Monday, October 9, 2017


A Declaration from the 1st Caribbean Peace Conference
Bridgetown, Barbados, Oct. 6-7th, 2017


The Peace Organizations existing in the Caribbean -- the Caribbean
Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI), the Cuban Movement for
Peace and People´s Sovereignty (MovPaz), the Jamaica Peace Council
(JPC), the Guyana Peace Council (GPC), and the Caribbean Chapter of the
International Network In Defense of Humanity (NIDOH-C), as well as
several national delegates of other progressive organizations (all together
representing eight sister nations of the Caribbean-- Barbados, Cuba,
Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago,
Venezuela) and the USA Peace Council met in Barbados over the period
of 6th and 7th October 2017 to discuss critical matters relating to world
peace and to adopt the Declaration inscribed hereunder.
At a meeting of the World Peace Council held in São Luís, Brazil from
November 18-19, 2016 and hosted by the Brazilian Center for Solidarity of
the Peoples and Struggle for Peace (CEBRAPAZ), and meeting under the
theme “Strengthen the peoples' solidarity in the struggle for peace, against
imperialism” it was determined that “strengthening the World Peace
Council is a key task in this solidarity”, and to this end the Peace Councils
of the Caribbean were requested to stage a pan-Caribbean Conference in
the year 2017.
Given the call from the World Peace Conference in Sao Luis, the
Caribbean Peace Movement moved to organize its first Caribbean Peace
Conference in the island of Barbados between October 6th and 7th, 2017.
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The delegates of the First Caribbean Peace Conference view with concern,
the neo-liberal counter-offensive of imperialism, which is impacting
Caribbean societies largely through the installation of retrograde capitalist
forces, which have opened the countries to private sector dominance and
the reversal of the social gains in health, education, public housing and
transportation, adversely impacting the quality of life of the Caribbean
working people.
The First Caribbean Peace Conference also recognizes that climate change
poses a major threat to the countries of the Caribbean region, as it impacts
negatively on our ecological and economic systems and increases the risk
of natural disasters that can wipe out Caribbean economies by wreaking
havoc on infrastructure and by causing significant loss of life.
The Conference notes with alarm the extra-ordinarily intense and violent
current hurricane season which has resulted in billions of dollars in
infrastructural damage, destroyed entire islands, crippling their economies
and has resulted in scores of deaths. It has not escaped notice that these
natural events that have been exacerbated by the effects of human activity,
have occurred following denials by the leadership of the USA -- the
world’s most eco-unfriendly nation -- of the need for any global
agreements to combat global warming. From that perspective, the failure
to build global consensus around climate change and the necessary
responses represents a tremendous threat to Peace in the Caribbean region
and militates against the stability and the proper functioning of Caribbean
institutions and societies in general.
We also recognize the presence of foreign military bases in the Caribbean
as contributing significantly to further environmental degradation and as an
erosion of the security and stability of the region. We therefore denounce
the military maneuvers and exercises which destroy the environment and
undermine the health of the populations residing in proximity to those
military bases.
But in addition to their environmental costs, the First Caribbean Peace
Conference also views the presence of the large number of foreign military
bases and facilities in the Caribbean region as a serious threat to the peace
and stability of all the nations given their warlike and interventionist
purposes. We consider it to be both, urgent and necessary, to resolutely
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join in the actions of the international campaign against foreign military
bases and for a world of peace without nuclear, chemical and
bacteriological weapons.
The First Caribbean Peace Conference acknowledges the 1967 Tlatelolco
Treaty which established our region of Latin America and the Caribbean as
a nuclear free zone, and to this end, we demand the immediate cessation of
the transshipment of nuclear waste through the Caribbean Sea.
We also recognize the significance of the fact that 122 United Nations
member states have adopted the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, the
first and only international legal instrument that declares illegal all nuclear
weapons. However, we forcefully condemn the fact that the superpowers
possessing such weapons that can wipe out humanity have deliberately and
arrogantly avoided signing this essential treaty.
We also note with alarm that a specific threat to Caribbean peace resides in
the proliferation of firearms in the Caribbean , in an environment of
economic and social collapse occasioned by neo-liberal capitalism and the
corrupt activities of drug trafficking, money laundering, and human
trafficking. When coupled with the intense foreign media penetration that
the Caribbean has been subjected to, the phenomenon of imported values
eclipsing our local values of respect and human decency, and with movies
and films perpetuating greed, violence, opulence and selfishness, then the
rise in senseless killings and gang warfare, presents itself as a direct threat
to our Caribbean civilisation.
AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND, the 1st Caribbean Peace Conference hereby:
1. Dedicates the work, results and outcomes of the conference to
the memory and honour of the eternal Commanders Ernesto Che
Guevara and Fidel Castro Ruz, and in recognition of both the 50th
anniversary of the fall-in-combat of Commander Ernesto Ché
Guevara and the 1st anniversary of the passing of Dr. Fidel Castro on
November 25th 2016. We pay homage to these two world visionary
leaders, who made extra-ordinary contributions to peace and to the
liberation struggle of African, Latin-American and Caribbean
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2. Demands the end of the foreign military presence that
MINUSTAH represents in Haiti and its replacement by a civilian and
humanitarian support mechanism. In addition, the Conference rejects
the notion of a “failed state”, which is a concept that is used by the
forces of imperialism as a justification for interference in the internal
affairs of sovereign nations and as a motive for military intervention
for regime change.
3. Affirms our determination to safeguard peace in Latin America
and the Caribbean in keeping with the Havana Declaration approved
by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at the second CELAC
Summit held in Havana, Cuba in the year 2014-- a Declaration which
establishes our region as a Zone of Peace.
4. Re-Affirms our commitment to the principle of Latin America
and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and our profound respect for
the principles and norms of international law, the inalienable right of
every State to freely choose their political, economic, social and
cultural system without interference of any kind, and the sovereign
equality of states.
5. Recognizes the role played by women in advancing the peaceful
and sustainable future of the planet, and acknowledges that the
achievement of peace and an end to violence are dependent on
respecting cultural, racial, religious, and sexual diversity.
6. Commits to fight against imperialism, neoliberal policies, and
foreign military actions which seek to undermine and defeat the
progressive and democratic governments and movements of the
7. Rejects the prevailing hegemonic concept of the “ideal western
state”-- a concept which encourages racism, white supremacy, and
discrimination. Instead, we recognize and accept a broader and more
inclusive concept of human development, participation and
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8. Rejects the
interventionist actions, the threat of military intervention, the media
campaigns, the psychological threats, the economic war, and the
financial blockade orchestrated and directed by the government of
the United States of America (USA) and by sections of the national
and international conservative oligarchy, which undermine the peace
and stability of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as they
attempt to destroy the Bolivarian revolution and its positive influence
on Latin America and the Caribbean.
9. Recognizes the sovereign right of the Venezuelan people to
undertake reform of their nation’s Constitution, and accepts the
National Constituent Assembly elected by over eight million people
as a legitimate expression of the will and sovereignty of the
Venezuelan people: and we also remind the world that the National
Constituent Assembly is provided for within the Venezuelan
10. Supports the efforts made by the revolutionary government of
Venezuela to establish dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition --
with the aim of achieving a lasting peace -- within the framework of
the discussions that are being held in the Dominican Republic with
the support of the International Community.
11. Expresses the broadest solidarity with countries and peoples
under colonial rule in the Caribbean and South America who have
been denied the right to self-determination and sovereignty, and in
particular we demand the end of French colonialism in Martinique,
Guadeloupe, and French Guiana and commits to giving active
solidarity to the people of those countries in their struggle for
independence, sovereignty and self-determination.
12. Demands an end to foreign military presences in Latin America
and the Caribbean in general, and in Puerto Rico, the Malvinas,
Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in particular. We also reaffirm
that the Malvinas, Georgia and Sandwich Islands are part of the
territory of Argentina and must return to the sovereignty of the
Argentine nation.
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13. Condemns the
refusal of certain Caribbean countries to recognize the legitimate
right of the people of Palestine to sovereign statehood.
14. Condemns the government of the Dominican Republic for its
mass deportation of persons described as “Haitians” and carried out
from the year 2015 to the present. The Conference demands the
cessation of such deportations, and calls for an internationally
supervised determination of the nationality and legal status of the
remaining dark-skinned residents of the Dominican Republic in
order to remove the anxieties of this group. The Conference also
calls for the establishment of an international committee to determine
compensation for persons illegally displaced by the mass deportation
carried out directly or encouraged by the government of the
Dominican Republic.
