ALBA SEEN AS AVENUE FOR OBTAINING ECONOMIC AID SAYS LEADING CARIBBEAN ACADEMIC PROFESSOR DR. VAUG

Roseau, Dominica – March 12, 2008………… One of the Caribbean’s leading academics and former St. Lucian Prime Minister, Professor Dr. Vaughan Lewis, is of the view that Dominica or other Caribbean countries who give their support to ALBA see it as “just another avenue for obtaining economic aid which is not available in CARICOM”.

 

Dr.  Lewis made the disclosure during an interview with Stabroek News from Guyana last month.

 

There has been much debate and discussion in Dominica on the decision by Dominica to join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, (ALBA) which includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

 

On the issue as to whether ALBA would weaken CARICOM, Lewis said he did not see why ALBA should weaken CARICOM in principle. Mr Lewis added that Dominica and other CARICOM countries would first of all indicate “to CARICOM their intentions and what they are going there for. I think that in the spirit of CARICOM that would be a necessary thing to do. It is not that they would need assent or approval from CARICOM, but that CARICOM should be informed of their objectives”.

 

Questioned as to whether Dominica’s membership of ALBA would affect support in CARICOM on the Guyana/Venezuela border situation, Professor Lewis said that Venezuela’s territorial claim to much of Guyana did not inhibit Guyana from having normal relations with Venezuela.

 

According to Lewis, Guyana’s approach on the issue “has not been to depend so much on internal Caribbean support, although it was necessary, but to gain support by internationalizing the issue from which it felt it could get support if Venezuela seemed to be acting on the claim”. (Ends)

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