Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Reject calls for boycott, embrace Caribbean unity!

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 11:03 PM


I write to you with great disappointment and regret that some 12 citizens of the CARICOM country of Jamaica were denied entry into the twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago some weeks ago due to the "presumption that these citizens of Jamaica maybe a liability to the Government of Trinidad & Tobago".

It is no doubt, 12 is indeed a big number to be rejected by immigration officers. This also raises the question on how many of our citizens have been turned away from other CARICOM states on daily manner. I would also like to know if all of the CARICOM states have a list of protocols or acceptance requirement for a citizen of CARICOM to be admitted into another state freely.

Therefore, with the above mentioned, I can indeed understand the national outcry, the blogging and the constant post on social media by Jamaicans to boycott the products of Trinidad & Tobago as a well-needed lesson to our Caribbean neighbour. It is without a doubt that we as a people do not respond rationally when we are angry, and so I asked the newly-appointed minister of foreign affairs to call for calm and tranquillity in this time when blood runs hot.

Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago as far as I can remember, have had trade disagreements for years, and though we do not share land or even water space, we do have border disagreements in particular; entry of each other states. But let me not dwell on the negatives but remind my beloved Jamaicans to focus on what we have in common as a Caribbean people and the rich history we share, our colonial past, educational achievements, music and our deep blue seas, and much more that unifies us as a people.

I, therefore, beseech well thinking citizens of Jamaica and citizens of Trinidad & Tobago to reject calls for disunity, and in the words of Pope Francis "Let's build bridges not borders"

Roger R. Goodwill

Seminarian for the Roman

Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston