From the Office of the Ambassador to Caricom – CARICOM’s “Year of Destiny” has arrived!

I cannot speak for the rest of the Caribbean Community, but I can confidently assert that the people of Barbados – after some 52 years of national Independence – are coming (or have come) to the firm collective realization that their best hope for a secure, prosperous, and opportunity-filled future lies within a successful Caribbean integration Movement rooted in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

You see, as the Barbadian people – under new political leadership – buckled down in the year 2018 to the urgent task of rebuilding the country’s economic fortunes, certain  realities became unmistakably clear to those charged with the responsibilities of piloting the ship of state.

I am referring to such realities as the fact that whilst Barbados’ economy, as measured by its annual Gross Domestic Product, is approximately US$4.53 Billion, the combined Gross Domestic Product of the 15 member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is some US$74.8 Billion – 16½ times the size of the Barbados economy.

Similarly, while the land mass of Barbados is 430 square kilometres, the collective land mass of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is 463,300 square kilometres – some 1,076 times the size of Barbados!  And while the   population (and potential market) of Barbados is 280,000 persons, the combined population (and potential market) of CARICOM is 18,335,544 persons – 64 times the size of Barbados’ population and potential market.

What holds true for Barbados also holds true for every other member nation of CARICOM.  For example, Trinidad & Tobago may boast of the largest economy in the Caribbean Community with a GDP of US$21.89 Billion, but the combined CARICOM economy is still nearly 3½ times the size of Trinidad & Tobago’s.  And while Guyana may boast of the largest land area at a massive 215,000 square kilometres, the territory of the combined Caribbean Community is still well more than twice the size of Guyana!

We therefore cannot help but recognize the tremendous potential opportunities and benefits that are there for all Caribbean people and CARICOM nations to capitalize on – if only we can complete the urgent work of establishing a seamlessly inter-connected “Single Market and Single Economy” in our vast and extensive 463,000 square kilometre Caribbean Community space.

Surely, part of our ambition for ourselves and our children and grandchildren must be to have at our disposal both a physical and an economic space in which we and they can freely roam in search of career and life opportunities.  And in a contemporary world in which powerful nations are either building border walls to keep out people who look like us or are enacting a host of anti-immigrant laws and regulations, we must consider ourselves fortunate to actually have in place a CARICOM Skilled Nationals Programme that permits skilled CARICOM citizens to move freely across our community in search of gainful employment and business opportunities.

More and more – in Barbados – the idea is taking root that we have absolutely nothing to fear from our CARICOM brothers and sisters who are coming to our island nation and bringing valuable skills and entrepreneurial energy with them.  Rather than being a detriment to our nation, these skilled intra-Caribbean migrants actually add value to the society and generate additional economic activity that everyone benefits from.

Similarly with our private sector businesspersons and professionals.  Just imagine how much good will redound to our economies if we are able to put the entire legal and regulatory structure in place to permit business enterprises and capital to move speedily and efficiently across the economic and physical space of our extensive multi-territory Community in search of markets and new arenas in which to build enterprises!

Imagine also the benefits to be derived from a state of affairs in which we are able to permit the many categories of trained and certified Caribbean “professionals” to register in one CARICOM member state and to have that registration automatically accepted in all 15 member states, thereby enabling the “professional” to move freely and effortlessly in the practise of his or her profession!

And surely, it is not beyond us to contemplate a scenario in which CARICOM governments, CARICOM businesses and the Caribbean labour movement combine together to create regional initiatives and structures of production to establish a system of inter-territory sea transportation; a food production programme to tackle our collective US$4 Billion annual food import bill; an import substituting manufacturing programme to tackle our collective annual US$6 Billion trade deficit; an initiative to unlock and deploy the potential investment capital to be found in the US$47 Billion in savings that our Caribbean people have deposited in banks at ridiculously low interest rates; a system for identifying and collating the high level technical and managerial expertise that is to be found in our regional public and private sectors and making it available to CARICOM nations in need of such expertise; and the list of possible projects goes on and on!

It should therefore not be too difficult for us – the people of the Caribbean Community – to visualize a beckoning future that is hopeful, positive, and full of possibilities.

It is against this background that I describe this new year of 2019 as a “Year of Destiny” for our Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  This is the year in which our CARICOM Secretariat, our Heads of Government, and all of the Councils, organs and bodies of CARICOM must take the Caribbean people on an unprecedented inter-active journey to accomplish the several critical projects that have been placed on  CARICOM’s 2019 agenda.

And if my fellow Caribbean citizens are not aware, let me inform them now that these projects include the commencement of initiatives to establish a regional fast ferry maritime transportation system, a Pan-Caribbean news and information network, a joint Public/Private agricultural and food production project, and an innovative economic engineering project to develop new financial instruments which will convert a significant portion of Caribbean bank deposits into investment capital.

They also include the fostering of regional economic growth and development by permitting Caribbean companies to bid for large government contracts right across the community, and the facilitation of an “ease of doing business” regime with the enactment of a regional Investment Policy and Code, a CARICOM Incentives Regime, a regional Financial Services Agreement, a single region-wide mechanism for the registration of companies, and the full implementation of the CARICOM Skilled Nationals Programme.

If, therefore, a year from now – on the 31st December 2019 – we are able to reflect back on this extensive work programme and to utter a collective “mission accomplished” we would have effectively launched our very own Caribbean economic, cultural and political “megaship”, and taken a giant and decisive step forward in securing our future .

170 comments

  • You blame the immigrant or the inability of the host country to enforce the laws of the land? There is the systemic issue, nothing to do with the immigrants.

    If ordinary people had their way the regional integration movement whether trade, movement of people or financial settlement of transactions would be well advanced. It is the political poppycock by the political class holding us back. The need to marshall resources in our geography by like minded people is bigger than the narrow issues being raised here.

    Like

  • Empirical data

    Important

    Like

  • Mr. Commisiong

    Rather than asking Barbadians for money to assist those Haitians who were duped into coming to Barbados in the hope of finding employment…………

    ………..as CARICOM Ambassador, don’t you think it would be much better if you, the PM, AG, Minister of Foreign Affairs and your Caribbean counterparts should discuss the establishment of a regional law enforcement agency that would investigate these matters such as these and take the necessary action to prevent Caribbean nationals from falling victims to these employment scams……..prevent them from reoccurring……

    ………..as well as drug and human trafficking?

    Liked by 1 person

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Once leadership is A problem, the path forward would be more difficult.

    Leadership is not a problem imo. we have had many leaders. If you look across history and the world. History has documented where possible the leaders that popped up etc. We have had leaders of every flavour. “Nazi” Apartheid; Religious; communist; evolutionist; atheist, medical; xenophobic; industrialist; racist; socialist etc. i am sure you see where i am coming from.

    A leader job is to lead; but many leader suffer the same disease. They are often myopic; self serving and lack vision that helps all and hurts none. How often do we mention Jesus as a great leader. Jesus’ vision was “to save all” that none should “perish”. Tell me a leader in recent time that have tried or spoken of such. Jesus was also choosen and sent by a higher power than himself. Do any Caribbean community leader speak of such; furthermore do any of them take actions that demonstrate such willingness. I say no! Each and every one of them is about me and myself and what is in it for them.

    IMO Caricom and regional unity are all doomed to fail. We will try had to justify our failings by simply moving the goal post or grading go the curve etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Artax

    “Mr. Skinner

    Even if you consider…….

    ………………the governments and people of the Caribbean cannot come together as it relates to simple issues such as LIAT, UWI, West Indies cricket, CCJ, immigration, investment……….. and Barbados and Trinidad being unable to broker a simple fishing deal?”

    What we have here is a failure of leadership within CARICOM. That is the point I am making. We have a situation where the CCJ is based in Trinidad and Trinidad has not joined the Court.
    It is this kind of stupidity that causes others to deem CARICOM a failure.

    Like

  • @ BajanChattel – full marks, I do love a good fairytale especially in the pantomime season.
    ROTFLMAO.

    Liked by 1 person

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Lexicon January 3, 2019 1:23 PM

    Exactly; actually show me a nation that does not have a prison. We break laws as par for the course. I can be said to be human nature to break laws

    Liked by 1 person

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    lets say we have open immigration. That makes me ask the question what is “bajan culture” or “what makes me a bajan”?

    if we all lived 100 year ago. In 1919 could any one of us go back in time and drop into any bajan social setting? will we be considered different because that 40 year old that lived all his live in Barbados may think you are not acting like a how a 40 year old bajan should act in 1919.

    so is culture an accumulation of other cultures. Bad and good influences that make what we think is authentic bajan culture today unacceptable to a bajan in 1919.

    Like

  • William Skinner’s oft repeated diatribe about leadership failure is at best an unsophistication determination.

    If the so-called leaders of the Caribbean were elected by generations of us, And if it can be determined that the systems of regional integration have failed or are failing. Would it not be, in the final analysis, a failure of and by all of the peoples.

    To simplify. Let the people never give their power to anybody.

    Liked by 2 people

  • As i said the concept is a good one but the ingredients like trustworthiness are absent for Caricom to survived
    One would be hard pressed to find any Carribbean country which Trust barbados ints economic affairs after barbados stole Ross University from another Caricom nation
    Also not to mention widespread corruption found across these islands
    Most of these small islands are made up of tin horn dictators who doesnt care too much about transparency
    The idea that Caricom integration is bad i would not fully subscribed but the policies involved to make it work is corrupted

    Like

  • @ David BU, look her, all of these people opposing the Ambassador and you to some extent are just scared SHITLESS. They are just afraid of the possibilities of what a large influx of hungry Caricom nationals can do to change the status quo.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    Culture is the distinct way in which a people behave. in 1919 there was a distinctive ways in which Bajans behaved,foods we ate and we had a distinct accent that was identifiable Bajan. Since the introduction of a National Festival this has morphed to mean the art forms.

    Liked by 1 person

  • BajanChattel
    AFRICA, in a couple decades will become UNIFIED into ONE CONTINENTAL STATE with ONE CURRENCY, ONE ECONOMY, supplying the world with quality food, mineral resources and new technologies. Today, they are working and moving towards these objectives.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    All true…
    But at the current rate..
    The common language will be Chinese….. and the currency ….Yen.

    @ Pacha
    You are cheating.
    You tend to speak at a higher level than the substantive discussion.
    Having translated, Bushie agrees with you – given the context.

    At the mundane level at which we currently contend in this blog however, leadership is everything.
    We are dealing with brassbowls here Pacha…. worse than sheep.
    EVERYTHING depends on the shepherd.

