CARICOM Continues To Fail The People Of The Caribbean

CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington

Caricom blasts Suriname’s atomic plans

Suriname’s proposed construction of a nuclear power facility has continued to come in for fierce criticism.

The move could also split members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) which has traditionally opposed the passage of nuclear waste through its waters.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the smelter and power plant, estimated to cost ($30 million), is reportedly scheduled for August this year. However, up to two weeks ago the issue had not been raised at the level of Caricom. Caricom Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington, said that like many other persons, he had read about the Dutch-speaking country’s plans in the media. He added that it had not been discussed at the level of Caricom, nor had anyone brought it to the attention of the 15-state grouping, of which Suriname became a member in 1995. As such, he was not able to comment further. Caricom has, over the years, consistently called on governments guilty of shipping nuclear waste across the Caribbean Sea to stop. Concerns about the ecological fragility of the Caribbean Sea and the well-being of the millions of people who depend on the unique resource for their very existence have been put forward.

Just last year, when Trinidad Prime Minister Patrick Manning was Caricom chair, he openly condemned France‘s proposed shipment of high-level radioactive waste through the Caribbean Sea.

Source: Voice

Published: 22 May 2007

If the cynics among us wanted more of a reason to become even more so, we have the Secretary-General of Caricom admitting publicly that the first time he heard the news of Surinam’s plan to build a nuclear plant was when he read it in the newspaper! As the article confirms Surinam is a member of the Caricom “famiy” and the fact that they would embark on a policy which is counter to the position of Caricom is of concern. Most of the Caribbean islands depend heavily on tourism which in turn thrives on the region maintaining a healthy natural habitat. Pollutants from a nuclear plant from within the bowels of our region must raise alarm bells.

As citizens of the Caribbean we can only hope that the leaders of our region can come together in order to arrive at a common place. BU feels that whatever is said and done at this stage that the horse would already have bolted. This affair epitomizes the ineffective organ we call Caricom. We observe in recent times the inability of the community to determine a common foreign policy, we observed the thumping of the chests by Barbados at the revenue gained from CWC 2007 when many of our sister countries did not benefit in any significant way, we could go on. How do the leaders of our region expect the “commoners” to believe that we have what is takes to become a union?

At BU we believe that a union is the only way forward to combat the forces of the first world creation which they have dubbed “Globalization”. In reality we know that the political immaturity and insecurity of our politicians, who want to remain the big chief of a small band of indians, will serious challenge the idea of a Caricom space devoid of all barriers.

BU will not even bother to ask our government or opposition to comment on this so important an issue which could threaten the existence of our children and generations to follow.

10 thoughts on “CARICOM Continues To Fail The People Of The Caribbean

  1. If you at BU think that a union is the “only way forward” then you are just as clueless as the politicians.
    Use a little common sense … suppose ALL the Caribbean countries joined together in PERFECT unity. How big is that? bigger than Argentina? Mexico? Cable and Wireless? who?
    You see how many REALLY BIG countries -some with natural resources- are scrunting and not even doing as well as Barbados now?
    What union What?!
    In a Competitive globalized world the trick is to be Smart, innovative, flexible, efficient, creative.
    To me this sounds a lot like trim and fit and having lots of common sense.

    If you join 14 different countries together -you know how long it will take to get decisions made? You think you will be able to make decisions to please everyone? (Which country will take the landfill?)

    Lean, mean efficient and smart- Thats the game in town.

    No wonder all seems lost…
    What Caricom what?!

  2. Bush Tea is correct to note that 15 countries in a union would equal total inability to get anything done. BU is correct in noting that small island nations will soon by gobbled up (economically)by the Big Boys. 15 countries can’t work, one United Caribbean can. 15 Caribbean countries, some big, some small, some rich, some poor: 13 original colonies that became the United States, some big, some small, some rich, some poor. Just because you don’t like Dubbya Bush doesn’t mean you can’t look at how those thirteen independent states managed to unify and stay unified (barring one nasty internecine war). Maybe, just maybe, it is not necessary for the Caribbean re-invent the wheel.

  3. whiterabbit
    you EVER heard ANY Caribbean politician talking about political unity i.e. having a single Caribbean Country?
    What united Caribbean what?!
    let me type this s l o w l y….
    Being Gobbled up has NOTHING to do with size. It has everything to do with PRODUCTIVITY, customer focus and efficiency.
    Which part of that you dont understand?
    You ever heard about PAN AM? they didnt come any bigger. Where that is now?
    What size what?!

  4. The reality is simple, we live in a world where if we don’t organize the global market place will not see us. To organize does not preempt being productive and neither does it ignore that our learned politicians must appreciate the benefit of team work. It is a basic concept of management. Since it appears that most of our leadership were trained in various disciplines which preach the virtue of teamwork, I would expect that they need to change with the times.

    We find it interesting that many of our leaders wen to our own Caribbean owned university but somehow have found it difficult to tag team on the issues. How do we explain this inability to work together after having the opportunity to interact at tertiary level?

  5. Wait – You serious David? Do you read back the things you write?
    1 The reality is NOT simple. It is extremely complex, but with deadly potential.
    2 whether we organise or not, we cannot escape global market forces. (??global market place will not see us??)
    3. …. ok forget that statement, i cant make head nor tail…
    4 …. man forget it.

    Skipper, Join a Political party – you could be an MP, nice sounding words but what you saying?

    What logic what?!

  6. Bush Tea~have you thought that they global village don’t have to see us but as a group we might be able to see the opportunities a little clearer? Maybe you should change your name to cynic? 🙂

  7. I will consider the name change David, but not to ‘cynic’ – to ‘Realist’. (Why you think I use bush tea? -to deal with all the evil around.)
    Anyway, the point is that ‘not being seen’, or ‘not seeing’ the global village is not an option.
    What Group what?!
    If you put a group of blind men together how does that help? They only get themselves in trouble faster.

    Believe me David, it is far more likely that a small group of sensible people can get together and exploit the global marketplace than it is for a big, loose band of idiots. (who cannot even finalize a meaningless trade agreement – or even an arrangement on fishing)

    There was a period when I felt that we in Barbados had a window of opportunity to exploit such an avenue. This would have provided a working model for our neighbours much like Japan did for South -East Asia.

    But then Owing put a bunch of women in charge of everything… dog dead.
    What opportunity what?!

  8. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Suriname, Barbados: CARICOM Failing Caribbean People

  9. Bushtea: I totally agree with you, take one screw up and unite it with 14 more just makes a more ‘visible’ and humongous screwup… it took the european union the better part of 50 years to get their economic union working, and even then they started with 5 countries and then had the other countries accede to the union WHEN and only when their economies and political and social policies were brought in line with the original 5 members. We can learn a thing from the europeans.. facing a global challenge is no excuse for national suicide..we need to take our time and lay the foundations and put mechanisms in place to govern the union, in which we start with 3 or 4 countries like the OECS eg. who already have a quasi economic union and a single/common currency then allow the other countries to join on merit only i.e when their economies are brought up to speed with the other members of the cbean union…

Leave a comment, join the discussion.