Caribbean Islands-Relations with the Commonwealth and Others
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Barbados utilized its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations
mainly to advance its economic interests, such as the promotion of
tourism and the provision of aid and technical cooperation (see
Appendix B). In addition, the Barbadians have also used the
Commonwealth as a forum to air their long-standing condemnation of
the apartheid system in South Africa and to push Britain toward a
stronger stance with regard to sanctions against the South African
Beyond its antiapartheid stance and such related positions as
support for the self-determination of Namibia and recognition of
the South West Africa People's Organization, Barbados has expressed
a keen interest in African affairs generally through its membership
in the Commonwealth and the United Nations. The Barbadians viewed
this connection as a natural one, arising from historical and
cultural links as well as a convergence of economic interests.
Along with many African and other Third World members, Barbados has
supported the movement for a New International Economic Order and
argued in favor of a code or other mechanisms for the transfer of
technologies from developed to developing countries.
Barbados' primary connection with the EEC has been through the
Lomé Convention (see Glossary), which is updated every five years.
Barbadian negotiators were involved in the discussions that
finalized Lomé III in 1985. In a show of Caricom solidarity, in
1986 Barbados protested efforts by Britain and France to block
Guyana's access to funds from the CDB, to which both European
nations had contributed. The British and French objected to alleged
human rights abuses and electoral irregularities in Guyana, issues
that Barbados had tended to overlook in the interest of Caribbean
unity and support for ideological pluralism.
In keeping with this stance and its historical efforts at
nonalignment, as of 1987 Barbados maintained diplomatic relations
with a number of communist countries, including Albania,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), and China. These
relations were not very active, although some limited technical
assistance and other exchanges were undertaken with the Chinese.
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