Tuesday, April 21, 2009


USA President Obama


by Ray Auxillou ( Belize observations )

It has been interesting hearing the summing up of the SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS on local TV and I think I would more take my impressions from three leaders that have been interviewed. The first was Prime Minister Barrow of the country of Belize, who is also head of CARICOM this year. The leader of Guyana and then the remarks of President Obama of the USA.
PM Barrow of Belize was looking for concrete action proposals, but hinted that in that, he was disappointed, in that there was not anything really going to happen differently. Some hot button items were put on the table for CARICOM concerns and that of Barrow’s country of Belize. Something may come out of these later. There is a quotation applicable here “The Lord helps those that help themselves! “
The leader for Guyana, ‘I forget his name’, said it more succinctly. The SUMMIT more was a sharing of aspirations and common goals by the different leaders and any arguments were more in the nature of how best to go about achieving these for each country present. The fundamental idea was to improve living standards for their citizens and let them achieve happiness, each in his own way. In that sense, the Guyanese leader was positive on the sharing aspects of all the 34 leaders of the Americas coming out of the meeting.
President Obama of the USA was more soul searching. His vaunted ability with the diplomatic words, left him; as you could see the smoke coming out of his ears while thinking hard what to say. In a halting fashion when interviewed, he tried to marshal his thoughts and express them in a manner consistent with the future foreign policy interests of the USA. What came out of his thoughts was that the USA involvement in the past 20 years has been in drug intervention and minor military assistance. He was full of hesitations, searching for words to express the acknowledgement that this had not been enough by the USA and was not enough. It was obvious that OBAMA was struggling with the shortcomings of USA foreign policy regarding his own backyard on the American Continent. He was inadequately briefed and seemed not to know much about the Americas outside of Canada and Mexico. U.S. Foreign policy is still Euro Centric and Russian and Middle East centric. They are probably hiring the wrong kind of people in the CIA? It was clearly obvious that his NEW USA ADMINISTRATION were woefully short on Latin American intelligence, or involvement, that there was a complete absence of any plans or ideas, for the USA involvement with the other countries of the Americas. He obviously did not know the condition of the countries who are his neighbors, or their aspirations interpreted by a juandiced intelligence community in Washington, D.C. You could see that he wished he had something to offer, but his State Department, CIA, and other foreign affairs advisors had nothing for him. He was obviously inadequately prepared with a brief on the American continent current affairs, he did not know his subject and felt embarrassed that he didn’t have a single idea, or program to offer. We understand, because we realize he is new in his job. We also understand, because we are his neighbors and have become accustomed to Euro centric, bureaucratic Washington arrogance, or ignorance. Hopefully, he will find ways to change that? Given his financial problems, one does not hold out much hope. USA National Debt is reputed to be 4% of GDP, ( above the 3% maximums for good governance ) whereas in Belize here, our ratio is 78% of GDP, while some of the Caricom countries are reputed to have ratios of 170% of GDP.
Still, speaking solely for BELIZE, I can give him a few ideas, like I give Prime Minister Barrow in daily and weekly articles. I do this, knowing full well this will put me on a terrorist watch list in the current state of the art, of excessive Homeland Security bureaucratic paranoia in the Washington establishment.
In the weekend newspapers of Belize published down in the port town on the coast, there are numerous quarter page advertisements this weekend from Japan, South Korea, from New Zealand and Taiwan, for scholarships for Belizeans for higher education. Most of these are to do with people with Masters Degrees, going for their Phd, or post graduate degrees. Decades ago the USA used to do these things and so did the U.K., but not for a very long time now. ( decades ) In the very small country of Belize, these type of educational scholarships are going to bureaucrats mostly, in salaried jobs in the civil service. There is nothing wrong with having more experienced academics in the civil service, they perhaps do improve our administrative capability in government. The trouble is, that Belize at this stage of growth as an Independent nation, small as we are, need Community College level specialist courses for our young people. Things that would make them entrepreneurs and productive citizens. Our national need is for more exports, not so much better academic administrators we cannot afford. I’m mindful of a local youth in my community of Hillview, that was keen as a young artist and finally he went to the USA on some kind of scholarship for three months and got lessons in water colors, acrylics, layering and other tricks of the commercial artist trade and I have seen the improvement in his paintings. He has now become a professional artist, thanks to that 3 months scholarship training in the USA. Who paid for it, I don’t know? I’m going to try and fill the information gap in, for the President of the USA, intelligence brief regarding his neighbors of the Americas. While your gurus in Washington, D.C. flounder with what to do for affordable USA foreign policy programs, I suggest you renew short term courses of the Community College level for students of the 34 countries of the Americas. In Belize, that USA artist training worked successfully. We also need software programmers, airplane pilots and airplane and powerplant mechanics certified to FAA standards for licensing here in Belize. There are probably more things your bureaucrats can think of that are not available here in Belize? President Obama, if you are listening? Implement a new low budget foreign scholarship program for assorted technical skills that one does not find normally in a University environment. The short courses, which enhance, at least in Belize, the capability of a new young generation to earn a living and contribute to our country GDP. As you said yourself in that post summit interview in Trinidad, the USA needs ways to influence public opinion in the Americas of which the USA is a part. This is cheap and justifiable as a USA foreign policy interest. This is the way you can do it. Set up a program of educational short term courses financed to bring young people from the Americas to the USA for specialist short term training not available in other American countries due often to economies of scale. Low budget and VERY EFFECTIVE foreign policy results in benefits, to the USA image and involvement with your fellow 34 American countries. If you want to go a step further, expand the budget for your PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS and increase them. We now have similar volunteers from Taiwan, Japan and other Asian countries. We don’t need 4 year Phd courses, we need practical stuff done in short time periods. If you want to do more, then build us some bridges over some of our wild rivers.
On the home front in Belize, it is obvious to me from this SUMMIT of the AMERICAS at least, that it is time to take the organizational events of the past five years with Central American countries and Caricom countries and merge them both, into a more larger cooperative whole. A Group of Caribbean nations, including Central American and perhaps Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela as well, as Caribbean nations. We can call them the group of Caribbean 20 or GC22 or something? Cooperatives and credit unions do not only work for groups of citizens but they can increase our local geographic world political power, by having a larger group of countries. We in Belize are already doing this in meteorology, police, air traffic, bus traffic, disaster assistance and such lower level institutions throughout Central America and Caricom. It is time to expand our capabilities, melding Central American countries and the Caribbean islands together in ONE cooperative whole. Trade and commerce then become practical. Lets do it!
When will we hold the next CG 20 Caribbean SUMMIT?

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Intervention services do not always end up successful, but they do have a high success rate of at least 85%. As such, each member of the intervention group is provided with drug intervention training to prepare them and make them effective interventionists.