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No busting of sanctions against Russia in Caribbean, says Antigua diplomat

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Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022. 5:43 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, writes for Caribbean News Global that while the Caribbean will unavoidably be caught up in the economic and financial consequences of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, it should not encourage “busting” sanctions by supporting Russian oligarchs fleeing them.

The region must move to ensure that speculation ends about Caribbean governments allowing private companies to profit from busting sanctions against Russia by accommodating, for instance, the yachts of the Russian oligarchs who have become billionaires through their cozy relationships with the Russian government.

For those complaining about the higher prices for gas and commodities, Sir Ronald writes that “freedom and the protection of human life and dignity comes by defending what is right and by some sacrifice. Higher prices will have to be paid for a time, but it is worth the freedom and rights that all humanity deserves.” The courage of the Ukrainian people should serve as our guide, as well as the Biblical admonition: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”

Sir Ronald commends the region’s stance despite the already meteoric rise in oil prices. Caribbean countries have fully participated in expressing their disapproval of Moscow’s actions, issuing a joint statement on February 24 and all but four co-sponsoring an OAS declaration condemning the invasion, on the same day the United Nations Security Council saw Russia veto its own condemnatory resolution, something Sanders considers “a serious anomaly and a blow to international censure of violations. All CARICOM members were among the 141 nations at the Special Emergency Session, on March 2, that deplored “in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” and demanded “that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”.

And he points to the unresolved regional border disputes between Belize and Guatemala and Guyana and Venezuela and the differences of those involved. In the case of the former, both countries have condemned Russia’s invasion and, previously, agreed to settle their differences peacefully through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). While Guyana has sought the same in its case, Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela has refused to accept The Hague’s jurisdiction and he is reportedly backing Russia’s actions.

CARICOM Heads of Government have since issued a further statement on the conflict which we will cover in a subsequent story.

 

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