Rekindling the Caribbean Renaissance

I offer support for the objectives of Black History Month by placing on its agenda the need for an urgent Caribbean dialogue on the development challenges facing our people. Where we have reached in our historic flight to freedom as a community needs to be assessed and the depth of our dedication to promoting popular democracy should be reviewed at this time.

We are gingerly entering the second, potentially seismic, phase of regional nation building. This in 2017 cries out for reflection. Already it presents itself as a significant marker in our regional affairs and a disruptor of global systems and sensibilities. But critically, it is the 70th anniversary of that seminal sequestering of Caribbean political and civil rights leaders at Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1947 where they outlined the road map for regional development.

The 1947 Summit, following the publication of the Moyne Report into the workers’ democracy wars of the 1930s in our Caribbean region, set the course with manifesto-style declarations that framed the first phase of the regional development agenda. Political and labour leaders were never clearer in their representation of the will of the people. They were morally courageous, fiscally sound, and financially futuristic. It was the region’s first collective rising of its political leadership.

The moment and movements were clearly defined and the political leadership was hell bent on justice, freedom, and dignified, democratic development. From Mo’bay, the Caribbean Renaissance was launched.

Today, on its 70th anniversary, there is a growing feeling of flux in Caribbean fellowship and the 1947 declarations for development seem fractured by fiscal stress. Policy priorities are less people centered and more consistent with our external financial circumstances. The top public priority is global alignment for economic growth. But economic alignment options are demonstrating that they can be socially damaging to the governance fabric of society. This is not an easy enterprise.

Communist China, our fastest emerging partner, is now the avid advocate of free trade and open borders while quintessentially capitalist America, the ancient opportunity provider, is evangelical about trade protectionism and building borders. Britain, always crisp and clear on which side its bread is buttered, has moved to abandon the European Single Market and Economy and is reckoning on returning its gaze to the recently relegated Commonwealth. Read more

Source: Barbados Today