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With Our Collective Eyes on the Grand Prize

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. "Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Let the record show that Caribbean people prefer to allow mediocrity to prevail as a result of petty divisions, and idle boast as to who is better, or more accomplished than the other. In short , many leaders have successfully ingrained into their respective citizens the idle notion that it is more profitable to be that ‘big fish , in a small pool’, as opposed to acceptance of a more profitable proposal of being ‘small fishes in large pools’, like more successful nations have done. One would think that at this stage of the modern global political and economic game, authentic Caribbean integration would be the mantra of the majority of our leaders and people, so that the real prize of economic viability and social development will finally become a distinctive possibility .

Care to explain to me how any of the following translated to the reduction of massive unemployment for individual Caribbean states? Little England Barbados has fewer white sand beaches than twin sister Tobago. Most of these are exclusively earmarked for mainly European tourist. Grammy laden Rihanna the black skin green beauty, pretends to look, sound, and even tried to out –whine Jazy’s long time main squeeze, and now Texan wife, Beyonce. This country’s leaders choose to view integration with great trepidation simply because it was able to peg its currency at respectable levels with the US dollar as a result of the fact that the Patrick Manning government refused to demand repayments on the interest loans given by the good old Doc in much the same fashion that IMF and World Bank-the institutional rapist of Global South regions.

Let’s introduce Guyana or South America as most of its predominantly English speaking citizens like to define themselves. This ethnically divided country remains a perennial underachiever after years of political mismanagement from neo Marxist such as Forbes Burnham and his clones, Chedi Jagan and his American wife, and presently her protégée Jagdeo. Compared to its real South American close neighbors such as Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela, this country is light years away in terms of full exploration and exploitation of its vast lurking and obvious natural untapped resources. The only real prize Guyana has obtained through the years is the ability to export more citizens illegally to Trinidad and perhaps abroad than any country in the hemisphere outside of Mexico. Using some of Trinidad’s seeping and backward political dinosaurs as a gauge, one can hazard a guess as to where Jag’s mindset will be on any Caribbean integration future , and the underlying unstated reasons for his fear.

What can one say about Jamaica on this integration factor? They have always remained a thorn in the flesh of Trinidadians in much the same way that the French are for many Americans, British, and Germans over time? However the world and fortunes of nations have changed and perhaps Jamaicans can now be convinced to accept the fact that it takes more than Benne Man, Zizzy Marley, and a thousand Husain Bolts to lift their economy and general population up to the level it deserves.

There are millions of reasons presently that would negate the Caribbean integration concept with Trinidad and Tobago in the lead and bearing the brunt of the financial responsibility. Nationals are hurting, and people are in despair on the question of jobs, failing education, substandard health care and shoddy security, in the face of ever escalating crimes. In the event that most did not know, Trinidad and Tobago is the most resource laden and economically rich English speaking state. They have successfully exported their warm spirit, togetherness, inclusive mindset, and magnificent Carnival to nearly each of the fifty states of America, to Canada, and Europe. They have also set the standards as to what epitomize a real party and festival celebrations throughout the world and especially the Caribbean at large. Unfortunately, this does not always translate well domestically, as the undercurrents of racial and ethnic wars are still brewing at home because of the concerted efforts of some misguided politicians and cohorts, ill prepared to adjust to concrete 21st century realities of changing demographics and wide ranging domestic social and economic needs of all citizens. It is proudly proclaimed that because of our Calaloo make up we have produced a few world class beauties. At the same time we continue to subsidize UWI, yet cannot always show much returns across the nation for our efforts. Our Prime Minister makes his periodic escapes to Cuba for medical attention, while the Opposition leader and his wife will not accept even an aspirin or an application of the hemlock maneuver due to choking from a local Hospital in the country if you put a gun to their heads, opting instead for good old North America and England for even a headache instead.

Let’s keep our eyes on the real prize as we draw closer together to solve problems, and create opportunities for our people. Can we replicate another ‘Indian Express’, Silicone Valley technological revolution in the Caribbean with useful networking between our Business and Educational Institutions and Bangolore ?Can we also develop useful trading and economic partnership with progressive Arab States such as UAE due to the presence of our growing Arab Trinidad community? How about our Euro Trinidad community, are they prepared to join in this struggle to make this blessed country the true leader it can be as we connect seriously with the EU and other European communities, or are they simply prepared to wax nostalgic about how find the British, French, Dutch, Spaniards and Portuguese colonizers were for our country and its neighbors, before the unfortunate phase call National Independence emerged. Are we going to continue to lambaste every effort at Caribbean integration as some scheme to broaden African votes or send vital resources away to others that care very little about our domestic welfare? My eyes are on the prize, and so should each of us that care for our nation and peoples collectively attempts to keep our politicians honest, perhaps in the hope that they would finally look out for out interest as well.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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