CARICOM is dead. PJ Patterson should read the eulogy

CARICOM is dead. PJ Patterson should read the eulogy


You don’t want to be reminded each day that CARICOM is a failure. But this is what happens to me. My windows overlook the CARICOM Secretariat. It is the first thing I see every morning when I rise from my bed. It reminds me of VS Naipaul and his dismissal of the Caribbean.

CARICOM is a failure. It is dormant. Maybe it is dead. It is a caricature of what an integration movement should be. I become irascible when my friends tell me about the White man and the nonsense about White countries exploiting the Third World. The White man in his White man country treats his White citizens better than Third World leaders treat their non-White citizens.
Foolish Third World leaders (including my own country) jail African youths for possession of a marijuana cigarette and even the possession of a smoking utensil.  

Lost in the news of the euphoria of Obama reelection was the fact that Colorado and Washington (not Washington DC) had on the ballot the right to smoke small amounts of marijuana. Voters agreed and together with California, marijuana possession in small quantities is now legal.

In Europe, Holland has led the way. In Guyana, Ralph Ramkarran tells us that his former party, the PPP, is anti-imperialism but in some imperialist counties, they don’t jail Black youths for smoking marijuana. In Guyana, they do.

What is so bad about the White world? Enter CARICOM. When the far right won enough votes in Austria to secure a coalition in government, the EU immediately signaled its intention to isolate Austria. For that reason, the far right was kept out.

CARICOM brokered an agreement with one of its members, Guyana, titled, the Herdmanston Accord. The Guyana Government never implemented it. Why should citizens of this country have any respect for such an integration movement?

The Herdmanston Accord could have put an end to the long tragedy that is a country named Guyana. The warring factions agreed on fundamental restructuring of the Guyana Constitution that would have made absolute power ineffective.

Today, Guyana remains a troubled place and if we should go over the tip in Guyana again, CARICOM will come to the rescue again, only to make itself a clown.

P.J. Patterson was in Guyana a few days ago and spoke about the right of residency for CARICOM citizens. Is P.J. Patterson faltering with age? In which year will Barbados agree for skilled CARICOM workers to have unhindered access to its shores? Not now, not next year, not in 2020.

I am surprised at Patterson. He came to Guyana to speak on the state and future of CARICOM and did not do any research on the CARICOM country in which he was going to give a talk about CARICOM. He didn’t dwell on Guyana at all. Guyana refused a peace deal brokered by CARICOM on cricket administration here.

Here are some facts for P.J. who is supposed to be the grand old man of CARICOM. A World Bank report puts at 85 percent, the number of Guyanese citizens with tertiary education who permanently leave Guyana.

If Barbados should take P.J’s advice then where would an island of 166 square miles put those Guyanese? Don’t you get it PJ? Once Barbados opens up residency for skilled CARICOM citizens, fleeing Guyanese will push that little island at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea where it originally came from?

PJ Patterson must know from his extensive readings of regional affairs that Guyanese don’t want to stay in Guyana. Which region are you living in PJ? Certainly not in the Caribbean.
Which university lecturer with a doctorate, senior public servant with an MBA, qualified engineer, brilliant surgeon is going to forget that Barbados exists and stay in Guyana?

Here is an interesting story for Mr. Patterson. I worked for twenty-six years at the University of Guyana after studying at three universities. And my paycheck (take home) was seven hundred American dollars.

And you expect Barbados to open up its doors to skilled Guyanese. Come on PJ, don’t discredit yourself. P.J. Patterson and Sir Shridath Ramphal (who lives in Barbados) even if joined by Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama are not going to get Barbados to open up because as soon as the doorman removes the padlock, the Guyanese stampede will overwhelm Barbados.

CARICOM leaders summoned President Desmond Hoyte to Mustique to explain the nature of governance in Guyana. Hoyte was a great Guyanese President. Jagdeo was the worst in the history of the Caribbean, yet CARICOM never asked him for an explanation on creeping fascistization in Guyana.  PJ you are out of line!

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  • compton de castro  On 01/31/2013 at 8:01 pm

    loved every word of that “critque” “rebuke”….
    CARICOM may have to re-brand itself if it is to survive….

    the demographics of the area is demanding change….

    Barbados will change
    Barbados must change

    or it becomes a “colony” of the GUYANAS…..even BRAZIL/VENEZUELA…
    wake up bajans wake up barbados or your end is nigh…!

    Our world is changing
    Our world will change
    Our world has changed
    Our world must change

    or we drown in the tsumani of the old world

    forever the optimist

    • caribbeanmarvel  On 02/08/2013 at 5:10 pm

      What are you suggesting Barbados do? As a Barbadian I am interested. We are called barbarians by many of our caricom nationals and sometimes I find it hard to understand what is expected of us as members of the regional integration movement.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 02/01/2013 at 12:11 am

    Guyanese and West Indians appear to be incapable of getting together.
    “Federation” was an early attempt at an integrated Caribbean.
    Sound bites of that era were “One from ten leaves naught” Dr. Eric Williams
    “Jamaica got two goats. Federation come; Trinidad take away one goat”. Alexander Bustamante.
    As any Guyanese and West Indian knows, ,”We are like crabs in a barrel. As fast as one tries to climb out, ten others are trying to pull him down”.

  • compton de castro  On 02/01/2013 at 8:28 am

    just loved the final “statement” about CRABS …in hilarious laughter..

    Junior (trainee) CRAB CATCHER of GOLDEN GROVE ECD beach.

    survival of the fittest/heaviest !…ha ha !


  • marc E.matthews  On 02/03/2013 at 2:13 pm

    I din’ know was a live ting, always thought was figment of low caliber imigination

  • caribbeanmarvel  On 02/08/2013 at 5:05 pm

    I like the passionate of conviction with which you write. Guyana is a vast country with natural resources, you have enough water in your falls to power up thousands of industry plus fertile soils, fish etc.
    The answer may be getting the climate right to attract Caricom investors, I know some will say ‘tried before’ but is a different approach possible?
    This seem to suggest no way out for Guyana except to export people but I feel you have so much more potential for a fatalistic approach.
    Practical solutions …..

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