Diminishing Our Diplomatic Legacy

By Stephen Kangal
December 13, 2011

Stephen KangalMinisterial and accredited diplomacy failed to insulate T&T from the embarrassment occasioned by the successful and complicit application of the extra-territorial tentacles upon which the anti- Cuba 1996 Helms Burton Act (HBA) depends for the effectiveness of its punitive global outreach during the recent triennial Caricom-Cuba Summit. It is Cuba that should have apologized to T&T for feeling the impact of the US big stick diplomacy.

Remote sensing and proactive foreign policy capability and capacity would have alerted us to adopt pre-emptive diplomacy to avert the potential negative radiation originating from the non-extradition of the two nationals to the USA as well as T&T’s participation in and active endorsement of the pan-hemispheric integration designs of US arch-enemy, Hugo Chavez represented by CELAC. This Grouping threatens to make the OAS, ACS, Caricom etc extinct- the USA politically irrelevant.

T&T unwittingly buckled at the highest governmental levels. It collectively and in choral unison declared and elevated the illegal and presumptuous HBA both to the legal status of mandatory norm of prevailing international law binding on T&T. The US anti-Cuba foreign policy from which no derogation/comment was permissible was consecrated. T&T assumed an unwarranted and uninformed position of detached and complicit neutrality in treating with the HBA which is in fact and in law a codification of the foreign policy of the USA on Cuba-USA relations. In the face of all of this voluntary faux pas the diplomatic embarrassment to T&T was further compounded when the Summit Communique stated the very opposite. It reprimanded the USA for infringing and undermining the territorial sovereignty and political and jurisprudential independence of T&T by the latter having to stoop to apply for a US license to use its own hotel in its own exclusive territorial jurisdiction and being denied.

Our Ambassdor accredited to Washington should have been instructed that having regard to the uniqueness of the compelling multifaceted statal circumstances surrounding the hosting of the Summit at the Hilton by the State owner of the hotel in the person of the Prime Minister as well as the participation by Caricom Heads he should exercise all his accredited diplomatic powers and access to the Department of State/Department of the Treasury to make strong representations to expedite the requisite license. We heard nothing from this junior, inexperienced diplomat accredited to the most senior and prestigious diplomatic posting.

When tested to treat with a complex foreign policy challenge we were found to be wanting- swimming unconvincingly against the tide of international consensus on the unilateralism and illegality of the American Helms Burton hegemonic/demonic imposition.

2 Responses to “Diminishing Our Diplomatic Legacy”


  • “Remote sensing and proactive foreign policy capability and capacity would have alerted us to adopt pre-emptive diplomacy to avert the potential negative radiation originating from the non-extradition of the two nationals to the USA as well as T&T’s participation in and active endorsement of the pan-hemispheric integration designs of US arch-enemy, Hugo Chavez represented by CELAC. This Grouping threatens to make the OAS, ACS, Caricom etc extinct- the USA politically irrelevant.”

    Well Mr. Kangal, ‘we’ must give it to you. While some prefer to dip their heads in the sand and others cleverly try to ‘rally the people’ against the ‘bully tactics’ of the US.. None have had the balls to mention Ish and Steve in their ‘analysis’ of this standoff.
    I guess many did not get-it when AG Holder stated that T&T is in the Big Leagues now, and PM Kamla is known the world over. The news media tried to assure us that there was NO FALLOUT.

  • Excellent work Mr Stephen Kangal, and one might say, long over due, as the ship of state drift aground.
    Uncle Gypsy , are you going down as well? Just kidding , with the Mayaro kid.
    Seriously , Uncle K, love of country ,dictates that we play our role in nudging our leaders in the right direction,whenever possible, as our 1.3 million and counting mosaic of people ,deserves no less.
    Prudence dictates however, that we occasionally cut the government of the day some slack , bearing in mind, ….. well sorry , I have to take that back , as we are talking about the Great experienced, Dr Suraj Rambachan, not hot head Rammy the COP pit-bull.
    He should have anticipated this development long before it occurred. Can someone explain to them that Uncle Barrack Obama is getting ready for an upcoming election,is taking no chances, as he ‘line up his ducks in a row,’ as he might have to deal with one of the most formidable adversaries he had in his entire political life, in bombastic, pandering Newt, and his fellow Right Wing nuts.
    Let the critics claim,if they wish, that you are just making a wonderful chess playing move , as you and others smell, symbolic blood, with dem repeat faux paus, by Her Majesty Queen K, and her loyal team.
    Be that as it may ,I find your thoughtful comment today quite refreshing. We old school Diplomatic gurus , who have worked close to ,or directly in the ‘belly of the beast, knows fully well how the game is played , and so it becomes incumbent on us, to do our national duties, yes? Let’s continue to help our country advance.
    Luv Humanity

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