International relations balancing act for Caricom

THE EDITOR: Following the Thirty Years’ War, a European religious war that embroiled much of the continent, the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 established the notion of territorial sovereignty as a norm of non-interference in the affairs of other nations, called Westphalian sovereignty. Because of globalisation the concept of a nation’s sovereignty will be challenged. Presently, the US, Russia, the EU and China are the main disruptors to national sovereignty.

The people in Venezuela are suffering mainly because of US sanctions. Venezuela cannot use the US dollar payment system call SWIFT. When Caribbean countries were threatened with similar sanctions via “derisking” we panicked and tried to comply.

If any country cannot use SWIFT its economy would crumble since it is the only fully developed international payment system, although China has a basic one and the EU is developing one.

Russia has interfered with the sovereignty of many of the former members of the Soviet Union such as Georgia and Ukraine.

China has interfered with the sovereignty of many nations using its Belt and Road Initiative. China has control of Gwadar Port in Pakistan.

The EU has disrupted many countries’ sovereignty using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and blacklisting countries, forcing them to change their laws so it benefits developed nations (mainly Europe). Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves and Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit made statements supporting my assertion.

The balancing act that TT and Caricom has to do is how to benefit from the international system and not be servants but skilled players. More globalisation will likely occur, more battles for global hegemony will materialise but having protocols and policies to benefit from them is paramount. There are mathematical models that can help.



"International relations balancing act for Caricom"

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