WASHINGTON: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and the Organization of American States (OAS) have called for renewed efforts to make Simon Bolívar’s vision of unity and liberty in the Americas a reality.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Permanent Representative to the OAS, La Celia Prince, said Bolivar “hated oppression, falsehood and barbarism”.
Speaking on behalf of the CARICOM grouping at a ceremony marking Bolívar’s 177th birthday, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines diplomat said if the Venezuelan national hero were alive today he “would not have stood aside while modern day new oppressors like purveyors of illegal drugs, human traffickers, violators of human rights, perpetrators of organized crime in all its forms, violators of peace and security and most importantly, perpetrators of poverty and inequity continue to take their toll on the peoples of the hemisphere”.
Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Jamaica to the OAS, Stehpen Vasciannie, said the OAS represents “a model of Bolívar’s idealized union of Latin American and Caribbean states.
“As we celebrate his birthday, we should look around at where we are today, at a point in history where nearly all the countries of the hemisphere are free democracies,” he said, noting that the deals of Bolívar remain a guide in the continuing efforts to make the Americas a region “of liberty, democracy, development, peace and prosperity”.
For her part, the Alternate Representative of Canada, Julia Clark, called Bolivar “truly one of the great nation builders in world history” while the Permanent Representative of the United States, Carmen Lomellin, said Bolívar “serves as an inspiration for all the countries of the western hemisphere”.
She urged the OAS to take advantage of the occasion to “renew our commitment to a proud, just, united and democratic hemisphere”.
Bolivar, who died on December 17, 1830, is considered one of the most influential politicians in American history.