    Bring a good shepherd ….they eat well
    Bring a shiite shepherd .. they wallow in sewage for YEARS
    Bring a tyrant shepherd – they all become potential lamb stew…
    Brassbowls have no MIND or WILL of their own.

    YOU, on the other hand, refer to a situation where we are dealing with HUMANS, … people of unlimited potentialities…
    ..where collective WISDOM leads to wise and optimised decision-making….

    DIFFERENT Kettle of fish Pacha…

    Liked by 1 person

  • It is the SPATIAL context/reality stupid!

    Hal
    What is so undemocratic about Caricom? The Sec Gen or staff have supranational powers?

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Bush Tea January 3, 2019 2:20 PM

    In the past i be offended But i would just pass the word on about how u berated the sheep? lol

    I

    Like

  • Don’t be intimidated by Bushie, he is a mere mortal.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    Your comment is interesting if you juxtaposition with Elombe’s position that we will evolve to a Caribbean space absent national boundaries. Given your philosophy about allowing matters to evolve you will be happy that it will end well.

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Vincent Codrington January 3, 2019 2:17 PM

    So the quintessential bajan of 1919 may not identify with the quintessential bajan of 2019? So in the one hundred years what would have changed? What were the overt and covert influences on our fore-parents; that have produced the bajan of 2019?

    Like

  • Bushie

    You have often located blame where it rightly belongs.

    To all of us Brassbowls! Unless we take personal responsibility, ownership for all society’s failing no solution/s will present.

    Just repeating what the Archmaester has taught us. Happens to be consistent with the foundational works in the area if one goes past the 11-plus mentality stage.

    We allow people to ‘mislead’ us for centuries and instead of mustering to courage to locate blame where it rightly belongs we single out some misleadership class alone.

    Our brains should never be so hardwired.

    Liked by 1 person

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    (quote) “We allow people to ‘mislead’ us for centuries and instead of mustering to courage to locate blame where it rightly belongs we single out some misleadership class alone.”(quote)

    How can that be possible? We allow persons to mislead us? I think its better put that they “mislead us”(full stop). The misleading is a well thought out set of step that the “misleader” wants to accomplish. If we have no other terms of reference or is given a bad information/data to reference what are we to do?

    it is only when we have a correct reference point(information/data) that we or i can accepted that we allow the person to mislead us/me. But again if u know right from wrong and chose wrong who is to blame?

    Just asking.

    Like

  • In Barbados it is standard fare to criticise any and everything without clearly explained reasons and more notably without offering alternatives. It seems to me that it is the almost consensus of those who post on this blog that CARICOM is a waste of time. Maybe we are expecting CARICOM to be “Federation” by another name whereas it is a vehicle for limited functional cooperation only.

    Anyway I really would like to read any concrete suggestions (in plain everyday English) for Barbados’ future foreign relations (without using the acronym CARICOM) that give it a fighting chance to provide a sustainable and vibrant future for its people.

    Like

  • What about other Caribbean islands, such as Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Marie Glante, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, St. Eustatius, St. Marteen, Saba, Turks & Caicos Islands, UK and US Virgin Islands…….. Cuba and the Dominican Republic?

    Since these are also Caribbean territories, how will they fit in the CARICOM model?

    Martinique, Guadeloupe, Marie Glante, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin are departments of France, St. Eustatius, St. Marteen, Saba are controlled by the Dutch and Anguilla, Montserrat and UK Virgin Islands are dependents of the UK, while Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are “states” of the USA.

    If we are insisting on a CSME, would it not be advantageous for us to learn French, Spanish and Dutch, rather than learning Chinese?

    If we are demanding free movement in the region, why has the CARICOM heads of government not found it necessary to ask the US government to rescind the requirement of a US visa for travel to Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands?

    If we are thinking of a single currency, it is important to note the French islands also use the Euro. Cayman’s exchange rate is approximately US$1 = CI .83¢……and Bermuda $1 = US$1.

    A single currency will obviously require a single monetary system, which means, for example, one Central Bank may have to determine and set and set interest rates. How will this affect an island experiencing an economic downturn, when the other islands may not, especially if the Central Bank may see the need to increase interests rates for some reason?

    What would be the social, political and economical advantages of having a common Caribbean currency, especially under circumstances where islands that are more economically stable having to co-operate or share common economic policies with their less economically stable counterparts?

    As Sir Fuzzy would “say,”…….”just my take.”

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    (quote) The math comes out to precisely 180.
    That is how many days Ethan Couch served for each of the four people he killed while driving drunk on June 15, 2013. He was speeding at 65 mph when he plowed his father’s Ford F-350 into a group of people on the roadside helping a stranded motorist outside Fort Worth. He was 16 at the time.
    Couch, now 20, was released from Tarrant County jail on Monday after serving two years, or 720 days, for a parole violation — not for the deaths of four people.

    His release will close a chapter on the story of a teenager turned adult struggling with a bout of “affluenza” that his legal team claimed left him unable to tell right from wrong because of his family’s wealth. The case took a bizarre turn in 2015 after a video of Couch drinking, a violation of his probation, surfaced online and appeared to trigger an escape to Mexico with his mother. (quote)

    (quote)His release will close a chapter on the story of a teenager turned adult struggling with a bout of “affluenza” that his legal team claimed left him unable to tell right from wrong because of his family’s wealth. (quote)

    What is the equivalent of this inability of not knowing the difference between right and wrong when it comes to our Caribbean leaders?

    “shiite-hound-ary”? Defiiting and naming suggestions welcomed.

    just asking

    Like

  • @Ping Pong,

    Are you implying that the concept of the nation-state has failed?

    Like

  • Sirfuzzy

    “What makes me Bajan?”

    The tone of your voice makes you Bajan … because according to my St. Lucian friend: Bajans have the worse accent in the world. Now I am quite certain that the Bajan vernacular has changed with time, but I am most certain that our tonality has not change with time because my grandparents spoke with the same tone as I do today.

    Like

  • @Mr Austin
    I am not sure. What does a very small island state far removed from a continental land mass, have to do to survive in a globalised world? Barbados does not share much in the way of either geography or geopolitics with the more successful island states like Singapore, Iceland, Malta or Cyprus. Maybe I need to look at Mauritius but I am not familiar with that country. Between climate change and large trading blocs are the cards stacked against us? I will not be surprised if someone proffers colonial status as our best bet!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 3:12 PM

    The nation-state has not failed.It has achieved its objective. The question is having fulfilled its objective,is it still relevant? Or should we design a new political structure which in time will also become irrelevant? I think some of us are holding on to an ideal which was selected in the past because it was regarded as the only way forward. But were we wrong? Did it deliver the limited objectives ? If so what is the problem? Come up with something relevant. Get buy- in from the majority. We can only live in the present. Stop harping over the past and plan now for what we want the future to be. We should have some influence over that. Or are we waiting for somebodies to design and hand it to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A powerful comment Vincent!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Ping Pong,

    Let us take Singapore. Barbados had a headstart on Singapore at independence. Now they have passed us by leaps and bounds. Our failure is nothing to do with size, but with what @Wiliam calls leadership, what I call the lack of a vision. We have failed for all the reasons repeated on BU every day, including an inflated of our abilities. Barbados is a failed state.
    Like an addict, before we can be cured we must first accept we have a problem. Part of that recovery is to dismiss the notion that Barbados is a democratic Republic with a foreign Monarch. It is bogus. We must get real.

    Liked by 1 person

  • All I ever attempt to do is express my opinions that are firmly grounded in my philosophy. I do not seek to convert anybody. Everybody has a right to their own opinions. All of this foolish attempts at one upmanship holds no fascination for me.
    There are people saying that CARICOM has failed. I have not asked for any “metric” or “empirical “ evidence as to how they arrived at their conclusions.
    The region under CARICOM has attempted to institute several regional bodies that I maintain have had success as well as failures.
    I do not subscribe to the view that the preserve of trying and failing is exclusively for bigger countries.
    The almost embarrassing attempts to condemn the region to some global backwater while heaping praise and dissecting everything that happens over and away is the campus for others.
    I remain a regionalist because of my belief that our region is capable of providing a social and political landscape for our peoples.
    I humbly respect the views of others. History will prove me to be right. Slavery was abolished in the 1830s by the 1930s, we were taking control of previously withheld rights and privileges.
    It is not yet 2030 and with all the warts and well known flaws we have tried to attain self government and have given some form of education to our peoples. If we have failed it cannot be said we did not try!
    Tell me how we can make the region better or do we have to send a space ship into space to prove we are of some value?

    Liked by 1 person

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Vincent Codrington January 3, 2019 4:11 PM

    “Or are we waiting for somebodies to design and hand it to us.” For most of us the answer is YES. That is where true leadership and vision is required. The buy-in must be for a destination worth working towards; living for and dying for.

    But we often prefer a short cut that will lead us to a swamp full of unreachable and unfilfillable promises.. Too many of the leaders see the short cut before they see the long hard trodden road to progress and the preferred destination.

    Just my take

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Vincent,

    What was that objective?

    Like

  • @ Mr Austin
    The leaders we have in the Caribbean were not imposed on us. They come from among us. We know them. As embarrassing it may be to some, our leaders are most definitely representative of the attitudes, behaviours and aspirations of the majority of the people of the Caribbean.

    I am yet to hear of a way forward. We do love to whine and complain.

    Pick your colonial power; the UK, The USA, Canada, the EU, China or (gasp) Venezuela?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ William,
    You are in the business of winning hearts and minds, so you want influence. My view, as I have stated is complete regional unity. Our aim as a united region should be to achieve the level of prosperity of Scandinavia. That is achievable.
    Guyana has a bigger land mass than England and a population a fraction of London’s with more natural resources from gold to oil; when we were youths we bought rice from Guyana and Haiti, now they are both net importers of US rice. That is a failure of leadership.
    In 1980, Barbados was a formally better educated society than Singapore, China and India. We cannot continue to blame others for our failure. One joker even came on BU and claimed that 20 per cent of public revenue in Barbados is spent on education. Balderdash.
    What is the thinking behind Barbados (with a population of 280000 and 30 parliamentary seats) having a bigger Cabinet than the UK (with 65m people and 650 members of parliament)?
    David BU would say we are sitting in our chilly apartments and criticising Barbados. Maybe he buys in to crap that more hands make light work. Some of us think too many cooks……

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    [I wrote this around 9AM so likely similar has already been said now that I finally remember to hit post]….

