean Community colleagues against being part of “an activist quest for regime change” in Caracas.
It was in reference to attempts by some members of the OAS, including the US, to kick Venezuela out of the hemispheric body.
A similar theme emerged at today’s peace conference held under the general heading of, Resisting the Nuclear and Environmental Disaster: Building Peace in the Caribbean, with Hope McNish, the president of the Jamaica Peace Council calling for an end to interference in the internal affairs of regional states aimed at toppling the government.
While she did not name any perpetrators or the objects of the interference, McNish appeared to be referring to the United States policy towards Venezuela, which includes the recent ban on travel to the US from the Spanish-speaking South American country.
“We must oppose interference in the internal affairs of the countries of the region with the view to effecting regime change whether by creating unrest, manipulating elections or direct military intervention with the ultimate goal of controlling their natural resources and creating puppet regimes,” McNish said, while going on to denouncedmilitary exercises conducted in the region.
The region’s position as a zone of peace also came under scrutiny at today’s event, with Comissiong, the founder of the Clement Payne Movement, insisting that in order to satisfy the United Nations criteria, the Caribbean needed to get rid of North American and European military bases.
“We have to say to all foreign military bases, ‘out of the Caribbean!’ We have to say that . . . a zone of peace cannot accommodate European colonies,” he said, making specific reference to the French departments of Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.
“If the Caribbean is to be a zone of peace it must be a colonial-free zone because intrinsic to colonialism is exploitation, cultural domination, psychological domination, anything but peace,” the activist stressed.