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Dear editor: We should focus on bullying US ‘imperialism’—not Young’s ‘half-truths’

“Politicians, especially national security ministers, sometimes have to tell half-truths and lies—in the country’s or their own interest—and then we sit in judgement of them; we the better men. This is why Socrates did not favour democracy, but instead extolled the virtue of the philosopher, giving value to logic and reason.

“[…] I am simply attempting to expose the practice of the US in creating illegitimate, false narratives and consequently fermenting discord in small economies (such as ours), so they can continue to rape and plunder the wealth and resources of these vulnerable countries…”

The following letter to the editor on the imbroglio involving Venezuela, the United States of America and Trinidad and Tobago was submitted to Wired868 by Bonnie Blondell:

Photo: US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Drake University on 30 January 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.
(Copyright AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It’s interesting how we allow ourselves to be distracted. Allow me to share some facts:

1. The UN recognises the Nicolás Maduro-led government as the official government of Venezuela.

2. The US recognises the Juan Guaidó government as the official government of Venezuela.

3. The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) is a multilateral agreement under the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security ratified through the OAS.  In other words, it is a  regional body similar to say NATO, serving the purpose of mutual defense in the Americas against the threat of war.

4. The US has not been able to get sanctions against Venezuela in the United Nations.

5. The US has imposed unilateral sanctions against Venezuela under IEEPA 1977, (an Act that was enacted by the US Congress to limit the president’s national emergency powers).

6. These US sanctions against Venezuela are designed by the Trump Administration and not by the US Congress.

7. This is the equivalent of the Dr Keith Rowley-led government enacting sanctions against Venezuela without the approval of the Parliament.

8. The White House has circumvented the United Nations by imposing sanctions on Venezuela and enforcing them through the Rio Treaty.

Photo: Minister of National Security Stuart Young prepares to face journalists at a virtual media conference on 7 May 2020.
(Copyright Ghansham Mohammed/GhanShyam Photography/Wired868)

So let’s  connect the dots. The US Ambassador is now chastising the minister of national security for actions related to sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US Administration. Seems to me that the bully is at it again.

Have we simply gone from Colonialism to American Imperialism? If so, we might as well become the 51st  US State. I think it’s time we stand up for our own voice and sovereignty. I’m just saying.

If anyone chooses to argue that this is not about sanctions and the legality of US actions, I would beg to differ. In fact, I would posit that both notions are  necessary because they  frame the context of the actions that ensued.

We have a minister of national security being asked to defend his actions after being accused of violating US sanctions. Not T&T or UN laws or sanctions, but those imposed by a divisive, self-indulgent buffoon in DC.

In that context, you do what you have to do. Politicians, especially national security ministers, sometimes have to tell half-truths and lies—in the country’s or their own interest—and then we sit in judgement of them, we the better men. This is why Socrates did not favour democracy, but instead extolled the virtue of the philosopher, giving value to logic and reason.

My contribution is neither about purpose or consequences. These are red herrings. Instead, I am simply attempting to expose the practice of the US in creating illegitimate, false narratives and consequently fermenting discord in small economies (such as ours), so they can continue to rape and plunder the wealth and resources of these vulnerable countries.

Photo: United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph M Mondello (left) greets Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in an undated photo.
(via US Embassy)

Sadly, this exploitation now extends to our intellectual capacity. Again, my point being that we focus on the details of a meeting deemed to be in violation of sanctions that are illicit and immoral, as penned by the Donald Trump-led administration, instead of questioning the legitimacy of the US’ stance on the Rio Treaty, sanctions and their push for regime change in Venezuela.

So I ask, where is the US desire to actualise diplomacy and the respect for international law in this equation?

Trinbagonians need to be more analytical and lucid in their assessment of these types of scenarios. Because if as a community we continue along this path of blind indulgence, we will surely forfeit the ethical and juristic currency that distinguishes us as a principled, law abiding and free society.

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3 comments

  1. Salacious B. Crumb

    Political gaslighting at its best. Now that successive revelations of evidence has shown Rowley and Young were dishonest in this matter their lies suddenly have become acceptable and the issue is now being pivoted as one of American imperialism.

    What else has Young and Rowley been lying about over the past five years?

    Why is the bar set so low for Rowley?

  2. Earl Best

    “Trinbagonians need to be more analytical and lucid in their assessment of these types of scenarios.”
    The same Trinbagonians who, Lloyd Best used to say, “walk around with their heads empty”?

    Ha! Listen to the radio talk shows for a single day and your delusions will disappear.

    As for the other bit about our continuing “along this path of blind indulgence”and forfeiting “the ethical and juristic currency that distinguishes us as a principled, law-abiding and free society,” I am really not sure that we can make a fair judgement in an election year.

    How far off the mark was Basdeo Panday when he declared that “politics has a morality of its own”?
    Besides, when politicians have cocoa in the sun, they will do anything to stop the rain.

  3. Perfect commentary by Bonnie Blondell, as long as we live in a perfect world. Unfortunately we do not so we need to get REAL!