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#1 Aug 15, 2018 4:34 pm

New Historian
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Integration - or interrogation?

Our politicians are good at talking about Caribbean integration – endlessly. But, when it comes to actually DOING integration, sadly, national self-interest invariably wins out in the end. The best integration is the OECS: 8 islands that are within sight of each other, are similar to each other, and are usually related to each other. But sadly, the wider we cast the Caribbean net, the less it seems to catch.

When I travel to St Kitts or St. Lucia they stamp in my passport: “Leave to stay: indefinitely”. This is true integration. But when I land in Trinidad; I get a million questions. This isn’t integration; it’s interrogation. West Indians know Miami more than they know the West Indies; there’s almost zero coordination on key economic issues like taxation, fiscal incentives and economic policies.

In the area of transportation, we’ve moved from one failing government-owned shipping company (WISCO); to two failing government-owned airlines (CAL & LIAT). Is this progress? Investors play one island off against the other. “Oh, so you won’t give me this? Well, they sure will!”And we fall for it every time. In the Caribbean, this is known as a crab in a barrel mentality: let’s pull each one down, rather than pull each one up.  Barbados just poached the Ross Midical School from hurricane-ravaged Dominica - real nice way to help out a brother nation!

Instead of creating one single, large-ish Caribbean market, with one set of rules, we fight among ourselves at the global table, squabbling over the limited pool of investment dollars, tourist dollars, and development dollars. Our record in the creation one unified, coordinated Caribbean can be summed up in one word: pathetic!

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#2 Aug 15, 2018 5:00 pm

Slice
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Re: Integration - or interrogation?

So true, but give the smaller islands some credit, they welcome Caribbean Nationals with very questions asked. My in-law was traveling with he Trini Passport to Grenada from the USA.  I told him to go to the CARICOM line, and he did.  He had no problems.  One of the biggest issues facing the region is going from one island to the next, are taxes.   Just imagine ah free ticket from Trini to Miami is much less than Trinidad to Grenada.  If this guy is right the taxes is more than $700.  There is great news the goverments are working on reducing taxes.  They say it is almost an emergency.  So lets prayer.

So ah go be crazy, do the smaller islands, which have little or no crime, want ah Trini or ah Jamaican coming into their country, with no questions asked?  Look me Trini in-law who is down here with me, refuse to do to ah $60.00 fete.  He says in those kinda show, they will pick your pocket.  He sitting in the living room in my house, he locks all doors and windows.  No mater how ah try and tell him relax; he ent listening to me.





The reginal islands do more business with American, than themselves.

Last edited by Slice (Aug 15, 2018 5:08 pm)

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#3 Aug 16, 2018 12:31 am

Expat
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Re: Integration - or interrogation?

I think your Trini guest may be overly concerned, but none the less this is not Grenada of 50 years ago, you should not leave doors and windows open willy nilly. Someone already told you to get a pow pow. I don't actually suggest you go that route, but people see and hear. If you are dashing around and socialising, over time people will figure to have two ten cents pieces to rub together. Some three time cousin who works in the Bar at Umbrellas will tell your neighbour by ten houses over that you are flashing your wad 3 times a month just at his bar, and whammo you are on a hit list for a poor neighbour that thinks you will keep cash under your mattress.

You are a JCB, you are from away, you have lots more money than most of your neighbours you have a bloody great target on your back. Start smelling the coffee before you become a statistic.

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#4 Aug 17, 2018 9:09 am

New Historian
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Re: Integration - or interrogation?

" There is great news the goverments are working on reducing taxes.  They say it is almost an emergency."

Don't believe a word of what politicians say about this issue, they talk kaka and never do a damn thing about it.

As for Expat's advice, he may be over egging the cake, but not by much.

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#5 Aug 20, 2018 9:11 pm

Dancer
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Re: Integration - or interrogation?

Integration  , interrogation .  .....    a good one , NEEDS  thinking    ..... BUT its summer  . A rain check to the fall . Lord !

Summer Time and the living is easy .

We need a deliberate program to ( get to know , history ,  island  history  , of  who we say we are part of . Caricom.
Lets start there.

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