Caribbean At Crossroads
|Where do we go from here ?|
The question concerning Caribbean governments is: Where do we go from here. Throughout our Caribbean Nation, the simple and glaring truth is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The gains made since the independence era of the 60’s and 70’s seem to have lost their relevance and we are slowing but surely in need of a progressive and passionate vision for our region. The old adage comes back to confront us: Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Many once optimistic thinkers are apparently accepting or concluding that there is really no hope. They have been convinced by personal and political exercises and experiences that we will never escape our colonial past, and that the more things change the more they remain the same. The clichés are numerous and the positions understood. We do not want to delude ourselves but we still believe that these islands thrown together by three hundred years of brutality/ slavery can and will survive.
There is really no region in modern history, which has sprung from prolonged economic and social domination and depravation to so quickly assert its nationhood. We have no doubt that the historians will find others but they will be hard pressed to show us, a people that were raped of everything and yet have held together a region long deserted by the those who plundered it.
Many of us believed that with the abolition of slavery and the eventual “gaining’ of independence, our task was over. However, we are learning, with every passing second, that we are yet to reach the finish line. While we have successfully thrown together many achievements, we have yet to commonly identify what makes us unique and why we are totally capable of achieving much more than what we have done to date. We have not yet told the world our story and too many of us are somewhat unaware of our struggles both past and present.
The pessimism now so rampant is a direct result of mistakenly believing that raising new flags and singing new anthems meant that the consciousness of the people was lifted as well. We therefore have to reflect on where we went wrong. We strongly believe that the failure to lift the peoples’ consciousness was not deliberate. The vision to escape colonialism was noble and some ground was made but we are presently engaged in a new world information and economic system that does pay much, if any, homage to romanticism.
Today, our region is suffocating from a recession that is not of our making. This shows that we need to find solutions for our own problems rather than always pay for the greed and financial decadence of others. Our task must be to use this horrific economic period, to dig deep into ourselves and not only survive the difficulties, but banish them from our region. We must be responsible for our socio-economic development. That is the vision required and we need leaders who can philosophically and ideologically identify with such.
We should never forget that we were here before and survived the economic and social barbarism of slavery. We must never forget that slavery was not of our making and it was also based on the greed and financial decadence of others . We had to find our way and we did because of our own inner ability to overcome difficulties and to triumph. Within that historical truth is where our strength as a people resides.
The truth is that the Caribbean will either swim together or sink together.