    Mr Blogmaster you can’t dismiss (well u can but it’s not good ‘cricket’) @Whistleblower’s counterpoint with your ‘snarky’ “you may have the last word” because despite his own disrespectful ‘drivel’ remark he is being bluntly realistic as he noted.

    Can you seriously take the Ambassador’s rhetoric as anything more than high faluting proposals with limited chance of lasting success!

    It is certainly not being negative or locked to a past but as others and @BT said very clearly how can one make believe that any current thrust for a caricom economic community is going to be more meaningful today when access to wider world markets are as facile/difficult as it is to within the community!

    The example of Brexit may be an oversimplification or even exggeration of the pitfalls of his argument but it’s a very real sign post of the deep downside: the low skill immigrants, noted by others above.

    He said: “[1] the commencement of initiatives to establish a regional fast ferry maritime transportation system,[2] a Pan-Caribbean news and information network, [3]a joint Public/Private agricultural and food production project, [4]and an innovative economic engineering project to develop new financial instruments which will convert a significant portion of Caribbean bank deposits into investment capital”

    Realism: Isn’t 1 …BWIA/Air Jam /LIAT on the water? What ingredients will make that successful and profitable that the others were/are unable to utilize?… Or that RedJet could not blend together?

    I am at a lost on why 2 will be grandly long term successful when CANA found the going tough some 20 plus years ago. What is the business plan other than a private option from OneCaribbean or similar to develop such an (profitable) entity.

    In the world of ‘citizen journalists’ attached to every smart phone where does this concept thrive!

    I get further lost on 3… I am way into the weeds in that one.

    And 4, well not even sure where to begin…. We are coming off the regional CLICO malfeasance and the real backend issue of lots of serious investment concentrated out of TnT..which many here abhor. Also many here thrashed the next wave of financial digitization (and its real issue: finances being dangerously concentrated to a ‘few’) and yet this is a NEW idea!

    Frankly not drivel maybe, but just an ambassador doing what an ambassador is supposed to do: talk as sweet as a dish of achee and saltfish or fungee and flying fish!

    Like

  • @ P|ng Pong

    A way forward: complete regional unity, until then drilling down CARICOM. Cross-border fiscal and monetary policies; democratic institutions, such as an elected CARICOM parliament, island-based chambers and a form of unpaid local government; reforms of the education system, based on ability and not age, with a strong technical component; a single currency and central bank; a federal detective agency along with island-based uniformed police forces; federal regulatory systems; free movement of people, and not just graduates or professionals; a federal defence force, along with island-based voluntary regiments; an expanded research and teaching federal university; cross-cultural integration (for example, schools competing in sports across the entire region).
    I can go on, but you get the drift.

    Like

  • @Mr Austin
    Lee Kwan Yew, from all that I have read, was a outstanding leader. There is much that can be learnt from studying his history. However, The location and social context in which Singapore is found I believe gave Lee much to work with. Singapore was essentially the conduit for western finance for Deng Xiaoping”s development of a market economy in China. Also Singapore is part of the ASEAN group of countries all of whom are aggressively developing economic expansion and diversification. So what of the Caribbean now that the age of sugar and slavery has passed?

    Well you certainly have “let down your bucket” with apologies to Eric Williams. You are a Federalist but a lonely one.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Ping Pong,

    Hurrah. I am indeed a federalist – not only in the context of the Caribbean, but I believe in a United States of Europe. By the way, I compare Singapore and Barbados because one got independence in 1965, and the other in 1966 and they shared other similarities. Singapore was not/is not a democracy, not even a democratic Republic with a foreign Monarch.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ DpD at 4:44 PM

    You can go back to Jamaica and eat your achee and salt fish; but gor blimmuh take your fungee off my flying fish yuh hear?

    Liked by 2 people

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    If anyone cares to remember the bible story/fact abut Moses.

    A couple of important facts need tp be high;ighted

    a) Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery and Egypt. (Moses was not self elevated)

    b) Moses did not think of himself as a leader; but God put all the things i place for him to complete the task (nothing happens before
    its time)

    c) Moses didn’t think he was a great orator; thus in came Aaron also sent to do a job (Public relations with be taken care of)

    d) The destination was worth the journey; it was the promised land. But everyone has his jobs working to get there; no slackers allowed. Law and order was instilled and obedience was paramount.

    e) Some didn’t make it cause they chose to not see that they;( to save all so that none will perish)

    f) They was unity of purpose in removing themselves from slavery (many tribes but one purposes)

    g) Moses is an ex-convict. (some times we over look talent because of prejudices and stupidity and traditions)

    just my take

    Like

  • Thank you Ping Pong! We talk and seem not to realise Singapore is a member of the ASEAN group.

    Hal
    Sounds good and better than our Caricom leaders; however, spatial equity, territorial cohesion etc must be pushed to the front. If not the Thomases will continue to talk about other islands dumping their rejects on Barbados. Pure nonsense…but hey this is BU.

    Like

  • @ Hal
    Thanks for such an insightful submission on how we can go forward!

    Like

  • @William,

    Thanks.

    Like

  • @Mr Austin
    Not that it negates your proposition but can you name a single Caribbean political party or politician that shares your viewpoint? Until better comes along CARICOM is the only game in town it seems.

    So so far all I’ve got is a recommendation for a Federation of the Caribbean which it seems only Mr Austin supports.

    At the risk of inviting much derision, I support a limited version of Hal Austin’s proposal. I believe that Barbados, the OECS, Guyana and Surinam should seek to establish a condominium along the lines of the UAE and seek to join the European Economic Area. Call me the “cement man” of BU.LOL!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Area

    Like

  • Caribbean woman…Caribbean people …FIRST…open your eyes..

    Like

  • @Ping Pong

    It is the only game in town sums it up!

    Like

  • Artax,

    Your comments @ January 3, 2019 3:01 PM has highlighted other hurdles that CARICOM Leaders ought to seriously consider amalgamating all Caribbean bodies to capture all geographic jurisdictions, Though the structure of membership is segmented into Full Membership, Associate Membership and Observer Status which are those countries that have superior governance, controlling their affairs have limited to no say in development of the organization except for those occupying membership status.

    Per currency, leverage can be made with a fixed pegs of a ” CARICOM CURRENCY.
    The model can be created around all existing factors (trade, exchange, interest rates,tariffs, instruments, etc).

    OECS, ACS, CELAC and the EPA as well as those countries with territorial interests (including the EU in terms of agreements) need be on the same page in respect of the CSME and EPAs while including the CCJ along with the ECJ (European Court of Justice) in any trade dispute resolution to eliminate bias.

    Where any Territorial State is encountering challenges in their economy, like true brothers must come to their aid and assistance, not allowing conditions to fester, or to give lenders the opportunity to be “Occupiers of Sovereignty” as in the case with Gambia.

    Great insights Artax.

    Like

  • @ Ping Pong
    Anyway I really would like to read any concrete suggestions (in plain everyday English) for Barbados’ future foreign relations (without using the acronym CARICOM) that give it a fighting chance to provide a sustainable and vibrant future for its people.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    This is an interesting statement coming from you.

    It presumes that you have clarified a number of basic premises such as:
    What constitutes success for a country – particularly a small country like Barbados?
    How does membership in something like CARICOM contribute to such success?
    What are the costs involved in obtaining and maintaining such membership? (‘costs’ imply a negative impact on planned success)

    Unless we can agree on what our successful future looks like, we will never agree on the way to get there.

    Case in point…
    On what basis can anyone say that Singapore is ‘more successful’ than Barbados?
    Per capita income?
    Infrastructural development?
    National productivity?

    What if these are all shadows…
    …of the proverbial bone that we tossed away some years ago
    – in our misguided pursuit of brass bowlery…?

    BUT..
    Even if ‘success’ only means that we want to be able to enjoy the material things of modern life-
    you will be hard pressed to justify the COSTS of pursuing CARICOM versus the benefits.

    One does NOT marry a girl just because she lives next door…
    Far better to find someone who actually LIKES you …and who COMPLIMENTS your life objectives.
    …even if that person is from Sain Lucy….
    …down by IslandGal…
    LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  • Artax,

    Your comments @ January 3, 2019 3:01 PM has highlighted other hurdles that CARICOM Leaders ought to seriously consider amalgamating all Caribbean bodies to capture all geographic jurisdictions, Though the structure of membership is segmented into Full Membership, Associate Membership and Observer Status which are those countries that have superior governance, controlling their affairs have limited to no say in development of the organization except for those occupying membership status.

    Per currency, leverage can be made with a fixed pegs of a ” CARICOM CURRENCY.
    The model can be created around all existing factors (trade, exchange, interest rates,tariffs, instruments, etc).

    OECS, ACS, CELAC and the EPA as well as those countries with territorial interests (including the EU in terms of agreements) need be on the same page in respect of the CSME and EPAs while including the CCJ along with the ECJ (European Court of Justice) in any trade dispute resolution to eliminate bias.

    Where any Territorial State is encountering challenges in their economy, like true brothers must come to their aid and assistance, not allowing conditions to fester, or to give lenders the opportunity to be “Occupiers of Sovereignty” as in the case with Gambia.

    Great insights Artax.

    Like

  • Donks Gripe and Josh

    @Lexicon
    January 3, 2019 4:07 PM

    —-Sirfuzzy
    “What makes me Bajan?”
    The tone of your voice makes you Bajan … because according to my St. Lucian friend: Bajans have the worse accent in the world.—–

    Lexicon you are predisposed to swallow derogatory views from others of yourself (assuming you are Bajan). Its not the first time you have posited disparaging remarks about locals from islanders who speak a mish mash pidgin lingo of rudiments of French and English. This unstructured and primitive ‘language’ sounds like gibberish to the rest of us. Lets move to a plane where all accents are respected. The Anglo phone Caribbean is a fascinating canvas of the shades of verbal expression.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hal Austin January 3, 2019 12:09 PM

    @ William,

    I am not objecting o regional unity. I am in favour of a West Indies Federation, which includes all 7000 Caribbean islands. The problem with CARICOM is that it is flawed, badly flawed.

    The foliks who voted for brexit believe the EU is flawed, but you believe they should not have voted to leave. Why is that?

    Liked by 2 people

  • @ Bajan in NY
    I have never commented on BU about BREXIT.

    Like

  • @ Vincent Codrington,

    Fungee ( Antigua ) is the same as Cou cou ( Barbados )

    For Corn Meal Fungee

    4 cups water
    6 okras, cut into small pieces
    1 tsp salt to taste
    2 cups corn meal

    Liked by 1 person

  • @William Skinner January 3, 2019 8:08 PM

    @ Bajan in NY
    I have never commented on BU about BREXIT.

