The 44th CARICOM summit also had a real surprise guest, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the 44th summit, Zelensky appealed to leaders of the Caribbean Community nations, outlining the principles of Ukraine’s Peace Formula and advocating for increased cooperation.
He has urged the island alliance to join Ukraine’s efforts in promoting comprehensive, fair, and sustainable peace, which he plans to present in a UN General Assembly resolution. Zelensky stressed the importance of their support, stating that peace is a shared value that requires collective action.
Later on February 17, Zelensky announced that Ukraine would send a resolution to the UN the following week calling for a “comprehensive, just, and sustainable peace in Ukraine.” In a speech to the leaders of the Caribbean Commonwealth, Zelensky made the remark and urged them to back the resolution.
The West behind the Curtains
Now, Zelensky’s speech at CARICOM has taken place at a time when the western leader had also arrived in the Bahamas to usher support and strengthen their cooperation with Caribbean nations.
Dozens of Caribbean leaders and top officials from the US and Canada, including John Kerry, the former presidential candidate who now serves as the US special presidential envoy for climate, and Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had arrived in the country to attend the high-level meeting.
Amidst the meeting, it is highly likely that the West had also raised concerns about aiding Ukraine to these small nations.
About a month ago, there were reports that the United States was urging countries in Central and South America to provide Ukraine with a rapid military boost. Military officials responsible for operations and defense relations in the region viewed this as an opportunity to convince countries to relinquish their Russian-made weapons and systems and transfer them to Kyiv.
The motive behind this initiative was that the West sought to provide additional aid and weaponry to Ukraine, as what the US had previously done was apparently insufficient, according to a report by The Washington Post. And now, at the CARICOM meeting, Zelensky himself arrived in its bid for ushering support and aid.
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However, it is unclear how much assistance can be provided by the Caribbean nations, given their limited resources and infrastructure. As a result, demands greater aid as unrealistic and short-sighted.
The region has historically been unable to invest in its defense infrastructure, leaving it vulnerable to internal conflicts, natural disasters, and external threats. The situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The region itself grapples with its own unique challenges, including ongoing issues with poverty and social inequality and the question of whether it can provide meaningful assistance to Ukraine remains an open one.
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