Eyewitness: Moving on…

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…with Caribbean unity

The Caribbean was the crucible for the European experiment to create a world order based not just on economic “accumulation by dispossession”, but by conquering the minds of the “natives” to create Brother Bob’s “mental slavery”. So after granting us “independence”, we should’ve suspected that such a state of being wasn’t gonna be that easy. Across the Atlantic, Nkrumah had warned of “neo-colonialism”, but, of course, he was soon overthrown for his boldness!

Anyhow, here in the West Indies – or “Caribbean” if you’d have it – after Jagan and his communist alternative were similarly deposed, the “independent” leaders attempted to float several “unity” initiatives to break out of their underdevelopment status. There was the free-trade CARIFTA (1968), closer Caricom (1973) and finally the “community” aspiration of the CSME (2002). They were, of course, ironically cogging wholesale from their erstwhile European masters and ignoring that their circumstances were clearly completely different!! But then the mental slavery convinced our leaders we were “European” in everything but colour, hadn’t it?

Anyhow, CSME was quickly placed on “pause” – remote control for electronic devices had obviously reached the Caribbean with their “pause” buttons!! – when absolutely no progress was made after a decade of talk, more talk and “agreements”. So what to do? Well…do as the British did for centuries whenever there was a spot of bother and the natives were getting restless – appoint a Commission to look into the matter and make recommendations!!

So, as the ROAR FELLA outlined in his column last Sunday, a “Caricom Commission on the Economy” was duly established in 2019 to suggest how the integration goals of the CSME could be jump-started. The brain trust of 10 eminent world-class experts concluded it wasn’t that the leaders didn’t know what to do…there were reams of analyses gathering dust in various repositories!! The failure of implementation was due to them just not having the “will power”!! In their Report, they suggested there were just too many “Little Caesars” – your Eyewitness’s words!! – in Caricom (15!) to get consensus – too many cooks! Maybe a like-minded few could take the lead in a smaller “enhanced” Union!!

What the ROAR fella noted was that Guyana and Suriname had already taken some bold steps to integrate their economies. There was the bridge across the Corentyne, coordinating their climate change response and their oil and gas development with its attendant local content mandates and a slew of deepened financial integration that lubricates modern economies’ insertion into a globalised world.
Trouble is…they just don’t have the experience with an oil economy. But – voila! – next door Trinidad has 100 years of it!!
Just invite them to join up!! And watch the rest get into line!!

…with Cricket

With the COVID-19 pandemic becoming a tsunami, the pall hanging over our heads keeps getting darker. Your Eyewitness being a cricket fanatic, it’s only the “glorious game of uncertainty” that keeps him going when he’s “feeling down and wearin’ a frown”! So when the powers that be decided to call off the Test between England and India he was thrown for a loop. Especially after that doozy that preceded it!!

But we can’t take our chances with this Covid, can we?? The infections in the Indian camp made the decision a no-brainer. But good for your Eyewitness, there’s still his favourite team the Guyana Amazon Warriors in that most exciting of tournaments – the CPL – once again justifying his faith!! Last night, for a few hours, they were on top of the standings your Eyewitness didn’t waste much time, but celebrated to the max!! They’re now into the semis and this is gonna be their year – it’s written in the stars!!
Just look up – and say a prayer!!

…with CJIA

They say that “good things come to those who wait”. Well, we’ve been waiting for the modernised CJIA since 2013, so we know this is going to be very, very good!!
Third “opening”?