Sunday 22 May 2016
The full text of Sir Ronald Sanders' speech in St Lucia, on 19 May 2016, entitled "Storm Clouds gathering over CARICOM: Where is the Umbrella?" is in the Lectures and Interviews section under 'Lectures'. He argies: "Clearly, there is an urgency for CARICOM countries as a whole to address their fragile condition, and to recognize that while national initiatives are imperative for economic growth and development and must be pursued diligently, deeper regional collaboration, including economic integration, hold beneficial and sustainable solutions. Reinvigoration of CARICOM has all the urgency of now. Continuing to neglect it, and only to pay lip service to it in ritualistic meetings and wordy press conferences, will hasten the process of decline and adversely impact every sector of the economies, including tourism".
A new commentary is posted, entitled: New Energy needed in the Caribbean. It points out that, apart from Trinidad and Tobago, which is an oil and gas producer, the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour is as high as 45 US cents in the region; in the United States it is 5 US cents. The comparison speaks for itself. Doing any kind of business in the Caribbean, when compared with the US, is extremely high. And, the comparison is not true only in relation to the US; a similar contrast exists with costs in European Union countries and many states in Latin America.
US-Caribbean Energy Summit in Washington DC on 4 May, 2016. Author is second left top row, Three Caribbean Heads of Governmet and US Vice Presient in front row)
A previous commentary is: A World according to Trump. The comemntary analsyes US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump's Foreign Policy speech and cincludes that it had a ring of authoritarianism about it for everyone, including the business community of America. It seems, businesses will have to conform to the dictates of a Trump government; their freedom will be constrained and failure to comply will have untold consequences. America will be a different place if this comes to pass; so will be the world.
Donald Trump who set out his foreign policy for the US on 27 April 2016
A previous commentary is: Good sense absent at the UN. The commentary argues that for a brief moment it appeared that good sense would prevail and the international community would ditch the failed ‘war on drugs’ policy. But, all hopes were dashed at the United Nations General Assembly special session on drugs (UNgass) between April 19 and 21 in New York. This reactionary stance was adopted by too many states to allow a more progressive approach to be adopted. Yet, the countries in the forefront of the drive for reform were ones that have been most affected by the traffic in narcotics. Among them were Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala. Not surprisingly, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, has described the UN posture as “insane”.
No Quick Fix in Haiti argues that peace and development will be endangered in Haiti if the United States and other nations insist that the interim government holds the second round of a truncated election for a President of the Republic without a verification process of the first round that took place on October 25 last year.
Jovenel Moise, the front runner in the Haitian Presidential Elections
A previous comnentary looks at a meerting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States held on 30 March to discuss the unfair practices that have wrongly targeted Caribbean jurisdictions as tax havens, occasioning the loss of long established correspendent relations in the US and Europe.
Sir Ronald Sanders, Chairing Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States