    My comment is addressed to Comrade Hal not you mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    @ De pedantic dribbler

    You may term my reference to this particular blog as being disrespectful when I mentioned Drivel, I make no apologies for my assessment.

    I know David Commissong both personally and professionally and have no beef or issues with him as we ALWAYS have had a good cordial relationship.

    However Mr. Commissong in his new role reminds me of Dennis Kellman when he got a pick in Government, again another individual I know of both professionally and personally.

    However what I read and what I know of Regionally led me to make my Drivel comment.

    Nothing against either individual who I could term as friends or close associates.

    Like

  • @David
    “History has shown that in every situatIon what is required is a little leadership. ”

    therein lies the problem.

    @Donna
    you are absolutely correct. Without common impetus or direct challenge there is neither need nor urgency.

    Just observing

    Like

  • Overseas Observer

    Stranded Haitians still at Salvation Army hostel

    The stranded Haitian men who were moved to the Salvation Army’s City hostel after they were evicted from the Brittons Hill home they were renting are being allowed to stay there as long as they have legal status to remain in Barbados, and once there is room, Divisional Commander Major Darrell Wilkinson has told Barbados TODAY.

    Nine of the 15 men who were evicted were moved to the hostel last Saturday evening.
    Wilkinson said that while the Salvation Army welcomed the stranded visitors, in keeping with its international mandate to feed and cloth the poor and assist refugees, once the six months’ visitors stay expires, they would not be able to stay at the hostel because they would be considered illegal immigrants.
    Major Wilkinson said: “My captain who is dealing with the matter shared with me that David Comissiong [Ambassador to CARICOM], is trying to get some assistance for these Haitians to get them back to their homeland. As far as I am aware, some want to go back for sure, some want to stay to get work because things are difficult in Haiti, but that is not our portfolio here at the Army. We are just here to give assistance with housing for the time being. I will leave the rest for Mr Comissiong and his team to work on.
    “We will give as much assistance as we can give. But as for how long they are going to be here, I just don’t know. They can only stay as long as the Government gives them permission. Whenever their six months is up then they would have to go back, and some of them have already gotten close, they are just a matter of weeks away from that.

    “But the Salvation Army has opened its doors, which is something we do not only in Barbados, but also around the world. We have quite a few centres around the world for persons who are seeking accommodation, within the rules and laws of the country.”
    The men, who said they came here in search of a better life, reported that they were the victims of a scam where they paid between US$2,500 and US$3,000, to an agency in Haiti, with the assurance they would receive accommodation and jobs when they landed in Barbados.
    But upon arrival, they found no jobs and had to pay for accommodation. They have since exhausted their finances.

    They were evicted from the house at, Brittons Hill, by landlord Anthony Mayers, who told Barbados TODAY that he was fed up with the condition the house was being kept in. The landlord also complained that while he charged the men $1,300 including light and water, within one month, the water bill alone had reached $1,200.
    After they were put out on the streets, the men were rescued by former Government Senator and Chairman of the National Assistance Board, Pastor David Durant, who took them to his Restoration Ministries Church where they were accommodated and fed until they were moved to the hostel.
    Pastor Durant said he visited the men, who are between the ages of 21 and 36, at the hostel yesterday, and three of them informed him that they were willing to go back home, and requested financial assistance to buy return tickets to Port-au-Prince.

    He told Barbados TODAY: “I am working with an agent who is working with Copa Airlines to see how we can get the three of them back to Haiti as soon as possible. Two of them want to leave on Saturday, and the next one is asking to go two weeks later. They said they want to go because they are not finding any jobs here, they have run out of money, and they think it is best to return home where they can try to make things a little easier for themselves.

    “They are very thankful for the help that is being offered by the church. Right now the three of them are here and I am waiting for the agent to call me back with some information.
    “So far, I have received $1,000 donation from a kind-hearted Barbadian. When I hear from the airlines, then I would know exactly what I am working with. I am hoping that the $1,000 can do for those who want to go on Saturday, but if it doesn’t, the church will put the difference. The challenge now is to get the rest home when they are ready. I am making an appeal to Barbadians to assist. I will speak with a lawyer about setting up a fund to assist them.”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/01/03/stranded-haitians-still-at-salvation-army-hostel-for-now/

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Bush Tea

    All very pertinent questions but doesn’t the burden of a response lie on those who wish to leave or reform CARICOM? Only Hal Austin has stated a preference for a federated Caribbean. Everyone else has just “kicked the can down the road”.

    So CARICOM and its alter ego CSME do not provide a way forward for Barbados says the maddening crowd but then what does?

    Like

  • @ Ping Pong
    How do you manage to interject a ‘BUT’ here….?
    The questions are pertinent in that the answers to them SHOULD be the basis on which we go forward.

    The problem is that we all have different answers – and hence, different ideas of where ‘going forward’ is…

    If (as seems to be your wont) you see success as our being part of a larger entity, then CARICOM is an option, and the costs involved in being part of it will be well spent.
    If however, ‘success’ turns out to be a completely different concept, then such costs (and many other distractions) would actually be counterproductive to our best long term interests.

    Bushie need not tell you…
    One does not seek to solve a problem before understanding exactly what the problem is in the first place
    ….and CERTAINLY not by blindly reacting to the symptoms.

