August 27, 2008



It will be interesting to see what happens on Tuesday, 2nd of September, 2008, but I am ready to place a wager that there will be more than one signatory to the document by the end of the day. The indication is that Hon. Ralph Gonsalves is ready to sign. The EU negotiators have launched a scare campaign on our leaders that not signing on to the agreement could place those nations out in the cold. While the Dominican Republic is a part of Cariforum I am yet to see a single statement coming out of Santo Domingo. Our media professionals seem to have forgotten that the Dominican Republic is part of the deal.

This is serious business and the Governments of the region and NGOs seem to be taking things into their own hands and moving away from the advice of Technical Experts. Finally our Governments are seeing themselves accountable for their actions and have begun to listen to the voice of the people. We must be mindful how we exchange the old for the new.

However, nothing is certain until September 2, 2008 passes. It would have been great to give the new Head of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery – Mr. Henry Gill a pass on his recommendations on the EPA but there are more powerful voices of a contrary opinion. Let us wait and see how this plays out. God is watching us.

From hereon there will be a lot more consultation with the people and I further suspect that a harmonious relationship between government, people and their representatives will evolve. We surely can work things out together. At the same time governments will have to strengthen the people’s organizations to allow them to recruit the level of professionals that will impact upon their recommendations. Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott message delivered at Carifesta to governments is timely and is also true for other areas of development.

At the regional level, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Patrick Manning has a new initiative that is causing some concerns in the minds of many of us across the Caribbean. Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to forge an Economic Union by 2011 and move forward into a Political Union by 2013. The experts are at work to refine the proposal as Prime Minister Manning forges ahead with the initiative, personally visiting to Capitals of Member States of Caricom and meeting with the Nations’ Leaders to discuss his new initiative. It is possible to conclude that at the appropriate time discussions will ensue on the way forward.

It is my believe that Prime Minister Patrick Manning wants to help the people of the region but he is frustrated at the pace things are done at the level of Caricom and the lack of political will of the nations’ leaders on a number of pressing issues.

It is yet to be seen how the new initiative will affect the existing Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). However if the Agreement is well crafted with the objective to supplement the CSME, it will be a great initiative.

My selected quote of the week:
The only way to start to improve your life is to start.
Once you’re sure you’re on the right road there is no need
to plan your journey too far ahead.
Don’t burden yourself with doubts and fears as to the obstacles
that may bar your progress.
You can only take one step at a time.
You don’t need to know all the answers in advance.
Just maintain a clear idea of the goal you want to reach
and the answers will come in their own time.
If you can get up the courage to begin,
you have the courage to succeed.
It’s the job you never start that takes the longest to finish.
Go after what you want and you’ll get it.
Copyright 2008

Finally, it is my hope that the Caribbean Diaspora supports Obama and help to put him in the White House. Your relatives and friends at home in the Caribbean are expecting you to do the right thing – Vote for Barack Obama in November, 2008!

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Dream Big and Expect Miracles Everyday!!!

Edward Harris
Real Estate CyberSpace Specialist (RECS)
Freelance Journalist, Biblicist, Business & PR Consultant, Realtor, Networker, Private Sector & CSR Advocate, Motivational Speaker

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