Press Release:– The United Workers Party expresses deep concern over recent statements by External Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste disrespectful of Saint Lucia’s longstanding international and regional partners.
At a recent press briefing, Baptiste referred to the LIMA group— comprising countries
such as Canada, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and other Latin American and Caribbean countries, as being a “morally bankrupt mongoose gang.”
While the United Workers Party respects a new administration’s right to review foreign
policy, we consider such egregious statements potentially harmful to Saint Lucia’s foreign relations, especially when our country is grappling with a worsening world pandemic.
Says party leader Allen Chastanet: “It has been barely a week since his appointment as
Minister for External Affairs and already the notoriously garrulous Mr. Baptiste has
returned to his old habit of tossing verbal insults at our international partners. The SLP
has long demonstrated a proclivity to attack foreigners, whether investors or visitors. This
is a dangerous policy that could have far-reaching repercussions for Saint Lucians at
home and abroad.”
The Opposition Leader added: “One has to question why the priority of the new SLP
administration is not to quickly as possible ensure Saint Lucia receives donated vaccines
from the United States. We have already received alarming news that Saint Lucia is not
on the list of the first Caribbean countries receiving vaccines from the US. At this time
when we are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, we cannot afford the negative
rhetoric recently spewed by and the new foreign minister. He should be spending less time on vendettas while doing his utmost to ensure Saint Lucia is not left behind.”
The Opposition Leader also questioned why the SLP administration has not signed the
requisite documentation with the United States for Saint Lucia to receive vaccines and
whether this is a deliberate decision, especially in light of recent pronouncements by the
External Affairs Minister.
Former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet reminded that the United Workers Party Government had prided itself on this country’s foreign policy.
He said: “We worked hard to restore Saint Lucia’s image and our regional and international partnerships. The evidence is well documented. This is hardly the time to destroy these gains, when we need to maintain and increase good friendships with countries that traditionally have shared our ideals.”