15. Demands the return to Cuban national sovereignty of the
territory illegally occupied by the US Naval Base in Guantanamo;
and further demands that the US government accept the formal
proposal made by the Cuban government to include this issue in the
bilateral agenda as being a key factor in the process towards the
normalization of the relationship between the two countries, as well
as a key issue in the quest for regional peace and safety.
16. Supports the struggle of Cuba in all fora for the unconditional
removal of the illegal economic, financial and trade blockade, which
is the longest one in known history, and which not only qualifies as
an act of genocide in International Law but is also a fundamental
violation of the Sovereignty of third nations in that it is based upon
the extra-territorial application of national or domestic USA
17. Rejects the nasty, unfounded and unjustified decision taken by
the Donald Trump administration against Cuban diplomats in the
USA, and evidently aimed at erasing all the constructive steps
recently achieved towards the normalization of the bilateral USA /
Cuba relationship, and which is-- by extension-- a new obstacle to
the development of normal relations with the rest of the Caribbean.
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18. Condemns all acts of terrorism as the anti-thesis of peace, and in
particular we recall and condemn the terrorist act committed on
October 6th 1976 when a bomb was planted on a Cuban commercial
aircraft which resulted in the deaths of 73 persons within the
territorial space of the island of Barbados. And to this end we
demand that the Government of the USA extradite Luis Posada
Carriles, the mastermind of the terrorist act, to Venezuela in order
that he may stand trial, and we also reiterate our support for the
campaign of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network in
Defense of Humanity to have the United Nations declare October 6th
as “International Day Against Terrorism”.
19. Supports the people from several Caribbean islands in their
struggle to overcome the aftermath of the repeated natural disasters
which have destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and to
achieve the necessary political and social stability that will enable
them to overcome the current situation.
20. Expresses solidarity and encourages concrete actions to alleviate
the suffering of the victims of recent natural phenomena, which have
led to devastation, destruction and loss of life in the Caribbean, and
in this regard the Conference demands the creation of global
institutional responses that are morally, economically and politically
commensurate with the crises which have befallen these countries.
21. Insists that global climate change discussions be re-engaged in
order to reduce the possibilities of such disasters that have befallen
the Caribbean in the 2017 hurricane season.
22. Condemns the policies that produce the indiscriminate
deportation of Caribbean prisoners from North American prisons,
human trafficking and arms trafficking in the Caribbean, and that help
to generate high crime rates that threaten the stability of several
Caribbean nations.
23. Rejects the Media Penetration and the Media Propaganda which
dull the senses of Caribbean populations to violence, crimes against
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the person, the assassination of leaders, invasion and war, and we
encourage our governments to create the conditions for local media
practitioners and cultural activists to advance our own aesthetics,
feelings and concerns.
24. Supports the right of the nations and people of the Caribbean to
pursue and demand reparations from the colonial powers for the
centuries of vassalage and exploitation founded on the genocide of
the indigenous people, African enslavement and colonialism.
25. Identifies the United States, NATO and the great powers of the
European Union and their allies, in their ambition for world
domination, as the main threats to peace and the happiness of the
peoples of the entire planet and we demand an end to all wars of
imperialist aggression.
26. Demands the elimination of nuclear weapons and an end to the
threat of their use, and further demands that our respective
governments and the nuclear-weapon possessing states promptly sign
and ratify the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
27. Celebrates the renewed commitment to the founding or
reactivating of the Caribbean movements and associations of Peace
and their linkage to the World Peace Council, and recognizes that it is
vital to articulate and engage upon such collective work in favor of
Peace in the region and in support of the sustainability and validity of
the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of
28. Expresses gratitude to the hosts, supporting institutions and
personalities, and to the Barbadian people as a whole for the warm
welcome given to the participants in the meeting, and for supporting
all the logistical arrangements of the 1st Caribbean Peace Conference
in Barbados.
29. Supports and undertakes to -- individually or in a collective
manner -- pursue the actions and initiatives contained in the Plan of
Action approved by the Conference.
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30. Reminds the Caribbean people of our unique history of race and
class based oppression, and of our historic struggles to resist,
overcome and transcend such oppression and denial of human
dignity, and re-affirm that our history has bequeathed to us a sacred
mission to advocate and defend the principles of freedom and human
dignity, and to stand with and give active solidarity and support to all
peoples who are legitimately fighting against oppressive forces, and
for freedom, dignity, respect, sovereignty, self-determination and