Caribbean Community leaders have finalized the date for their annual half yearly summit in Guyana in mid-February, and a number of key agenda items, including Britain’s impending departure from the European Union and Caribbean relations with the incoming Donald Trump Administration, are likely topics of discussion, officials said this week.
When cabinet ministers meet in Port of Spain, the Trinidad capital, early in January, they will spend time considering an intelligence report identifying nearly 200 locals with alleged links to international terrorism.
The outgoing chairman of the 15-nation Caribbean Community has praised the region for the way it collectively responded to Haiti and other islands hit by Hurricane Matthew in early October, saying it has become clear to all that there is no other way for the string of mostly island nations to survive other than through collective efforts.
Almost two years ago, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados vowed that his tiny but well organized Caribbean island would ditch Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the country’s head of state and make the Barbados a republic like neighbors Trinidad and Guyana, but now there is every indication that nothing will happen in the very near future.
The government of a tiny Eastern Caribbean nation and the mighty United States are at it again over the refusal of the U.S. to comply with a ruling by the World Trade Organization that went in favor of Antigua instead of the U.S.
In early December 1972, then Guyana’s Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and three of his regional colleagues sprang a monumental political surprise on the world when they officially established diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro’s communist-ruled Cuba, largely ending the island’s American-imposed and policed hemispheric isolation and opening the floodgates to a rash of other nations to follow suit.
The man credited with pulling the single market trading aspects of the Caribbean Community together is leading an effort by people of influence in the region to urge Jamaica to remain a key and leading member of the family of nations.
Not many governments or citizens in the bloc of 15 nations in the Caribbean were hoping or praying to have to live with an administration led by Donald Trump, but his victory in the 2016 presidential election could mean a financial windfall for some countries, particularly those in the Eastern Caribbean.
Of the many nations in the Caribbean Community facing economic problems, Suriname this week said that tough economic austerity measures that were imposed by government and the International Monetary Fund in the past year are beginning to help the country emerge from its worst crisis since military rule in the 1980s.
Caribbean Community nations are raising awareness about reparations among member nations and keeping up pressure on Western nations such as Britain and France to agree to make reparation payments for the horrific trans-Atlantic slave trade.