Relations with the United States

Caribbean Islands Table of Contents

In the early 1980s, the Adams government's diplomatic pressure on Bishop's Grenada, its participation in the 1983 intervention, and its advocacy of a Regional Defence Force were judged by a number of observers to represent a tilt from a nonaligned policy direction to one favoring United States security interests. It was clear that Adams's advocacy of enhanced security mechanisms, which came to be known as the "Adams Doctrine," dovetailed with the main thrust of Reagan administration policy in the Caribbean Basin. However, the Adams Doctrine probably was motivated more by the then-prime minister's interpretation of previous events, e.g., the 1979 Grenadian and Nicaraguan revolutions, than by United States, i.e., Reagan administration, pressure.

Barbadian relations with the United States have always been influenced by economic factors, especially trade and tourism (see Economy, this section). The Barrow government, in a foreign policy statement issued in 1987, recognized the importance of these relations and acknowledged the contribution of the United States Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps to projects in the fields of health education, housing, and agriculture. At the same time, Barrow chided both Caribbean and United States policymakers for perpetuating excessive reliance by Caribbean countries on the United States. He expressed a preference for greater "multilateralism" in this regard, apparently a reference to the need for increased coordination of aid programs among the United States, Canada, and the European Economic Community (EEC). Consistent with his earlier positions, Barrow also argued for greater Caribbean self-reliance and improved intraregional cooperation as a hedge against dependency.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress