Caricom: Unity to Face Challenges and Uncertainty
Por Jorge Luna, Special Envoy
Georgetown, Feb 18 (Prensa Latina) The vulnerability of the Caribbean countries when facing the threats of nature and economic and political challenges was evident at the recently-concluded Caribbean Community Summit (CARICOM), which called for an urgent strengthening of regional unity.
Guyanese President David Granger, who also heads the 15- member bloc, pointed out the difficulties being faced by the CARICOM states to boost economic development, due to, among other reasons, the geographical location of the territories, which are scattered in 2.4 million square kilometers.
He mentioned difficulties to transport people and goods within the region, problems in the tourist infrastructure and frequent natural disasters, but he insisted on the unique nature of the region and emphasized his pride of being Caribbean.
Beyond these challenges, the president pointed out CARICOM's uncertain relations with the rest of the world, especially its commercial and economic ties with the United States and the United Kingdom, two powers that have just redirected their international policies.
Speaking on behalf of the eight prime ministers and several foreign ministers and high-level officials attending the summit, Granger recalled that the CARICOM countries have traditionally had a relationship of respect and cordiality with the United States and they expect it to continue like this with the current administration.
Grenada's prime minister, Keith Mitchell, who will take over CARICOM's rotating presidency next July, stated that uncertainty over the immigration measures announced by Washington persists, as millions of Caribbean people are in the United States.
We have to wait and see, he said, the impact that policy will have on the Caribbean.
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