Saturday, March 14, 2009


Heads of CARICOM Governments in 2009.


The former failed West Indies Federation experiment morphed into the CARICOM organization and indeed has been useful in terms of international voting for all fourteen members concerned. In recent years, the impracticality of CARICOM as a working economic entity has been dubious at best. The major industry of CARICOM countries is incoming tourism. With rival CARICOM countries competing for the tourist dollar via nationalistic airlines, financed by massive debt and outrageous, subsidized, party hack appointee, bureaucratic sought expensive equipment, the actual future of CARICOM as some sort of joint working country became extremely doubtful. In recent years, the pragmatic developments on the ground have seen trade for Belize with Central and North America eclipse any utopian dreams of joining Belize to the CARICOM unity, one country and one integrated economic dream ideas. After fifty years of trying, the ideal has worn thin. Nor in fifty years has any CARICOM countries, improved their leadership capabilities and financial status from debtor nations, begging for handouts from the outside world. The biggest export remains emigration of talented people.
Cries at home in Belize in the economic debate and future views, expressed publicly, were for freedom from the chain and ball effects of being tied to CARICOM, a group of small permanently debtor beggar nations under terrible, self serving, political management.
Prime Minister Barrow made it plain in his speech today, Thursday, at the annual CARICOM HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEETING held at the Radisson Hotel in the port on the central coast of Belize. Belize under his new UDP government has been suffering a crisis of identity and forward movement, to seek growth for an increasing population growing exponentially. Are we as a nation to be Central Americans, or Caribbean losers has been a six month long public debate?
The message from Belizean Prime Minister Barrow, to his electorate and the Heads of Government of CARICOM on Thursday in Belize, was loud and clear. He will force Belize to join more effectively with the CARIBBEAN countries as a new federated state. A new unique Caribbean country. Barrow proposed closer ties and melding of bureaucracies and administrative methodologies of the scattered Caribbean states composing CARICOM in his speech today. Barrow also announced that Belize will join recognizing the Caribbean Court of Appeals this year. Not mentioned, but put off for the future, has been the Eastern Caribbean countries development of one Caribbean currency. Next on the list is undoubtedly going to be a cumpulsory one currency, for ALL Caricom countries and a common CENTRAL BANK.
Since the CARICOM countries are competing among themselves and there is no common transportation systems, no method yet exists of doing business on an eye to eye basis, between producers and buyers throughout the Caribbean, and the difficulties of getting foreign exchange payment for goods from each country with separate types of money seems insolvable. The emphasis of PM Barrow in his speech in joining Belize with CARICOM as a larger Federation, over the growing opposing encouraging business ties with Central America, has left many voters in the six rural districts of Belize, the producers in the nation that create our Belize foreign exchange, baffled and wondering. While it may not seem practical, that is the way it is going to be, said Prime Minister Barrow of Belize. The Maya, the Mestizo, the Spanish, the Mennonites, the White Caucasians can only shake their heads in disbelief. As far as the UDP are concerned, the DEBATE of Belizean destiny and future course and direction is over. Belize will remain orientated to the European Union, as a pseudo colony, through the Eastern Caribbean ties and custom, as a growing smaller state of the Federation in the Caribbean, now called CARICOM.
While the debate over this affirmation of a fifty year long term grind, by dreamers of the Eastern Caribbean, to create a United States of the Caribbean, particularly the English speaking Caribbean, has currently come to an end with PM Barrow’s speech here in Belize. While many at home in Belize, particularly the producers of our economy, may disagree with this Cabinet policy ( there is no decent economic trade to speak of with the Caribbean countries for a variety of reasons ), the policy direction given by our PM Barrow at the Heads of Government conference, to his fellow “United States of the Caribbean leaders,” was welcomed by our scattered Eastern Caribbean counterparts. Here at home in Belize, the economic producers also, with the air and uncertainties cleared up by PM Barrow, in direction of foreign policy, as to our future identity as a small state, member of a larger Federation of Caribbean states, can now start planning how they are going to handle our growing economic trade with Southern Mexico, Central American neighbors and the rest of the outside world, far from European and Caribbean interests. New style foreign bank accounts, new agencies in foreign parts outside of Caricom will be necessary to economically develop Belizean exports. The methodology of our producers in Belize and marketing direction, will have to re-direct itself into new ways of doing business, as our population and capabilities grow as a small state within a larger Federation. Caricom is going to become an additional tax burden to be carried by our producer population. We will have another larger growing federation bureaucracy to support besides our own. Is this policy direction a good one? Only the future can tell!

No comments: