“We cannot agree to act together in particular ways and remain free to act as we please or as every passing advantage induces us. . . . CARICOM must command our collective loyalty. Unless it does, all the machinery that we devise will not suffice to make it work optimally.”
Time for Action: The Report of the West Indian Commission, 1992
[Disclaimer: This posting is not in any way meant to represent the official or unofficial views of the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is a personal blog posting.]
The idea of CARICOM died on December 16th 2020.
The eulogy was delivered on February 25th 2021, in the form of a Communiqué that studiously avoided any mention of the decomposing corpse in the middle of our integration movement.
Not many people noticed.
CARICOM’s dying breath was disguised as a minor diplomatic squabble over Venezuela – a topic that has ceased to excite anyone but the most strung-out political junkie. But make no mistake, the foundation principles of CARICOM – integration, unity, solidarity, coordination – were swept aside. The idea at the very centre of the CARICOM experiment could not hold, and things fell irretrievably apart.
Oh, the formalistic, institutional façade of CARICOM will continue. There are too many professionals, from too many countries, making too much money, and focusing on too many discrete issues of functional cooperation for the institution to lock up shop and send everyone home.
But the idea of CARICOM was always greater than the sum total of its component institutional arrangements. The idea was that we were one Caribbean people, pooling our sovereignty strategically for the greater good.