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Latest Commentaries

A new commentary has been posted. It is entitled: Scotland's September 18 Referendum: The consequences.  It says that if the people of Scotland vote for independence from the United Kingdom on September 18, they will be buying a one-way ticket to their own misfortune, and with consequences that will go beyond their borders affecting Commonwealth countries. Notwithstanding the arguments of the Scottish National Party, the Scottish economy cannot sustain an independent Scotland that can deliver the welfare system the country now enjoys and pay for all the apparatus required for defense, security and participation in international affairs. Scottish nationalists do the people of Scotland no favour by glibly urging them to go it alone.

The struggle for Scotland... and the United Kingdom

The previous commentary is:Making Caribbean tourism Chinese-ready.  It argues that until there is huge investment in marketing, airlift, tourism plant, and language training, the prospect of an appreciable and steady flow of Chinese tourists will remain remote. If Caribbean countries genuinely want a share of Chinese tourism, rigorous work has to be undertaken now to make fundamental preparations for what is a long-term project. The more that countries delay in making such preparations, the more distant will be the likelihood of attracting Chinese tourists.

The previous commentary is: 51 years later Dr King's dream remains unfulfiled.  The commentary says: Dr Martin Luther King’s profound and haunting peroration, "I have a dream" delivered on 28 August 1963 has to be repeated over and over again. And, the importance of his summons to the American society, especially its establishment not only in Washington but in every City and Town across the United States of America, has to be evoked continually in action to end judgments of black people on the basis of the colour of their skin. Until this is done in a comprehensive and comprehensible manner, the idea that black people are the equals of white people and should be treated as such, will continue to evade America and will stop it from ever being a cohesive society and a strong and respected nation despite its economic and military pre-eminence in the world.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr - delivering his "I have a dream" speech on 28 August 1963

Another recent commentary is: Kamla is right: Joint Caribbean action vital to ensure no health crisis. The commentary supports a call by the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, for a special meeting of Caribbean leaders to co-ordinate a response particularly to the Ebola virus that has ravaged West Africa.  The costs for African countries have gone far beyond medical treatment and includes harsh effets on businesses, productivity and tourism.  The Caribbean can ill afford the problem.  In this context, it is right to act to avert a crisis.

The Ebola virus has ravaged parts of West Africa

 

Latest Interviews with, and quotes of, Sir Ronald

The Latin American Advisor, based in Washington, through its publication Inter-American Dialogue, posed the following question to Sir Ronald Sanders on Thursday, July 17th 2014.

FEATURED Q&A
How Successfully Is Caricom Addressing Caribbean Issues?
Q   Outgoing Caribbean Community Chairman Ralph Gonsalves on July 1 opened the 35th annual summit of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, with calls for unity among the members to address issues affecting the region including climate change, economic and immigration issues, all of which will be addressed inthe group's strategic plan for the next five years. Gonsalves also called for deepening integration and a single market as the keys to regional development. How successful has Caricom been at addressing the region's most pressing issues? What are the biggest challenges facing the Caribbean, and does Caricom's strategic plan propose the right measures?
A.   Sir Ronald Sanders, consultant and former Caribbean diplomat:
"Caricom is a collective of its governments. It can only address the region's most pressing issues if all governments are willing to move in unison. The most pressing common issue is unemployment. The second (except for Trinidad and Tobago) is the high cost of energy. Many countries also have high debt, growing fiscal deficits, no access to large sums required for financing infrastructure, including alternative energy projects, or to low-cost borrowing from international financial institutions.
Deepening integration and a single market can contribute greatly to improving the region's current situation and its prospects, especially through production integration by the private sector and collaborative approaches by governments to debt forgiveness and rescheduling and raising money for jointly owned projects.
The strategic plan proposes desirable measures, but the absence of detail of how they are meant to address the most pressing problems, the machinery by which this will be done, and how the measures will be implemented does not permit meaningful analysis or conclusions. The secretariat is strapped for cash as are many of the governments, a few of which are struggling monthly to pay wages, service debt and provide basic goods and services.
It is difficult to see how the plan will be funded unless there is committed financing from external agencies on a predictable basis, but such agencies will want a legally binding plan with legally empowered machinery for implementation and governance. Caricom is not there yet, although an agreed strategic plan is, at least, an important step."

 

Jamaica Gleaner Quote

Sir Ronald's comments about the relative place of the US and China in Caribbean considerations was quoted by a columnist in the Jamaica Gleaner on Sunday 27 April 2014.  See URL below:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140427/cleisure/cleisure4.html

 

A previous interview with Sir Ronald Sanders was conducted by the IPS news service.  Along with others Sir Ronald discusses the dangers posed to Caribbean states by sea level rise.  Click on URL below:

http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/saving-caribbean-tourism-sea/


All posts...
Portrait of Sir Ronald Sanders

Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on Small States in the global community.

Welcome

Welcome to this website. I have created it in response to many requests for access to commentaries I have written, lectures I have given and interviews that have been broadcast or printed in the media on matters related to the political economy of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

These requests have come from university students, publications, academics, government officials and business people in many parts of the world. In the course of responding to these requests, I have been pleased to build up a network of global contacts who now receive my commentaries weekly.

From a career that encompassed broadcast and print journalism, development and commercial banking, diplomacy and international negotiations in both the public and private sectors, I am privileged to draw on wide and varied experiences to write, lecture and undertake consultancies. I have taken the greatest pleasure in receiving comments and criticism from people all over the world that the Internet has made a “village”. I have learned from many of the comments I received. They have caused me to reflect on my own thinking. Through this website, I hope to communicate regularly with all who write to me.

The website is now a permanent repository of the weekly commentaries going back several years. Anyone is free to access them here, and to cite them provided my permission is sought in advance through the “Contact me” mechanism. A few of the lectures I have given in Britain and in the Caribbean are also posted on the site in a PDF format which can be easily downloaded. Again, I would make the same request to seek my permission before citing the material.

From time to time, where it is possible, the site will also reflect consultancies that I undertake that may have an interested audience beyond the companies and organizations with which I work.

I invite responses to my writings, and inquiries about the experience and knowledge I can bring to achieving the objectives of companies and organizations that do business related to the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

My consulting work includes: country investment advice; negotiations with governments and international organizations; structuring and implementing public affairs programmes; designing public relations and information strategies; negotiations with financial institutions and organizing and participating in seminars for interest groups such as journalists, diplomats, and specialized academics.

Kind regards

Ronald Sanders