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President Trump encouraging mob on January 6, 2021 outside the White House


Recovering America’s battered Democracy and Authority

By Sir Ronald Sanders 

Recent events in Washington, the revered capital of the United States of America, have shaken the moral authority of that country to lecture, threaten and coerce other countries in the name of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

The disgraceful scenes of Americans storming their own sacred Capitol Building – the long-claimed sanctuary for democracy - was bad enough, but what preceded it was worse.   Republican Congresspersons, who do know better, wilfully and shamelessly tried to overturn the will of the American people to change their government through a democratic process that was confirmed by state and federal courts and by the U.S. Federal Supreme Court.

Shockingly, a sitting President of the United States, Donald Trump, openly encouraged a mob to be lawless and to attack the bastion of the country’s law-making body in a determined attempt to carry out a Coup d’etat.

The mob – nothing less than terrorists - were intent upon overturning the results of a legitimate Presidential election in which both the popular vote and the votes of the Electoral College confirmed that Joseph Biden Jr had been elected as President of the United States. In the course of it, within the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill, blood was shed. Not the proverbial blood resulting from heated debate and bruised egos, but real blood as Americans shot at Americans and a woman was killed.

When similar events occurred in other parts of the world, especially developing countries, except those countries where the U.S. government favours the regimes in power, the U.S. has been swift to act with threats, sanctions, condemnation and by promoting censure in bodies such as the Organization of American States (OAS).  Other governments that hang-on to the coat tails of the U.S. have been quick to support its actions.

Yet, even as the horrors at Capitol Hill were unfolding live on television screens worldwide, the OAS Secretary-General was silent until pushed publicly to speak – event then his statement lacked the usual castigation that he has used in relation to countries within and outside the Organisation.   Hangers-on governments also issued tame statements – none of them belled the cat by calling the name of the person solely responsible for bringing the U.S. to this sorry pass in the eyes of the international community.

It took the leader of the minority NDP in Canada, Jagmeet Singh, to publicly identify the culprit. In a tweet, Singh declared, “The horror unfolding in Washington is frightening and it was incited by Donald Trump. He can end it now but refuses to. Democracy must not be intimidated. The violence must end.”

On the same day, the Miami Herald interviewed me for a story entitled, “Across Latin America and in Miami, storming of U.S. Capitol recalls chaos at home”.  The focus was on the parallels between the assault on democracy and the rule of law in the U.S. and the U.S action in Guyana during five months in 2020 when the U.S. government acted to end the stealing of the government against the will of the electorate in the March 2020 general and regional elections.  I reproduce below a section of the Miami Herald story.

“What’s happening in the United States is a complete violation of every democratic norm and also of the rule of law (by Donald Trump and elements of the Republican Party) in a flagrant attempt to remain in power,” Sanders said. “Had that occurred in any developing country, indeed in any country of the world, the United States would have been the first to roundly condemn those people, to apply sanctions against those countries and to take action in the name of human rights, democracy and civil rights. “

Last year, Sanders noted, the Trump administration issued visa sanctions against members of the Guyana government when the country’s then-president David Granger refused to accept the outcome of the South American nation’s presidential elections and used the court system to try and overturn the vote.

“The circumstances are almost identical,” he said. “The United States government applied sanctions, applied threats and claimed democracy was at risk and demanded adherence by parties in Guyana, all of which were right. 

“I think all of those things were necessary, but you cannot apply it to other countries and not apply it to yourself. If you apply a double standard, you lose the authority to tell anybody anything when they do wrong.”

That is the consequence of Donald Trump’s rejection of the will of the majority of the American people that he should not return to the White House. It is also a consequence of the demeaning of the sanctity and authority of the U.S. Congress that he organised and promoted for his selfish ends.   And it is a consequence of the ready acquiescence of Republicans in Congress and of hanger-on governments, including in the Caribbean, who remained silent, and complicit, as Trump’s government forced its will in bodies such as the OAS, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Trade Organization and elsewhere, eroding international law, norms and practices.

Thankfully, the institutions of democracy and the rule of law remained strong and resilient in the U.S. itself.  Were it not for the belief and commitment of Americans themselves – including, in the end, Vice President Mike Pence – America and the world would have been facing an unstable and disastrous future today.

