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Caribbean Letter to Barack Obama

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Open letter to President Barack Obama The Honourable Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. Sir: "There are things that my craft cannot wield, and one is power; and though only age earns the right to an abstract noun this, Sir, is my office, my Arkansas Testament, my two cupfuls of Cowardice, my sure, unshaven Salvation, my people's predicament." Like the muse in the excerpted Derek Walcott poem above, our predicament remains. We would expand the healing of racism's deep wound, a healing begun in recent history with Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in South Africa and continued in your election to the highest office of state in the USA, but our craft of words wield little power. Nevertheless we speak. Your government owes the nations of the Caribbean and the world an explanation of why, on behalf of the people of the United States, it continues to hold fast to an economic blockade of the Caribbean island of Cuba. If this policy could ever be explained to anyone's satisfaction before, it appears to us indefensible in the economic and political light of 2009. Sir, your government also owes it to the people who continue to be harmed as collectives of people bearing similar ethnic traits to be present at the upcoming World Conference Against Racism. We do not lesscount the complexity of the issues which your government faces in deciding to be there. Caribbean governments face no less measure of complexity. However, what our region shares with the United States, that makes it imperative that all our governments be represented there, is the degree of damage which racism has meted out to significant portions of our populations. It is a harm that you recognise continues to reverberate in history and over the globe. This call on the entire government of the United States to an accounting on these two matters is inspired by no less hope than that which you personally inspire. We believe the muse has not left America. Guidance, Margaret D Kawamuinyo Gill on behalf of several contributors to this website


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