The Government of Jamaica continues to display a strange foreign policy, which has been highlighted in recent weeks. The Government no longer seems oblivious to the changing realities in the global order, and in some respects seemingly embraces it. However, in other areas, it continues to carry out the same policies and actions reminiscent of the unipolar days.
This can be seen in three recent votes at the United Nations, two at the General Assembly the other at the all-powerful Security Council.
The first was the vote on a resolution condemning the illegal US blockade of Cuba. Once again, this resolution was passed, with only the US voting against the resolution.
This resolution, though against an explicit US policy which Washington forces third parties to abide by with threats of sanctions, is now something of a formality at the UN and regularly sees close US proxies such as Germany and Colombia vote in favour of the resolution condemning the blockade. So, while it is pleasing to see Jamaica vote for the resolution, it is expected and would be global news if we did not.
The second resolution is where things got trickier and began to show that Jamaica is very aware of where the wind is blowing. It was the now annual condemnation of fascism and the glorification of such ideologies.
Once upon a time a vote such as this at the UN, an institution built upon the ashes of the defeated fascist ideology, would be a pure formality with outliers being derided and embarrassed in global media.
Not so anymore, and the resolution to condemn Nazism and the glorification of fascism saw the entire EU, along with the US and the remainder of NATO, vote against it, refusing to condemn the very ideology which raped Europe 80 years ago.
This issue has become a partisan one now. The resolution is seen as a Russian-backed statement and as such the US and the collective west vote against it, while also conveniently being home to openly fascist parties and politicians in the halls of power.
With the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war and most of the nations which Jamaica trades with voting against the resolution, it was bold diplomacy which saw the Jamaican delegation endorse the resolution and vote in favour of condemning fascism. A noble vote and one I and every anti-fascist endorses, but a vote which puts a target on our back as we will be perceived as being in consort with Russia or, at the very least, imbibing too much Russian propaganda.
It is probably because of this why Jamaica welcomed the passage of the Security Council resolution which sanctioned Haitian gang leaders (a strange move since those sanctioned have already been sanctioned by the US and Canada and don’t have assets outside Haiti to freeze).
The UN vote is an attempt to further soften global opinion when it comes to the idea of a military occupation of the French-speaking nation. It should not be lost on anyone that Jamaica has taken a keen interest in the matter and has even suggested that the JDF would be ready to join such an operation.
We must remember that despite what the Western media would have us believe about poor, sad, ungovernable Haiti, in a state of self-imposed turmoil, this is a nation which, from day one of independence, had to face the threat of invasion, bankruptcy, foreign-sponsored coups and decades of US occupation.
Despite this, the Haitian people have constantly and consistently demanded their right to self-governance, and rule without foreign interference, and today is no different. Despite interim PM Henry calling for occupation, the rump senate, and the masses on the street demand otherwise, calling for Henry’s removal, elections, and no foreign occupation.
However, in what can only be called schizophrenia, the Government has seen it fit (and correctly in my estimation) to do a deal with Huawei, which represents a clear slap in the face of the US spy agencies and its military industrial complex which view the company as a threat because they do not have backdoor entry to Huawei technology, something they have openly admitted.
We have seen in the not-too-distant past a US ambassador explicitly warn us against doing deals with Huawei, we have seen new Biden officials issue the same warning. Anyone who has some knowledge of geopolitics (and I am no expert) can see that the new emerging conflict is between China and the US, staying in the middle in a situation like that is hardly a recipe for security.
Threading the needle is difficult at the best of times and painfully embarrassing at the worst. The Government, which clearly knows what is afoot in this, the new post-February 24world, is willingly risking the security of the nation by taking a stance in both camps.
We cannot, on one hand, side with the emerging world seeking south-south trade and on the other enable governments and groups which seek to undermine countries in the south with an eye to further destabilise the new emerging multi-polar order. We cannot, on the one hand, call for the lifting of the blockade, demand that fascists be banished to the dustbin of history and then on the other enable a country which supports fascists and imposes a horrific embargo.
It makes no sense, we are opening ourselves up to far too much damage by sanctions and the strangling of any form of banking. The government must make a decision, it must either go further faster and abandon its ties to the US thereby fully embracing the new emerging multi-polar world, or stay with the decrepit and dying uni-polar camp.
Leadership means making tough decisions and living with the consequences. Standing in both aisles is hardly an act of leadership and is potentially harmful to the people of this country. Pick a side, stick to it, live with the consequences, but don’t, for a minute, think that the current position endears us to the US, China, or any country in the region. That leaves us open to attack by anyone who thinks we are expendable.