regain the moral high ground that it seems to more prone to drug traffickers and all that goes
have lost in world affairs. We see this as fun- with that scourge. The Caribbean countries are
damental to the fashioning of a new agenda transit points and not producers of cocaine.
for the region. U. S. actions in Iraq and Afghani- Because the demand for drugs emanates from
stan have lowered world opinion of the United Europe and the U.S., the presence of drug deal-States. ers moving through difficult-to-monitor sea and
History has taught us that we must encour- air space is of deep concern. Mr. President-elect,
age those who live in our neighborhood to be we urge you to be more mindful of the Carib-friends, notwithstanding past differences and bean and to join us in a frontal fight against
the difficulties in the achievement of this goal. these evils.
This approach has proven to be the best form The growth and viability of our small econ-of defense. omies is very much dependent on the growth
It is in this context that we encourage you of yours, not only in tourism and energy but
: to once again explore options for bringing Ven- in remittances as well, of which we are most
ezuela and Cuba back into the fold of friends. appreciative. We know this is likely to be high
For although we do not share the same political on your list of priorities. We pray for your
doctrines, we certainly share the same future. speedy success in this area.
Instill calm We do not have the answers, but we know that In economic questions, reviving moral
and stability this part of the world will be far better off as a authority is also crucial. Placing a high prior-
result, and that we all stand to benefit. ity on moral leadership, especially in foreign
in some of the A second immediate concern for us in the affairs, and on defusing tensions in the Ameri-
more volatile region is the state of the U.S. and global econ- cas will allow you to strengthen your economy
countries in omy. In the Caribbean, the high price of fuel and can serve as a basis for confronting the
influences the price of many commodities inflation, crime and drug trafficking that are
the world such and serves as a catalyst for emerging inflation. strangling small Caribbean states.
He should help to refinance our external debt,
as Nigeria Beyond the fuel price, we are concerned about Since our populations comprise a large
and Iran. the uncertainty surrounding price movements percentage of young people, we hope that you
of key commodities. One way you can reduce can work together with us on providing new
uncertainty is through policies that can help to hope for our youth in the form of scholarships
instill calm and stability in some of the more for education, employment opportunities and
volatile countries in the world, such as Nigeria skills-training programs.
and Iran. We are keenly aware that U.S. strength has
Caribbean countries depend largely on tour- built the world’s largest single economy and
ism for jobs, foreign exchange and much of the freest, most generous nation on earth. I
their sustainability. The stark reality is that this pray that it will retain this place for a long time
major industry is under attack from a range of to come! I take this opportunity to congratu-
intimidating factors. High on the list are crime, late you on your victory together with my col-
drugs and environmental damage. As if these leagues in the Caribbean.
were not enough, an added challenge is the We wish you all of God’s continued bless-
recession in your country. This confluence of ings and divine wisdom in prioritizing an.d con- events can only lead to a reversal of the condi- fronting our many challenges. We stand ready tions alluded to above and to weaker societies to assist you in the task that lies ahead!
which many see as illegitimate.
This would be a great gesture.—Francisco