Building a Strong Caribbean in 2017
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Group
“What then is the future of the Caribbean?
Given its past history, the future of the Caribbean can only be meaningfully discussed in terms of the possibilities for the emergence of an identity of the Caribbean peoples. The whole history of the Caribbean so far can be viewed as a conspiracy to block the emergence of a Caribbean identity-in politics, in its institutions, in economics, in its culture and values. Viewed in its historical perspective, the future way forward for the peoples of the Caribbean must be one which would impel them to start making their own history, to be the subjects rather than the objects of history, to stop being the playthings of other people. In this respect, the Caribbean has so far been the “outsider” of the New World.” Eric Williams from Columbus to Castro page 504
“Once there is true integration among all units of the Caribbean (excluding Puerto Rico for reasons mentioned above), and once all vestiges of political, economic, cultural and psychological dependence and racism have been removed from the Caribbean, then and only then can the Caribbean takes its true place in Latin America and the New World and put an end to the international wars and inter-regional squabbles which, from Columbus to Castro, have marked the disposition of Adam’s will.” Eric Williams from Columbus to Castro page 515.
We at Mahogany Coconut are not overly pessimistic of the year in review. Suffice it to say that we expected the declining fortunes of the Caribbean region to continue. Our optimism springs from our deep belief, that the Caribbean people can and will eventually emerge from this period, triumphant and better equipped to face the new world economy. If we lose this optimism, we see no way forward.
2016 ends with all the economies in the region, fighting for survival and making efforts to hold their heads above water as the world economy, moves toward automation and increased technological efficiencies. We are at present incapable of widely influencing global trends and while we accept this major disadvantage, it should not lead us to despair and hopelessness. Having survived slavery and still n trying to remove and overcome the remnants of a colonial past, we should be aware that is due to our resilience that we have not been knocked out.
We must therefore utilize our profound ability to survive and look inward for solutions. While we respect those who spout isms and meticulously dissect our problems, we fear that sometimes, we lose sight of our historical mission which is to complete the liberation of the region from the past that continues to cause us psychological weakness. Unless we educate our youth about our historical journey and the importance of realizing that the struggle is not yet won, we would continue to look for solutions that are unworkable and problems that should really be molehills would continue to turn into mountains.
We therefore believe that the quotes at the beginning of this comment are instructive. Eric Williams and others have long identified our strengths and weaknesses. It is for us to recognize both and continue to build on the historical mission of One Caribbean Nation.
We wish all a very all the best for 2017 and thank you for your support. We especially wish our Barbados Underground family and all contributors to BU all the best going forward.