VOL. 39. NO. 1.
THE WEST INDIAN COMMISSION
Time to Act 1
Comments on the Report of the West Indian Commisssion 18
Executive Committee, Association of Caribbean Economists
The Report of the West Indian Commission : An Appreciation 22
The Report of the West Indian Commission, Time for Action 29
Coming, Coming, Coming Home
(Dedicated to the Late Gordon Lewis) 43
Cricket and Caribbean Unity 60
Appendix : Communique on the Special Conference
Heads of Government Meeting 81
Books Received 87
Notes on Contributors 88
Instruction to Authors 89
(Cover : The Lazaretto, St. Michael, Barbados : The West Indian Commission
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
The lion. R.M.Nettleford, O.M.., Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor of'
Continuing Studies, Mona. Editor)
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This issue of Caribbean Quarterly focuses on West Indian integration with special
reference to the report of the West Indian Commission which dialogue with people of the
region at all levels of society, and deliberated for two years before producing its findings
under the tite "Time for Action".
As anticipated, the Report has become the basis for widespread discussion with
discussants taking different positions pro and con. This fits perfectly into the Commission's
guiding principle to "let all ideas contend."
They certainly do in the commentaries on the Report that follow by scholars of the ilk
of Joycelyn Massiah, Havelock Brewster and those who constitute the "executive
committee of the Association of Caribbean Economists," who were specially invited to
comment on the economic policy recommendations made in the Report of the Commission.
Such a request may well be seen against the background of the rapid and challenging
changes in the world economic system with which the Report deals at length in its opening
chapters and which are regarded as a strong motivating force driving not only the
Caricom Caribbean but all of the region if the recommendation of the Commission were to
be implemented, they would together become an Association of Caribbean States.
Two other contributions speak to the issue of Caribbean integration in ways that
Commissioners discovered made sense to the general populace throughout the region. The
article by the distinguished writer George Lamming cites the late George Beckford's view
that "we in the Caribbean are already integrated. it is only the Governments who don't
know it. One of the clearest indicators of such integration is the game of cricket and the
regional enthusiasm and loyalties it engenders among all the people of the Caricom
Caribbean. William H. Walcott confirms in his article the view held by many West Indians
that "at a political level cricket is the most completely regional activity undertaken by the
people of Caricom member states. It is also the most successful Caribbean co-operative
endeavour, and thus is a constant reminder to a 'people of otherwise wayward insularity of
the value of collaboration"'.
The Communique issued by the Heads of Caricom Governments reflect the grasp of
such "value of collaboration" rooted in popular aspirations, even if its authors found it
impossible to accept the West Indian Commission's pivotal recommendation of the
establishment of a Caricom Commission by January 1993.
The rejection of this particular recommendation by the Heads notwithstanding, the
Report remains a formidable enough document as a record of the recent history of the
region and its contemporary aspirations indicating the vision it has for itself in the
foreseeable future. It is in this sense that it may well be to the next generation what the
Moyne Commission Report of the late thirties was to the generation that advocated
self-government and successfully struggled to attain it.
TIME TO ACT
It is something of an irony that 500 years after Columbus was found wandering on the
shores of San Salvador uncertain where he was it is the people of the Caribbean who
should be wandering, in danger of being lost even within our region, much less in the wider
world. But we are, it is now 3 years since as Members of the West Indian Commission we
set our hand to the task you gave us at Grand Anse. We did not seek this assignment, or
contrive it; we responded to your call for enquiry and ideas, and we have tried to deliver
on both fronts. Our work is done; the cup passes from our hands; the rest is for you, and
ultimately for our fellow West Indians.
And this is another feature of our work that we have undertaken it as West Indians,
not as visiting experts, and as West Indians long engaged with regional affairs and in many
capacities: in government, in the public service and the private sector, in the universities, in
the Secretariat, in the trade unions, in our religious and cultural communities, in non-
governmental organizations, in social service among others. And we came to the work
of the Commission as West Indians whatever our origins in the regional homeland. And
our own modest experience was augmented by the process of consultation you enjoined -
as you put it yourselves in the Grand Anse Declaration: a 'process of public consultation
and involvement of the peoples of CARICOM through leaders, teachers, writers, intellec-
tuals, creative artists, businessmen, sportsmen, trade unionists, churches and other com-
munity organizations'. TIME FOR ACTION is the result of all this. It has authenticity
beyond its authorship.
The years since Grand Anse have taught us much, and confirmed many truths we only
glimpsed in the beginning; but none moreso than that you were right in the note of urgency
your Declaration struck, the note of danger, of concern and, yet, the note of caring and
of opportunity that you sounded. Over those 3 years these factors in our regional lives were
to reach new levels. We are now more endangered, not less; the opportunities you sensed
are peaking and will not last. that is why we called our Report 'Time for Action'. You
have set aside this special meeting to consider it. If you were right at Grande Anse, if we are
right now, this must be a time for decision a time to act.
* Presented by the Chairman of the Commission, Sir Shirdath Ramphal, at the Special Confercnce of CARICOM Heads of
Government to consider the Report of the West Indian Comnmission.
Those of us who have been privileged to share your counsel know that at Grand Anse
you were in earnest; that at Kingston you were sure of the way forward; that at Basseterre
you were resolved to take that way; that at Port of Spain last June you looked to October as
the time for decision. But it is a symptom of what ails our regional processes that that is nut
everywhere accepted: that the most pervasive mood we have encountered among West
Indian people is disbelief that anything fundamentally different, anything that can anchor
ambition in a West Indian future, will come out of our efforts and yours. They have grown
enured to high flown declarations, they have grown cynical about bureaucratic delays, they
have grown disdainful of the instinct to protect small areas of turf leaving the wide West
Indian pasture fallow. They will not be surprised if in this time for action you do not act, if
at this moment of decision you differ and defer.
I must say this in all candour, because you have asked us to consult the people; and we
have done so: imperfectly perhaps, but as best we could; and in larger measure than they
have been consulted for 50 years. You have asked us to help to prepare our Region for the
21st century. Everything in that preparation turns on the faith of West Indian people in our
regional processes. This is, therefore, not only a time for decision, it is a moment of
affirmation, if regionalism falters now, it will not easily recover. That might sound stark,
even alarmist; but after 3 years as West Indians working together, looking towards the
future, we believe it is a simple truth.
We have presented you, and all West Indians, with a large Report. It was, we felt, the
only way to faithfully discharge your comprehensive mandate. But it is not all coming to
you new today. The Commission has talked with all of you in Cabinets or in other
capacities before you headed them; our ideas have evolved in public consultation and
debate; you gave the Commission special opportunities to present our work at your
Basseterre and Kingston Summits and at Port of Spain last June; you have considered and
adopted our Progress Report 'TOWARDS A VISION OF THE FUTURE', and we have
briefed you in private caucus and plenary session on our proposals and our reasons for
them. And, since Port of Spain last June, we have provided a Working Paper for this
meeting in which we have offered you a further synthesis of our Report and a clutch of
recommendations for decision here. You, the Heads of Government have been both our
creators and our interlocutors.
And, of course, as you approached this Special Summit some of you have engaged
processes of public and parliamentary consultation in one of which, here in Port of Spain, I
was privileged to participate, and with which in other capitals other colleagues were
involved. Now it is TIME FOR DECISION.
But let us not over-dramatise 'decision'. The West Indian Commission is not proposing
radical re-structuring or revolutionary policy changes. We are proposing necessary first
steps in directions you have already charted. We are proposing decisions to make decision-
making by you over the challenging years ahead more eddicient, more credible and more
effective; and in that future we are inviting you to look to further horizons. What we are
urging with all the conviction we command is that you cannot postpone taking those
necessary first steps not without putting West Indian futures at risk and missing precious
opportunities. TIME IS SHORT AND THE DANGER RISES.
In TIME FOR ACTION we make many recommendations over 200 of them; most, by
no means all, directed to Governments and, therefore, to you. We do not, we could not,
expect you to deal with them all at once. We said as much in the Report itself; and since the
Report (as I mentioned) we have offered a Working Paper in which we have suggested
priorities in decision-making. We have invited governments in effect, to address a small
fraction of those recommendations; in specific terms, less than 20. Even these come down
in the end to a small cluster: a regional process that goes forward as a Community of
Sovereign States; the deepening of CARICOM through the Single Market and Economy
(on which you have already agreed) being made a reality; the widening of our vision of the
Caribbean by encompassing not just our enclave of English-speaking countries, but the
wider Caribbean Basin which needs to be reclaimed not a lake that that is Spanish, or
English, or French, or Dutch, or American but, at last, 500 years later, a Caribbean lake;
and, to make all this happen in practical ways and with a qualitative flavour that touches
West Indian lives, a CARICOM Commission that can energise the process of regionalism
and the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society that can help to keep us on course for
enrichment beyond the economics of regionalism.
That is a handful of decisions. I will come back to them specifically including some
others which build on existing arrangements. They are not small decisions; but we believe
they are the ones that must be taken now if as West Indians we are to answer the summons
of history a summons addressed to our generation but one to which we cannot defer an
answer without defaulting on our obligations not only to present but also, less excusably, to
These clusters of decisions represents, we believe, the essential minimum that we must
do now together all together. There is room, of course, for closer association within a
strengthened CARICOM process as the Windward Islands are exploring and as has been
proposed in other contexts. We have so recommended specifically but always and only in
a manner consistent with CARICOM commitments and under the wider CARICOM roof.
If that basic norm is respected, CARICOM itself can benefit from quickening unity within
it. But we have stressed respect for that basic norm. We have warned against processes that
threaten to fragment West Indian unity, not to consolidate it. All the more reason for us to
strengthen the wider regional structures now. In that strengthened CARICOM house there
will be many mansions that the spirit of West Indian unity can occupy.
But that is not to say that anyone should have a veto on regional progress. If CARICOM
is to grasp its full potential, then space must be created to allow countries who wish to
proceed at a faster pace than the rest of the Community to do so, leaving the door open for
others to associate themselves later with the particular initiatives concerned. We run
otherwise the risk of proceeding on the basis of the lowest common denominator of
conviction. It would be unrealistic to expect an equivalent response by all member States to
each and every opportunity for advancing the integration process. The right of some to be
cautious even sceptical about particular matters should not be denied to them. At the same
time, those wishing to move ahead should be allowed to do so. This is pertinent to the
unanimity rule to which I shall advert later. The goal of consensus must not be held hostage
to the wish for unanimity. As you know so well, the movement to CARIFTA and from
CARIFTA to CARICOM would never have occurred had anyone had a veto on regional
action. We are back, therefore, to our minimum recommendations for deepening and
widening the integration process. There is good reason why we can invite you with
confidence to be minimalist in the range of your decisions at this meeting. It rests on the
fact that the central decision we are inviting you to make by way of improving the
machinery of regional action the establishment of the CARICOM Commission will have
a multiplier effect; it will be the catalyst for enabling you over time to evolve responses to
innumerable other recommendations and, of course, to the many entirely new challenges
the future will bring. That is the central objective to enlarge CARICOM's capacity to be
a dynamic factor in Caribbean lives.
The core decisions before you are worthy in qualitative terms and manageable in
quantitative terms. And, as we have demonstrated in our Working Paper to you, they are
manageable in financial terms as well, since we have engrafted the Commissionership
system on existing structures and have not sought to build another tier of bureaucracy. In
this matter of finance, we underline the savings that should accrue from the specific
recommendations we have made for more serious efforts in the direction of joint diplomatic
representation. On this much discussed matter, we believe the moment is propitious for
decision and action. The people of the region find it hard to understand why our thirteen
countries of five and a half million people less than the State of Virginia we should
have altogether some seventy plus Ambassadors and Consuls-General with, of course, a
related number of Foreign Missions. The opportunities for savings are enormous once
we work out the modalities of working together, and not simply in aggregation.
We are mindful that in the modesty of our proposals we have been criticised by some
well meaning West Indians who are supportive of West Indian unity and the highest
purposes of regionalism criticised for not going far enough, for not revisiting federalism,
for not going all the way to political union. We have tried to say in our Report why we
believe this would be going too far, attempting too much, out-stripping our regional
capacities at this time. Just as we have curbed ambition for building Brussels in the
Caribbean so we have resisted temptation to replace Chaguaramas by Maastricht. Even so,
there are some who refuse to be denied the complaint that these are the Commission's
intensions. Epithets like "federation by the back-door" or "another tier of bureaucracy" are
given currency with a remarkable economy of accuracy; and some who would rather not
address the message attack the messenger. But, that is the nature of political debate, or at
least of our 'anancy' tradition and for the Commission an occupational hazard we
inevitably accepted along with your invitation to undertake this task. For all that, the task
itself has been a great privilege and will remain so.
To the friends of regionalism who have welcomed the Report but wished we had gone
further towards political unity, we would urge the wisdom of not making the best they
yearn for the enemy of the good on offer. When West Indians are ready to take that path to
unity it will not need a West Indian Commission to urge it. For the present, it does no good
to force the pace beyond general readiness. So, our proposals are for measured steps, but
important ones. We firmly believe this is right We have opted for what is attainable; for
unity that does not overreach itself and is both capable of giving hope and inspiration to the
people of our region and bringing practical good to regional effort.
Of course, both views can't be right at one and the same time: that we go too far, either
directly or by indirection, and that we do not go far enough. Perhaps the old aphorism holds
good: when it is mainly protagonists on the extreme who complain, the balance has
probably been struck right Still, we do not pretend to perfection in our views, and much
will remain to be elaborated and refined after your decisions. That is why we have proposed
an inter-governmental task force to work with the Caricom Commission and the Secretariat
in that process. What we would strongly advise against is the trap of attrition; postpone-
ment, protraction, impenetrable obfuscation all in the name of systemic perfection but
really a process of studied delay. As we have said in the Report, we cannot afford the luxury
of a decade of preparatory studies and negotiations of the kind that preceded the Federation;
nor does the outturn of that experience commend the methodology. We are proposing an
imaginative if modest initiative; its rationale lies in its being an immediate response to a
serious crisis; to delay or defer its adoption is to deny its validity. It would be better to do
so directly; but it would be better still to proceed, to go forward in a pragmatic way,
developing, evolving, refining, adjusting, perfecting as we go.
So let me turn to the core recommendations of which we urge decisions from the
In the Working Paper we have presented, the Commission has identified three clusters
of decisions. The first are those decisions relating to the strengthening of CARICOM
through deepening of the integration process and developing the structures of unity so that
CARICOM can be not only doctrinally enhanced but made effective in enhancing the lives
of CARICOM citizens. The second cluster is of decisions that look beyond our extended
West Indian family to the wider Caribbean Basin, to our relations with North America
(especially in the context of NAFTA) and, of course, to our windows on an even wider
world. The third cluster pertains to matters of procedure, transition and finance the
arrangements by which you translate the decisions taken here into the action they are
intended to produce. In that way, we have presented you with a score of decisions in place
of the 225 that 'TIME FOR ACTION' makes.
In the first cluster of decisions we urge you to decide that CARICOM's overall structure
should be that of a COMMUNITY OF SOVEREIGN STATES. Why this emphasis on
'Sovereignty'? Separately, it is true, our condition is more one of powerlessness than of
power, more one of contradiction of choice than a profusion of options. But that is not to
say that sovereignty is meaningless. And we believe that it is important at the outset of this
strengthening of integration to be clear in our minds that CARICOM will remain a
Community of Sovereign States but a COMMUNITY in which we exercise our
sovereignties together on a more regular and effective basis and in ways in which, ultimate-
ly, by strengthening our region, we actually strengthen those separate sovereignties. In the
context of sovereignty alone, the integration we look to is a strengthening process not one
which weakens or diminishes its participating states. We have not gone down, or perhaps
more accurately, we have not retraced the federal path. Indeed, we have been scrupulous in
all our recommendations, whether taken separately or as a whole, in being faithful to this
concept of CARICOM as a Community of Sovereign States. We hope you will endorse it
as the cornerstone of CARICOM relations
You have already taken the essential decisions for the strengthening of the integration
process in your decisions between Grand Anse in 1989 and Port of Spain earlier this year
for developing CARICOM as a Single Market and Economy. But those decisions themsel-
ves and others over a long period have pointed up the inadequacies of CARICOM's
machinery, particularly its machinery for implementation. We have made a central recom-
mendation for overcoming this impediment to progress. We feel the time has come to fill a
gap in the structures of CARICOM that may have been tolerable at an earlier stage as
CARIFTA moved to CARICOM but is today the 'Achilles' heel of regionalism as the pace
of integration quickens and the challenges to CARICOM enlarge. We have written at
length about this in 'TIME FOR ACTION' and we had alerted you to it 18 months ago in
our Progress Report.
I am alluding, of course, to our recommendation for the early establishment of a
permanent CARICOM Commission, a small but high level authority in CARICOM work-
ing at the interface between political decision and practical action, a Commission with
confidence to initiate proposals, update consensus, mobilise action and secure implementa-
tion of CARICOM decisions in an expeditious and informed manner. A small group of
some of our best people drawn preferably from public and political life, engaged upon that
task of making regional things happen and making things happen regionally engaged in
that task twenty -four hours a day, seven days a week, unencumbered by the burdens of
office at the national level and freed of the technocratic and administrative roles that are the
valid and valued domain of the Secretariat. We have said in 'TIME FOR ACTION' that we
regard this as the single most important decision you can take. Indeed, we have said that if
you take only one decision, we believe it should be this. We have said so because we are
convinced that without the Commission or some such authority, we will not make progress
regionally in our view that means not stagnation but unravelling, not ticking over but
And we urge it because, correspondingly, the Commission can be the essential means
by which you can make the progress you have already agreed on in strengthening regional
integration and in responding in an enlightened and energetic manner to the challenges of a
changing international environment. Those changes impact on us in direct and practical
ways; they have meaning for the future of banana growers, of rice farmers, of those who
work in sugar and citrus industries and in tourism and services and many kinds in short,
to the future of all West Indians, the machinery we are inviting you to establish is not
grandiose; but the issues at stake are not small ones.
We are proposing a Commission of four: a President, two Commissioners and the
CARICOM Secretary-General as an ex-officio member of the Commission. And we have,
separately in our Working Paper, put forward preliminary ideas in relation to a budget we
have demonstrated in that way not only the absolute necessity for the Commission but that
it can be financed in a manageable way. We are convinced, moreover, that demonstrating
our determination to proceed in this manner will attract significant international assistance,
not as a matter of largesse but as a contribution to enlarging the prosperity and stability of
our region which are matters of importance beyond ourselves.
I underline that our proposal is for a Commission that is modest in size but high level in
capacity and drawn from persons with standing in the public and political life of the
Region. Our democracies are strong enough now to enable us to draw on our human
resources in an optimal way creating, in a sense, a larger field for endeavour in public and
political service to the Region. And we say that without reservation because, as we have
said before and as I have stressed to you all publicly and privately we envisage no roles
for ourselves in that new machinery.
The CARICOM Commission should be supported we propose by the CARICOM
Secretariat whose Secretary General will be a personal and institutional bridge to the
Commission itself. CARICOM Heads had indeed, only a few years ago, envisaged a
CARICOM Commissioner. And the Commissionership system was actually proposed by
Alister Mclntyre when he was Secretary-General over fifteen years ago. Our ideas for the
Commission take this proposal to its logical evolution. What we need desperately is not a
larger number of technical experts, and the studies and reports they will generate, but a new
dynamic to mobilise the expertise we have and to tap and energise our response to
immediate demands. CARICOM needs a faster engine not a longer train. It follows that it
does not need another train; and we have not proposed one. Talk of another tier of
bureaucracy is fiction unless the three Commissioners constitute that other tier. But it
stretches the imagination to concieve of them as a tier of officials when we have severely
limited their numbers, said they should not be officials and proposed that their administra-
tive and technical support should come from the existing Secretariat appropriately en-
hanced. I hope, therefore, that serious discussion of the Report eschews that particular non
It might still be asked: "Do we need to interpose a Commission, however, modest and
high-level, between the Heads of Government and the Secretariat'?" To this question the
West Indian Commission would answer decidedly 'Yes'; indeed, we have done so in the
Report. 'Yes', if we want anything to change; 'Yes' if we want to change gear so that we
really can change pace; 'Yes' if we want CARICOM to do more for improving the quality
of the lives of our people. Perhaps the most convincing answer lies in the 'Priority Work
Programme' we have proposed for the CARICOM Commission in the Annex to the
Working Paper before you: like implementing the decisions you have already taken on the
Progress Report, developing the Single Market and Economy with all that implies, initiat-
ing regional approaches to the NAFTA negotions, preparing the ground for the Association
of Caribbean States, developing the Charter of Civil Society, elaborating proposals for the
CARICOM Supreme Court, coordinating action on the revision of the Treaty of
Chaguaramas to mention only some of the areas of immediate action. Three Secretaries-
General with eighteen years experience of the Secretariat felt a critical need for such
supplementation of the CARICOM system if this was to happen. So did we all, from our
very different regional backgrounds. We actually believe that it will be the making of the
Secretariat, for it will be the making of CARICOM; and of course, it must be for
CARICOM, as the Mills Report had underlined, that we must reserve our primary con-
The only real alternative must derive from a judgment that all this doesn't need to
happen: that having declared where we want to go we can drift along, observing events,
blaming their consequences for us on the malevolence of others, accepting the
'marginalisation' you saw at 'Grand Anse', as an act of nature see CARICOM unravel as
each of us scrambles for economic lifeboats, content with the knowledge that we have
'given up' nothing, even though we may have lost everything. In short, we make a virtue of
our inertia and inevitably of our decline, wrapping ourselves in our sovereignties, unmind-
ful that our nakedness is palpable to all around us. The West Indian Commission cannot
believe that Heads of Government successors to CARICOM's founding leaders at
Chaguaramas would settle for that alternative. Certainly we feel sure the people of
CARICOM yearn for more from this successor Summit to Chaguaramas.
And we have proposed in that first cluster of decisions for the strengthening of integra-
tion some other structures of unity which we believe require early action. One of these is
the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society, a Charter which we envisage as giving a norma-
tive character to CARICOM taking it beyond the realm of the exchange of goods and
services, beyond trade and economics, to the quality of West Indian life and giving
character to our Community as a civil society. One of the virtues of the consultative process
which we engaged as part of the Commission's work was that it compelled attention to
what was on troubled West Indian minds. Prominent in that interaction was the strong
sentiment that came to us from all covers of CARICOM that civil society was everywhere
Beyond traditional actors in both the public and private sectors, the anxieties of people
in all countries have far less to do with the Common External Tariff or the Rules of Origin
than with such questions as human mobility (which we addressed with urgency in our
Progress Report) the quality of governance, press freedom, free and fair elections, effective
functioning of the parliamentary system, absence of corruption from public life, respect for
the rights of women and children, rights of association, freedom from political victimiza-
tion, respect for religious and cultural diversity, accountability in governance and greater
public access to information. Ordinary people are concerned with the state of our prisons,
with the problems confronting our youth, they are deeply anxious about the corrupting
influence of the drug culture and its implications for our economic, social, cultural and
indeed political institutions. They ask what can CARICOM do to respond to these con-
cerns. How can CARICOM exercise a benign influence for betterment in these areas?
Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford, in a memorable speech at the opening of the 1990
Summit in Kingston, helped us all to answer that question. He said, in words of much
For me, the Caribbean Community, the Integrated-
States of the Caribbean of which I have spoken, is
much more than the efforts to secure free internal
trade, of a common external tariff, or the harmoniza-
tion of fiscal incentives or a common industrial,
agricultural or transportation policy, or the estab-
lishment of a common market, or even the formation
of a full economic union. For me, the Caribbean Com-
munity is nothing more and nothing less than the ef-
forts of the Caribbean people to create a new and
unique political entity that respects the national
sovereignty of each individual territory, while at the
same time pooling aspects of their resources in order to
promote and preserve peace, promote pressure and
democracy, promote and preserve fundamental human
rights and the rule of law, and promote and preserve
economic and social development among Caribbean
Our proposals are designed to translate these words into deeds.
The movement in the direction of closer regional integration is in any event already well
underway, and, we would say, irreversible. Right across the Region the signs are clear and
unmistakable. The private sector is pressing ahead with the rationalisation of the region's
productive capacity. In the manufacturing, commercial, financial and other service sectors,
as also in agriculture and toursm joint-ventures, trans-border mergers and acquisitions are
increasingly the order of the day even as a regional stock exchange evolves. Hucksters and
higglers are in the vanguard of small entrepreneurs who regard the Caribbean as their
legitimate field of operation. The regional labour movement is unswerving in its commit-
ment to the continued role of trade unionism as a central plank of regional integration.
Non-governmental organizations, religious, sectoral and interest groups are all busy net-
working from one end of the Caribbean to the other, all seeing the future in terms of one
In short it could well be that we have arrived at a point in time when, in a very special
sense, the people of the Region are ahead of the political leadership. That is not peculiar to
the Caribbean; it is a reality in all democracies from time to time; witness: the civil rights
movement, the women's movement, the peace and anti-nuclear movements, and more
recently the environmental movements. In all the momentum came from the people. But, of
course, the art of politics is to close that gap and resume the leadership. That is what the
Commission is inviting you to do in regional affairs confident of your political skills.
The people have an intuition which tells them that we can do more nationally if we can
agree regionally that we should act together in concert and in cooperation and, most of all,
if we act regionally to set standards which it is then everyone's business to ensure are
respected everywhere in our Community. We are convinced from these consultations that
unless CARICOM accepts this obligation to be a standard bearer for civil society and good
governance, it will fail to forge a true 'community' whatever we do with developing a
Single market in the economic domian. CARICOM must have a soul if it is to command the
loyalty, the involvement and, ultimately, the protection of the people of the Caribbean. The
CARICOM Charter of Civil Society offers a beginning. We believe it could be almost as
important as anything else we do in this new period. We believe it will help to make
CARICOM stronger, and help a strengthened CARICOM to fulfill the vocation it has in the
Our proposals for a CARICOM Assembly are not unrelated to this consideration. You
have already move in an enlightened way to establish an Assembly of Caribbean Com-
munity Parliamentarians. We are proposing that the Assembly brings together others beside
parliamentarians, that we accept now that the empowerment of people has to find expres-
sion beyond two minutes in the ballot box every five years. The voices of common people,
of women, of labour, of the private sector, of professionals, of our cultural community of
religious bodies, of teachers, of our indigenous peoples: these voices are demanding to be
heard not replacing, of course, but supplementing those of their formal representatives
who less and less they believe answer to their anxieties. And so we propose that the new
Assembly broaden participation to provide a pace ror these voices. We envisage it retain-
ing its deliberative character: not a parliament of the region, but a forum of West Indian
people from whose voices we believe the Parliamentarians of the region, and beyond them
its Governments, can only benefit in the discharge of your more specific responsibilities.
And we are urging the establishment of a CARICOM Supreme Court partly, of course,
the old CARICOM Court of Appeal that has been the subject of much discussion already,
but partly as well a Court that will exercise an original jurisdiction, a regional jurisdiction,
in matters regional. We have developed guidelines for that jurisdiction which respect the
principle of CARICOM as a Community of Sovereign States. So the Court will have
limited powers of enforcement, but it will have a powerful persuasive influence, whether in
relation to obligations under a revised treaty of Chaguaramas pertaining to the operation of
the Single Market and economy, or in relation to the Charter of Civil Society and the
upholding of individual rights and freedoms.
And, finally, in this cluster, we look to the creation of Ministers of CARICOM Affairs
in each of the member countries so that Community interests, which at heart are national
interests too, can be guaranteed a hearing in domestic councils, and who, coming together
as the Council of Ministers, will play an enhanced role in the workings of CARICOM. This
is one of those cost-free recommendations that can be so enriching to CARICOM and,
indeed, to CARICOM Heads of Government We envisage the enhanced Council of
Ministers exercising authority in relation to some, at least, of the matters of detail that have
threatened in recent years to overwhelm your agendas and make it more difficult for the
Summit to address, in reflective ways the matters of highest policy that demand your
Much of all this will require to be developed and refined within the framework of a
revised treaty of Chaguaramas including our support for the Mills proposal for a modifica-
tion of the unanimity rule. The time has come for such a general revision; there is no better
place than Port of Spain for you to take that next step in reinforcement of the goals of that
original Treaty eighteen years ago and under a Chairman who was himself there, like
some others among you, though in smaller chairs. Under the impetus of the CARICOM
Commission, we would expect the revised Treaty to be negotiated, agreed and brought into
force on the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Charuaramas in 1994.
The second cluster of issues relates to what I have described as our vocation beyond
ourselves. Looking to our relations with the wider Caribbean was a specific dimension of
the West Indian Commission's mandate from Grand Anse. We have tried to respond to it
and in doing so confirm the central relevance of those relations to the future of CARICOM.
This is what we have talked so often about as the 'widening' process and done so little
about. We are inviting you to agree that it must proceed on a dual track with the strengthen-
ing of CARICOM itself through the deepening of integration. The one cannot await the
other either way. They are complementary processes and both are now impatient of
delay. Quite simply, CARICOM must take a position on our place in the Caribbean whose
geographic description with a clear sense of what the 'Caribbean' means to us and the role
we must play in fulfilling our vision of it. CARICOM, let us recognize, is short-hand for
'most of the former British colonies in the West Indies, or, less unacceptably to us, most of
the English-speaking Caribbean other than Puerto Rico, the US Virgins and remaining
Much that we have said in relation to the strengthening of CARICOM reaffirms
recommendations made in the Mills Report. But much that we have said on the widening of
CARICOM also reflects the need they saw to look beyond ourselves. They had this to say:
... the perpetuation of a concept of 'Caribbean
Community', confined to roughly one-half of the num-
ber of countries and territories entitled to the descrip-
tion of 'Caribbean', and representing an even smaller
proportion of the total number of persons who could
legitimately claim to be 'Caribbean people', is not
only a travesty of Caribbean history. It is also a
prescription for certain failure of such a Caribbean in
an emergent 21st century. There are already clear signs
of four or five major global groupings of countries to
establish a modus vivendi for economic co-existence.
The West Indian Commission is not hesitant in asserting that beginning the process of
integration of the entire Caribbean Basin is the most important Caribbean idea, and could
be the most important Caribbean enterprise, since Columbus condemned us to a history of
European dominion and a density bound up with European nationalism. We see nothing
whatever incompatible with the pursuit of that idea and enterprise and the importance,
indeed the need, for us to sustain and strengthen our intimate relationships as immediate
family. From our comer of the Caribbean we must reach out to the wider community in and
around the Caribbean archipelago across the barriers of Sea and language, of cultures and
family. From our comer of the Caribbean we must reach out to the wider community in
and around the Caribbean archipelago across the barriers of Sea and language, of
cultures and systems, rejecting the separatisms imposed on the region by the conquests that
began 500 years ago, responding to the reality for which Jose Marti found eloquent words
a century ago when he asserted: 'we must save ourselves together, or together we will
disappear. 'The Caribbean Basin was the crucible of the encounter between Europe and the
first people of the Americas. 500 years later it could be the crucible for welding together the
states and peoples that to a significant degree are the product of that encounter. It is an idea
whose time has come, and an enterprise on which we must embark. The tide flows for us;
we must take it and serve our own best fortunes and the fortunes of the wider Basin. A
future bound in shallows and in miseries is not too poetic a description of the price we could
pay for omission.
The Caribbean Basin's history of colonialism has reinforced the separateness of a
dividing sea, and Caribbean people have grown up largely as strangers looking more to our
respective metropoles than to each other: neighbours, each looking beyond our Caribbean
neighbourhood. It was necessary, therefore, that the West Indian Commission should pose
the question 'apart or together?', not just for CARICOM but for the wider Caribbean: not
'whither the Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean?', but, why not a Caribbean
Commonwealth?' a Commonwealth from the Bahamas in the North to Venezuela in the
South, from Central America in the West to Barbados in the East; a Caribbean
Commonwealth encompassing the states, the governments, the people of the entire
Caribbean: of the islands of the Sea and the coastal states of central and South America
whose shores are washed by reservation, that we see all the islands, including those not yet
independent, playing a substantive part.
There was a time, close to our own independence in the 60s and 70s, when we were
disdainful and even somewhat arrogant about other not yet independent. Times have
changed, however. We have learned the limits of independence; we know that they do not
justify superior airs. But there have been changes as well in the roles of the metropoles in
relation to more autonomous Caribbean countries. We do not believe that our vision of a
Community of Caribbean States can exclude, for example, the Dutch, French, American
and British islands once they are allowed to participate in their own right, and of course,
once they wish to do so. There must be a place for all, and a welcome for all who wish to
Nor is this an entirely new idea. CARICOM has long had a wider vision than the
English-speaking Caribbean alone. Eight years before President Reagan announced his
'Caribbean Basin initiative' (CBI) under which the United States offered additional aid and
improved trade terms to Caribbean Basin countries, Caribbean heads of Government had
accepted a proposal that a meeting of Heads of Government of 'Caribbean Basin, countries
should be convened. On 4 October 1974, at a meeting at the UN of Foreign Ministers of all
the countries of the Caribbean Basin, that proposal was formally introduced on behalf of the
then six independent Caribbean Governments. The proposal was well received; the
Government of Trinidad and Tobago offered to host the ultimate Summit and the
Government of Venezuela to host the preparatory meeting of Foreign Ministers. But, it fell
victim to faint-heartedness and inertia. In the light of subsequent events in the Caribbean
and Central America, this lost proposal for an authentic coming together of all the
developing countries of the Caribbean Basin was clearly timely. We must not lose it again.
We see the Association of Caribbean states as permitting us to create with the wider
Caribbean special trading and functional co-operation arrangements (e.g., tourism and sea
and air transportation) on terms to be negotiated terms which will recognize the relative
weakness of CARICOM economies in relation to some of the larger partners, like
Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Those arrangements must be
intergrative in character but pragmatic enough to accommodate, for example, one way free
trade arrangements of the kind already agreed in a CARICOM context.
Initiating, evolving, negotiating and bringing to fulfillment the Association of
Caribbean States will not be a simple matter. It will be one that calls for interaction with the
wider Caribbean at a high level. CARICOM leaders individually will make major
contributions; but there will be need for the continuous development of ideas and co-
ordination of action. The CARICOM Commission will be indispensable in this context;
which is why, of course, we recommend the widening dimensions at the second of the two
planks of its mandate. Without the Commission, we fear this important initiative might
suffer the fate of the earlier proposal nearly 20 years ago; or, as likely, pass as an initiative
from our hands to others. Either way, we will be losers.
Our conversations beyond CARICOM in Cuba, in Curacao, in the Dominican
Republic, in Puerto Rico, in Suriname, in Venezuela, in US Virgin Islands leave us in no
doubt of the need to provide space for the evolution of integrationist relationships with a
wide range of countries for whom membership of CARICOM is not necessarily the
relationship best suited to our own interests. Naturally, I do not go over here all the reasons
we have advance in the Report for this recommendation. I merely underline the importance
the Commission attaches to it and share with you the sense we have that among that range
of Caribbean Countries are many who look to CARICOM to take just this lead.
Widening our Caribbean home to accommodate the extended family should be a
priority for us. It must not, however, blur our wider vision of a CARICOM with multiple
entry points to the world. Those many points of entry may be more the result of history than
of planning; but they are a precious heritage. We have entry points to Europe; to Africa and
Asia; to Canada; to the United States; to the Commonwealth; to Latin America. We must
preserve them all the consolidate them simultaneously with developing our Association of
Caribbean States. This should mean, we believe, deepening the special relationship with
Canada; holding fast to the opportunities of Lome; emphasizing our cultural and political
ties with Africa and Asia and, of course, exploring hemispheric links with the United States
through the Enterprise of the Americas Initiative (EAI) and NAFTA. We must strive hard
not to become captive of any one set of relationships beyond CARICOM. The Commission
is sure that a strong and enduring CARICOM is the bedrock of such a future.
Nowhere is this going to be more evident than in the action we have to take together in
regard to our relations with NAFT, and NAFTA is only symbolic of the vastly changed
international economic environment we face and which is in the process of defining us,
however casual we may be about defining ourselves. It is not without significance that
within recent weeks Sweden for the first time in its aid history has announced a reduction
in its ODA as a percentage of GNP; that the UK has indicated that it will fall short of its
financial commitments at Rio, small as they were; that, almost uniquely the IDA
replenishment is not to take place at an increased level, from the Banal's target of 25 billion
to the reduced target of 21 billion to the decision for 18 billion the figure of 4 years ago.
We see what is going on in Europe ( We had a taste of the bitter brew recently at the Lome
conversations here in Port of Spain); ASEAN is consolidating to face the new world of
economic power blocs; the entire Pacific rims is developing its own configurations of
power including such new possibilities as New Zealand's expressed interest in NAFTA.
The Americans had 300 professionals working full-time on the NAFTA negotiations with
Mexico, and the Mexicans not many fewer. We do not have one person at a political,
technocratic or even administrative level dedicated full time and exclusively to developing
our approaches to NAFTA. It should be, course, a large area of responsibility for the
CARICOM Commission; but we could spend years instead arguing whether we need to do
anything at all to supplement our structures of unity.
So, really, as the Commission said to you last June, is there any other way to go but
forward? CARICOM cannot stand still. We are in danger already of running out of stream,
despite the bold political decisions that have been made about a Single Market and
Economy. If we run out of stream, if we stall, if we stand still for too long, CARICOM itself
may not be able to withstand the stress of inertia. In a climate of economic stringency that
makes political life, and individual livelihood, a struggle for survival, the temptation to
pursue separate paths may prove irrestible even though rationality tells us that cul-de-sacs
are around the comer. We believe that we are too close to that situation for comfort, and we
feel that the people of the Region sense that we are at a watershed, one from which we can
move forward with cautious optimism or slide backward to an uncertain fate. We hesitate
to say that this is the last chance of improving the lives of West Indians through regional
action; we all have a duty to hope. But we do believe it provides the best chance at a timely
moment when the alternative to progress could be far worse than stagnation.
Something is wrong structurally with CARICOM; not just with CARICOM policy.
That is the West Indian Commission's basic finding. If the structure remains defective,
enlarging the workload will only hasten the time when it falls down. We will deceive
ourselves and not to be true to future generations if our response to the challenges everyone
knows we face is more of the same: the same fumbling that 18 years after we signed the
Treaty of Chaguaramas still finds us far short of the reality of a Common Market; the same
lack of coherence that 10 years after we agreed to establish a Common External Tariff finds
us convening yet another Heads of Government Meeting to achieve it the same inadequate
structures of unity. They are our structures, and we can improve them; as everyone else is
doing in these changing times; changes which enlarge our own need for change.
If your essential response to 'TIME FOR ACTION' is business as usual and in the
usual way do not be surprised if there is no outpouring of enthusiasm from West Indians
here at home or among the many hundreds of thousands in the diaspora whose loyalty our
Region still commands and who yearn to see CARICOM work. But, most of all, do not be
surprised if things fall apart as the centre fails to hold. We deserve better than that of
ourselves. We are powerless in many matters; but we are not powerless to improve our
prospects through improving CARICOM'S structures of unity. We, need only conviction
and will. The Commission has tried to provide the former, only you can provide the latter.
In closing, therefore, I urge on behalf of the West Indian Commission inverse order of
this presentation three basic propositions. The first is that the idea of an integrated
Caribbean Basin or, more realistically, of first approaches toward it can only be
consummated if espoused and promoted and developed by CARICOM.
Our second proposition is that CARICOM can only have an effective out-reach to
perform that role if it first gets its sub-regional act together. CARICOM coherence,
conviction, intellectual strength and political drive are pre-conditions of CARICOM's
widening role. We have to be together before we can bring the wider Caribbean together.
With CARICOM apart, we will all remain apart. We will be back to the era of
Columbus. We have to deepen our own integration as we try to widen the integration
process to the greater Caribbean. So we must move on to our Single Market and economy.
We must enlarge our functional co-operation. We must tackle our social issues together.
We must make our own people aware that all this means better governance at home: hence
the Charter of Civil Society. We must have credibility at home if we are to build a larger
Caribbean home. And, of course, we must do all this for our own sake as a duty to
Our third proposition is that we can do nothing effective if we lack the capability to
mobilise your political authority and translate it through organisational strength into
practical action: political and organisational capacities over-reaching CARICOM's parts
and giving tangible form and credibility to CARICOM's wholeness. At the apex is
CARICOM's political leadership without whose commitment to this enterprise nothing can
happen. But at the heart of the pyramid is the CARICOM Commission as proposed in
'Time for Action'. It is the CARICOM Commission that must develop, facilitate, negotiate,
bring to realisation the dream of CARICOM as a Community of sovereign civil societies,
CARICOM as a Single Market and Economy, CARICOM as the catalyst of the Association
of Caribbean States. Without the Commission working for all this on a full-time basis a
shadow we fear will fall between the vision and the reality, between the dream and its
fulfilment: the shadow of inertia.
This is the best of times and this the best of places for the Commission's urgings on you
to end with words from our Nobel laureate: from Derek Walcott's 'OMEROS' words we
invoke to affirm more eloquently and profoundly than any prose of our own can convey that
at this Special Summit you answer for our generation a summons of history, and that it is
sacred duty to do so to a worthy end;
Why waste lines on Achille, a shade on the sea floor?
Because as self-healing coral, a quiet culture is
branching from the white ribs of each ancestor,
deeper than it seems on the surface; slowly but sure, it
will change us with the fluent sculpture of Time.
Five hundred years after Columbus we have a primordial mandate to demonstrate our
own capacity to change our fortunes and our destiny. Consistent with the changes history
has wrought upon us Mr. Chairman, President, Prime Ministers the West Indian
Commission invites you to agree and to decide to act.
COMMENTS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE
ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN ECONOMISTS ON THE
REPORT OF THE WEST INDIAN COMMISSION
The Report of the West Indian Commission provides an important stimulus for
discussion of the problems and possible common strategies with respect to social and
economic development for the Caribbean region. it is comprehensive and covers a wide
array of concerns and areas of public policy.
The Association of Caribbean Economists was asked to comment on the economic
policy recommendations made in the Report of the West Indian Commission. A thorough
study was made of those chapters which dealt with economic policy. An analysis was
undertaken to identify the logic of the relevant recommendations, and to identify the
implications of them at both macro and micro levels.
The present changes in the world economic system, such as the organization of regional
blocks, changes in the location of important economic activities and in the composition of
trade clearly point to the necessity for greater Caribbean co-operation and integration.
Additionally, the countries face rising expectations among their populations while there
remains many unsatisfied needs. To face this challenge, the Report recommends a shift
from an import substitution strategy to an export- propelled one.
Some of the recommendations made are:
The increase in external private flows of finance, together with the mobilization of
internal savings, to be mainly channeled to the export sector,
The development of a CARICOM capital and labour market;
Human resource development;
Investments to reduce costs and increase productivity in traditional exports to
command competitive niches;
Evolution of domestic goods and services ancillary to export activities;
Removal of barriers to entry for new farmers and business people;
Provision of tools for developing entrepreneurship as part of human resource
Reducing the role of government as a direct producer of goods and services;
Removal of anti-export bias;
Common currency or currency convertibility.
COMMENTS ON THE REPORT
Members of the Executive Committee expressed various concerns about the strategies
1. The view of the Association is that investing in human development is central to the
development of the productive capacity of Caribbean countries. Such an investment along
with the appropriate restructuring of the productive apparatus would lead to increased
exports and economic growth, which in turn would provide the basis for sustained human
development. This is in contrast to the current model in which structural adjustment is the
central focus and in which the opening up of Caribbean economies, and the removal of
tariffs result in the destruction of the local productive sector. Instead of a strategy of
development which is sustainable, cheap labour and the degradation of the environment
have become the fuels of the engine of export-led economic growth.
In this context, the association expressed concern that the strategy proposed by the
Report does not identify human development as a basic requirement of economic develop-
ment, but rather as a kind of social compensation for the negative effects of economic
2. The institutional arrangements proposed seem to be seeking to copy the structures
and rules of the European Economic Community, despite the fact that the rationale for a
Caribbean integration movement is significantly different and so too, are the cultural and
political realities of the region.
3. The Report recognizes some of the inherent problems and weaknesses of
CARICOM, but in recommending the creation of another institution (CARICOM Commis-
sion/Commissioners), it does not address the question of whether the integration movement
should be built on the institutions and structures of CARICOM, and whether these are
adequate for the task.
4. There is an emphasis on exporting as a mechanism to promote growth, with more
importance being given to quantity of exports rather than on the content of those exports.
Historically, the economic growth of Caribbean economies has been based on exports of
natural resource-based products based on international comparative advantage. However,
future exporting strategy should be based more on competitive economic advantage which
refers to the international competitiveness of a specific activity, industry or company.
5. It is assumed that by liberalizing markets, individual business firms will "automat-
ically identify market niches and develop the exports". This also implies that the exporters
will be able to penetrate foreign markets. It is not clear how this will be achieved.
6. To pose the issue in terms of switching from import substitution to export promotion
is somewhat passe. What needs to be considered is the restructuring of the productive
apparatus nationally and regionally in order to become competitive in a broader range of
tradeables. This restructuring is a process that should be approached at the wider Caribbean
7. The West Indian Commission has indicated an acceptance of the Structural Adjust-
ment model but recognizes in the Report that structural adjustment programmes "mean that
inequalities in income and wealth are likely to be exacerbated rather than improved." Some
for a wages policy that "should be designed to allow wages to lag behind increases
for the role assigned to trade unions to shift emphasis toward human resource
for the removal of barriers to the entry of new farmers and new businessmen into the
for introducing Employees Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) as a means of widening
the shareholder base.
The Executive Committee is concerned that these are very limited mechanisms that do
not appropriately address the gross inequalities of income and wealth that traditionally
accompany the implementation of structural adjustment policies. It is again a reflection of
the fact, that the overall economic strategy proposed by the Report does not see human
development as the central factor but rather as a problem to be solved.
8. The Report states that the successful execution of several of these strategies
presupposes a measure of success in the implementation of stabilization and adjustment
programmes and in the servicing of the external debt. Since many stabilization and adjust-
ment programmes are the result of the external pressures, it is possible that the policies
required mitigate against regional efforts at economic co-operation and integration. There
already exist situations where governments have been "pressured" to adopt measures that
have undermined or violated regional agreements. It is not clear how this contradiction
could be overcome.
9. The major thrust is for an "export-led" growth strategy, but there are contradictions
in the policy recommendations. Some of these are:
(a) financial institutions providing concessionary financing to agriculture.
(b) the statement of adherence to stabilization and adjustment programmes and the
protection of domestic agriculture.
(c) the willingness to open the economy is mixed with the desire to obtain preferential
access for developing countries through mechanisms such as the "non-reciprocal NAFTA"
proposal. (It is understandable though, that a deadline could be attached to such a proposal).
10. It is not clear from the Report what competitive advantages one can expect, and
how export-led growth would lead to human development.
11. The proposal regarding modernization of financial markets is unrealistic. A Carib-
bean stock market with a variety of instruments which modem business requires and which
varies according to the type and scope of business, presupposes a common monetary
policy, and a common legal framework.
12. There are sections with very vague recommendations that could have different
policy implications and could produce different policy frameworks. This is the case of the
recommendations on tourism and the environment, as the relevant sections do not address
the interrelatedness or the mutual impact of each on the other.
13. The recommendations for agriculture seem to put more emphasis on the main-
tenance of the present situation than on restructuring the sector.
In general terms, the way human development is viewed, the view that things will occur
automatically in response to "opportunities", the inadequate approach to the problem of
inequality (perhaps related to how human development is interpreted by the Commission),
and the contradictions and vagueness of parts of the recommendations are the weakness of
Nonetheless, the Association of Caribbean Economists appreciates the significant and
positive contribution that this Report has made towards the examination of the problems
and aspirations of Caribbean people. It is with the desire of contributing to this process in a
positive way and based on a commitment to an integrated and just Caribbean society that
these comments are presented by the Association.
THE REPORT OF THE WEST INDIAN COMMISSION
The ESCAP region has its Jakarta Plan of Action on Human Resources Development
(JPA); the UNECA region its African Alternative Framework to structural Adjustment
Programmes for Socio-economic Recovery and Transformation (AAF-SAP); the
UNECLAC region its Changing Production Patterns with Social Equity. Now the
Caribbean has its Time for Action. We also have the Bourne Report Caribbean
Development to the Year 2000: Challenges, Prospects and Policies. And we have the Port
of Spain Consensus Securing Caribbean Development to the Year 2000 and Beyond,
emanating from the historic Regional Economic Conference of February 1991. Taking the
economic difficulties of the eighties as the starting point, each of these seminal documents
seeks to chart a course for the future development of the region of which it is part. The
remarkable, perhaps unsurprising, feature of these reports has been the similarity of the
Outward looking development strategies;
Human resource development;
Preservation and enchancement of democratic traditions and processes; and
Strengthening of regional co-operation.
The West Indian Commission starts off with the latter as its mandate, but what
distinguishes its Report from the others is the process of public consultations which has
informed the work. As the Report itself says "LET ALL IDEAS CONTEND has
throughout been the watchword of the Commission's work" (Report, p. 10).
The task which was set before the WIC was a formidable one, based as it was on a
perception that previous attempts at integration in the region had promised rather more than
was delivered and that WI peoples were becoming increasingly disenchanted with the poor
track record of action which had accumulated over the years. As one progresses through
the voluminous report one is struck forcibly, I might add -not so much by the breadth
and depth of coverage of the issues addressed although that alone is monumental but
by the strength and the genuineness of the commitment of the group of men and women
Prepared for Inter-American Bank Conference on West
Indian Commission, Wash.D.C. I 1-12 Sept.1992.
who devoted the past two years of their lives to the task. For me, this is the beacon which
shines most brightly. What it says is that, despite the range of seemingly intractable
problems facing the region, there are still to be found capable and dedicated persons who
are willing to apply their talents to the resolution of those problems. Hope, not despair, is
Ever since the Commission's Report has been made public, attempts have been made to
envisage the extent of its potential impact on WI development thought and action. It has
been compared to the Moyne Commission report, the Brandt Commission Report, the
Report of the South Commission. Comprehensive as these documents are, comparison with
none of them fully captures the magnitude either of the WIC Report itself or the work that
is necessary if its recommendations are to be effectively implemented. I have chosen to
shape this presentation round what I perceive to be the major lessons to be learnt from some
of the elements around which the Report has coalesced. I believe that these elements should
be seen as much more than the guiding principles of the Commission's work. Rather, they
should be seen as the pillars on which nay future action, whether by governments or the
social partners, whether they act individually or collectively, should be constructed.
1. Commitment to Regionalism
In this Preface to the Report the Chairman writes eloquently about the "oneness ... the
basic reality of our West Indian condition" (Report, p. xxi). This has been the guiding
principle of the Commission's work. Not only because this is the ideological orientation of
the Commission itself, but, more importantly, because this was the unmistakable message
they were receiving from the people themselves. This oneness was seen as an advantage
which could and should be used to guide collective action. In the words of the Chairman,
"...we have to think regionally if we are to act regionally" (Report, p. 469). This is not to
deny the sovereign right of individual territories to act independently. Rather, it is an
attempt to draw attention to an unexploited option for collective action in response to
Lesson 1. Identify and work with the reality rather than try to deny its existence.
2. Build on Existing Strengths
There is in our region an unfortunate tendency to take for granted our achievements
while grasping every opportunity to decry our faults. It is a feature of our culture which
many of our novelists, poets and intellectuals have immortalised. By contrast, the WIC
Report deliberately pays homage to the achievements of WI peoples in the diverse areas of
international affairs, politics, the arts, sport, academics and in the adherence to democratic
principles in the conduct of our affairs. The Report urges WI peoples to "ensure that we
blend experience with change" (Report, p. xxvi). The Report has been consistent in its
efforts to address the wide range of concerns specifically in regional terms and to design its
recommendations in the same vein.
Lesson 2. Try to harness and channel the creative talent and imagination of WI people
into regional efforts.
3. Consultation with People
This, of course, has been an integral aspect of the mandate of the Commission. Indeed
the Heads of Governments' Resolution establishing the Commission placed "special
emphasis on the process of public consultation and involvement of the peoples of
CARICOM through leaders, teachers, writers, intellectuals, creative artistes, businessmen,
sportsmen, trade unionists, churches and other community organizations" (Grand Anse
Declaration, Annex IV). This process was faithfully followed by the WIC, yielding
outstanding results. For the members of the Commission these consultations rank "among
the most stimulating and rewarding experiences of our lives" (Report, p. xxii). For the
Chairman, the most crucial aspect which we ignore to our detriment. Perhaps the most
important is that "integration is about people and their everyday concerns" (Report, p.
Lesson 3. Listen to the voices of the people. Involve them in the diagnosis, prescription
and care of the ills which they perceive in their societies.
4. Time for Action
Over and over again, the Report makes the point that the people of the region were
unanimous about the need for action and quickly too! Disenchantment with the poor
record of implementation of decisions made by CARICOM Heads of Government over the
years was expressed, according to the Report, "in every West Indian accent." Suggestions
to tackle the problem include the establishment of a CARICOM Commission charged with
the responsibility (among other things) of implementing decisions taken by CARICOM
Heads of Government or under their authority. This Commission is devised as an integral
aspect of what the Report calls "Structures of Unity" to widen and deepen integration in the
region. Much remains to be clarified about these proposals and many questions about their
implementation remain to be answered, however, the mere attempt to produce a new
framework for tackling an old problem is a giant step forward from the usual griping about
the so-called ineffectiveness of CARICOM. At least a basis for action has been laid.
Urgency of action is necessitated not only by the perceptions of the people but also to
be taken into account is the rapidly changing international environment. There is no doubt
that if the region chooses not to gear itself to meet the new challenges being created, it will
be pushed further and further to the margins of the global economy'and the gains which it
achieved in both the social and economic sectors over the past fifty years will be
significantly eroded. Action now is therefore a question of survival.
Lesson 4. There comes a time when there is need for less talk and more action.
5. Holistic Development
Although perhaps not as clearly enunciated as the previous elements, it is evident that
the Commission envisages a development in which the social and economic sectors are
much more closely intertwined than conventional development thinking and planning in
the region has been prepared to accept. A close link is made between economic growth and
human development, even though the latter is interpreted merely in the sense of education
and training of potential workers and training and mobilisation of actual workers. The
circle (triangle?) could have been made more complete with the introduction of health as an
element in the process of producing efficient and effective workers. However, even without
that addition, the fact that economic issues are not treated in isolation from other aspects of
development is an important step forward for the development debate in the region. It is
analogous to the trend in academia towards multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of
development issues. In either case, the trick is to take the debate from rhetoric to action.
Lesson 5. Development is about all aspects of peoples lives.
6. Clarity of Language
This is not one of the elements identified by the Commission, but it rings from every
page of the Report. It is one of the key features which sets this Report apart from many of
the myriad reports which have been pressed upon the people of the region simple, clear.
uncluttered, sometimes even mellifluous prose. It is an object lesson for technical and
professional people whose task it is to produce documents for public consumption.
Lesson 6. If people are to be involved in development initiatives, they must understand
what professionals are saying and writing.
Towards the Twenty First Century
Building on these pillars the Report has structured upwards of two hundred
recommendations in a range of areas which far exceeds that covered by any previous report.
The main thrust of the recommendations is in the finding of regional approaches to meet
contemporary challenges. In this quest the melage of issues is reminiscent of one of the
divisions within the CARICOM secretariat ----the Division of Functional Co-operation.
This is the Division responsible for the Community's activities in Education and Culture,
Technical Assistance, Health, Women's Affairs, Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports,
Tax Administration. To the uncharitable it sometimes seems that all the issues which could
not conveniently be assigned to one of the other four Divisions were simply lumped into a
single Division and left to manage as best they could. It is a classic example of what Rosina
Wiltshire calls "administrative functionalism" i.e. the creation of administrative structures
intended to encourage co-operation in such a way as to foster movement towards full
integration. and it has been successful to the extent that regional co-operation in specific
areas (e.g. education, health) has been increasing through the catalytic support of the
regional administrative structures in place at the Secretariat. But in other areas (e.g. culture,
sports, youth, women's affairs) the record is not so good on the Secretariat's side.
However, on the side of the informal groups involved, there is a dynamic spirit of regional
co-operation at work most recently seen and experienced at CARIFESTA V in Trinidad
and Tobago last year. The lesson to be learnt from this is that it is the linkages among
groups with a shared interest across the region which will provide the most lasting base for
Because of the proven track record of sustained activity in the various areas of
functional co-operation, I should like to introduce the term "functional integration." I think
this term clearly signals that the linkages established in given areas have gone beyond the
level of mere co-operation and are heading towards the attainment of a fair measure of
social integration. It more accurately reflects the reality and demonstrates that the first
lesson from the Commission has been learnt accept our own reality and work with it.
Three examples may be used to illustrate how the Commission itself sees the process at
work and how it proposes to further that process. In the area of gender issues, the Report
discusses how gender links to education, health, the law, employment, the economy and it
highlights current trends in each of these areas. The Report recognizes the increasingly
prominent role of women's organizations working together, within and across territories, to
improve the position of women in Caribbean societies. Much of this has been achieved by
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on their own initiative and in
collaboration with regional institutions, notably the CARICOM secretariat, through its
Women's Affairs Desk, and the University of the West Indies (UWI), through several of its
Departments. The Report acknowledges the need to improve the capacity of both NGOs
and the regional institutions, if their goal of enhancing the process of functional integration
in Women's Affairs is to achieved. It therefore offers proposals to enhance that process by
improving regional institutional mechanisms and by adopting regional approaches in such
activities as the introduction of gender studies at all levels of the formal education system,
harmonisation of legal reform directed at the eradication of gender discrimination, training
in gender analysis for key personnel in. private and public sectors. Here is an example of
proposed action based on lesson 3 involve people in the process and increase their
capacity to maintain that involvement.
A rather different example comes from the area of health. Here, the Report sees the task
ahead as one of "defending and preserving the real gains" made in the past (Report, p. 357).
Regional collaboration in refining health management systems, delivery of training and
promotion of health education is advocated. The Report proposes to do this by building on
the formal institutional collaboration which aheady exists. Unfortunately, little mention is
made of the informal ties between NGOs interested in and working on health issues which
could also be the basis for strengthening regional co-operation in health. Thus the Report
misses an opportunity to apply its own message of consultation.
Now is there any discussion of the links between health and other aspects of the
development spectrum e.g. a healthy tourist destination will attract tourists; a healthy
labour force will be able to absorb the training necessary in order to increase productivity,
a factor on which the Report lays much emphasis; an unhealthy work environment
occasioned by chemical and other forms of pollution will dissuade prospective workers
from entry into the labour force; creative training programmes in attractive surroundings
will attract students and staff from outside the region, thus bringing the much needed
foreign exchange. The absence of this kind of discussion has forced the Report's
recommendations into the limited area of the creation of a menu of common services
directly concerned with the delivery of health care. The lesson of a holistic approach has
not been applied in this instance, but that of building on existing collaborative
arrangements undoubtedly has.
Perhaps the example which best illustrates the Commission's efforts to apply the
various lessons lies in the area of culture. Here the Report weaves together the strands of
history, economics, language, education, the family, gender, race, religion and the arts
which together comprise the cultural reality of the region. It describes the formal
institutional mechanisms already in place within CARICOM, other forms of regional
cultural activity through international agencies such as UNESCO and the OAS, NGOs
focusing on culture and independent individuals. It provides a sweeping set of
recommendations which speak not only to the needs of the groups involved with the
creative arts, but also to the need for a regional cultural policy embracing all aspects of the
region's culture. It calls for the involvement of both the private sector and governments of
the region in the promotion of cultural industries. It seeks to strengthen existing cultural
training institutions, to institutionalise the teaching of arts, craft, the visual and performing
arts in the schools' curricula, to facilitate regional link-up of the electronic media, to
expand the teaching of foreign languages, to promote inter-faith dialogue and to facilitate
regional publishing enterprises. In effect, each of the lessons highlighted previously is
illustrated in this section of the Report.
These three examples suggest that the Commission has been alert to the fact that it is
where the "people" action is, that functional integration is strongest Whether that action is
at the formal or the informal level, the common thread is that they are in the areas of what
the CARICOM Secretariat has defined as "functional co-operation". It is perhaps no
accident that these very programmes have been allocated to the proposed CARICOM
It may be argued that much of the Report is too general to be useful and that insufficient
attention has been paid to certain aspects of the implementation of some of the
recommendations. To that the response should be that a report of this nature must
necessarily be general, based as it is on such diverse specificities. For those interested, the
specifics are (will be) available in the six published Occasional Papers, the thirty
commissioned papers, the three Special Reports and approximately 400 submitted written
memoranda. From all of these sources, the Report has gleaned its strength and woven its
cloth. It is clear that although the Commission brought its own perspective to the
preparation of its Report it has also been heavily influenced by the voices of the West
Indian people. It is also clear that the ideas contained in the Report can be used by
individual groups and organizations with specific areas of interest to develop regional
strategies, projects and programmes. If the Report will have spawned one such major
project which enhances the move towards fuller integration in the region, it will have
achieved its objectives.
Let me take this opportunity to publicly congratulate the members of the Commission
for the tremendous job which they have done. It is a tour de force, the sheer magnitude of
which is breathtaking. And it will certainly influence development thinking in the region
for many decades to come. Those of us who are West Indians take considerable pride in
their achievement on our behalf. We hope that we can rise to the challenges which they
have thrown out to us.
THE REPORT OF THE WEST INDIAN COMMISSION, TIME
FOR ACTION A CRITICAL APPRECIATION
HAVELOCK R. BREWSTER
The Report of the latest West Indian Commission entitled Time for Action (chaired by
Sir Shridath Ramphal) is so impressively massive (529 pages plus a summary of 176 pages)
that I have chosen, for present purposes, to restrict this appreciation of its contents to a
selected set of interrelated policy issues that seem to constitute the core of the
Commission's strategy aimed at 'taking the people of the West Indies into the twenty-first
century'. Thus, beginning with a few questions of methodology, this paper moves on to
consider the issues of governance, development, the future of the Caribbean Community,
external relations and institutional structures.
The Commission, established as an independent body, was requested to report to
CARICOM heads of Government on proposals for advancing the goals of the Treaty of
Chaguaramas, which established the Caribbean Community and Common Market. The
Commission was expected to consult widely, to 'let all ideas contend', 'to let unity and
disunity of all kinds be appraised', 'to stimulate a public forum on the future'. However,
it may have exceeded what was expected to it, and the effort as a whole may have suffered
as a result of its very ambitious scope and the relatively short time (about two years)
allowed for its preparation. The Report is literally a source of wisdom on everything under
the sun: from currency to culture; from science to human rights; from exports to cricket;
from CARICOM to gender issues. Concern about its omniscience is perhaps most apparent
in its disappointing treatment of development policy and the ambiguous relationship of that
policy to the form of economic integration espoused.
The Commission's decision, standard practice as it may be, to present its Report in final
form to the public in virtually a take-it-or-leave-it manner has pre-empted the possibility of
referring preliminary drafts, with comments and suggestions, for further consideration by
the Commission, without of course encroaching upon its independence.
For example, it might have been considered worthwhile for the Commission to reveal
and evaluate the major alternatives put forward with respect to, for example, approaches to
the future of the Caribbean Community, development policies, and forms of governance.
As it is, we have little or nothing to go on as to what ideas are contending and by what
processes the Commissioners themselves appraised the 'evidence' they heard and read in
arriving at their final wisdom, including in particular, what they viewed as a judicious mix
of informed leadership and opinion of the 'masses'. We do know, however, by the
proclamation of the Chairman, that the Commissioners were persons who are 'not con-
strained by ideology'. If that is literally true, it is a dubious quality for appraising evidence.
The Commission made a good effort to meet people (three dozens or more public
meetings in the region, a few in the 'diaspora' and snme 500submissions received). Given
its possibilities, it may be unfair to criticize it, as some have done, for not organizing
'consultation' in a serious manner. On the other hand, one does feel somewhat uneasy with
the way the Commission presents that substantial but essentially limited effort as interac-
tion with the 'masses', at times indeed implicitly represented as eliciting superior popular
wisdom to that accessible to governments and political parties. The Commissioners seem to
have conducted their affairs in the traditional 'commission' style of judges assessing
'evidence' and delivering verdicts. I am not sure then that it can truly be said that the
Commission has stimulated a 'public forum on the future'.
Whatever might have been the future contributions to getting the best out of the
Commission, there probably would have been an appeal for a more tidy and operational
report. The last may be the most telling for the Report contains literally hundreds of
'recommendations', particularly in various 'functional' areas, which regrettably resemble
United Nations resolutions too closely. Most of these recommendations are unobjec-
tionable; indeed, make good sense. But typically, they are expressed in terms of what
should be 'adopted', 'initiated' 'reaffirmed', etc., especially by CARICOM governments,
rather than in terms of specific operational mechanisms for translating ideas into action.
One interesting exception to this style is the section on human resources development,
where a specific proposal is made that a CARICOM Network for Educational Policy be
established, with the University of the West Indies, in co-operation with the University of
Guyana, serving as its secretariat. Had action been more the focus of the Report, as its title
foreshadows, specific tasks and organizational arrangements might have been proposed,
especially for non-governmental actors.
The Commission is at pains to point to the virtues of democracy and the excellence of
post-independence West Indian States in this respect, with the exception of one then
outstanding aberration, presumably Guyana (the country of the chair), although it is not
named. But a perception of aberrations is also an opportunity for more fundamental
development policy. It would have been of much value to learn something about West
Indian people's perceptions of development, their aspirations in this respect and, indeed,
how the Commissioners consider these should or should not be filtered through the medium
of their superior information and world experience. This is hardly a theoretical matter
because diverging perceptions and their consequences are already a stark reality in the
region. For example, Barbadians must already be reflecting on the meaning and future
implications of their having already (according to the United Nations Development
Programme) reached the uppermost rank in human development with a score of 92/100,
ahead not only of all developing countries but of several Western European countries. Is
more of the same possible and desirable? And Guyanese might well wonder, looking to the
future and to so-called developed countries, whether there may not be some inherent
strengths in their apparent weaknesses. But the pattern of, and path to, development simply
cannot be discussed independently of the form 'democracy' takes and 'unconstrained by
Setting aside such fundamental considerations, which in the final analysis must inform
any 'people-centred' development policy, there are pressing contemporary issues of West
Indian development which, if the mandate as interpreted by the Commission is taken
seriously, West Indian governments would probably have valued some guidance on as they
make the transition to the Commission's promised land, for their own sake and because
they are also inextricable from the Community process. What should be the regional
approach to external debt? To international aid? To IMF/World Bank structural adjustment
programmes? To privatization and how it should be organized? To foreign investment and
transnational corporation? Could the role of the government in economic development that
is now fashionable and lauded by the Commission be as appropriate for Guyana, with a
potential for large-scale primary-resource-based industries, as it might be for Antigua or
Jamaica? Does very small size impose particular constraints on the respective roles of
government and private enterprise?
The Commission makes a detour around these issues with a reference to the contents of
other reports. However, while there are valuable essays on these problems, no one would
claim that a clear and reliable map of this terrain exists. Negotiating passage through it into
the twenty-first century will not be as easily by-passed. Most countries are presently
struggling with these issues, some of which indeed cut across the very region integration
apparatus that the Commission recommends.
The main thrust of the Commission's proposals is that West Indian development should
be export-propelled, to achieve this, we need to be internationally cost-competitive, and
undertake the micro and macro efficiency measures that this requires. Of course we should
understand this in a relative sense, because the West Indies is already more export-oriented
than most places in the world. The proposition might thus have benefited from some
differentiated treatment and evaluation of complementary strategies. For example, while
the prospect of increased earnings is not to be neglected, it may well be feasible for Guyana
and Trinidad and Tobago to place a good deal of emphasis on an endogenous strategy of
Attaining international competitiveness plays such a crucial role in the Commission's
(new) export-led strategy that, unavoidably, one has to consider its realism in the specific
context of the West Indies and the alternatives should we fall short. So far as the island
States are concerned, historical, geographical and structural features may limit the extent to
which international cost-competitiveness, in the traditional sense, can be attained. Wages
are several times too high, labour productivity several times too low, exchange rates
uncompetitive by a wide margin, dependence on costly imported materials and finance too
high, and standard-of-living expectations too demanding. These are not features that can be
cured simply by economic and technological policy. The West Indies cannot pretend to be
Mexico or Guatemala or Malaysia or India or China. This matter needs a thorough and
realistic examination. And the consideration of alternatives would do no harm.
For example, would it not make some sense to consider a strategy based on the supply
not of cost-competitive exports but of specially differentiated relatively high-cost products
and services? The Swiss experience may be of interest. It was summed up thus: '...driven
by the relentless pressure of high wages and appreciating currency, Swiss firms have sought
out the high- quality, differentiated segment of industries' (Porter, 1990). This strategy has
worked in the past in some of the region, for example in high-income tourism and
off-shore banking. We have the comparative advantages of the English language, climate
and geography, time synchronization with, and proximity to, the eastern zone of the United
States. Might these be possibilities health, secondary education, vacation and retirement
residence, especially for West Indian Americans, Canadians and Europeans, ecological and
health/sports tourism, high-quality fabric and jewellery design and fashion-wear, quality
printing, audio and video reproduction, concerts and conferences, international organiza-
tions? There is an enormous potential for new services in tourism (Poon, 1991). Alliances
with service firms in other countries could make good sense. In all this, we should
remember that while unemployment in the West Indies seems high in percentage terms, in
absolute terms it is rather small and could be eliminated in the not too distant future. We
need to reflect more carefully on the feasibility of the low cost, low domestic value-added
(sweat-shop) approach to development, especially for the natural resource-scarce island
The Future of the Caribbean Community
Basically, the proposition of the Commission, having taken account of what the people
feel, is that 'the path of integration, rather than federation or closer political union, should
be followed'. West Indian unity at the political level, they haye found, remains for our
people 'a sort of Holy Grail sinining on the edge of a distance too far away to matter for the
time being'. Thus they made the decision not to revisit that 'honourable episode' of
Federation. Essentially, then, what they proposeis-he perfection-f the economic integra-
tion regime i.e. the creation of a single market and economy and a common curren-
cy/monetary union. Extension and/or improvement of regional cooperation in a number of
functional areas are/is also proposed. Pragmatic arrangements are outlined for multiple
points of entry into, andwidbning circles of involvement with, the rest of the Caribbean,
Latin America, the EC, NAFTA, the Commonwealth and the world in general. They leave
space for those States, like those of the OECS, that aspire to quicker attainment of political
In other words, nothing qualitatively new is offered. But there are some surprising
assertions and contradictions. To begin with, the Commission's views as to what is political
unity, what is economic integration, where a division between them is drawn, and what are
their respective degrees of realis, leave much to be answered.
It may well be the case that political union could be conceived of in innovative ways
that do not necessitate 'the amalgamation of power in one single centre', or even
federalism. For example, I have proposed elsewhere (Brewster, 1992) a dynamic and
divisible concept of statehood, sovereignty and nationality, constituted in, say, a West
Indian Commonwealth and West Indian citizenship. In this approach, West Indian unity
would be anchored and expressed through such 'political' forces as cultural-historical
identity, kinship, security and defined rights, rather than through regional economic in-
tegration regimes whose feasibility and net benefits become increasingly questionable in
the contemporary world of widening economic spaces and the globalization of economic
activity, or through conventional notions of political (parliamentary/sovereignty) unit.
Common currency/monetary Union
Furthermore, there may be good reasons for believing that a common curren-
cy/monetary union is far more 'political' and sovereignty-monolithic than anything
provided for under Federation or conceivable as 'political unity' at the present time. The
amalgamation of parliaments would be a formality compared with what monetary union
would substantively entail. Far from being simply an instrument of economic integration, it
is in reality a high and close form of political unit. The Commission's Report fails to bring
out the dimensions and implications of a common currency/monetary union among the
economically rather diverse countries of the West Indies. The Commission says that in
consultations throughout the region, the question of a common Caribbean currency arose
'insistently', but there is no evidence that the people who met with it were sufficiently
informed to take a well-considered view, if any at all.
The objective conditions do not provide a compelling rationale for monetary union, as
most would agree. Intra-regional transactions, expressed in domestic value-added terms,
are not much more than 8 per cent of the total gross value of the region's trade.
Capital and labour mobility are even less significant. On average, 60 per cent of GNP
and a higher percentage in some member States, is earned from exports to external currency
areas, principally the US. The region's production structures are almost completely un-
linked. There is a wide and growing divergence among the region's economies (at one
extreme, Barbados's per capital GNP is 15 times that of Guyana). By contrast, in the
European Community, where monetary union proposals are becoming more questionable,
there is a far higher degree of convergence among economies, with 60 per cent of EC trade
being intra-Communily and less than 9 per cent of its GDP derived from non-European
The justification given for West Indian monetary union lies in the more dynamic
advantages of cementing, hastening and deepening regional integration, the stability which
it can bring to exchange rates, inflation and the balance of payments, lowering the cost of
exchange transactions, greater convenience and regional symbolism.
However, the Commission calls for greater export-orientation. This would mean that
the relative importance of intra-regional transactions, already very small, should decline
even further. Thus, it is to be wondered whether monetary union can be seriously justified
in terms of existing and potential intra- regional trade. Perhaps more interesting is the
argument that monetary union could promote the extra-regional exports of the individual
West Indian States. That too is a dubious proposition. The economic structures, resources
and export possibilities of Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and the East Caribbean
States (ECS)/Barbados are quite different, and there would be good reason for thinking that
divergences in exchange rates, money supply, commercial lending, interest rates, wage
rates, fiscal policies, external borrowing, and trade protectionist policies would probably
need to be a continuing feature of their national economic policies for some time to come.
In the document on this issue, prepared by the regional Central Banks (Hilaire et al.
1991), reference is made to the West African Monetary Union and the East Caribbean
Monetary Authority as models of single-currency arrangements that could be emulated by
CARICOM. In both cases, the arrangements have promoted a high level of discipline and
stability in economic management. But they have also raised questions about the trade-off
with the need for discretionary management of economic growth policies, particularly
differences in this respect among individual member States.
In the case of the CFA franc, the World Bank has held the view that its stability vis-a-vis
the French franc, resulting in its overvaluation by as much as 50 per cent, has had a negative
impact on the competitiveness of exports and attractiveness to investors. Subordination of
the different economic policy requirements of individual member States to the collective
maintenance of the value of the CFA franc has created fissiparous strains within the region,
as exemplified by the positions taken by Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and Gabon. One official
went so far as to say: 'I believe the CFA franc has always been a profit exportation zone; a
zone in which those who earn money in the morning, export in the evening'.
In the case of the EC dollar, it is apparent that stability has not served some member
States as well as it may have served Antigua and St Lucia. It cannot be assumed that, in the
East Caribbean States, the strains of monetary union will not become more pronounced,
especially if further divergences should take place as a result of less advantageous condi-
tions in the European Community and elsewhere for the primary commodity exports in
which some of them specialize. Although they may not abandon the arrangement, these
strains may be expressed in inter-island discord, exacerbated if the stronger are unwilling to
compensate the weaker adequately by capital flows. Even in the case of Barbados, which
too has enjoyed long-term currency stability, the apparent diminishing competitiveness of
its tourist industry has given rise to discussions about the need for some devaluation. A
similar question has also been raised about Trinidad and Tobago's failing competitiveness.
Stability evidently is not ipso facto a mark of good economic management. Furthermore,
neither in the EC dollar area nor the CFA grand zone can it be said that monetary union has
had a perceptible effect on regional economic integration.
A common currency would probably impose a discipline that has been lacking in some
CARICOM member states, especially with respect to exchange rates, inflation, interest
rates, money supply and fiscal balances. However, to move from conspicuous indiscipline
to complete rigidity may not be an advisable proposition, especially where differences in
economic structures and wide and growing divergences inevitably impose a need for a
degree of national policy discretion.
The answer to the dual requirement of discipline and discretion might be sought in a
tree-stage approach. In the first stage, procedures and mechanisms could be defined within
which the use of agreed objective criteria in fixing parties (against the US dollar), and
changes in the alignment of West Indian currencies would be progressively assured. Within
this approach, it would also be easy to devise financial instruments for reducing transaction
costs and expressing the symbols of unity in visible forms, such as a Caribbean Unit of
Account (Worrell, 1992). If the experience is positive and merits further development, the
second stage could be to devise an exchange rate mechanism, providing for variations
within progressively narrowed limits of the parties of West Indian exchange rates. This
stage would in time indicate the feasibility of the final stage of creating a common
currency/monetary union. The EC, it might be noted, is presently at the second stage but
even this, notwithstanding the high degree of congru ence among these countries and the
importance of intra-Community trade, has produced such strains that some countries have
opted out of the arrangement.
The Commission envisages a variable-speed approach to the creation of a common
currency, beginning with those that have maintained fixed parties against the US dollar for
36 consecutive months. presumably, the ECS, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago would be
expected to lead the way. Ironically, for the reasons given above, this is precisely where the
trouble may begin. All CARICOM countries, however, would at once 'reiterate their
intention to establish a common cunency'. Whether or not the Commission's recommenda-
tions can be eventually implemented, commitment now to a principle that cannot be
realized in the targeted or foreseeable future itself raises a serious problem, as has been
amply demonstrated with respect to a number of other accepted CARICOM instruments,
particularly the Rules of Origin and the Common External Tariff (CET). It creates an
atmosphere of unfulfilled promise which degenerates into demoralization, inter- State
recriminations and negative spill-over effects on other co- operative activities. But have
CARICOM heads of State committed themselves to establishing a common currency, as
the Commission claims? I do not read the Grand Anse Declaration or the Kingston
declaration in quite such clear-cut language, it is even questionable, as will be raised below,
whether the CARICOM principal organs are empowered so to do.
Single market and economy
The Commission's proposals require basically the creation of a Free Trade and Com-
mon External Tariff Area as the foundations of a single CARICOM market and economy.
CARICOM governments have long been committed to, and have partially implemented,
these regimes. The Commission would have them perfected with the least delay.
So far as regional free trade is concerned, there could be nothing inherently objec-
tionable in it. But some states apparently have had difficulty in completing the regime
because devaluations, particularly in competing member countries, have made some of
their products vulnerable, while other member States may not have found the means to
accommodate the government revenue losses that would be entailed. The issue now is
really one of practical judgement and tactics the trade-off between the cost and benefits of
imperfection in the regime. It seems that far too much time, effort and resources have been
invested in the marginal gains of a perfect free trade regime (more so now with intra-
regional trade slated for a relative decline).
The Common External tariff, however, is questionable in principle as an objective. For
a number of reasons such as the country and product derogations that are necessary and
changes in them over time, variable changes in exchange rates, differences in Icoal value
added, transport costs and trade commitments under structural adjustment programmes,
and so on, it would be impossible to achieve an external tariff that is of comprehensive trade
coverage, confers common effective protection on the region as a whole, and is efficient in
terms of resource allocation.
What is perhaps more important is that even if a CET could be perfectly implemented -
as the intended 10 to 20 per cent differential in nominal tariff rates there is little reason to
believe that it could offer a critical or decisive advantage in locating productive activities in
the CARICOM region. In the context of tat objective, a tariff differential is relatively
insignificant compared with the more substantial human, financial, natural resource, in-
frastructural, macroeconomic and market-size requirements of international competitive
advantage. The Commission's recommendations on this point need to be examined more
carefully as a matter of economic practice, rather than of economic theory.
On the whole, a single CARICOM market and economy, including resource com-
plementation and linkage, are unlikely to provide decisive competitive advantages in the
changing international environment of widening economic spaces like NAFTA, the EC,
APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) and global corporations (perhaps too a
renovated GATT). Such CARICOM regimes as the Free Trade Area, the CET, the Rules of
Origin, the Harmonized Scheme of Fiscal Incentives, and the Industrial Programming
Scheme would be of much lesser value in promoting development than that of attaining the
requirements for wider world economic integration. Indeed, some like the World Bank
(1990) feel that these regimes have already imposed net costs on the region. It is a curious
contradiction in the Commission's Report that it leans heavily towards an outward orienta-
tion of the Caribbean's economic integration. This should not, however, be interpreted to
mean that I oppose genuinely first-best West Indian collaborative ventures of which there
are many possibilities.
The Commission's point of departure is the need recognized in the Treaty Establishing
the Caribbean Community (1973) to shape "a common front in relation to the external
world", especially in recognition of the small size and openness of West Indian States.
They accept that dependency as an economic constraint, being a continuing feature of these
States, 'foreign policy should substantially be devoted to both seeking to enlarge the small
space for independent action and making continuous adjustments to external circumstances
over whose dynamism we have little control'.
The opportunities for pursuing collective negotiations and policies are demonstrated in
a number of instances: with respect to international trade and financial organizations
(GATT, IMF World Bank), the US (CBI, EAI, NAFTA), The EC and Canada. They
recommend widening circles of integration, with CARICOM as the inner core, extending
to the wider Caribbean and Central and South America. An interesting new proposal is
made to establish an Association of Caribbean States (ACS), grouping together the States
of the wider Caribbean Basin for purposes of promoting a wide area of functional co-opera-
tion. These are complemented by such other entry points into the wider world as the United
Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77, the Commonwealth and the Or-
ganization of American States.
While these are all reasonable views as a point of departure, they are less prescient than
might have been expected at the point of arrival of a forum on the future. The Commission
does not seem to face up fully to the need for an external relations strategy that identifies
the possible dangers to the West Indies in the decade or two ahead, and tries to shape a
positive approach to them. Such an approach would need to create space to preserve our
survival as a distinct people and to develop our creative potential in a new world order
essentially driven by power, race and identity. The Commission tends rather to adopt a
(collective) re-active approach to a more or less linear extrapolation of current affairs.
In such an interpretation, for example, the relationship of the West Indies with Britain,
the EEC and our Asia-Pacific partners in the ACP Group is an enduring feature; the
Commonwealth and Canada continue to embrace us preferentially; strategic salience con-
fers leverage in our negotiations with the US and NAFTA; Latin American countries are
more allies than antagonists; other countries of the Caribbean Basin have benign interest in
association with CARICOM; the grouping of developing countries is a meaningful alliance
for us; Africa and India remain totally invisible; so are Japan, China and Germany; the
West Indian diaspora continue to see themselves as such. All of this can be challenged as
we peer into the next century, and ought to be included in any debate in which all ideas are
For example, it is conceivable to view the West Indies of the future as a place of
marginal, if somewhat exotic, interest; racially, culturally, and emotionally adrift; an
historical curiosity; economically insecure and isolated. A people who have no real kinship
with Latin Americans or North Americans, Africans or Asians. A culture creolized into
something recognizable only by themselves. A land remembered principally for memories
of a few days 'down the way where the nights are gay'.
More concretely, should we not include within the parameters of the future an EC
transformed into an European Union and indeed eventually into a Greater-Europe alliance,
with Britain increasingly on the periphery of European political and economic influence; in
which the ACP-EEC alliance become more dispensable, or at least in which the Caribbean
is progressively displaced, perhaps in favour of a stronger European hemispheric special
relationship with Africa. Should we not contemplate a situation in which a stronger
US-Latin American economic and geo-political relationship marginalizes the interest of
both in the West Indies; in which actions by the one or the other, or both together- in such
issues as military security, renegade regimes, terrorism, narcotic trafficking, migrants and
refugees, natural disasters, disposal of toxic material and other environmental problems,
Law of the Sea, fishing, mining, shipping and other uses of the Caribbean Sea, energy,
disease, air-space, telecommunications, currencies, rights of industrial and residential es-
tablishment expose the naked, extreme vulnerability of the West Indies.
What could be the substance, techniques and artifacts of an affirmative West Indian
foreign policy in the face of what seems to be almost ineluctable marginalization and
insecurity? How should we prepare for a world in which the familiar historical, economic,
geo-strategic, and migration foundations of our external relations are all visibly weaken-
ing? Should we, could we, take the initiative to promote new relationship with Europe, the
US, Japan, that represent more specifically and coherently our own particular interests? For
example, if that interest on our part is now more substantially in attracting foreign
enterprises, promoting non-traditional exports of goods and services, reducing import cost,
debt reduction and access to capital markets, neither the LOME Convention for the
EAI-NAFTA may be the models for the future. Nor would Japan be left outside such a
framework of external relations.
Moreover, if, as implied above, external threats are more likely, prospectively, to
originate from the US and, Latin America, what countervailing forces, relationships and
organizational forms can we foresee? In this respect, what, for example, should be our
initiatives, stances and alliances in the United Nations, in the OAS, SELA, ECLA, the
NAM? Finally, we are ourselves the diaspora of West Africa and India, have we all become
so creolized that that counts for nothing in our external relations? These controversial
questions are no less real for the reason hat they are difficult to answer. The Commission
might have been more helpful in these respects had they been posed in the first place
The Commission's principal innovative recommendations is concerned with improving
the implementation of CARICOM decisions. They propose a Council of Ministers and a
CARICOM Commission. The Council would include ministers designated by each mem-
ber State and assigned political responsibility for CARICOM affairs across the board. Their
responsibility would thus be wider than that now falling to the Common Market Council.
The Council of Ministers is expected to lighten the heavy agenda of the Conference of
Heads of Government.
The CARICOM Commission would be composed of three members appointed by heads
of Government plus ex officio the Secretary- General of CARICOM. The intended mem-
bers, apparently, would be ex-political leaders of prominent stature. The Commission
would have an autonomous, automatic source of income (from customs revenues), and a
small secretariat of its own. The task of the Commission would be to deepen and widen the
process of integration. Specifically, the Commission's mandate is to ensure that
CARICOM decisions are implemented in the member States and for this purpose it is to be
A Council of Minister of the kind proposed is likely make for confusion and conflict at
the level of both the individual States and CARICOM. For while it would operate, in
principle, under the delegated authority of heads of Government, it would find it difficult,
in practice, to exercise its mandate in making collective decisions in specialized areas,
outside the particular portfolios the ministers hold in their individual member States? As in
the EC, this problem could be avoided by constituting as the Council of Ministers, ministers
responsible for particular issues as and when they come up, such as trade, agriculture,
education, foreign affairs. Thus, each such specialized ministerial meeting would be a
session of the CARICOM Council of Ministers. This does not of course preclude other
ministerial consultations being convened that are not sessions of the Council of Ministers
or that are outside the Community framework altogether. The Conference of Heads of
States under this arrangement would have a reduced agenda but, necessarily, they must take
political responsibility for CARICOM affairs in general. It is not a good idea to delegate
The CARICOM Commission is not a very convincing idea. Despite the details
provided, all aspects of this proposal are vague the specific responsibilities of the
Commission, their overlap with the responsibilities of the inter-governmental bodies of
CARICOM and the tasks of the CARICOM Secretary-General, their logic as an implemen-
tation mechanism, the realism and feasibility of the Commissioners' powers to secure
implementation at the national level; and the credibility of ex-political leaders or other
prominent personalities being both acceptable to incumbent heads of State and able to
exercise implementing power successfully at the national level. So far as I am aware, there
is no precedent in any regional community for such an arrangement The EC does, of
course, have a Commission and Commissioners. The Commission corresponds to the
CARICOM secretariat, while the Commissioners are, in effect if not in name, appointed
Community quasi 'ministers' for defined areas of policy specifically delegated by national
parliaments to be Community in the relevant Community treaties. This is altogether
different from the proposal made by the West Indian Commission.
Implementation, however, has all too frequently been a real problem in CARICOM, and
the Commission might have done well, before proposing remedies, to examine more
closely why this has been so. A clue is given when they make a passing reference to
consultation. But the matter may go beyond this. CARICOM has defined 'objectives'
(Article 4 of the treaty) which includes the 'establishment of a common market regime',
'the co-ordination of foreign policies' and 'functional co-operation' (WHICH INCLUDES
'certain common services', inter alia). The first problem arises from the fact that these
objectives are so broad and vague that they could mean virtually anything. Hence, it is not
easy to define in any precise manner, notwithstanding Articles 8 and 12 of the Treaty, the
scope and powers of the Community and of its principal organs the Conference of heads
of Government and the common Market Council. The second problem, which is probably
a consequence of the first, is that there is no provision in the Treaty limiting the powers
either of the Community or of its principal organs. It may be noted by contrast that the
EC has precisely defined 'activities' and its powers and those of its institutions are
expressly limited by Treaty provisions. Even with these precisibns, the question of sub-
sidiary is now giving rise to serious strains.
The Treaty establishing CARICOM has been ratified by national Parliaments so that
any actions taken by its principal organs may be said to be constitutional and democratic.
(There is no institution to which a conflict over the scope of its competence can be
referred). However, the exercise of powers under such ill- defined conditions is, in spirit,
illegal and undemocratic.
For example, over the years a number of decisions have been made by the Community's
principal organs such as the level of the CET, the Rules of Origin, the Harmonized Fiscal
Incentives Scheme, the Industrial Programming Scheme, the CARICOM Enterprise
Regime and the scheme for the movement of capital under powers supposedly conferred
on them by ratification of the Treaty and, in particular, by its 'Common Market' provisions.
Now, this is being extended to the proposals for a single currency and monetary union.
Yet, it may equally be said that much of this is well beyond the spirit of the treaty.
Evidently, national parliaments did not intend to confer such open-ended powers on the
Community's principal organs under the provisions of the 'Common Market' when they
ratified the treaty. Under these common market provisions virtually any act could be
approved by the CARICOM's principal organs without reference to national parliaments -
harmonized taxation, energy prices, wage-rates, and social security benefits, free move-
ment of persons, and so on. The salience of this observation lies not simply in the
constitutional anomaly, but in the possibility that deliquency in the implementation of
Community decisions is a way of re-instating democratic procedures.
Thus, CARICOM decisions which often originate as proposals by the CARICOM
bureaucracy and are pushed through the principal organs avoid being tabled in national
parliaments for debate and ratification, even when it might be reasonable to believe that
they go beyond the intention of the Treaty. It comes as a surprise that regional bureaucrats
should complain about CARICOM 'lacking teeth' and that the Commission should ignore
altogether the political requirements of implementation, even for such a far-reaching
political proposal as a single currency and monetary union. The result is that responsible
ministers have little or no exposure to public representatives, as distinct from bureaucratic,
reactions, suggestions and modifications that might inform the realism of the stances they
take in CARICOM, and the authority and vigor with which they and those responsible for
execution might pursue implementation.
This critique implies an extensive agenda for the continued life, if not of the West
Indian Commission, of a Public Forum on West Indian Political, Social and economic
Futures. It suggests that it may be worthwhile to invest more in an on-going process of
deepening, transparent consideration, debate and contention of ideas, as distinct from the
one-shot preparation of a magnum opus. It would be good to leave space for dissent and the
possibility of choice; for the mix of ideas; intuition and practicality by those who have the
more awesome responsibility for action and thus a keener understanding of the wisdom of
Brewster, H.R. (1992), The Future of Caricom in a Changing Inernational Environment, Geneva.
Hilaire, A.D.L., et. al. (1991), Options for Monetary Integration in the Caribbean, Central Bank of
Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain.
Worrell, D. (1992), "A Caribbean Unit of account", Working Papers. 1991, Central Bank of Bar-
CARICOM (1973), The Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community, Chaguaramas.
Porter, M.E. (1990). The Competitive advantage ofNations, Macmillan, London.
Poon, A. (1991) Tourism as an Axial Product-Potentialfor Linkages and Development of Services,
West Indian Commission, Bridgetown.
COMING, COMING, COMING HOME
(dedicated to the late Gordon Lewis)
We in the Caribbean are already integrated. It is only
the Governments who don't know it.
The donkey works, but the horse is promoted
It should be expected that a speaker whose contribution to the cultural history of his
region has taken the form of language might invite you to consider the meaning of this
process of exchange which we take for granted in all our daily activities. Everyone uses
words and is dependent on them in every aspect of social intercourse. But I do not think you
would have anticipated the discourse on regional integration would require a special
emphasis on the function and process language. Yet it is precisely in this area of regional
debate, dominated almost entirely by economists, ministers of Government and tech-
nocrats from the social sciences, that attention must be called to the violence that is done to
language by those who are chosen to be our specialist agents of communication about the
destiny of our region.
I speak now as a novelist and teacher, and I do so without any trace of rancour. The
literature of social sciences often forces one to consider a distinction to be made between
the statistical mind and a creative imagination. The-first seekisevidence everywhere except
through the direct observation of people in the act of living: men and women who never
think themselves as a percentage of anything. The creative imagination is always made
aware that language is not just a tool or instrument for measuring the statistics of scarcity.
Language is at the heart and horizon of every human consciousness, it is the process which
enables us to conceive in human experience; the verbal memory which reconstructs our
past, and offers it back as the only spiritual possession which allows us to reflect on who
we are and what we might become. But it is not inherited, every child, in every culture, has
to learn it as their necessary initiation into society. It is, perhaps, the most sacred of all
human creations. We abuse it at our peril. It is matter for regret to say that the writing of
many of our economists, and the fraternity of social scientists is almost suicidal in its abuse
I make this insistence because the debate on regional integration has been conducted by
men and women who are largely of these fundamental truths. My first example concerns
the word, development, which has become an inseparable component of every prescription
for our survival and progress. It is, perhaps, the most dangerously toxic word in our
vocabulary. It encourages a wide range of distortions about the meaning of human per-
sonality, and the material base that would allow for the cultivation of a critical and
reflective self-consciousness which is, ultimately, the raison d'etre of a human existence.
This word, development, is related to the assumption of a hierarchical distance between
what are called primitive societies, and their transition to a state of material advancement
which emulates the dubious comfort and conveniences of modem industrial societies but
the human content of these societies, and the dynamics of social relations within each, often
escape the attention of the specialists. It is sometimes a vocabulary which defies all reality.
Take the notion of per capital income. To tell a man in downtown Kingston, out of work
for five years, that he represents an income of five thousand dollars a year is to run the risk
of losing your own head. To expect him to listen and be tranquil is to put an impossible
strain on human patience. But it is normal language among those who advise us on dealing
with the problems of scarcity. It is a language which not only insults the poor, but also
encourages a fantasy of expectations among those who have decided that they will never be
There is a prevailing conviction among political directorates, as well as their rivals in
Opposition, that the intelligence of ordinary people can be anesthetised by extravagant
claims or promises for the rise, without limit, in our standards of living. I was very struck
some years ago by the public address of a Trinidad minister of Government in the 1970's
"In 1956 you had 40 to 50 thousand cars. Today you
have over 220,000. Sooner or later we shall achieve a
motor car democracy".
The phrase, standards of living, has fertilised the appetite of a new professional and
business class whose entrepreneurial ambition sees wealth as the only country they recog-
nise and are committed to serve. The uncritical embrace of 'the strategy of privatization' as
the motor force of development, now threatens to convert every Caribbean society into a
service station. Recently a'huge track of Guyana forest land (1.3 million acres) was
disposed of in a most arbitrary fashion. I opened a London newspaper earlier this year, and
read that a former British Conservative minister of Government had bought it for 9 million
pounds. Six months later he sold it for 60 million pounds. I don't think he had ever seen it.
In St. Lucia the sacred geological symbol of the Pitons is reduced to just another market
item of Real Estate. And Barbados, once a prosperous cane farm with hills and fields, is
about to be converted into a pleasure ground for visitors who play golf.
'Tourism is your business' is a message articulated by men who have no idea what they
are saying, because they have no creative relation to language. The tourist plant will repeat
the lesson of our first plantation experience when sugar was the material base of our
survival and also the source of our deepest humiliation. Meanwhile the ministerial horse, in
full stride, increases his distance, every passing decade, from the donkey working down
It is the dual nature of language that while it pins words down to a rigorous definition of
meaning, it also allows for the greatest flexibility of usage. It opens out the possibilities of
meaning. It invents meaning.
So I shall use this licence of language and ask you to entertain a concept of Nation that
is not defined by specific territorial boundaries; and whose peoples, scattered across a
variety of latitudes within and beyond the archipelago; show loyalty to the 'nation-state'
laws of their particular location without any severance of cultural coninuity to their original
worlds of childhood. They have created the phenomenon of a transnational family which
does not allow a funeral in Barbados to take place for over a week after the death; since the
cortege would be incomplete until the relatives have arrived from Jamaica, Trinidad,
Guyana, Toronto, Birmingham, Brooklyn. It is an insistence on cultural continuity which
can produce macabre results; like the story told to me by the late and very great painter,
Aubrey Williams, of Guyana who witness ed a most turbulent family drama when the
senior survivor, delayed by plane connections, arrived two days after burial; and insisted
that the coffin be dug up, and the ritual of interment take place all over again.
But it is not only in death that the transnational household comes alive. It has tradition-
ally been a major factor in the economic stability of many a Caribbean family across every
language frontier of our region. This is one aspect of what is meant by our beloved
comrade, George Beckford when he says: "We in the Caribbean are already integrated. It is
only the Governments who don't know it".
There are two factors which support this view. One is the political and cultural conse-
quences of sexual intercourse; and the other is the economic compulsion to migrate. This
process of integration within a nation of nations has been at work for more than one
From the middle of the 19th century to the second decade of the 20th Barbados had
provided over 50,000 workers to Guyana and Trinidad; and the population of Trinidad and
Tobago doubled in forty years between 1844 and 1881 as a result of this movement of our
peoples from St. Vincent and Grenada. We have no way of knowing the precise figures,
since many of these brothers and sisters, then and now, are condemned to the category of
illegal, which should here be interpreted as suspended legitimacy of their choice of
When I first came to Trinidad in 1946 and took up residence in Belmont, I discovered
that in every family I got to know, the only Trinidadians by birth were the children.
Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, had originated elsewhere. The name Brathwaite, Ifill,
Richardson have a special distinction for the service they were to render to this region. I
intend no mischief when I say, as a matter of irreplaceable sentiment, that Belmont
symbolised for me the greatest generator of national talent in all Trinidad. That was
yesterday. It is just possible that the locations of the national genius may have shifted
elsewhere. If the attainment of the highest office in the land (Prime Minister) is, as it should
be, a demonstration of intellectual and creative power; then it would appear that a certain
shift can be confirmed.
This process of cultural fertilisation and reciprocity is not limited to one language zone.
During the first two decades of this century, more than 120,000 Haitians and Jamaicans
became a resident force of labour in the republic of Cuba. A morning's walk round the heart
of Santiago de Cuba, in the province of Oriente, is hardly distinguishable from a view of the
cosmopolitan complexions of downtown Port-of-Spain.
I recognize that migration is not in itself an adequate means or argument for realising
the goal of regional integration, by which we mean the bringing together of separate parts
into one whole. But the case I am arguing and which has remained largely neglected by
those who concentrate on the statistics of the movement of labour, or the legalistic
adversities which confront those who move, relates to the cultural solidarity which under-
pins and sustains this fugitive pursuit of better fortunes.
I am very aware of the conflict of interest which arises between what is called the host
country and those who claim a space in their new homes. But I want to draw to the attention
of political directorates and their advisers a deep feeling among us that these conflicts are
often the result of their own opportunistic policies, or their deliberate reluctance to clarify
for respective constituencies what is their fundamental principle and practice on the
movement of our people for whom Immigration and Customs are an even greater hazard
than the crossing of rivers at night in the most fragile craft.
The great Cuban thinker, Jose Marti, observed and defined with simple precision this
The villager fondly believes that the world is con-
tained in his village and he thinks the universal order
good if he can be mayor, humiliate the rival who stole
his sweet heart; or add to the savings in his sock -
unaware of the giants with seven-league boots who
can crush him underfoot, or the strife in the heavens
between comets, which streak through space, devour-
Marti's Village of the 19th century has now become a very sophisticated modem design
supervised largely though not wholly by an essentially village mentality. Twenty years
after Chaguramas and almost half a century since the Montego Bay conference discourse
on regional integration has been confined almost exclusively to this tight scenario of
political directorates and some of the most diligent and resourceful technocrats of our time.
Their failures are often explained by talk about 'lack of political will'. I think this is an
error. For indeed there is plenty of will but it is concentrated in the psychology of Marti's
political type: the Village Chieftain who now emulates the splendour of the Hollywood
star, and is determined to play this Star role until the Village disappears. And these villages
will disappear unless this fantasy of stardom is exploded and demystified.'while the donkey
works, the horse is promoted'.
Our horses are men of strong will who will not voluntarily put an end to their expanding
appetite for more and more promotion.
Eleven to twelve sovereign states some with a population not large enough to fill a
major football stadium parade eleven and twelve embassies in the most expensive citadels
of the modem world. What is the meaning of this madness, this absurdity which exposes us
to daily ridicule among the nations whose charity we seek?
To consider the process of regional integration afresh, requires a new and radical kind
of attitude that concentrates on the thought and practice of the excluded majority. I will
indicate one sector now engaged in one of the most remarkable dramas of our time.
I refer to the women traders of this region. They conduct a volume of traffic within the
Eastern Caribbean and Guyana, as well as across the water from Jamaica to Haiti and
Puerto Rico and Panama. This trade does not come within the scrutiny of any Central
Bank. I recall leaving the Norman Manley airport one afternoon and was asked by a woman
if I wanted any money changed. When I enquired what currency she had, she replied:
"Name it, franc, peso, pound or any kind o dollar".
They are called the informal sector, although their purpose relates to the most sacred of
human formalities. They are often the only keepers and custodians of their households.
They do not sail or fly in search of great fortune; or the extraction of maximum profit. Their
purpose is the preservation of the family. This recorded story of one Guyanese daughter
echoes a thousand similar voices:
Trader: Hear how it use to go...Sometimes the boat till
on the other side and you have to wait till it cross back
the river. Sometimes when it do come, customs pop
up, you cant go on the boat because since you hit the
boat they take it way. When you reach on the boat with
the goods, you go to hide it again because sometimes
they come on the boat when it inside the river. When
you reach Rosignol is a next set o running with bag to
catch the minibus to town, then a next one to Linden.
How much weight I talking 'bout? 'Bout 125 to 150
pound in two bag. At the time I use to weigh 120. I use
to go on the trip two, three times a week, depending on
how I hear the police on the road. When other traders
come down you would ask: how the road goin'? And
they will tell you: "Well the road clean, No police at
all...: "I start trading because things was rough to hand-
le. I have two children that I alone supporting. Then I
had a mother, myself and a gentleman, all five I sup-
porting. I use to cook cook-up, fry fish, boil egg and
float and sell on Saturday. But that couldn't mind five
people, so I start trading".
It is this class which claimed the complete attention of George Beckford who rooted his
great intellectual skills in his observation of them as the foundation of the Jamaican nation,
breaking ranks with the orthodoxies of his discipline, he once said:
Anybody who doubts the managerial capacities of a
Jamaican need only ask themselves how in these times
of severe hardship, poor people are able to find food
for children, and shoes and bus fares to send them to
school surely a miracle of domestic household
But the average specialist technocrat does not really see these women. His technical
agenda does not register them as a critical political force; because he is the product of a new
intellectual formation; the technocrat who believes that the efficient management of a
modem society is essentially a technical operation.
If you can identify the appropriate technologies, and recruit a certain calibre of person-
nel, with the right kind of managerial expertise, then the efficient organisation of a modem
democracy can by-pass the political process. It really doesn't matter what electoral games
are played; or who wins; since the correction will, ultimately, be made and implemented by
those whose technical expertise is indispensable to this process. Politics and ideology are
viewed as an antiquated past-time.
This malady of theirs may be defined as technophilia, and I do not yet know its cure. It
is a replay of one of the two great scourges which history inflicted on this region: Class and
Race. The technocrat functions as the intellectual mercenary of a system whose institutions
have a long and awesome history of male dominance. It is my view, therefore, that the most
effective vanguard for realising the true potential for regional integration will be the most
wounded casualties of that dominance.
In this respect we can say that all women, irrespective of their social origins, are an
example, perhaps the most extreme example of a dominated class. Social theorists of the
Left have difficulty with this formulation. But historical and personal evidence is abundant
that all men, irrespective of their economic or racial status, hold a common belief about the
subordinate role of women in their lives. The black male labourer, and the white male
executive director, share a profound bond of allegiance and solidarity on that question of
the relation of woman to man; whether the union is marital, extra-marital, or ultra-marital.
This treatment of the female as an invisible presence; that is, made absent when she is
most present, is a continuing factor in the political and intellectual backwardness of our
institutions. The female presence in political office, or in the leadership of the Party and the
Trade Union movement is not only rare; but she is often there as a result of male patronage;
and not through the attainment and exercise of power in her own right. The major focus in
the re-education of women by women has to be about the dismantling of that dominance in
all our institutions. And while this cannot be an exclusively female concern, the over-
whelming burden of responsibility for its achievement will remain for a long time the
responsibility of women.
But within the ranks of what is called the Women's Movement (bearing the higglers
voice in mind) there is a serious conflict which derives from the fact and function of class
in Caribbean society. The Women's Movement, as I observe it throughout the Caribbean
today, is dominated by a breed of professional, middle class women who are, in fact, the
employers of female labour in their homes. This is not in itself a heresy; but the social
distance which such a relation implies and confirms in practice puts a great constraint on
the political thrust which such a Movement could achieve. And that's why the Women's
Movement or elements of it can be so easily co-opted by all existing establishments and
political directorates in the Region. A serious feminist movement, freed from class inhibi-
tion, would create a source of creative conflict between its demands and the self-conserving
interests of any political directorate in any part of this region.
It is a crisis which women could resolve; because we know that outside or beyond the
functions of wife and maid; the wife is experiencing the same humiliations the maid is
going through with their respective men. The question is how can they create an environ-
ment in which they will share on equal terms, a free, open dialogue not just about their
respective men, but about the dismantling of that dominance which characterises all our
institutions. And what vision can they offer for an alternative society and a corresponding
advance in regional integration? For it must be clear to the most alert among them that the
dysfunctional nature of man/woman relations cannot be trapped in a crusade about gender
since the liberation of women is not possible without the liberation of the total society. It is
in the Caribbean woman's struggle for her liberation that the complexities of race and
ethnic antagonisms are most likely to collapse.
Race is the persistent legacy of the admiral of the Ocean Sea. No one born and nurtured
in this soil has escaped its scars and although the contemporary Caribbean cannot be
accurately described as a racist society; everyone whatever his/her ancestral origins, is
endowed with an acute racial consciousness.
In the Express "Indian Arrival Day Supplement "of May 31, 1992, Sita Bridgemohan
offers this very poignant statement of her claims on this landscape:
"My forefathers came from India to work in the
canefields, they were Hindus. With sweat, tears,
hardwork and courage, they created a life in a different
land, a land in which I was bom. By right of birth I
have a place in this land, and don't have to fight for it".
If African labour and the cultural dimensions of that labour constitute the first floor on
which this Caribbean' house is built; the second floor and central pillar on which its survival
depends is the Indo-Caribbean presence. That discourse which is given the ascription of
Race is one of the most critical challenges to which we must respond.
The charge of marginalisation, argued by many of the descendants of Indian indenture
is based on a fact of their existential experience. That was my first impression when I
arrived in Trinidad some forty odd years ago. You looked in vain for that presence in any
of the major institutions which mediated the daily life of the country; and their presence
was often a source of mockery directed against the few who had gained access to the most
prestigious schools of the island. It made for an incurable wound in one of their most senior
writers.The most authentic evidence of this exercise in marginalisation may be found in the
calypsoes between 1946 and the early Sixties:
What's wrong with these Indian people
as though their intention is for trouble
Long ago you'd meet an Indian boy by the road
With his capra waiting to tote your load
But I notice there is no Indian again
Since the women and them taking creole name.
Long ago was Sumintra, Ramaliwia
Bullbasia and Oosankalia
But now is Emily Jean and Dinah
And Doris and Dorothy.
Or Mighty Skipper's calypso, Ramjohn.
Ramjohn taking lessons daily
From a high school up in Laventille
The first day's lesson was dictation
And a little punctuation
After class he come home hungry to death
His wife eeh cook Ramjohn start to fret.
Whole day you sit down on you big fat comma
And you eeh cook noting up
But ah go dab this hypen in you semi-colon
And bust you full stop and stop.
Forty years and more later, in spite of the pace of their social mobility, this grievance
continues to haunt the conscience of their intelligentia. It is articulated with remarkable
candour by Arnold Itwarv from his exile fortress in Ontario.
"Many, if not most of us, are mesmerised by the al-
ledged prosperity in capitalism, remarkably forgetting,
or with some deliberation pretending to ignore that it
was this very system which bounded, depleted,
demeaned, and destroyed so many of our ancestors,
this system which today uses us as pawns in its
brokerage of power".
I would participate in that insult if I found it necessary to confirm the immense wealth
of intellectual and spiritual gifts which the sons and daughters of Indian labour have
bestowed on this Caribbean landscape.
But the relations of Caribbean people of African and Indian descent have been
experiencedin a system whose persistent feature has been the culture of subjugation: the
supreme legacy of the admiral of the Ocean Sea. The ascription of race and racial difference
had been effectively used during the colonial period; and with even greater insistence after
Independence. A perception of the Indian as alien and other, a problem to be contained after
the departure of the Imperial power, has been a major part of the thought and feeling of
West Indians of African descent, and a particularly stubborn conviction among the black
'plantation' middle classes of Trinidad and Guyana. Indian power in politics or business
has been regarded as an example of an Indian strategy for conquest; and this accusation
persists, even though in the fashionable arithmetic of democracy, their numerical supe-
riority in a union of Trinidad and Guyana might have justified such an ambition.
But it makes for a great distortion when we speak of Indians as a monotholic world,
identifying the interests of poor, struggling, agricultural sugar workers with the triumphant
wealth of the big rice fanner, or the feverish accumulation of cash among the professional
and entrepreneurial cliques in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando or Georgetown.
It is very important to remember and inscribe or the consciousness of this region that
common history of exploitation endured by African and Indian in our archipelago; and their
common engagement in resistance which has been the history of each group. Today we are
witnessing a serious clash, an acute rivalry for the distribution of power and spoils among
what are, in my view, two factions of the same class: the African and Indian petit
bourgeoise. Each needs the motor force of the African or the Indian at mass level to
facilitate their ambitions; but it is open to question how organic are the links between the
horses in full stride for permanent promotion, and the donkeys who work down below.
One fact of their relations is quite clear. Neither faction could achieve and maintain
dominance without the permission of the other, and both could be in danger from any
consensus of upheaval from those down below.
Negotiation without hidden agendas is their only rational option for the survival of
either faction. A symposium which attempts to examine the whole range of our regional
political culture cannot avoid dealing with the triumph and predicament of two countries
which have put us in their debt for all time: Haiti and Cuba.
Those of you wno have had a chance to study that magisterial work, "Main Currents in
Caribbean Thought" by Gordon Lewis, will recognize that Haiti and Cuba were pioneers
in initiating the debate on liberation and sovereignty in the Caribbean. The first and most
decisive blow struck at the Plantation, destroying its hegemony, was the triumph of the
Haitian war of Independence. As CLR James has told us:
"The revolt is the only successful slave revolt in his-
tory, and the odds it had to overcome is evidence of the
magnitude of the interests that were involved. The
transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before
a single white man, into a people able to organise
themselves and defeat the most powerful European
nations of the day, is one of the greatest epics of
revolutionary struggle and achievement".
But there was no socialist block in 1804; no non-aligned movement, no organisation of
African unity. They stood alone; in complete charge and masters of their land, in charge but
utterly alone against the rapacious and wounded pride of Europe and Euro-American,
which had institutionalized slavery as the normal relation of black men and women to white
authority. No nation of the day would recognize their sovereignty; and every statesman of
the day conspired to reverse it. The conditions for recognition imposed by the French to the
sum of 150 million francs was still being paid more than a century after the Haitian victory,
and are still being paid today. Yet a statistical and wholly superficial evaluation of Haiti
continues to define this country as simply the poorest nation in the hemisphere without any
reference to the incalculable resource of spirit, the miraculous reservoir of resistance that
could produce Aristides almost 200 years after the death of Dessalines. It is a curious irony
that the poorest of all Caribbean territories is also the richest and most secure in its
collective sense of identity. There is no Caribbean territory where this is stronger or more
authentic. And the conspiracy against the democratic triumph of the Haitian peasant is
demonstrated again in the collusion to separate Aristides from that overwhelming con-
stituency which claims him as their leader. We have been largely silent throughout this long
agony which the Haitian people had undertaken on behalf of our own escape from bondage.
Haiti redeemed black men and women everywhere, including Africa.
But if the Plantation suffered mortal loss in Haiti, it found a way of surviving Eman-
cipation, and imposing its legacy throughout the English speaking Caribbean; and the
fiction of sovereignty in the Hispanic zone. Until the triumph of the Cuban revolution in
The spirit of Toussaint and Dessalines came alive in Fidel (as it had done earlier in
Maceo and Gomez) when-a small and insignificant group of men and women stormed the
barracks at Moncada. And ultimately with a similar result as the Haitian triumph For thirty
years Cuba has been condemned to a state of war, isolated from its neighbours not only by
the criminal boycott of trade, but also by the iniquitous boycott of knowledge about the
stupendous social achievements of the Cuban revolution, especially in the areas of health
and education. They tried to lay the foundations of friendliness with their neighbours, and
they were not allowed to be friendly. Say Cuba, and everyone hears the voice of
Washington shout: Communist; but never the eloquent and graceful voice of Jose Marti, the
spiritual father of the Cuban revolution. We have in Marti an example of the supreme
function of the Caribbean external frontier.
Jose Marti was bor in Havana in 1853. At the age of 16, the Spanish colonial
authorities arrested him on a charge of subversive conduct; and after trial he was im-
prisoned for six months before being deported to Spain in 1871. Except for two brief visits
back to his native land, he was never to see Cuba until he arrived at the head of an
expedition to lead the second war of Independence. He was killed in action a month later in
But it was during that period we call exile (some 24 years, most of it spent in the United
States) that he demonstrated the singular importance of the Caribbean external frontier. He
lectured; he taught; he served as representative of various South American republics; he
organised; and above all, he wrote, producing a body of writing that covers some 20
volumes of his collected words. He was a poet, philosopher, playwright and meticulous
journalist. His voice became an essential part of the Cuban patriotic consciousness. His
warnings are as relevant today as they were when be wrote in the late 19th century, he said
"It is vital to tell the truth about the United States. We
should not exaggerate its faults, out of a desire to deny
it all virtue, nor should these faults be concealed or
proclaimed as virtues".
And among the faults he noted a characteristic of behaviour which they have not
abandoned. Reporting on the Monetary Congress of the American Republics in 1889, he
observed the conduct of the United States delegation in these words.
"They believe in need, in the barbarous right as the
only right: This will be ours because we need it".
Almost a hundred years later and after the invasion of Grenada by 6000 US soldiers, the
US secretary of State, Mr. Shultz arrived, and his first observation was simple and com-
plete. He said "This is a delicious piece of real estate". The anguish and tragedy of an
island, of an entire region, was reduced to this simple and barbarous definition, 'a delicious
piece of real estate".
Marti was perhaps the most incisive of our commentators on the evolution of the United
States from its experiment in a white egalitarian democracy to that phase of transformation
towards the end of the 19th century when wealth began its concentration in an aristocracy
of manufacturers and finance bankers. In spite of 24 years absence, the voice of Marti gave
every Cuban patriot a vision of Cuba that could claim Cuba as its own. It is not by chance
that his biographers tend to compare his relation to Cuba with that of Lincoln and the
United States, or Bolivar and Venezuela, and Ghandi to India.
At the historic trial of Fidel Castro, after the unsuccessful raid on Moncada; Castro, a
lawyer by training, resisted his defence on the spiritual guidance of Marti. He told the
"We are proud of the history of our country","We
learned it in school. Cespedes, Maceo, Gomes and
Marti were the first names engraved in our minds. We
were taught that for the guidance of Cuba's free
citizens, the Apostle Marti wrote: "In the world there
must be certain degree of honour just as there must be
a certain degree of light. When they are many men
without honour, there are always others who bear in
themselves the honour of many men...".
"I come to the close of my defence plea, but I will not
end it as lawyers usually do, asking that the accused be
freed. I cannot ask freedom for myself. I know that
imprisonment will be harder for me. But I do not fear
prison. Condemn me. History will absolve me".
It causes me some sorrow to think that a generation of graduates from the University of
the West Indies, including the History Department, would have left that institution knowing
little or nothing about Jose Marti, perhaps the most creative thinker our region has
produced. Our university engages in exchanges with a variety of American institutions of
learning; but there is no evidence of any continuing intellectual exchange between the
University of the West Indies and the University of Havana a formidable storehouse of
Caribbean historiography. How do we explain this malaise among our scholars? Are they
waiting for the fall of Fidel, and Washington to approve what should be their normal
business as honourable men?
Haiti and Cuba, Toussaint, Dessalines and Fidel symbolise a regional process of
struggle and liberation of the mind which must be an essential part of the journey towards
the fulfillment of regional integration. Both revolutions were rooted in a cultural base, and
remind us that we must recognize and cultivate that organic connection between cultural
activity, as a mirror and interpretation of the national regional spirit, and our political
aspirations for a new kind of sovereignty.
I close with an offer of thanks for this process which is still being worked for by the
great poet, and Dean of Haitian letters, Felix Moirresseau Leroi:
Thank you, Dessalines
Papa Dessalines, thank you
Everytime I think of who I am
I say thank you, Dessalines
Every time I hear a black man
Who is still under the white man's rule
A black man who is not free to talk
I say: Dessalines, thank you
I alone know what you mean to me
Thank you, papa Dessalines
If I am a man
I must say: Thank you, Dessalines.
If I open my eyes to look
It is thanks to you Dessalines
If I raise my head to walk
It is thanks to you, Dessalines.
Only I know what you are for me
Dessalines, my bull
Dessalines, my blood
Dessalines, my two eyes
Dessalines, my guts
You are the one who showed us the way
Thank you, Dessalines
You are our guiding light
You gave us the land on which we walk
The sky over our heads
The trees, the rivers
The sea, the lake, it is you
Dessalines, you gave us the sun
You gave us the moon
You gave us our sisters, our brothers
Our mothers, our fathers, our children
You made us who we are
You made us kind of different...
If I look everyone straight in the eyes
It is you looking at them, Dessalines
You gave us the water we drink
You gave us the food we eat
Thank you Papa Dessalines
You gave us the land we plant
You taught us how to sing
you taught us to say: No
Dessalines, please teach all black people
All blacks on this earth to say: No
Thank you Papa Dessalines.
CRICKET AND CARIBBEAN UNITY
WILLIAM H. WALCOTT
Within a period of less than two years (January, 1990 August 1991) the powerful West
Indian cricket team had lost three Test Matches to England.
In this paper I would like to deal with the significance of the aforementioned losses to
the future of West Indian Cricket and shall do so by showing that they have occurred
against a crucial foreground which poses a threat to the progress of Test Match Cricket in
the Caribbean. Once I have made my case, I shall offer some proposals which could be used
as a basis to removing this threatening foreground. For the purpose of this paper the losses
to which I shall refer are those suffered in England at Headingly, Leeds, and the Oval in
Surrey in the summer of 1991, when the West Indies did not win the series but, instead,
shared it with England. The foreground consists of components: (1) the absence of much
needed, but inadequate financial resources in the coffers of the West Indies Cricket Board
of Control, the governing body of West Indian Cricket, (2) the reduced participation of
young Caribbean men in the game of cricket at basic and unofficial levels necessary to
success in the Test Match arena. The proposals I provide are concerned with the manner in
which national governments could use Cricket, itself, as a vehicle for removing the threat.
In every instance, I shall deal with the English speaking Caribbean.
The Meaning of Failure
Let me state from the outset that the West Indian failure to defeat England in the
summer of 1991 is a very serious blow to West Indian cricket lovers, both at home and
overseas, not merely because they had outplayed the Australians in a 1991 winter series,
but it was also these very Australians at whose hands England had suffered in 1989 and
1990. The failure is serious, also, because of the profound meaning Cricket has in the
Caribbean. I shall now deal with this meaning then look at the foreground. It is to the ideas
of two cricketing.journalists, Patrick Collins and Tony Cozier, that I turn, in order to
In an article, titled "Oceans Apart!" British sports correspondent, Patrick Collins,
begins by providing a description of a batsman who is young, black and uncannily familiar,
because of the chomping of his jaws and strutting of his stride. In his account of this
cricketer's execution of an ondrive when bowled a half-volley a foot outside off stump
Collins says "You knew he would roll his wrists and whip it through mid-on."
Second slip whooped with delight as the ball skimmed the sand on its way to the ocean.
The batsman turned with a gracious grin. 'Thanks Mon,' he said.
Collins notes that twenty four hours earlier a West Indian team of "blazing talent" had
beaten an English team of "admirable endeavour." He claims that in so doing the West
Indian players had won a Test series and reminded young Caribbean cricketers of cricket-
ing standards which must be achieved. And Young West Indians who revel in the simple
joy of a complex game accept the challenge with "shameless mimicry and precocious
All over Antigua, stumps sprout from fields of flattened mud, from silver beaches and
shanty town squares. Large laughing mothers like the lady at second slip chatter out eternal
principles, the virtues of line and length, the proximity of bat and pad, the importance of a
classically cocked elbow.
He claims that should young West Indians need material incentive they may find it in
the "riches of Viv Richards" in the mansion which stares out over Carlisle Bay built by
Andy Roberts from fifteen years of fast bowling. In speaking with pride about Richards,
Clive Lloyd notes:
He is an integrated West Indian, an excellent ex-
ample of the role that cricket plays in promoting
regional participation at the expense of regional isola-
tion. As West Indians, we must always remember that
the things we hold in common are far more important
than our superficial differences.2
In referring to a controversy that arose in Barbados over the dismissal of an English
batsman during the England West Indies Test series (1990) Caribbean journalist and
broadcaster, Tony Cozier, a man "steeped in Caribbean Cricket," states that those who view
the 1990 series or any test series as simply a sporting contest would not understand the
emotional furore caused throughout the Caribbean as a result of an assessment of that
controversy by B.B.C. cricket correspondent, Christopher Martin- Jenkins3 The furore
arose as a consequence of Martin-Jenkins' report to the B.B.C. In it he stated that Lloyd
Barker, a very good West Indian umpire, cracked under pressure and ruled English
batsman, Robert Bailey, out against his better judgement, because Viv Richards, led an
orchestrated appeal and demonstrations of jubilation.
And in a suggestion that Barker made a mistake, Martin-Jenkins noted that what was so
sad was that he was pressured into changing his initial decision. Martin-Jenkins added that
he was not quite sure what "cheating" was if the circumstances surrounding Bailey's
dismissal could be characterized as "gamesmanship" or "professionalism."
For his part, Richards stated that what was characterized as his having run4 to umpire
Barker just before Bailey's dismissal was just a performance of his customary ceremonial
dance at the fall of a wicket. He had heard a noise 5 and did his dance in celebration that
batsman, Bailey, was going to be ruled out. He also noted that while he accorded great
respect to commentator, Martin-Jenkins, as a professional the B.B.C. correspondent did let
his feelings play a part in his judgement.
Reaction, at least in Barbados, to Martin-Jenkins report was swift and sharp. Telephone
callers to Barbadian radio stations demanded that he be made to apologise to the West
Indian players and public, removed from the Barbadian airwaves and expelled from
Cozier notes that the furore must be set against an historical past "dominated by British
colonialism" and a cricketing presence "equally dominated by West Indian brilliance and
individuality." Cricket, he adds, has long been the pride and joy of West Indians of all races
and classes, it has the badge of honour "we" can proudly wear as a sign of "our" collective
excellence and is followed with a religious fervour the great players almost given deified
When therefore the representative of an organisation [the B.B.C.J so closely identified
with the former colonial power castigates the West Indies captain and uses such a pejora-
tive word as "cheating" to describe his tactics, it is considered a serious affront by West
He continues by saying it may seem to those who regard cricket as still an antiquated
past time of merely small significance that there was a huge over reaction to the controver-
sy. While he concludes that there might have been just such a reaction, he points out that
those who cannot understand it are the same people who find it impossible to understand
why the Ayotallab got so worked up over Salman Rushdie though, thankfully, no one in
Barbados had put a price on Martin-Jenkins' head.
It was also from Barbados that Mr. Frank Walcott, a former Barbadian Trade
Unionist and representative of the Caribbean working class, made this comment about a
trip Gary Sobers had made in the late Nineteen Sixties to a Rhodesia run by the racist, Ian
Mr. Sobers is an international personality and represents the heart and soul of millions
of people in the West Indies who see their national identity manifested in cricket and their
symbol of pride and equality with nations in Gary Sobers. He cannot lapse into any area
which is an offence to the dignity and character of West Indians.
Now that I have attended to the seriousness of the West Indian failure, I must deal with
the threatening nature of what I have described as the foreground: the absence of much
needed but inadequate financial resources for the administration of Caribbean Cricket, the
reduced participation of young Caribbean men in the playing of Cricket at basic and
unofficial levels necessary to success in the Test Match arena.
The absence of financial resources can be attributed to a lack of economic progress in
Caribbean countries, of which Guyana and Jamaica are prime examples. The Guyana dollar
is for instance worth about one penny of United States currency. Reduced participa-
tion on the part of young Caribbean men could also be accounted for in terms of economic
decline, as well as
emergent Caribbean youth interest in North American sports such as basketball. Here, it
may be useful to note that during the course of the last winter Olympics in Canada (1988)
Jamaica's entry took the form of a bob-sled team. Stumps no longer sprout from fields of
flattened mud, silver beaches or shanty town in the Caribbean with the frequency they did
fifteen or twenty years ago.
C.L. Walcott, at present an elder Caribbean cricketing statesman and senior ad-
ministrator of West Indies Cricket, has, himself, observed the new development. Further, as
someone who was instrumental in shaping the Test Match careers of some of the best West
Indian cricketers and who might well have to play a crucial role in the development of
Caribbean Cricket throughout the nineties, Mr. Walcott's observation cannot be a personal-
ly satisfying one.
What compounds the threatening nature of the foreground is the fact that the West
Indians must rebuild their test Cricket team. In so doing, not only would they have to
replace older players, they would also have to entertain the possibility that they may not
enjoy the dominance to which they had become accustomed over the last decade and a half.
It is therefore ironic and also analytically interesting, that the socioeconomic integration
of Caribbean nations which could be used as a very strong basis to their economic
advancement and, ultimately, the economic climate for the progress of Test Match Cricket
has always been touted by West Indian Heads of government. Such integration has,
however, not been a reality. Those Caribbean persons who are old enough and can
remember realise fully if not painfully that in the late fifties the idea of a West Indian
Federation made up of Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad was never realized. While there is
no Federation of West Indian territories today, a Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM)
has been in existence since 1973. At its inauguration it was regarded by those heads of
Caribbean nations that constituted its first members as a strong basis to unity and
socioeconomic advancement. If CARICOM leaders are reasonable and sincere, they
would say it is, by no means, the mother of West Indian unity.
I would say most CARICOM territories today are facilitators of the dumping of
commodities produced by multinational subsidiaries that are concerned primarily with
supernormal profit maximisation, rather than Caribbean socio-economic development. And
as a major trading organisation CARICOM has also not been able to secure any trading
arrangement with other economic institutions or nations outside the Caribbean that could
allow the region to benefit substantially from the export of commodities such as rice, sugar,
timber, crude oil, bauxite, or for that matter commodities derived from them.
I am fully aware that explanations for the absence of unity and economic advancement
have been, and will continue to be, offered. The one which I find extremely useful and
appropriate lies in the comments about people involvement made by a Prime Minister of
Trinidad and Tobago, A.N.R. Robinson:
I think one of the weaknesses so far, in the whole
progress toward integration preparation for the future
of the Caribbean has been that the discussions have
largely been of a technical nature largely limited to
caucuses and the relatively small gatherings of a few
technicians and representatives, and politicians. How-
ever important these forums might have been, and
certainly are, . there has not been the degree of
people involvement that is necessary to sustain the
movement forward, and in order to promote among the
population that we represent a sense of identity, a
sense of sharing and the sense of a common future.6
It seems to me that A.N.R. Robinson, wants integration to be based on substantial
participation of ordinary Caribbean citizens, those who are not, or have not been members
or representatives of Caribbean governments. This is a preference I support fully. I would
thus like to propose that if ordinary Caribbean persons are to become significant players in
a move to integration careful examination of the arena of Cricket be made to help West
Indian governments determine: how such persons' contribution might be employed as a
foundation to unity. Why Cricket, though?
The Arena of Cricket
I shall answer by pointing to creativity and the important unifying role of Cricket in the
Caribbean. I shall then state which aspect of the arena should be analysed. Once these tasks
have been performed, I shall conclude by pointing to the benefits of inquiry and stating
which Caribbean organizations should be responsible for it.
In the first place, outstanding performance by most West Indian Test cricketers since
the nineteen thirties is a clear indication of alternate and powerful forms of self expression
by creative people who have been disallowed from participating in normal, conventional,
or taken-for-granted avenues to socio-economic development, as a result of official and
unofficial exclusion. While performance has been the subject of scrutiny, the creative basis
to its expression has not been examined systematically. My reference to exclusion is meant
to indicate: during the colonial and immediate post-independence periods the vast majority
of persons who played Test Cricket for the West Indies had been victims of institutional
racism or inter-group prejudice, factors directly responsible for their socio-economic sub-
ordination. Neither would have Charlie Griffith, the Barbadian born fearsome fast bowler,
nor C.L.R. James, the Caribbean intellectual, disagreed with me.
In a reference to the Empire Cricket Club as a vehicle for the masses Griffith pointed to
the fact that he and other black players in Barbados could not gain entry to Cricket clubs
whose administrators barred non-whites. And in Guyana discrimination was also a very
important feature at the Georgetown Cricket Club, whose ground was used for the playing
of Test Cricket. In the forties and fifties, as well as the very early sixties, membership at this
club was open only to Portuguese, whites of British descent and light skinned non-whites
who were described locally as 'red' people.
C.L.R.James, in talking about his observation of a Trinidadian cricketer from his
grandmother's house as a small boy James (1963, pp. 13-14) says that watching shaped one
of his strongest early impressions of personality in society. That personality was Matthew
Bondman7, a young Trinidadian with fierce eyes, loud voice and violent language.
Bondman, who was generally dirty and unemployed, was detested by James's grandmother
and teacher-aunts who never failed to describe his repeated barefooted presence on main
street. James points out, however, that although Matthew was so crude and vulgar, he was
all grace and style with a bat in his hand. When he practised with the local club, people
stayed to watch and walked away only after he was finished. James notes one particular
stroke Matthew played by going down low on one knee: when he sank and made it a long
low 'Ah' emerged from many spectators "and my own little soul thrilled with recognition
To me, the contrast in James, description is vivid and powerful. In using it as a
prominent indicator of one of his very strong impressions, he is exemplifying the creative
struggle waged in one sector of West Indian life. I believe such exemplifying is clearly
evident in his comment about Garfield Sobers, the third non-white West Indian Test
Cricket Captain' and someone regarded as the greatest all round cricketer.
Garfield Sobers I see not as a fortuitous combina-
tion of atoms which by chance have coalesced into a
superb public performer. He being what he is (and I
being what I am), for me his command of the rising
ball in the drive, his close fielding and his hurling
himself into his fast bowling are a living embodiment
of centuries of a tortured history. (James. 1986:D. 232).
When I speak of creativity, I am simply saying that a major aspect of a persons'
humanity is the communicative ability to use language as a central feature of their social
interaction to perform tasks that are important or essential to their everyday existence. I
would also say that this ability is not merely communicative, it is exemplified, also, as a
universal form of creativity: in producing language as a central feature of their social
interaction persons explore culturally possible ways of doing things or performing action.
In other words, actual language production (written and spoken) by members of particular
cultures is based on choice from a set of possible uses; to choose from a set of possible uses
is to express preference. Further, when language use occurs the expression of preference is
based on consideration, comparison and inference from comparison.
Secondly, the participation of West Indian cricketers in the sphere of Test Match
Cricket is, frequently, not just an occasion for non-playing Caribbean people to identify
with, and support, their Caribbean compatriots. What is significantly associated with
identification and support is unity among these people who are diligent analysts of the
game in much the same way as dedicated post-graduate students and their co-researchers
inquire and add knowledge to their subject areas. I wish to say, as well, that with few
exceptions- heads of Caribbean nations were persons who had been disallowed from
participation in normal, conventional, or taken-for-granted avenues to socio-economic
development; as leaders, they would like people to identify with, and support, their efforts
at unity and socio-economic development.
Perhaps the strongest justification for requesting analysis of the cricketing arena could
be located in the comments of Clive Lloyd, cricketer, and Michael Manley, former Head of
State, two notable West Indians the first of working class origins and the latter from an
upper class background. Manley (1988, p. 399) spoke of the profound symbolic value of the
West Indian team to the Caribbean and stated that the team influences the mood of the
region "which exults it in its victories and is cast into gloom when it loses."
Where other institutions fight to survive the centripetal forces of insularity the team
becomes even more West Indian. This is so because it is successful attracting to itself an
evergrowing regional pride.
He adds that perhaps one day Caribbean people will do more than admire their cricket
team and might seek to emulate its success by discovering for themselves the unity which
is its secret. He also notes that the West Indies team had to complete the process of
professionalism before it could realise its full potential and claims that the Caribbean will
have to undergo "an equivalent transformation of its economy" through an integration
process. At that time it will create the political institutions to ensure that its collective
advantages are protected and brought to their fullest potential in serving Caribbean
Lloyd stated that Cricket is the ethos around which Caribbean society revolves. He
pointed out that "all our experiments in Caribbean integration either failed or maintained a
dubious survivability." Cricket, however, remains the instrument of Caribbean cohesion,
the remover of arid insularity and nationalistic prejudice. He adds that it is to Cricket and
its many spin offs that Caribbean people of their consideration and dignity abroad. Cricket
is the musical instrument on which "we orchestrate our emotions from the extremes of wild
enthusiasm to the depths of despair." (Lloyd, 1988: p. V).
I am now in a position to state which aspect of the cricketing arena should be examined.
I propose that wherever Cricket is played by Caribbean people in the Caribbean and other
parts of the world where West Indian people reside, it would be necessary to analyse the
various collaborative and competitive efforts of West Indian cricketers. It would be neces-
sary, also, to examine the way or ways in which spectators of Cricket express support and
appreciation of their player-compatriots when they are playing. The major concern could
Players' demonstration of knowledge in the display of their playing skill.
Watchers' demonstration of knowledge in their ability to use language when
talking about cricket.
Actions players and watchers perform in contexts of situation.
How the culturally possible ways in which actions are performed can be figured
Indicating why the study of language is important to an examination of Cricket.
I shall deal with each, in turn.
Playing a game such as Cricket is clearly evidence of the demonstration of skill. This
demonstration can be indicated by direct sensory experience, language,display of cricket
Here, players' knowledge of the resources of language is used as a basis to their display
of skill. On the other hand, since watchers are not players when they watch, but do use
language, the relationship between language use and cricket should be expressed:
Direct SensoryExperience or Language = Knowledge of Cricket
In this case, use of the resources of language is the indicator of what watchers know
about the playing of Cricket, as well as the support they provide to players. Knowing how
the resources of language are used is important to understanding what watchers and players
do and how they do what they do.
Knowing how players and watchers use the resources of language, though, is also
knowing how they employ their three groups of socio-linguistic skills, the motor-percep-
tive, organisational and semantic, all of which have productive and receptive aspects. I
shall concentrate on the organisational, as well as the semantic which Pit-Corder (1966, pp
8-12) says are of higher level than the other two. Organisational skills are concerned with
organising units of language into acceptable patterns and the ability to discern and analyse
those patterns when they are read or heard. The productive and receptive aspects of these
skills are the generative and analytic. Semantic skills are concerned with the expression of
meaning, use of utterances in the "right circumstances" to communicate or produce the
desired results in hearers. According to him, semantic skills must be developed "before a
completely meaningful use of language is achieved."
Receptive Skills/Productive Skills = Semantic
Analytic/Generative = Organisational
Visual/Auditory =SPEAKER Articulatory/Manual = HEARER/ (Motor-Perceptive)
It seems clear that Pit-Corder's principal concern is a concern with meaning. To the
extent that it is concern with productive and receptive aspects of language use, it is
consistent with my claim earlier that when language use takes place persons express
preference, and the expression of preference is based on consideration, comparison and
inference from comparison. Of greater importance to me is that while what Caribbean
leaders may do is meaningful to them what they do may not necessarily be meaningful to
the people they govern. On the other hand, what West Indian cricketers have been doing is
meaningful, not merely to themselves, it has been meaningful, also, to their watchers.
The intensity of vocal support given by watchers across separate West Indian Nations
States to players is to my mind very clear evidence that what is meaningful to players is
meaningful to watchers. I would, therefore, say that since support and the unity, as well as
the socio-economic development that could result from this unity have been eluding
Caribbean leaders it would be of great use to these leaders to apprise themselves of how
language use indicates:
(1) what watchers know about the playing of Cricket,
(2) players' demonstration of skill.
If language is to be the subject of study, I would say it should be studied in contexts of
situation which can be described:
(1)The verbal action of participants in contexts (cricketers and watchers).
(2)The non-verbal action of participants.
a.The relevant objects.
b.The effects of verbal action.
My use of the term, 'contexts of situation', is derived from British linguist, J.R. Firth,
who argued that language had to be studied as part of a social process as "a form of human
living rather than merely a set of arbitrary signs and signals." What do people do in
They use language as a central feature of their social interaction in order to do things
that are important or essential to their everyday existence. And in their performance, they
must consider what are relevant to them, if they are to attain their goals. I would add that
the important feature of goal attainment is that persons attempt to, and do, affect others by
conveying messages on the basis of the functions and purposes of the language they
construct.10 And it is the conveying of messages via the functions and purposes which is
indicative of meaning.
Meaning in language is therefore not a single rela-
tion or a single sort of relation, but involves a set of
multiple and various relations holding between the
utterance and its parts and the relevant features and
components of the environment, both cultural and
physical, and forming part of the more extensive sys-
tem of interpersonal relations involved in the existence
of human societies. (Robins, 1967: p. 28).
Let me solidify my concern with, and interest in, language. According to linguist,
Hudson (1980, p. 202) persons use the speech of others to form clues to non-linguistic
information about them for instance, their social background. He notes, as well, that
observable features of personality can be used as clues to speech.
Quite apart from a revelation of personality in the field of Cricket that could emerge
from the language use of cricketers and their watchers, cricket-like all games is played
according to what philosopher of language, John Searle (1971, pp.40-41) regards as
regulative and constitutive rules. Regulative rules regulate previously existing aspects of
persons' behaviour e.g., rules of etiquette interpersonal relationships, but such relations
exist independently of the rules of etiquette. On the other hand, constitutive rules do not just
regulate, they also create or define new forms of behaviour.
The rules of football for example, do not merely regulate the game of football but as it
were create the possibility of or define that activity. The activity of playing football is
constituted by acting in accordance with these rules; football has no existence apart from
Searle provides an example of the constitutive rules of a game by saying that in
(American) football a touchdown is scored when a player crosses the opponents' goal line
in possession of the ball while play is in progress. And in what I see as his attempt to point
to similarities between the playing of games and language use, he says that performances
such as asking questions or making statements are rule governed in ways quite similar to
those in which getting a base hit in baseball or moving a knight in chess are rule governed
acts. What interests me about cricketers' demonstration of skill is that in their adherence to,
and observance of rules they must employ the resources of language to do these two things.
Participation in games takes place either collaboratively, competitively, or on both a
collaborative and competitive basis. The act of scoring a touchdown is not, for all practical
purposes, a consequence of, or is consistent with the mere existence of constitutive rules.
This is an act which is also produced in accordance with acts of collaboration and
competitiveness. Collaboration and competitiveness are also very important features of the
performance of acts such as the scoring of boundaries by batsman and the dismissal of these
very batsmen by bowlers in the course of playing a game such as cricket. Expressing myself
alternatively, I ask: (1) whether base hits, boundaries and touchdown are possible without
collaboration and competitiveness? (2) if players and spectators can grasp the meaning of
base hits and boundaries without knowing the significance of collaboration and competi-
My response to both questions are negative. I would thus say that any attempt to offer
an understanding of the performance of West Indian Test cricketers and their watchers
would be inadequate, if it is not concerned with explicating collaboration and competitive-
ness. If such explicating is to be done, it would have to take the form of a sociolinguistic
interpretation of the meaningful nature of collaboration and competitiveness. My reference
to interpretation is not meant to be confined to an analyst's interpretation of cricketers'
collaborative and competitive efforts. I am pointing, also, to the analyst's recognition and
examination of watchers' sociolinguistic accounts of these efforts (Cricket commentators
These two events- definitely competitive in nature I view as fertile sources of
analysis. The first took place during the second Test Match (1988) Pakistan vs. West Indies
and is about Pakistani player, Abdul Kadir's unsuccessful appeal to umpire Barker for West
Indian captain, Viv Richards, to be ruled out. The second, which occurred in Barbados
during the fourth Test Match (England vs. West Indies 1990) is about Barker's decision to
rule English batsman, Bailey, out, a decision preceding the furore to which I referred
earlier. Let me provide some additional background in order to put the events in proper
perspective. In the '88 Test Richards needed to play a long and substantial innings to
prevent the West Indies from losing two Tests in a three test series. When he had reached a
hundred in the West Indies second innings radio commentator, Tong Cozier, was prompted
.. this has been a tremendous performance by
Richards. Here he is coming back into the West Indies
team. He missed the first Test. He was out following
the operation he had. The team had lost the first Test
Match. There was the attitude on the field which was
down; and here's Richards, now lifting them back up
with this tremendous innings. And now he's beginning
to dominate. And for Richards, personally, a very im-
portant Test Match here, in that he really has asserted
himself with his batting, his leadership. He has lifted
However, this is what took place when Kadir bowled the second delivery of a new
over-his-seventy-seventh- to Richards.
Here comes Abdul Kadir on the way now to Richards ((extremely loud appeal from
Kadir)) rapped on the pad it pitched outside the leg stump a long way ( ) not out says
umpire Barker Richards come back THERE'S no QUESTION that that ball was pitched
well outside the leg stump ( ) umpire Barker says not out ( ) in addition Abdul Kadir went
right across in front of umpire Barker ( ) Kadir THROWS the ball down on the pitch ( ) I
would estimate here Gerry that the ball was pitched outside the leg stump ( ) Richards was
back-trying to turn it on the leg side () I don't know what you've made of it
Yes it wasn't the flipper bit in addition Kadir added to Barker's difficulties by running
And Kadir ah ump Kadir pointed to ump to the square leg umpire and uhm -
suggested to Barker that he ask him ((laugh from Cozier)) but ah Salim Yusuf has now
gone into the one side ( ) I Richards was RIGHT back on his stumps ah but from our
vantage point here it looked SO much as if the ball pitched outside leg stump and came in
and hit him ( ) and eh uh course they're nearest to the action down there ( ) uh but umpire
Barker said Kadir had run in front of him () but there was a lot of going on uhGAIN with
the umpire not having made the decision () and Abdul Kadir THROWED the ball into the
ground Salim Yusuf WALKED away into the on side (), there was CHAllenging of the
umpire's decision once more ( ) and uhGAIN we've seen it so often in test cricket -
we've seen in red stripe cup cricket this year where the authority of the umpire being
questioned on undoubtedly out in the middle by players who really should know
better ( ) the umpire could do NOthing about it in other sports the umpire CAN do
something about it ( ) but here in cricket the players are expected to take the umpire's
decision as it is given
Yes Tony an I think in fact during the lunch hour Intikaab and I were having a
discussion about what is needed for the control of the game and I think we've got to
move with the times and introduce some punitive measures for the introduction of say -
the green card, the yellow card and the red card and penalise offending players by nuh
- by not having them ahm on the field for varying lengths of time according to the to
the kind of offence uhm for instance if you get a a yellow card you probably go off
for a period between lunch and tea or for some such time or a couple of hours un until
some REAlly all the attempts by authority to appeal to the you might say the decency
of the players or not only that I don believe a lot of the players realise that they harm -
that they do to cricket when they behave in this way because they have come up through
the system themselves they've been to school they've been to college they've been to
university they've played in their national teams and they played in their club teams -
and All through that system the umpire is required to uhm to yo to make sure that the
conduct of the game is maintained ( ) and once you have this sort of NONsense going on -
and this is what you might call virtual hooliganism ah (mhm) afraid ahm it is not gonna
do cricket any good good ( ) and I think that the the International Cricket Conference
which really is almost a toothless tiger ahm had to do something about ahm the
behaviour of players
Well I jaz Ahmed is up there now an he's come up and he's talking to umpire Barker
about the leg before decision ( ) umpire Barker I know im from Barbados he's a very
cool individual and what he said to Abdul Kadir when the appeal went out was-was that
Kadir was right in from of him ( ) he could not give the decision because he couldn't see ()
and he's saying the same thing now to-to Imran who's come up to have a word with him (
) ah he said the same thing to Abdul Kadir ( ) I jaz said Richards was right back and in
front of the stumps ( ) that of course does NOT mean the batsman is out because if the
ball pitched outside the leg stump there's no way he can be out ( ) my immediate
impression was that the ball DID pitch outside the leg stump and come in to Richards and
take him on the back foot as he went back trying to turn on the on side.
Well yu know Tony also ah there are two things to some of these (MMM) appeals
- one is ah ignorance of the law and two the the point is that you're virtually trying to
cheat an a lot of that goes on in Test cricket today
During the course of the fourth Test Match between England and the West Indies in
Barbados (1990) Richards and Barker again figured prominently. Here is some relevant
England's 1990 tour of the West Indian team was regarded by virtually all supporters of
West Indian cricket as an event that would end in certain triumph for the West Indian team.
That was not to be, though. The West Indies had lost the first Test and were almost certain
to lose the third, had rain not disrupted play. The England team had been doing unexpected-
ly well. I suggest that the unexpected good performance by England was not merely a basis
to heightened interest in the game on the part of West Indian people. Its sudden impact was,
also, a powerful and significant disruption of their taken-for-granted West Indian sense that
England was going to be trounced. I submit, also, that disruption constituted a very
substantial basis to rejection of the taken-for-granted and serious analysis of the sig-
nificance of West Indian Cricket.
Thus, when the scene of Test Match Cricket shifted to Barbados, the analytical attention
of Barbadian and other West Indian supporters must have been directed to matters of
crucial significance: whether and how the West Indian team could emerge victoriously
from that Barbados game. Their focus must have been well placed on the fourth afternoon
of the match when England was in very grave danger of losing. The West Indians who
would ensure defeat would be a fearsome and efficient battery of fast bowlers. So when
umpire Barker ruled England batsman, Robert Bailev. out (caught behind the wicket) as a
result of a very quick delivery down the leg side from Curtly Ambrose, a leading spark in
that battery, victory was well within the West Indian grasp.
The West Indies did defeat England. Victory was not, however, divorced from a context
in which the circumstances of Bailey's dismissal were linked to controversy part of which
was initially aired on television and also one of a sequence of events about competitiveness
discussed in the Caribbean. What follows is a transcript of the television discourse the
co-conversants are: AW Greig and G. Boycott ('Firey'), former England captains, and M.
Holding, former West Indian fast bowler. These speakers are identified by the initials of the
Oh he's got im caught behind down the leg side VIV Richards (ah uh wo) I TELL
you what the umpire wasn gonna GEEV that ( ) Richards ( wo) CREated ( wha) on he
RAN down the wicket doing that little weegle with his hand and I REALLY did think that
the umpire had decided not out and gave the batsman out late ( ) NOW the umpire's
having a word to Stewart out there who's indicating that it hit him on the thigh pad and
THAT REALLY was very interesting ((Action Replay)) now you're gonna have to watch
Richards here and the umpire ( ) this was a VEri controversial decision there can be
ABsoLUTEly no doubt about the fact that the umpire was walking away I don't think he
was shaking his head ( ) well Richards got heez way and Bailey a very disappointed
Bailey is out () its ten fu, three () TEN fu three England in all SORTS of trouble and we
have a second night Watchman () one of England's great fighters little Jack Russel is out
there four slips and a gully a a forward short leg a leg slip ( ) whatever he looks there's
a close catcher ( ) and at the moment Stewart taking control out there he's not entirely
happy because Viv Richards is in point of fact moving the field and Alec Stewart -
quite rightly saying to Jack Russel hold it, he's still making field changes Well on the
right hand side ((referring to a group of spectators)) they are ABSoLUTEly out of their
skeens ( ) Vic Richards no wandering around () ((Replay)) this is the wicket the LBW
what do you think 'Firey'
Well ah think tha a could be out () probly heetting leg stump or even jus missing bit I
av no trouble with that with the batsman playing on the back foot
Spose the only question was was it going over the top ((Replay )) see if we can give you
another view of that I don't think it was I think it's fair enough the one before is the one
that we really have to query ( ) Well Viv Richards again very excited there why
wouldn't he be he's captain of the West Indies an they're making a comeback in this
Well I don't mind Veevian Reechards or any player being eekcited and uh joomping
oop in the air thrilled when the decision goes for them but ah do object to any player
running careering towards the oompire when the oompire had obviously not given th
baatsman out rooning charging towards in-an putting him oonder pressure and then he
actually gives the baatsman out that caant be right eet ees not nice fu creekit an I -
certainly don like eet
Well Geoff Boycott's so disgusted he's packed his bags and he's leaving ( ) Michael
Hulding's about to move in ( ) and the crowd down there have broken into song () th y are
SOW SOW happy ( ) Well Michael Hulding's got a little bit of a smile on bees fice too
- Michael first of all that ah that wan down the leg side You saw that on replay What
did you think
Well definitely on replay Tony you could see that it did definitely did touch the thigh
pad but what I can't understand is by 'Firey' is so upset it as happened before in the game
- it will happen again so why get so upset the umpire made his dicisian he's baak in
the paavilian it wasn't good great fu the game but-iy it's ovuh it as happened before
- as I said many times and it will happen again
I remember in fact it happened to you in ah Ustrelia when Ian Chappel got a beeg nick
and didn't go ( ) it worked the other way around on that occasion just as a point of interest
- on on Richards's charging down there it looked jus fu fu me it looked fur a second as if
Lloyd barker actually made up ees mind he actually mide the decision from about FOUR
yourds to what perhaps that's exaggerating but from about three yourds to the left of
Yes Lloyd Baarka apparently was convinced or he thought, that at the beginning that
it wasn't out he took ah couple ah steps away from the stumps and then made the
Well this is Malcolm Marshall he's decided well he hasn't decided because actually
- Ian Bishop's off the ground it may just be that ah he's twisted something any
thoughts on that
Ah 'Firey' just wrote a note there Tony about the-saying you should ask me about kicking
the stumps over in New Zealand ((serious tone of voice)) I don't mind you asking me about
that ATALL as a matter of fact ((serious tone and rapid speech)) I wouldn't mind him
taking the SEAT and asking me himSELF
((Boycott invited by Grieg to take a commentary position))
Well you say that Michael cool and calmly because eet went West Indies way but eet
caam be right to put pressure on the oompire ( ) I mean you played a long time and you
went and kicked down the stoomps in New Zealand when you were upset
((Serious tone and rapid speech)) Yes "Firey"" that's definitely right but I was out
there on the field YORE not OUT there Are yu yur up here in the stands it's uh
LOT easier to be calm and cool up here IYsn't it
You can't roon towards the oopire
I'm not saying yu kean ( ) there's NO way I'm going to difend Vivion Richards for
running towards the umpire ((serious tone)) NO WAY kean I difend that but it as
happened there's no point getting all that firey about it ((serious tone and rapid speech))
yer name is shiready 'Firy' Geoff take it easy
Well when you see things like that where all countries of the world have their own
oompires then YOU'VE GOT to take the point of Imram Khan that it is time for neutral
oompires because whenever it happens in England and Australia West Indies every
country that's touring will say 'look yur favourites to the home side' and that's why
neutral oompires will have to come in
I'm in total agreement with that 'Firey' I've always said that I thought neutral umpires
would be the best thing for the game ( ) umpires will make mistakes people might say
they are likkie bit biased but at least the fact they they are NOT from eethe country -
either of the the countries taking part they are the players are more willing to accept them
as mistakes so I am not against neutral umpires at all.
DEFInitely you MOOST have neutral oompires so that you take away the emotion no
side can say well you favouring one of the other because you're a home oopmire and -
they they've had that for many years in eenternational soocer where the referres are
always neutral and its REALLY time the I.C.C. got their act together and sorted eet out -
because nobody will tell me as an Eenglishman watching I am no doubt about it you
want West Indies to win and I want England to do well I've got to see that as a home
Well I think perhaps now that 'Firey's' had hees little say there and uhm Michael -
have you finished have you god anything else you wanted to say after this
Not really Tony I 'Firey' -jes taking was just talking about emotions he certainly got
emotional about all this hu hu hu
Yes well I woos always brought oop fu fair play simply that I like to compete hard
- I like it to be though out in the middle but I DO like fair play and eh ah doon think it
was very nice
Kea Kean I ask you a question before you fo 'Firey' have yu evah stand stood uo for
a caught behind and given not out
Now the question there from Michael Hulding is have you ever stayed when you nicked
Certnly not wha should I do that has the oompire given me out Lbdoob yu when I wasn't
( ) what I'm talking oobout is actually rooning towards the oompire an telling im what
decision to make that can't be right I mean if he'd uh given Bailey out even if he
wasn't out Bailey would have had to go but it joos lukes bad when players on the field
roon towards the oompire
Yes I would agree with that definitely
Well whad an interesting lit'dl dibite that was I'm sure we can carry it on tomorrow in
FACT we're gonna insist on caring it on tomorrow ((laugh)) een fact we're gonna insist
on carrying it on tomorrow ( ) the umpires ( ) in keeping with consistency bang on ten
minutes to six have offered the light to the English batsmen ( ) an they've dididud to tike it
young Alex Stewart has done a sterling job for England hees still out there having a
deescussion weeth Deff Geoff Dujon () he obviously wasn't happy with that decision and
it looks as if Dujon may not be too sure about it ( ) Well we wont know the fact of the
matters you got to accept the umpire's decision at the end of the day ( ) and ah that was
a very interesting little dibite by two grite crigiters two grite guys who've been there
before in their time they've been under pressure from umpires they've ah benifited from
good and bad decisions alike ( ) ((ohm)) that't the way the gime is ( ) as far as I'm
concerned the umpires so far this year have been pretty good ( ) that was a very unfortunate
incident because there's NO doubt that the ball flicked the thigh pad ( ) ah think Michael
Hulding conceded that ( ) Geog Boycott's point eh think forcefully mide as usual ( )
woos that ah the ooh little bit of extra pressure that was put on by ( ) Viv Richards
charging down the wicket perhaps ( ) was the thing that made the umpire give that
decision ( ) well so be it when everyone wikes up in the morning ( ) the pipers will say
that Bailey was out caught Dujon off the bowling of Ambrose as indeed it says on that
batting card for six and the West Indian fast bowlers have REAlly been on fire here
this evening two fu six to Ambrose one fur seven to Bishop Marshall just bowled
thewan over because Bishop was off the ground ( ) and England are fifteen fu Three ( ) and
that is REAlly going to Mike the rest die little less palatable () thy need three hundred
and fifty-six to win which won't happen.
Finally, cricket is supposed to be a "gentleman's" game. In conditions where collabora-
tion and competitiveness exist, it would by no means be inappropriate to examine the
genteleman's game in relation to them.
I have sought to lay a foundation for participation of ordinary Caribbean people in the
cricketing arena. I believe that if such participation is examined seriously by Caribbean
governments a strong basis to unity and, ultimately, socio-economic progress could be
created. And it is from this basis that the foreground which threatens the progress of
Caribbean Cricket could be made to recede or removed. I am also saying that it is through
an understanding of the sociolinguistic dimensions of what is truly Caribbean that West
Indian leaders and ordinary Caribbeanpeople can benefit both economically and culturally.
Within the last three decades much interest has been shown in the matter, what does it
mean to be a Caribbean person? This is a matter which has been looked at frequently in
terms of how full language status can be given to vernacular language with whose use
ordinary Caribbean people have been typically identified. I would like to suggest that, for
the first time, users of this language, a universal medium for the production of ideas about
cricket, would be given an opportunity to see that the knowledge they construct is used to
deal with West Indian problems. In turn, West Indian governments would be provided with
social situations in which they would be much better positioned to make justifiable claims
about their understanding of ordinary Caribbean people.
In this regard, Manley's comment is most appropriate. He says that at a political level
Cricket is the most completely regional activity undertaken by the people of CARICOM
member state s it is also the most successful Caribbean co-operative endeavour, and thus is
a constant reminder to "a people of otherwise wayward insularity of the value of collabora-
Let me initiate closure to my work by urging political leaders to think very seriously
about occupying this position. I also believe that C.L.R. James would urge them too. James
(1963) asked: what do they know of Cricket who only Cricket know? He replies by saying
that West Indians crowding to Tests bring with them the entire past history and future hopes
of the Caribbean territories, he adds that while English people have a conception of
themselves "breathed from birth" and a national tradition constituted by events, persons
and institutions such as the Charge of the Light Brigade, Drake, Nelson, Shakespeare,
Waterloo, the few who did so much for so many and Parliamentary democracy, under-
developed countries have to go back centuries to rebuilt a tradition.
We of the West Indies have none at all, none that we know of. To [West Indian Test
Match crowds] the three W's, Ram and Val wrecking English batting help to fill a huge gap
in their consciousness and in their needs. In one of the sheds on the Port-of-Spain wharf is
a painted sign: 365 Garfield Sobers.
Should West Indian leaders take the aforementioned position, many a Matthew
Bondman could rise to the top of the Test Cricket arena and in the process of their
movement enjoy financial comfort in a climate of economic progress.
Finally, one of the first steps the leaders should take is to set up a Caribbean Institute of
Cricket which would operate under the joint supervision of CARICOM, as well as the
Universities of the West Indies and Guyana, institutions located in territories where Test
Match Cricket is played. A primary aim of the Institute would be to examine culturally
possible ways in which social action is performed in the Test Cricket Arena. A major aspect
of the inquiry should be conducted by conversation analysts, those social scientists who are
prominently located within the field of modem interpretive Sociology and one of whose
major investigative goals is examination of the sequential organisation of discourse. Fur-
ther, pursuit of the goal is guided by adherence to a postulate of adequacy.
Adherents to the postulate means that analytical constructs devised to describe social
action should be understandable, not just to an anylst her/himself, but understandable also
to a social actor and fellow actors in terms of their commonsense interpretation of
everyday life (Schultz, 1970, p.279). In other words, conversation analysts seek to ensure
that their technical terms have ordinary application. They have also argued legitimately for
sociologists to emphasise the importance of language use to social interaction and have
stressed the significance of understanding the everyday world through an examination of
The boundaries may appear to be distant, but much more than the field is wide open.
1. This article appeared in the English newspaper, The Mail on Sunday p.72, 22/4/1990
2. This comment of Lloyd's appears on p. 32 of the Red Stripe Caribbean Cricket Quarterly (ed)
Tony Cozier: Vol. 1, No. 4, 1991.
3.Cozier's statements appeared in the British daily, the Independent, 1 th April, 1990.
4.It was A.W. Grieg and G. Boycott, two former England captains, umpiring at the Test match
level. Transcription symbols used in this and the other conversation are:
(()) Double parentheses indicate physical action that accompanies talk.
S A colon within a work indicates lengthening of sound that follows it.
A short untimed pause within an utterance is indicated by a dash.
(2.6) When intervals in the stream of talk occur, they are timed in tenths of a second and inserted in
parentheses within or between utterances.
(Mhm) Words or stretches of speech inserted in single parentheses are of doubtful transcription.
THISBold face upper case arrangement indicates extra-loud stress.
While single parentheses appear in the transcripts, no timing of speakers' pauses is recorded. This
is so because I have no interest here in providing analyses of the sequential organisation of talk.
Hudson, R.A. Sociolinguistic. Cambridge University Press (1980).
James, C.L.R. Cricket. London: Allison and Busby. (1986).
Lloyd C.H. Introduction, in M. Manley. A History of West Indies Cricket, London: Andre Deutsh
and Pan Books (1988).
Manley, M. A History of West Indies Cricket. London: Andre Deutsh and Pan books (1988).
Pit Corder, S. The Visual Element in Language Teaching. London: Longman (1966).
Robins, R.H. General Linguistics. London Longman (1967).
Schutz, A. On Phenomenology and Social Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1970).
Searle, J.R. The Philosophy of Language. London: Oxford University Press
The special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government called to discuss the
Report of the West Indian Commission and the Common External Tariff, was held in
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago during the period 28-31 October 1992.
The Heads of government in attendance were:
Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning, The
Bahamas; the Rt. Hon. Erskine Sandiford, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and
Economic Affairs, Barbados; the Rt. Hon. George Price, Prime Minister and Minister of
Finance, Belize; Hon. Dame M. Eugenia Charles, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Dominica; the Rt. Hon. Nicholas Braithwaite, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance,
Home Affairs and External Affairs, Grenada; His Excellency Dr. Cheddi Jagan, President,
of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Hon. Percival J. Patterson, Prime Minister of
Jamaica; Hon. Reuben Meade, Chief Minister of Monlserrat; Dr. the Rt. Hon. Kennedy
Simmonds, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Finance, St.
Kitts and Nevis; the Rt. Hon. John Compton, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Saint
Lucia; the Rt. Hon. James Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, St. Vincent
and the Grenadines; Hon. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Antigua and Barbuda was represented by Hon. Lester Bird, Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Edwin Carrington, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community chaired the
Hon. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago, in delivering the Opening
Address, reminded the Meeting of its purpose He stressed that progress towards the goal of
regional integration was incremental as well as evident. He urged the Region to celebrate
its triumphs, but at the same time to be cognisant of the limited progress achieved in certain
vital areas. He suggested that compromise and conciliation be the twin themes of the
Statements were also delivered by Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of the
Bahamas, and H.E. Dr. Cheddi Jagan, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
The Chairman of the West Indian Commission, Sir Shridath Ramphal, also presented
the Report of the Commission "Time for Action".
The current Chairman of the Conference, Hon. Patrick Manning, presided over the
The Heads of Government warmly welcomed Prime Minister Ingrahan of the Bahamas
and President Jagan of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the conference following
their recent election to high office in their respective countries. The Heads of Government
also expressed their pleasure at the honouring of a CARICOM national and holder of the
Order of the Caribbean Community, Hon. Derek Walcott with the award of the Nobel Prize
for Literature. They recognized that the work of Derek Walcott demonstrated the capability
of the people of the Region and served as a source of inspiration.
The Heads of Government expressed their profound sorrow at the passing of Dr. Arthur
Wint, the first Caribbean Olympic Gold Medallist, earlier this month. They also conveyed
their sincerest condolences to the bereaved family.
The Heads of Government expressed appreciation to the Government and People of
Trinidad and Tobago for the excellent arrangements which ensured 'he success of the
Meeting. They also commended the CARICOM Secretariat for its outstanding contribution
to the success of the Conference.
TIE WEST INDIAN COMMISSION REPORT TIME FOR ACTION
The Heads of Government noted that the West Indian Commission (WIC), in its Report
"Time for Action", had produced one of the seminal works of its kind in West Indian
history. On behalf of the people of the region, they extended appreciation and gmtitude to
the Chairman and Members of the Commission for the exemplary manner in which it
discharged its mandate.
The Heads of Govemment recalled that the decision to establish the West Indian
Commission was taken in July 1989 at the Tenth Meeting, amidst tremendous fears that the
Caribbean, against the background of the rapid changes and developments taking place in
the international environment, could be in danger of becoming marginalised.
The Heads of Government, having studied the various recommendations of the Report,
accepted the challenge that it was indeed 'time for action'. They agreed that the aim must
be to pursue initiatives, conclude agreements, and strengthen institutions of implementation
with a sense of urgency so that, by the end of the decade of the 1990s, the West Indies
would be a more closely integrated Community of sovereign states. This would necessarily
involve the revision of the Treaty of Chaguaramas. In this regard, the Heads of Government
agreed to a broad range of actions aimed at achieving this objective.
INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AND IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS OF
A Bureau of Heads of Government
The Heads of Government accepted that there was need to strengthen the Community's
institutional structure and implementation process. They recognized that in order to be
effective, the machinery established must have political authority. With this in mind, they
agreed to establish a Bureau comprising the current Chairman of the Conference, the
outgoing and incoming Chairmen of the Conference, as well as the Secretary-General
acting in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer. The Chairmanship would rotate on a six
monthly basis. The Bureau would have competence to initiate proposals, update consensus,
mobilise action and secure the implementation of CARICOM decisions in an informed and
The Heads of Government also agreed that this system would be put in place on I
The CARICOM Secretariat
The Heads of Government also agreed that the CARICOM Secretarial would be
strengthened through vesting the Secretary-General, by provisions in the Treaty, with the
appropriate executive authority needed to carry out his tasks. They requested him to
prepare proposals for the restructuring of the Secretariat, which would aim at providing the
Secretariat with the appropriate skills needed for both deepening and widening the integra-
tion process. These proposals would be presented for the consideration of the Heads of
Government at their Fourth Inter-Sessional Meeting.
The Council of Ministers
The Heads of Government agreed that to further enhance the capacity of the Member
States to implement decisions of the Community, there should be designated in each
Member Stale, a Minister responsible for CARICOM Affairs. They further agreed that
these Ministers would constitute a Caribbean Community Council of Ministers, which
would eventually replace the Common Market Council of Ministers as the second highest
Organ of the community.
Joint Overseas Representation
The Heads of Government, recognizing the limitations of the Region's financial and
human resources, agreed that, with immediate effect, CARICOM Governments, wherever
feasible, should implement in a rational, effective and orderly way, a programme of joint
A CARICOM Court
The Heads of Government noted that progress had already been made towards the
establishment of a Caribbean Court of Appeal as the final appellate court for appeals from
the courts of member States. The Heads of Govemment considered the question of a
CARICOM Court vested with original jurisdiction in matters arising under the revised
Treaty of Chaguaramas, including authority to issue orders facilitating compliance with
CARICOM decisions. They agreed that this matter of the original jurisdiction of the
CARICOM Court required further study, with a view to determining a position on it at their
next Regular Meeting.
The Heads of Government endorsed the recommendation of the West Indian Commis-
sion that a collective approach be adopted in response to current and potential changes in
the international community, including international political and financial institutions.
They recalled that such approaches were taken in regard to Lome, the Caribbean Basin
Initiative and the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative.
ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN STATES
The Heads of Government agreed to enter into consultation with other Caribbean states,
Central American states and other Latin American countries of the Caribbean liitoral with
the objective of establishing an Association of Caribbean States, as envisaged in the Report
of the West Indian Commission. The Heads of Government were of the view that such an
initiative would indicate the strong desire on the part of CARICOM States to enter into
more meaningful relations with those countries.
THE WIDER WORLD
The Heads of Government agreed that in addition to strengthening relations with
countries within the Region, the Region should continue to strengthen relations with those
countries of the wider world, with which it has had traditional links and agreements.
COMMON EXTERNAL TARIFF
The I leads of Government approached the revision of the Common External Tariff of
the Common Market in the context of the current trends towards globalisation of Ihe
international economy, the ongoing transfonnation of regional and wider hemispheric
trading systems and the deepening of regional economic integration arrangements.
In this regard, they were aware of the need to safeguard sensitive sectors in the Region,
particularly the agricultural sector, in which regional production competes with imports
which benefit from subsidies and other governmental supports. The Heads of Government
were also aware of the discussions currently in progress at die International level towards
the gradual reduction of such supports.
The Heads of Government recognized the urgent need to fashion appropriate responses
to these developments, in order to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their
productive sectors. They agreed to implement a phased reduction of the CET rates with the
objective of achieving a rate structure of five to twenty percent by 1 January 1998. In
accordance with the Treaty of Chaguaramas, special provisions have been made for the
The Heads of Government also recognized the need to implement other supporting
policy measures, including the development of related Origin Rules, Incentive Regimes,
anti-dumping and countervailing duties legislation, a Common Trade Policy and arrange-
ments to facilitate Production Integration.
Additionally, the Heads of Government recognized the critical need to secure resources
to increase efficiency in the productive sectors of all Member States.
CARIBBEAN INVESTMENT FUND
The Heads of Government were brought up to date by the Hon. Prime Minister of
Jamaica on the progress made towards establishing the Caribbean Investment Fund
DEVELOPMENTS IN HAITI
The Chairman updated his colleague Heads of Government on initiatives being taken to
seek to resolve the political situation in Haiti. They expressed support for these initiatives.
DECLARATION OF SHIPMENTS OF PLUTONIUM
The Heads of Government agreed to issue a Declaration on Shipments of Plutonium.
THE 1992 PROTOCOL OF PORT-OF-SPAIN
The Heads of Government agreed to issue the 1992 Protocol of Port-of-Spain.
(Reviews of these books are invited. Interested persons should write to the editor
quoting the titles) of the books) concerned, prior to reviewing them.)
France's Overseas Frontier, R. Aldrich, J.Connell, US$69.95 (H/b) 0521 39061 3
March 1992, Camb. University Press.
Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles: An Annotated English- Language Bibliography,
Enid Brown, 293pp, 1992, $US 32.50, Scarecrow Press, NJ
Guyana at the Crossroads, D.Watson, C.Craig (eds), 95pp,US$14.95, (paper) Dec.
1992, Transaction Publishers, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey.
The Caribbean in the Wider World, 1492-1992, Bonham Richardson, US$49.95 (H/b)
US$16.95 (P/b) Jan. 1992, Camb. University Press.
Stains on my Name, War in My Veins: Guyana and the Politics of Cultural Struggle, B
Williams, $US18.50 (P), US$34.95 (Cloth)Duke University Press
Caribbean Poetry Now, S.Brown, UK15.99, July 1992, Edward Arnold, Hodder &
The Military and Society in Haiti, M.LaGuerre, US$29.95 (Cloth), University of
Tennessee Press.March 1993
The Premise and Promise:Free Trade in the Americas, US Third World Policy
Perspectives No.18, 282 pp, US$15.95 (p) US$29.95(c) Feb. 1993, Transaction Publishers,
Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey.
Economic Development and Social Change :United States Latin American Relations in
the 1990s, A.Jorge(ed) US$15.95(P) 142 pp. Jan. 1993
The Civil Wars in Nicaragua: Inside the Sandinistas, R.Miranda, W.Ratliff, US$32.95
Philanthropy in the Americas: New Directions and Partnerships, Brnce Henderson
(Ed.) US$18.45 (P) Jan.1993,Transaction Publishers, Rutgers-The State University of New
On the Margins of the Art of Exilein VS.Naipaul,Timothy Weiss, 256pp,US$29.95
(soft), Jan. 1993, University of Massachusetts Press.
Myth and History in Caribbean Fiction Alejo Carpentier, Wilson Harris, Edouard
Glissant, Barbara Webb, 176pp. US$25(Soft) Dec.1992. University of Massachusetts
Ideology and Pre-Columbian Civilizations, (Eds) Arthur Demarest, Geoffery Conrad,
278pp. US$35(c),US$15.95(P) Dec. 1992 University of Washington Press
The Early Years of Native American Art History: The Politics of Scholarship and
Collecting (Ed.) Janet Berlo, 256pp. US$30.00 Nov.1992, University of Washington Press.
Double Passage: The Lives of Cribbean Migrants Abroad and Back Home, G.Gmelch,
352pp. US$45.00(C),US$16.95(P) March 1993, University of Michigan Press
INFORMATION ON CONTRIBUTORS
Sir Shirdath Ramphal
Economist and Caribbeanist, UNCTAD
is Professor and Director. ISER, UWI,
is a Barbadian Writer and Social Critic
is Chancellor, UWI and Chairman of
the West Indian Commission
is a lecturer and sociolinguist,
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