Sun | Aug 20, 2017

If all else fails, look to the C'wealth - Senate president urges Jamaica to seek refuge with Brits

Published:Wednesday | March 29, 2017 | 3:00 AMJason Cross

Donald Trump's vision of locking the United States (US) away from the rest of the world has sent president of the Jamaican Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson, into warning mode, appealing to all Jamaicans to look to the Commonwealth for possible refuge.

He stressed recently, during the House of Parliament of Jamaica's hosting of Commonwealth Day 2017, that Jamaica's size would not allow it to stand on its own if big economies like the US decide to withdraw assistance and channel all attention on themselves.

'The stone that the builder refused' is how Tavares-Finson described Jamaica's relationship with the Commonwealth, and recommended that the country and the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean strengthen ties with the Commonwealth in order to stand a chance on the global stage.

"What is happening in world history now, a lot of developed countries, Britain, for example, intend to withdraw from the European Union. We know what that means for many Jamaicans. We see it happening. The United States is withdrawing into their own shell.

Mr Trump says America for Americans and America comes first," he highlighted.

 

WE ARE TOO SMALL

 

The senator added, " Poor little Jamaica, we can't say Jamaica alone and Jamaica first, because we are too small, but we have the structure of the Commonwealth that we can rely on, the stone that the builder refused. The Commonwealth will become more important and over a period of time, we have to recognise that the Commonwealth is an international institution that we can use to advance the interest of not only Jamaica, but the Caribbean, countries in Asia and many African countries.

"People speak about inclusiveness and tolerance as being a hallmark of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is an outgrowth of what used to be the British Empire. The English imposed on that portion of the world, a number of values that we now call shared values. Some of them are the English language, our judicial system, the way our schools operate, and so on. We have inherited, along with 51 other countries, a shared value system, and it is that value system that we have to take advantage of and use at this critical time in world history."

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com