Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Letter of the Day | CARICOM integration long overdue!

Published:Tuesday | September 19, 2017 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Isn't it beautiful now in hindsight that perfect vision and insight reign? How differently things could have been if we had dealt with integration and regionalism matters in a timely manner and a balanced way? I refer to the blending of all Caribbean people as one, and all Caribbean land masses as common ground, requiring only a CARICOM passport to traverse every square inch.

To me, it seems hypocritical that only after a great disaster such as Irma that the call is being made for togetherness, but when there was relative normality, peace and safety, no one saw the relevance of intermingling. Our selfish habits and false pride of wealth have captured our better nature.

Barbados is one of the chief culprits involved in ill-treating its Caribbean brothers and sisters. So, too, Trinidad and Tobago. So, isn't it ironic that Mia Motley of Barbados, now in Jamaica after Irma's near demolition of several small Caribbean countries and territories, is calling for regional integration? They are slowly seeing and learning the importance of seeking a friend before you need one.

Lip service is no longer welcome, and those leaders who control the steering wheels of CARICOM should be ashamed of themselves. They want to maintain the division because of petty politics and perceived status or economic wealth, real or imagined, but as soon as nature pays us a proper visit exposing our frailties, they realise that cooperation with neighbours would go a far way.

Now that Irma has completed extra lessons for those who are slow, how quickly can we expect to see the change of certain Caribbean countries' immigration officers and foreign affairs ministers?

JOSEPH EDWARDS

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