The world was brought to the brink of disaster on January 6 – a date described by senate minority leader, Democrat, Chuck Schumer, as “as one of the darkest days in recent American history”. 

It is to be hoped that Americans have learned a salutary lesson for democracy and the rule of law in their own country, and about the importance of retaining and nurturing respect, not fear, globally.  

Hopefully, hangers-on governments around the world, will also have learned that standing-up for principle is far more valuable than alliances with bullies with feet of clay.

New Lectures

Statement by Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda At a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States on Friday, 14th August 2020 “Tribute to Professor the Right Honourable Owen Seymour Arthur, Former Prime Minister of Barbados 1994-2008” 


Owen Arthur led many Caribbean struggles in the international community, one of which I was privileged to be his deputy.   
That was the Caribbean’s resistance to dictation by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to arbitrarily impose tax standards.
He brought to those negotiations in 2001 not only compelling logic and solid economic arguments, but also an insistence that the rich countries of the world understand that one-size shoes do not fit all feet; and that small states require different treatment because of the limitations that size imposes. 
Much of what he said in international fora, including to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, continues to express compelling truth, especially now as the effects of COVID-19 pandemic wrecks the economies of small states. 
He said, for instance, that the need for reform of the global financial architecture is accepted by the Caribbean, but we submit that it must include representation and participation from all of us. The practice and the politics of exclusion and dictation must cease.” 
That is a position of principle that we maintain today, including in this Organization of American States. 
In 1998, he made arguments to the global community that have particular resonance today in the context of the criteria by which Caribbean states are measured and treated. 
He said, “Even before the start of the current world crisis, many of our own economies were already in crisis.  Those economies are still in crisis and are facing the prospect of being engulfed in larger problems, not of our making. More than ever now there is urgent need for those who regard themselves as leaders of the world economy to demonstrate that leadership.  (see full statement in the "Lectures" section of this webiste.


On July 21st 2020, the Permanent Council of the Organization of Americam States held a Special Session on the Situation in Guyana.  In his presentation to the Council, Sir Ronald said: "Four and a half long months have passed and still there is no election result. In the meantime, four other Caribbean countries have held elections and elected governments have assumed office peacefully, including in Guyana’s immediate neighbouring state, Suriname.

Being entered into the Guinness Book of Records is usually for a remarkably deserving event.  However, Guyana has now been inscribed in its pages for the unworthy event of having achieved the longest delay, in the world’s history, between an election and the declaration of a result. Democracy is not being served. Nor is the people of Guyana’s right to democracy being served".

See the full statement in the "Lectures" scetion of this website.. 



On March 12th,2020, the day mandated by the UN to observe "International Day of Women", the OAS Permanent Council adopted its 11th Resolutuon in 21 years, resolving to address discrimination against Women in the OAS itself.   As Sir Ronald said in his presentation, " Despite all these resolutions, spanning a period of 21 years, this Organization has still not fulfilled these mandates...  A girl child born in 1999, has grown to full adulthood at ahe 21 as we in this council are still considering yet another Resolution".   See, his full statement in the "Lectures" section of this website.

Latest News in Pictures


With the late Right Honourable Professor Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados at his office at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in January 2020, talking Caribbean integration


Meeting between US Congressional Representatives, Global Banks and Caribbean government representative.  Congresswoman Maxin Waters (centre in red), Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne to her right, Sir Ronald Sanders to Prime Minister Browne's right.  Capitol Hill on November 14, 2019


Signing agreements for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Antigua and Barbuda in Washington, DC on 24 July 2019.  The agreemenst were signed by the Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Ronald Sanders (sitting right) and the Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo, Vlora Citaku (sitting left). Frymezin Isufaj and Joy-Dee Davis. Ministers Coundellor (standing left to right)


 Speaking at US Capitol Hill in behalf of CARICOM during Caribbean Legislative Week on 5 June 2019


Meeting Wesley Kirton Co-Chair Caribbean Studies Associaton, US, and Captain Gerry Gouveia of the Guyana Privat Sector at Antigua and Barbuda Embassy, Washington, DC on 4 June 2019


On 15 May, 2019 with the formidable US Congresswoman Maxine Waters who is Chair of the Financail Services Committee of the US House of Representatives.  I had presentred the case against de-risking, withdrawal of correspondent banking relations and blacklisting alone with CARICOM Ministers of National Security. 


 Testifying on 14th May, 2019 before the US International Trade Commission on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda and Caribbaean States on the perennial US trade surplus with the region which reached $7 Billion in 2018. 


Sir Ronald at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, talking trade and other relations between the US and CARICOM countries, especially Antigua and Barbuda, with Cingressman Brad Wenstrup (R-Cincinnati) on  27 February 2019.


Caribbean Ambassadors in Washington with US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Kim Breier, at the US State Department. Sir Ronald third from right in January 2019. 


In July 2018, while in Ottawa for Antigua and Barbuda bilateral talks with Canadian government officials, Sir Ron ran into old and repected friend, Joe Clarke - former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada and a great warrior in the anti-apartheid struggle.


With Ambassador Jesus Silvera of Panama, receiving a donation to the rebuilding of Barbuda, June 2018


With OAS Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, on 6 June 2018, signing the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and  Related Forms of Intolerance.  Antigua and Barbuda was the first signatory to the Convention and the second country to ratify the Convention. 

 Signing ceremony in Washington, DC of Abolition of Visa Requirements between Ukraine and Antigua and Barbuda in May 2018.  Ukraine Amnbasador (left) and Joy-Dee Davis, Minister Counsellor, Antigua and Barbuda Embassy (right) 


 With Governor-General of Canada,Her Excellency Julie Payette, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 30th 2018.  In addition to beeing accredited to Canada as High Commissioner, I have the honour of sharing the distinction with this amazing former Astronaut of being a Senior Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto.


In Tobago after delivering feature address at The Tobago Finance week on 13 November 2017.  Photo shows, Economist Terrence Farrell, Sir Ronald, Tobago Deputy Chief Secretary Joel Jack, and Anthony Pierre, Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Chartered Accountants


 In Port-of-Spain, Trinidad speaking at the annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago on 9 November 2017


 Speaking at a meeting in Geneva, prior to appearnace at the World Trade Organisation on Antigua and Barbuda's contention with the US government on the WTO award to Antigua over Internet Gaming, September 2017 


 Speaking on Refugees resulting from Climate Change and the growing danger to small island states at an event organised by OXFAM in Washington, DC on 30 October 2017. (Heather Coleman, OXFAM; Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda; Selwyn Hart (Barbados), Lisa Friedman, New York Times)


Sir Ronald speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC on 12 October 2017.  He was talking about the devastation of Barbuda by Hurricane Irma and the remedies for Climate Change and Global Warming.  To his left are:  The Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin la Rocque and St Lucia Prime Minister Alan Chastanet


Sir Ronald speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the security and other threats posed to the Caribbean and the Hemisphere of Climate Change and Global Warming on 13 September 2017


 Sir Ronald (third right) with senior officers of the Inter-American Defense Board in Washington, DC after discussing what assistance could be given in the clean up and rebuilding of Barbuda after Hurricane Irma (Friday, 15 September 2017)


With US Congressman, Ranking member of Committee on Foreign Affairs at Capitol Hill on 14 September, discussiing secutty matters, Hurricane Irma and Barbuda and the US-Antigua and Barbuda WTO issues.  Very helpful.


 With US Congressman Mark Meadows on Capitol Hill talking the US-Antigua and Barbuda WTO issues, and the effets of Hurricane Irma on the island of Barbuda on 12 September, 2017.  Good man. 


 Talking to the Emergency Agencies of the OAS about the impact of Hurricane Irma on the island of Barbuda and seeking assistance on 14 September 2017


Sir Ronald with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on 28 August 2017 discussing Canada-Antigua and Barbuda bilateral matters.


Sir Ronald with the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, at the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States in Cancun, in June 2017


Heads of Delegations to the OAS General Assembly in Cancun.  Mexican Presdident, sixth from right, front row.  Sir Ronald fourth from right, front row.


Meeting of Consulation on the situation in Venezuela at the Organisation of American States on 31 May 2017 Sir Ronald (far right).


With Texas Congressman Randy Weber at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, talking energy, water and US-Antigua and Barbuda relations on Wednesday 5 April, 2017 



With my colleague Argentine Ambassador to the OAS, Juan Jose Acuri (right) and the Argentina candidate for election to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rigjts Dr Carlos de Casas on 29 March 2016


 At the International Monetary Fund with Exceutive Director for Canada and the Caribbean, Nancy Horsman, to discuss Antigua and Barbuda matters.


At the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy receiving Antonia Urrejola, the candidate of Chile for the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, on 23 March 2017 


 With the Mexican Candidate for the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, Joel Hernadez Garcia, on 21 March 2017


 At the World Bank on20 March 2017 meeting Christine Hogan, the Executive Director for Canada and the Caribbean, to talk about Antigua and Barbuda matters.


With Joe Barton, US Congressman from the State of Texas in his Office on Capitol Hill on Thursday, 16 March 2017 discussing US-Antigua and Barbuda relations


Hosting a meeting at the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy in Washington, DC of diplomatic representatives of St Lucia (Ambassador Anton Edmunds, St Kitts-Nevis Ambassador Thelma Phillip-Browne and St Vincent Deputy Chief of Mission Omari Williams)


Meeting the Cuban Ambassador to the United States, Jose Cabanas Rodriguez at the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy on Tuesday, 21st February, 2017


With the Ambassador of Ecudaor to the United States, Francisco Borja Cevallos, talking Ecuador-Antigua and Barbuda relations on 13 February 2017


 With US Congressman Gus Bilikakis (Dem,Fl) for talls on Caiptol Hill in Washington


With Charlie Crist, US Congressman (Dem, Fl) for discussions on US-Antigua and Barbuda matters


 With US Senator Jeff Duncan, Chair Foreign Relations Committee talking energy and Citizenship by Investement Programmes in the Caribbean


 With Professor Louis Gates Jr at the Smithsonian National Musuem of African American History in Washington, DC after an evening of enlightening presentations on the neglected story of the building of the US 

Videos of historic Rastafarian occasion at the OAS on 14 May 2018

The You Tube Video below is the historic occasion at the Permanent Delegation of the Organisation of American States (OAS) when Antigua and Barbuda led the way in aplogising for the wrongs done to the Rastafarian community of the Caribbean. It was the first time that a representavive of the Rastafarian community addressed a high-level inter-governmental body.

Another You Tube Video is the Report to the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States on 20 April 2018 on the Antigua and Barbuda General Elections of March 21.   See video of the report on You Tube link below:


Sir Ronald Statements at the OAS

Two statements made at the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States on 20 April, 2018 have been posted in the "Lectures" section.    The statements are on:  The Guatemala Referendum authorising the Government to take the border dispute with Belize to the International Court of Justice; and a Report on the General Elections held in Antigua and Barbuda on 21 March, 2018.

All posts...

Election for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General

Sir Ronald was a candidate for election to the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General In November 2015 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta. View further details here.

Portrait of Sir Ronald Sanders

Sir Ronald Sanders is currently Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States and the Organisation of American States.


Welcome to this website. I created it in 2009 in response to many requests for access to commentaries I have written, lectures I have given and interviews that have been broadcast or printed in the media on matters related to the political economy of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.  They are all avaialble here for free.

These requests have come from university students, publications, academics, government officials and business people in many parts of the world. In the course of responding to these requests, I have been pleased to build up a network of global contacts who now receive my commentaries weekly.

From a career that encompassed broadcast and print journalism, development and commercial banking, diplomacy and international negotiations in both the public and private sectors, I am privileged to draw on wide and varied experiences to write, lecture and undertake consultancies.  The latter activity was susended while I carry out my present functions as Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda. 

I have taken the greatest pleasure in receiving comments and criticism from people all over the world that the Internet has made a “village”. I have learned from many of the comments I received. They have caused me to reflect on my own thinking. Through this website, I hope to communicate regularly with all who write to me.

The website is now a permanent repository of the weekly commentaries and lectures going back several years. Anyone is free to access them here, and to cite them provided my permission is sought in advance through the “Contact me” mechanism. A few of the lectures I have given in Britain and in the Caribbean are also posted on the site in a PDF format which can be easily downloaded. Again, I would make the same request to seek my permission before citing the material.

I invite responses to my writings, and inquiries about the experience and knowledge I can bring to achieving the objectives of companies and organizations that do business related to the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

Kind regards

Ronald Sanders