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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Why you should support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the UN system

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St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves during his speech to the 77th UNGA last weekend raised two legitimate and important questions about Taiwan: the very existence of Taiwan and its right to participate in the UN system and other multilateral organizations, particularly the UN specialized agencies.

As the UNGA has just concluded and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is having their triennial assembly in Canada, it is the perfect time to discuss these prolonged and unanswered questions, for we believe it is a watershed moment for the world, to finally come to realize the strategic roles that Taiwan is playing right now, and the rightful status and support it needs to have.

For many years, the UN kept allowing disinformation to dictate its policies toward Taiwan. Particularly China’s claim that the UNGA Resolution 2758 in 1971 endorsed their position that Taiwan is part of China based on the so-called “One China Principle”, but the document on this resolution reflected that decisions were only made upon who gets the seat as the UN member state “China” without even mentioning Taiwan, let along endorsing PRC’s alleged position and the future representation of Taiwan in UN.

Today Taiwan is a thriving democracy with a vibrant market economy and has remained the world’s 16th largest trading partner and 6th largest holder of foreign reserves. The strategic location makes Taiwan a critical regional hub, it’s the home of the 4th busiest airport in the world for international air cargo in 2020, and accommodated 72 million travellers annually through its airports before the COVID 19 pandemic; Taiwan is also the host of many hi-tech companies, including two of the world’s biggest semiconductor producers, making it an integral part of the global supply chain. Taiwan has been a full-fledged member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) for years, the track record proved that we a reliable stakeholders and always ready to contribute. Given these facts, we believe that the democratically elected government of Taiwan and the 23 million people it represents, once given the opportunity to participate on the international stage like the UN system including ICAO, WHO and UNFCCC, would greatly benefit the global village on many vital issues like SDGs, climate change, prevention of the pandemics, and civil aviation safety. And for that, we can’t thank you more for SVG’s unwavering support over the past decades.

There are certainly other parameters that people over the world are concerned about when it comes to Taiwan’s international representation because China is trying to isolate Taiwan by bringing in a campaign of aggression, notably the economic embargo and the military drills launched against us after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August.

It is worth noting that China’s ambitions have always been far beyond the Taiwan Strait, this is particularly evident in its recent political slogans such as “made in China 2025” and “To realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, its flashy “one belt one road” projects which often turn into financial traps for others, and its continuous conflicts with neighbouring countries in the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Himalayas. China’s autocracy, coupled with economic and military expansionism, could be a potential threat to the peace and stability of the indo-pacific and the world.

After witnessing China’s handling of Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, people begin to realize that Chinese expansionism will not simply end with Taiwan. Yet Taiwan is still striving for peaceful dialogue across the Strait, providing that it has no pre-conditions and is being conducted on an equal footing.

The current restricted Zero COVID policy and continued to crack down on industries from high-tech, education, and entertainment to online games, has severally slowed down the fast-growing economic model of China in the past decades. Facing the power transition in October, it could intentionally escalate the threat towards Taiwan to divert attention away from its economic downturn and internal power struggle, that is when the whole world needs to see through it and take joint actions to stop it.

Here is a quote from the Book of Samuel, on the famous story of David and Goliath:” God saves not with sword and spear, for the battle is God’s”. We in Taiwan has the same kind of faith and determination in defending our freedom and democracy against the coercive aggressiveness from outside. But more than ever, an international concerted effort is needed to prevent such hegemonic behaviours, so that global peace and prosperity could be further preserved. We believe military threats won’t stop Taiwan from making more friends and certainly won’t stop international friends from visiting or voicing their support to Taiwan. With many faithful friends like SVG walking by our side, it is time for Taiwan to have its proper place back on the international stage.



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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Mi casa es su casa – One News St.Vincent

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The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer.

By Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD)

America and other military colossuses of this world can and indeed do in their practice of foreign policy, follow Kissinger’sdoctrine of having no permanent friends, only interests.However, if tiny, extremely vulnerable, poor, and virtually powerless nations like SVG were to ignore the need for solidarity, this would be perilous. Building solid fraternal relations is sin qua non not only for protecting their sovereignty and independence, but to their survival! Their viability as sovereign states depends inter alia on appreciation by others of their unique challenges, hence their need for genuine friends, while avoiding and discouraging enmity. This idea is the nucleus of the philosophical foundation of SVG’s foreign policy, andfrom whence its cornerstone principle, “Friends of all, we strive for a better world.”

This indispensable wisdom manifested in practice, standing our nation tall, is not wholly original. The first phrase is borrowed from Errol Walton Barrow, who shepherded Barbados toindependence. We apply his concept mutatis mutandis, extolling the need for friendly relations between nations in this turbulent world. Therefore, we extend our hands unclenched to leftist, rightist, Islamism, socialist, the great, small, rich, and poor,willing the construct of a better, saner world. We’ve reached out to Libya’s now deceased Gaddafi, Russia’s Putin, and Iran’s Raisi, -all considered rogues by the global gendarmes-, for in sowing seeds of friendship, one must join hands with those deemed enemies by others, while if truth be told, they are very good Samaritans, Cuba being a case in point.

The connection between these islands existed eons before they were colonized. Our indigenous peoples canoed from theOrinoco to The Bahamas long prior the arrival of imperialism’s violent fists, and genocidal settler colonialism. Our link was damaged; never broken! In modern times many Vincentiansmade the trek to Cuba, some remained, as the Teófilo Stevenson’s story confirms. 1959 saw the birth of the Cuban revolution. Incensed, the American empire branded Cuba an enemy. But like Bill Withers, magnanimous Fidel and disobedient SVG know, we must of necessity, lean on each other, and so rejected this vile maxim that we must be fist pumping at one another.

When our volcano erupted in 1979, Cuba offered assistance. St. Vincent, yet under British colonial yoke, defied American isolationist politics and accepted what we could. Cuba further stretched forth its hands, granting our youths scholarships. They are now solid professionals, thanks to this first-wave of generosity. With the triumph of the Grenada revolution in 1979,the US up the ante, intensifying its anti-Cuba policy, continuing this even after that revolution was murdered in infancy. PM James Mitchell seeing the rest of CARICOM’s firm rebuke ofWashington by their rebuff of its hegemonic confrontational stance, established diplomatic relations with Havana in 1992. From thence the SVG-Cuba ties strengthened. The watershed came in 2001 when the ULP stormed to office.

Under Gonsalves’ leadership our relations blossomed into a mutually beneficial embrace. Cuba has held our hands in education, health, infrastructure and more. We staunchly defend Cuba in every forum regardless of what America says! We stand in solidarity with Cubans during disasters; we work closely in all fora of the Americas, and in broader international arenas such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN. During the Obama years, we played our little part in the brief small thaw in US clenched-fist behaviour to Cuba. Notwithstanding that Washington has since retightened its fists, we are hosting the long-overdue visit of a Cuban President, saying unequivocally to Brother Díaz-Canel, “Nuestra casa es su casa!” for Cuba has said to us so many times, “Mi casa es su casa.”

I often expressed via the press the wish that Fidel visited SVG. Sadly, he departed for Valhalla without this being realized. I have also called for a prominent street or place to be named in his honour in recognition of Cuba holding hand not just with us and CARICOM, but with all oppressed humanity. This moment is here now! We must never forget Cuba’s role in the liberation of the countries of Southern Africa; nor should we forget itsmedical humanitarian missions to many parts of the world; and its selfless generosity to the Third World. If ever a country showed what love from a nation looks like, it’s Fidel’s Cuba. And “love is the answer” according to our own Dr. Alston “Becket” Cyrus. Finally, it must be underlined that the visit of President Díaz-Canel is not merely a reflection of good SVG-Cuba relations. Rather it is a powerful example of leadership in the cause of upholding international law and morality, grounded in friendship and respect for national sovereignty, which are essential for international peace and security.



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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

National Nine Mornings Festival launches this Sunday

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The 2022 National Lotteries Christmas/Nine Mornings Festival will be officially launched this Sunday, December 4 at Heritage Square, in Kingstown, from 7:00 p.m.

The festival was interrupted in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the eruption of La Soufriere Volcano.
The organisation committee said in a release that Sunday’s launch will feature the return of the street parade, where patrons will engage in a candle light cultural street procession through the streets of Kingstown, commencing at Heritage Square at 6:00 p.m and returning to Heritage Square.

The parade will be accompanied by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines (RSVG) Police Force Band, and will also feature dance groups, community groups, drumming groups, and X-Pan from Sion Hill.

On returning to Heritage Square the other events will commence with a short opening ceremony  which would include the blessing of the festival by the Pastor Randy Boucher, and worship from the Exalt Him Worship Ministries. The Epic Sound Steel Orchestra will provide steel band music and a special mini presentation will be done by the RSVG Police Band.

The Launch will also hear Christmas greetings from the chairman of the National Nine Mornings Committee, with corporate sponsors- the National Lotteries Authority and Vinlec bringing remarks. Minister of Culture, Carlos James will then declare the festival open with the turning on of the lights at the Square. 

The St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Christmas and Nine Mornings Committee will recognize a number of community stalwarts for their invaluable contribution to the festival over the years.

A varied cultural package will climax the evenings’ activities.





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Cuban President to tour medical facility on Day Two of visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines

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Cuban President to tour medical facility on Day Two of visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines

A visit to the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre at Georgetown is one of the highlights of Day Two of the visit of President Miguel Diaz-Canel to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre (MMDC) which was officially opened on July 2, 2018, was built at a cost of EC$42 million with substantial assistance from the Republic of Cuba.

Several medical professionals from Cuba are also among the staff at the MMDC.

The Cuban head of state and his delegation will be given a tour of the MMDC, after which they will be hosted to lunch at the Beachcombers Hotel by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

Tomorrow, Monday December 5, the final day of the visit, wife of the President, Lis Cuesta Peraza accompanied Eloise Gonsalves, wife of the Prime Minister will, at Young Island, view an exhibition of products by Vincentian entrepreneurs, followed by cultural performances.

The Cuban first lady will also have a private discussion with Vincentian women who studied in Cuba and Cuban women living in SVG.

President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel (right) and his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza arriving at the Argyle International Airport on Saturday (API photo)

Also on Monday, the President will pay a courtesy call on head of state Governor General Dame Susan Dougan, and while he is at Government House, his wife, accompanied by Mrs Gonsalves will visit the Botanic Gardens.

The three-day official visit will culminate in a special sitting of the House of Assembly which will be addressed by President Diaz-Canel, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday.

Members of Cabinet met with the Cuban Delegation during a lunch at La Vue Hotel on Saturday. (API photo)

Shortly after his arrival yesterday, Saturday December 3, the Cuban head of state held discussions with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at La Vue Boutique Hotel and Beach Club.

He also met with Cuban workers in SVG and members of the Cuba Friendship Society at the Beachcombers Hotel.





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