Forum: Does Caricom have a future?
And while the wailing about Caricom failing to deliver is not new, this year it seems to have taken on an even more ominous tone of defeat and despair.
One leader, St Vincent's Ralph Gonsalves went as far as to bemoan 'a serious lack of leadership' in Caricom.
And the litany of woe and foreboding goes on.
But, is it really that bad?
What are your positive Caricom experiences?
Should it be scrapped and start all over again?
Or, is Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit right when he says: "It is the prerogative of some to fantasise about the good old days, but they have to accept that the landscape around us has changed dramatically."
Have your say
Also, click on the Local Links on the right for our previous Caricom forums.
Whenever I take a trip involving travel to several Caricom countries, I am taken aback by how the leaders of these countries
consider it acceptable, in today's world, for a region of some 5 million people to have 7/8 different currencies.
I certainly believe Caricom has a future. It isn't a waste of time. Those who think so are simply ignorant. Not in the bad
sense, but in the true sense of the word. They don't know what Caricom has done. CDERA/CDEMA has helped out Grenada and Jamaica
after fierce hurricanes (Ivan in 2004 for example) and was involved in the relief effort for the Haitian earthquake. CXC (another
institution of Caricom) has meant that students no longer have to sit exams drafted in the UK based off totally different
experiences in order to graduate from school and high school.
My Caribbean friends we are not only devoid of leadership but also moral fortitude. By their much talking and promises our
managers have managed to place Caricom as a distant hope for our next two generations. These are not leaders, for leaders
create and mold other leaders or successors. We have managers who are protecting their jobs at the region's expense. We must
collectively fire them all.
Was Caricom ever relevant?
Caricom, whatever name, the unity of the nation states is an indispensable path. However, many if not all of the island states
continue to reel from the trauma of colonialism and imperialism; many rely on the handouts from former colonial power (and
the USA - also lately China). These island states are skeptical about going full steam ahead with self determination/reliance
and self trust.
Caricom is a very good idea, but, the political directorate lacks the will to make it materialise. It is a fact that there
will have to be the shedding of certain aspects of being a sovereign country. I think the people of the region are waiting
patiently and anxiously for this to happen, but, there is not that political will. The OECS has set the tone, I think that
these countries are on the right path and must even go further. The leaders have indicated they intend to do. The people of
the OECS must be very proud of their leaders and support them in this endeavour. The OECS must continue to lead in the integration
process of the region.
I don't know why they have this meeting if they don't want to go ahead.
Yes, Caricom has a future.
I have to agree reluctantly that Caribbean integration is a dream that has now become a nightmare. It has been sacrificed
at the altar of egos; everyone wanting to have control of their own little fiefdom, without recognizing that whether you are
Jamaica or Anguilla we are all non-entities in the sight of the developed world. Alas we all prefer to be bosses of nothing
rather to be comrades contributing to something. I mourn for CARICOM which has died and no one wishes to take the responsibility
for burying her. Maybe cremation would be better.
Caricom is at the crossroads; we must continue along the path to unity a la Caricom or some other body. It is of the utmost
that we make Caricom more meaningful to the citizens of the English Caribbean. As it stands currently the average man in the
street will say it has not made any difference and if so, the politicians must be held accountable.
Another Caricom "fete"; another opportunity lost for our "leaders" to redeem themselves. Alas, only more talk, and hand-wringing.
Reminiscent of our equally glorious performance on the cricket field? At least, Captain Gayle makes no pretensions of pomp
and circumstance. Our leaders espouse the Westminster system, but if they really honoured this, they would all resign, in
abject disgrace. They have lost even their own self-respect, or as we say, "THEY HAVE NO SHAME".
Caricom remains the region's most important forum for functional cooperation (which many of us take for granted) and for striving
toward economies and politics of scale. But for too long we relied on preferential market access for our low skilled goods
such as bananas and sugar and did not take advantage of that 30-year window of opportunity to diversify or become more efficient
in agricultural production. We also face centripetal and centrifugal pressures that challenge intra-regional unity. And I
know I am not the only one who feels as though most of our countries are, in the eyes of Trinidad, little more than prey.
Caribbean regional integration is undoubtedly a dream which time has come. However, today it is patently clear that the progress
made towards this realization has left us more uncertain than we were over three (3) decades ago.
The OECS Grouping seems to be headed in the right direction.
I think Caricom is almost a waste of time. Time and time again, we hear about leaders taking initiatives, but nothing coming
out. I think each leader wants to govern his own little kingdom. With Caricom coming together, a loss-of-power syndrome will
kill some of them. There are no real positives I can recall, because each country does what it feels. I don't think anything
works. If the leaders cannot stand behind the decisions taken, it should be scrapped. If there are fantasies, they are created
by the leaders themselves, who don't seem to trust each other, which gives reporters news to bring to the public.
Caricom is a total waste of time, resources, and money. It has been dead and needs to be given a proper burial.
Caricom is an excellent example of game theory. The challenge however arises when members have contending goals. This is further
exacerbated by an imbalance in power amongst the countries. As such, negotiations become devoid of mutual gains and tend more
towards the goals of the bigger fishes. Currently, the OECS seems more organised.
Caricom is a good idea but the trouble is we need UNITY. Back in the 1960's we had the Federation, Jamaica though they could
do better so they left followed by T&T, look at the state of Jamaica and T&T now. These Men don't understand if the Caribbean
Islands get together we will be stronger. What the PM of Dominica said is so true the Leaders in Europe are younger now they
have no ties or bond with the Caribbean Islands, they are not inclined to help or give any help or grants to the Caribbean
like before in the so called "good old days".
Yes I think is men like RALPH GONSALVES and some of his of his colleagues like Skerritt, Douglas and others who think that
they are the only ones who can speak for the Caribbean. CARICOM will end up just like the federation. They are just wasting
time and taxpayers' money.
The only thing that Caricom can do now is to pass a mandatory law across these Caribbean States demanding that a leader serve
two terms and no more. Caribbean leaders tend to believe that someone died and left these islands in a golden will for them.
Hence, they do not want to give up power. Take for instance the sad state of St. Kitts/Nevis and Denzil Douglas. Let us