When your friend is your enemy!
The police operations undertaken in Saint Lucia over the last several years were according to law. I refer to Operation Restore Peace as well as Operation Restore Confidence. They were initiated in an effort to bring rampant violent crime under control. What ensued, especially during the last-mentioned operation, led to the United States accusing members of the RSLPF of human rights violations, and extra-judicial killings.
It would appear that the allegations are based largely on hearsay and reminds of similar tactics employed by the United States that have been linked with that country’s efforts at overthrowing legitimate governments.
The suspending to our police of the assistance earlier given, refusing to supply them with the ammunition for the American weapons our officers use to combat crime, has emboldened our criminal elements. A recent spate of gang-related shootings has resulted, in the process violating the rights of Saint Lucian citizens. In short, the U.S. action is against all Saint Lucians and sends a clear message as to whom the U.S. regards as friends.
One wonders where those gang members get their training. This writer was told by a vagrant that he had been taken by a white man into the woods near Soufriere and taught how to shoot.
A few articles in some Nigerian newspapers shed light on our current situation. The similarities of the U.S actions against the Nigerian military authorities as they battle Boko Haram, with actions against our Saint Lucia police as we confront violent gang crime are striking. In their fight against the terror group that is creating havoc in their country, the Nigerians had to get help from Moscow. Following are some quotes from an online Nigerian newspaper:
“Disappointed by the refusal of the United States to help Nigeria procure military weapons to fight Boko Haram the [Nigerian] federal government has openly expressed its dissatisfaction with the American government’s decision, arguing that the Americans were letting Nigeria down at her hour of need . . .”
“The US government had equally explained that it would not be selling military weapons to Nigeria due to human rights allegations against the Nigerian military.”
“Professor Adefuye further emphasized that allegations of human rights violation are based on rumours, hearsay and exaggerated accounts of clashes between Nigerian forces and Boko Haram.”
On Thursday, March 26th, JICA/JOCV Saint Lucia welcomed Mr. Takamitsu Furumoto to our Caribbean shores. Mr. Furumoto is the first regional volunteer to be dispatched under the new JICA/JOCV Saint Lucia office, now responsible for volunteer matters in St. Vincent, Saint Lucia and the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Unlike previous volunteers, Mr. Furumoto is not dispatched to Saint Lucia but to St. Vincent where he will work as a Community Development volunteer in the fisheries sector. Japan and St. Vincent – indeed Japan and the CARICOM region – have an extensive history of fisheries co-operation. Since 1993, CARICOM countries have been recipients of Japanese aid in the area of sustainable marine development, making Japan a major contributor of developmental assistance in the Caribbean.
As an example, St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently received Grant Aid assistance of US$8.5 million for industrial projects and for projects to improve fisheries equipment. In addition to giving Grant Aid, Japan also assists at the grassroots level by stimulating the human resources of the country.
President Barack Obama with Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica
on his recent visit to Jamaica.