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Pipe Dreams

Chris

By year end thousand of Caribbean nationals will be kicked out of Barbados by the government. While making the announcement in Barbados’ parliament, Prime Minister David Thompson declared that the levels of illegal immigrant in Barbados were unacceptably high, and is increasingly difficult to control, posing potential negative challenges to the island socio-economy.

While I agree, that no country can tolerate an unrestricted flow of person into its territory, but on the other hand, I believe the policy of expelling Caribbean nationals violates the CARICOM treaty and united spirit it stands for.

Don’t forget that it wasn’t too long ago the heads of Government, including former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Auther attending the 18th Inter-Sessional conference in Jamaica in 2007, agreed of fully implement the Caribbean Single Market and Economy by 2015 and allow full free movement by 2009.

Now five months into 2009, the dreams of free movement throughout the Caribbean have proved to be a only pipe dreams.

When are these heads of government going to understand that disaster-prone, small and vulnerable islands like ours are not blessed with natural resources that can allow us to stand alone. If we can’t find a way soon to put our differences aside, where we can swim together, we will surely drown separately in this global crisis.

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4 Comments »

Comment by Joel Halfwassen Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-30 21:22:55

I agree Chris, the Carib Islands needs to work as one economy. Although much like the EU is it easier to say from a Dominican perspective (low relative GDP) then from a Barbados perspective (relatively high GDP). However, sadly, pushing protectionist policies is easier to do during low economic times. It is something that the EU has been working to NOT do during this recession (with some success).

 
Comment by Andre
2009-06-01 12:54:45

Give me a break.

Barbados is tiny, extremely tiny.

It is not sustainable for thousands of Caribbean nationals to come here and live – especially when they do so illegally. It is disgusting me and making me more anti Caricom by the minute to hear non Barbadians tell us what we should do with our own small island where everybody is *already* suffering.

Whoever told the rest of the Caribbean that we were the land of milk and honey is sadly mistaken: there are few jobs for anyone, cost of living is through the roof, public services are piss poor and we’re already one of the most densely populated states in the WORLD.

I’m sorry. We don’t want or need immigrants here.

Comment by pete
2009-06-02 12:14:04

Andre

It is not a question so much of what each economy can sustain, but rather what does Caricom mean to caribbean nationals. Do caribbean nationals have an issue with how decisions are being made on their behalf by their leaders? Should that be any different from how any foreign policy decision is made on behalf of the people who elected the governments? Do Caribbean nationals expect there should be a referandum just for these regional issues? Furthermore, are the governments and the Caricom Secretariat doing a good job at selling the idea or at least getting the populace on their side on these momentous decisions? Is there a disconnect between the foreign policy decisions and the will of the people? If there is, how should that be addressed?

The point is, the governments of Caricom (Barbados included) all agreed for freedom of movement, and for one administration in any island to go against the spirit indicates that that nation is not ready to keep to its word’; there are some integrity in leadership issues or the country is not that committed to integration period; or simply playing politics. I think Caricom has to first resolve the political issues, otherwise Caricom will just be another talk shop. There is a serious PR issue throughout the Caribbean as far as that part is concerned.

I have not addressed the issue of the economies of the respective islands or what islands can sustain or not sustain. I will leave that for those more qualified or recognized on the subject to address. Despite the self interest of some nations, suffice it to say, that there is tremendous merit to economic union of small entities (which is what the Caribbean nations are) and that freedom of movment of services is crucial to that process. If we do not agree with some decisions taken on foreign policy we should demand more transparency and consultation from our governments. Enough said.

 
 
Comment by paul Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-04 16:22:15

when will the caribbean come together.

 
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