Country Listing

Caribbean Islands Table of Contents

Caribbean Islands

Relations with the Commonwealth and Others

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 government.

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.

Data as of November 1987