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    A few things in the order they come to mind.

    ONE.

    Could anyone give one functional intraregional experience where CARICOM has worked for ALL OF ITS MEMBERS AND PRODUCED SOMETHING FOR ITS MEMBERS BENEFIT?

    TWO.

    FACILITATING REGIONAL TRAVE.

    De ole man WILL NOT SPEAK OF the fiasco of LIAT and regional travel.

    Nor will de ole man extrapolate on the logistics of a Ferry relative go (a) its upkeep (b) the type nor (c) its docking requirements ALL OF WHICH ARE THINGS THAT DAVID COME SING A SONG DOES NOT KNOW but as his usual want, talks about, because David got a mouth.

    What I can talk about this is the Advances Passenver Information System that the United States had to give Barbados in 2018.

    This is itself THE MOZT SERIOUS INDICTMENT OF REGIONAL INTEGRATION OF CARICOM.

    And it is an even more serious injustice and disservice by David Commissiong who deserves to be hung at dawn for this aspect alone for the scum that he is AND WILL FOREVER BE TO DE OLE MAN.

    Wunna are some nasty self hating fvcked and motherchuckers who, WHILE WUNNA PRETENDS DAT WUNNA WANTS REPERATIONS AND ALL DAT are never haters

    But you David Commissiong are the most serious of the haters of self who, having left the physical surroundings of that junkie corner at the geography room, BECAUSE OF THE MELANIN PROGRESSION THAT COMES WITH AGE, not seek to pretend that you are blacker that the rest of us with this CARICOM POSTURING.

    YOU ARE NOT WORTHY TO EVEN PEN THIS MESSAGE.

    And speaking of people who are not worthy to carry massages

    You, David Durant need to get hit with a fvcking lightning bolt as you out front like Philly with these Haitains but are devoid of any similar disposition for bajans.

    But I WILL REPAY YOU SAITH HE WHO HATH CREATED ALL THINGS.

    YOU ARE LUKEWARM & HE GOING SPIT YOU OUT…

    Like

  • @Bush Tea

    I am not arguing for or against CARICOM. It is what it is. I fully agree with you that we need to establish where we want to go before embarking on a journey to “somewhere”. Who is doing such analysis and leading us in such introspection? It seems CARICOM is the default position.

    Like

  • @ Ping Pong
    Who is doing such analysis and leading us in such introspection?
    It seems CARICOM is the default position.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Boss, if you are waiting on some guru to do this introspection for you
    then you are putting the high esteem in which you are held by Bushie at serious risk.

    This introspection is a HIGHLY personal pursuit that ALL intelligent people carry out.
    The net national response is simply a reflection of the collective individual positions.

    Where individuals mostly adopt the ‘default’ position (which happens to be the albino-centric inclinations of our world) we then tend to default to national positions based on ‘get rich quick’ schemes such as over-borrowing, CARICOM, tourism, FDI type schemes etc.
    …what Bushie calls brass bowlery.

    Taking up default positions in a failed world is tantamount to following herd behavior
    and almost guaranteed to end in the public market as lamb chops…

    Like

  • Piece
    You asked…
    ..”Could anyone give one functional intraregional experience where CARICOM has worked for ALL OF ITS MEMBERS AND PRODUCED SOMETHING FOR ITS MEMBERS BENEFIT?”

    Before the devastating tsunami in Indonesia, they were no widespread tsunami education, awareness, nor WARNING SYSTEMS in place.

    Today, through mitigation, there is a comprehensive awareness of, an educational movement in and a network of bouys to initiate early tsunami warnings throughout the Caribbean and beyond.. thanks to……

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Nineofnine

    And I guess with that tsunami warning system achievement you can see that the prolific list of non performance issues of CARICOM now screams at you AS IT SHOULD, DOES IT NOT?

    Do me a favour.

    Do a calculation of the monies spent on CARICOM since its launch on the salaries, its operations, conferences AND JUXTAPOSE THE MONETARY BENEFITS OR ITS INTANGIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS and share that with us please.

    Like

  • Catching my butt in the US and a cheapskate as cwell but would donate to charitable causes….
    Went to Salvation Army site and was unable to do so…

    Like

  • A Barbados delegation is to hold talks next week with officials from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
    A government statement said that the team from the Ministry of International Business will be attending the Forum on Harmful Tax Practice (FHTP) from January 9 to 11.(Quote)

    Isn’t this a rightful job for Caricom, rather than a collection of farm-size island individually? Has it been lost on them that they are negotiating with OECD as a union? Another failure of regional politics.

    Like

  • Piece
    You are asking for an audit.. whooa, who paying the bill… lol.
    CARICOM is a very large organization with multiple institutions and organs, surely the operation costs per month is in the millions, likewise, those costs are funded by contributions of it’s member states.

    Certainly there is a PR entity that informs the community of their intents and achievements.. Their website need to be more in-depth as well as having an increase media presence to disclose of the
    activities ..my thoughts

    Like

  • Five months after removing visa requirements for Haitians to enter Barbados, Government is tinkering with the idea of placing new travel restrictions on the French-speaking neighbour.(Quote)

    Like

  • @Mariposa,

    Have you noticed our esteemed ambassador to Caricom writing in Barbados Today about Barrow as the architect of a Caricom foreign policy?
    Maybe David BU will publish the whole thing.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s