Monday, November 24, 2008

Caribbean Unification. A Non-deferrable Reality

Alberto N Jones
November 24, 2008

An unprecedented event that most in the world never dreamt to see in their lifetime, took place on November 4th, 2008, when Barack Obama was overwhelmingly elected President of the United States of America, ending the opprobrious inferiority complex that slavery, segregation and racism have tirelessly tried to imprint in our psychic.

As important as this transcendental decision may be, it comes at the height of the United States most complex financial, health, housing, unemployment, educational and other social crisis, just as society dominant classes are throwing in the gauntlet, incapable of conceiving any corrective measures that may stop and reverse the downward financial spiral that threatens to end the US leading position in the world.

For this simple reason, president elect Barack Obama is reaching out and hoping to enlist every capable, willing and able individual in the United States and around the world, who is willing to assist him in this monumental task. As sons and daughters of a proud African ancestry, irrespective of our social, political or religious differing views, we are morally obliged to sup port and help him succeed in every way we can.

No one in his/her right mind, could have anticipated the enormous social evolution the world have experienced in the past and present century. Similarly, within the Caribbean islands, the crucial unification efforts described in a newspaper article “OECS economic and political union with Trinidad and Tobago to be discussed in St. Kitts on Thursday“, SKNVibes, 10/23/08, opens a unique window of opportunity, as we learn from our past mistakes and failed efforts in that direction.

Today, our leaders are more mature, better prepared and have a clearer vision of the future, after removing most of the outside tactics intended to keep us divided and weak.

The massive trail of destruction that this year’s hurricane season have wreaked upon our islands, the world financial crisis affecting every nation, our weak monoculture agriculture industry and tourist dependent economies, constitutes a wake-up call for all of us, to engage in urgent talks among nations of our region, designed to implement corrective measures that may ensure a positive job creation growth, the wellbeing of our people and the implementation of human protective measures for the next hurricane season and beyond.

Cuba’s development prior to the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, was presented to the world as a model of capitalism and free market, which was based upon 350 years of slavery, which was supplanted in the 1900’s with a massive influx of immigrants from the English Speaking Caribbean Islands, Haiti, the Canary Islands and China.

At that time, the bulk of the Cuban economy was dependent on the sugar industry, coffee and cocoa plantation in the hands of Caribbean migrants in eastern Cuba, while Tobacco and citrus plantation in western Cuba and cattle grazing in the center of the island, was primarily in the hands of emigrants from the Canary Islands.

This historical fact which have been kept intentionally out of our history books, would reflect the heat-stifling, back-breaking, segregated, lack of health, education and perennially indebted miserable life imposed upon the Caribbean migrant community, forced to live in shacks without electricity, running water or sewer, as they generated billions of dollars for native sugar barons and US transnational.

Even though Cuba have contributed more humanitarian assistance to Haiti than any other country in the world, have provided substantial health, education and development assistance to many English speaking Caribbean islands, to tens of third world countries in every continent and its epic military involvement in Africa determined that Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are independent nations that wiped out the brutal Apartheid policies from the face of the earth, Cuba is still capable and willing to do more for those less fortunate.

Cuba’s close political and commercial ties with China, Argentina, Ukraine, Brazil, India, Russia, Canada and others, could provide our region with a powerful opening to millions of people in these countries, desirous of our high quality, tasty tropical produce and tourist attractions.

Santiago de Cuba is the Cuban city with the strongest Caribbean cultural heritage , which will be hosting the next CARICOM Summit in the month of December. This venue could provide the ideal environment to begin a profound discussion, approval and the creation of a large Inter-Caribbean Development Enterprise, charged with the expansion of individual island agricultural production, transport goods to Santiago de Cuba for reception, consolidation, processing, marketing and export to virgin markets across the globe. Tourist promotion and multi-destiny tours to these island countries, could further add to their financial stability.

The creation of this Caribbean consortium could expand the region technical and economical collaboration, create a unified marketing strategy and establish migratory agreements by which, tens of thousands of migrant workers from the region, could relocate to and=2 0create large agricultural enterprises on hundreds of thousands of untilled acreage in Cuba or work on others with limited work force, creating wealth and earning their personal income to support their families in their country of origin.

The time have come, for our governments to work diligently, with courage and overcome lingering artificial colonial borders, that have served only to divide, conquer and foster prejudice among our peoples.

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