0

We’re just blips on Putin’s radar

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I read that Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) delegation will be heading to Belize to attend the CARICOM Heads of Government Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting, scheduled for March 1-2. The event will be chaired by Belize Prime Minister John Antonio. Among the topics to be discussed by CARICOM leaders will be the CARICOM Single Market Economy, agri-food systems agenda, the regional security situation, climate change, economic recovery efforts in the post-COVID-19 World and Haiti. According to The Tribune, Davis will discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its potential economic impact on the region. The Tribune reported last week that Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell warned that the Russian/Ukraine war could cause a gallon of gasoline to go up to as much $8. Mitchell's reference of Russia seeking The Bahamas' support for the Bureau International des Expositions in France in 2023 suggests to this writer that there is a remote possibility that the PLP delegation to CARICOM might consider urging the 14 other heads of state to use their collective influence to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to stand down.

The CARICOM Secretariat has already issued a statement condemning the Russians. On February 24, Mitchell issued a formal statement condemning the Russian government also. I am assuming that this is the official position of the PLP government. However, if the great United States of America is unable to persuade Putin, via diplomatic and economic sanctions to withdraw from Ukraine, I can hardly see him cowering in the presence of CARICOM. For starters, while CARICOM's combined population is just over 18 million, Russia has a population of over 143 million. Moscow's population of 12.6 million is larger than Haiti's entire population. Haiti has the largest population in the CARICOM. Unlike any of the 15 CARICOM member states, Russia is a G20 nation; and is just one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Moreover, none of the CARICOM states, with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago, produces oil at commercial quantities. However, Russia ranks third in oil producing nations of the world. While The Bahamas has to import 95 percent of its food from abroad, Russia, along with the US, India and China, are the top producers of major cereal and vegetable crops in the world. Russia is also a top ten beef producing nation.

While The Bahamas had a GDP of $12.60 billion in 2021, Russia's GDP is currently $1.578 trillion, which is good for 11th in the world. The Russian Army has just over one million active members - making it one of the largest in the world. In fact, Putin pumped $61.7 billion on defense in 2020 alone, which is about $51 billion more than the Bahamian National Debt of $10 billion. The Russian Army is considered by military experts to be the second-most powerful military in the world, right behind the US Army. Moreover, Putin allegedly has a net worth of $200 billion, making him wealthier than the entire CARICOM group of nations combined. Putin could pay off the Bahamian debt and still have $190 billion to spare. Russia is also one of nine countries with nuclear weapons. Four of the countries, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, have yet to accept the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. Concerning the Police of Russia, this organisation had 750,000 officers in 2018, which is nearly the size of the Bahamian population.

I don't see Putin losing sleep over CARICOM's condemnation. CARICOM is hardly in any position to engage Russia militarily, let alone punish the Russians via an economic embargo. Mind you, I am not opposed to CARICOM implementing practical measures to assist the Ukrainian people. I am only stating that diplomatic measures against Putin would be useless. That's just the reality of the situation. CARICOM members such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas are unable to defeat the small group of murderers that are systematically killing off their citizens annually, yet want to challenge, diplomatically at least, the Russians?

I would suggest to the 15 CARICOM heads of state to focus their attention on our own domestic issues, such as the high murder and rape rates, unemployment, systemic corruption in the CARICOM civil service sector, education, immigration and healthcare. Let President Joe Biden and the G20 countries deal with Putin. Personally, after opposing former President Barack Obama's decision to add additional American troops in the Afghan conflict in 2009, I seriously doubt Biden would engage the Russians militarily. He has already been raked over the hot coals by the leftist establishment for voting in favor of launching military action against Iraq in either 2001 or 2002, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The only meaningful weapon CARICOM and its denizens have concerning the Russian/Ukraine conflict is prayer. I am urging all evangelical Christian prayer warriors to pray that the sovereign Lord of the universe would bring an immediate end to the conflict in Ukraine.

KEVIN EVANS

Freeport,

Grand Bahama.

February 28, 2022.

Comments

jus2cents 5 months, 1 week ago

Russia is Not as strong as they pretend to be.

And The Bahamas needs to make a definitive stance against Russia, we have to chose a side, and as we are next door to the USA & they always helps us after a Hurricane I think they would be the wisest choice for allies. And The USA is in NATO and sided with The UK both have immense military forces. China has a lot of interests in Cuba and in Russia, they also have Baha Mar and The Point, an Embassy here and other investments. So we also need to let them know where we stand, they have wavered on the sidelines and benefiting from all the unrest in Russia.

We need to stop Russian, investments in The Bahamian banks, their private air planes and yachts need to be confiscated and stopped operating in our seas and sky. America will have to assist us with keeping our borders safe.

0

Proguing 5 months, 1 week ago

"Russia is Not as strong as they pretend to be." Probably not, but then we are just seeing another repeat of history when invasions turn out to be more difficult than planned. There are several examples with the USA. The difference here is that Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world and they can always have the last word should they choose to. As for China they won't wait very long on the sideline. They will replace every Western company that pulls out of Russia and they will buy all the gas that Europe does not want at a great discount. They will be the big winners of this war and we should understand what that means for our future.

0

Sign in to comment