News Alert: Mottley’s comment on “attempt to divide this region”

While speaking at a gala to celebrate the centenary of the birth of The Right Excellent Errol W. Barrow on Saturday night, Barbados’ Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P. commented on the highly publicized scheduled visit to Jamaica, by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Below is a transcript of the excerpt from Mottley’s address on the matter:

“I am conscious that when Errol Barrow stood and remarked that “we shall be friends of all and satellites of none,” little did he know that that statement would be embraced by every single Prime Minister of government that succeeded him. It is as valid today, perhaps even more so than it was at the time of its initial delivery.

And I say so conscious that principles only mean something when it is inconvenient to stand by them. Conscious that this region must always cheek itself to ensure that we not become the pawns of others, the satellites of others, but that we keep every most and uppermost in our minds what we must do for our people without simply becoming pawns on a chessboard for others to be able to benefit from.

I am conscious that in the next week, questions will be asked as to whether the Barbados Foreign Minister happened to be missing in a meeting in Kingston in Jamaica that will take place on Tuesday. We don’t look to pick fights. I don’t look to pick fights, but I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something, then it will fall for anything. As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region.

But that sense of commitment to principle and that sense of commitment to the thesis expressed by him [Errol Barrow] that we have lived by, “friends of all, satellites of none,” is really what inspires us to this position today. And therefore, it didn’t take a lot of thought as to what our decision should be because this country does not pretend to be what it is not and does not pretend to have that which it doesn’t.

But it does aspire to be sincere and to be correct and to be moral and to be principled.

Barbados first, as expressed by both Grantley Adams and Errol Barrow has come to mean for us that Barbados must stand for something.

And I give thanks, that that expression of leadership to that person who first gave us the right to vote, then that person who gave us the right to independence, has been followed for the most part by this country and its leaders.

Similarly, the understanding that we shall not loiter on colonial premises or loiter on any premises where we are not wanted, continues to be as relevant today as it was then.

The expression delivered to the President of the United States of America, who offered to pay our dues to join the Organization of American States when Mr Barrow politely refused and said, “in our part of the world where I come from, if you cannot afford the dues, you do not join the club”. That is the Barbados first to which I speak.”

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