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Remove the shackles, suggests Sir Hilary

Leading academic Professor Sir Hilary Beckles today issued a passionate appeal to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders to “free Caribbean people” and “end colonialism”, stressing that the region had to make immediate moves of its own now that Britain was on its way out of the European Union.

In an address at the opening of a symposium on the implications of last week’s Brexit vote by the United Kingdom to leave the EU, Sir Hilary said Britain had always acted “deliberately and strategically” in its own self-interest, therefore, “We have to end the colonialism in the Caribbean right now. Britain has made the move once again; we have to end the colonialism.”

The Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) proposed his own exit, recommending that all Caribbean countries dump the Privy Council as their final court of appeal and replace the monarchial system of government with republicanism.

UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles (second from right) makes a point at the UWI  Forum on BREXIT this morning to (from left) former Jamaica prime minister Bruce  Golding, chair of the CARICOM Review Commission; H.E. David Fitton, British High  Commissioner to Jamaica; Dr Dana Dixon of the Jamaica National Building Society  and Dr Damien King, co-executive director, Caribbean Policy Research Institute.

UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles (second from right) makes a point at the UWI
Forum on BREXIT this morning to (from left) former Jamaica prime minister Bruce
Golding, chair of the CARICOM Review Commission; H.E. David Fitton, British High
Commissioner to Jamaica; Dr Dana Dixon of the Jamaica National Building Society
and Dr Damien King, co-executive director, Caribbean Policy Research Institute.

“We have to put an end to all of this Privy Council manipulation. We need to set up Caribbean indigenous institutions; we must tell the Queen, ‘thank you very much and goodbye’. We have to go to republican status right across the Caribbean. We have to end colonialism. How much longer are we going to linger?

“They push us out, they bring you back, they push us out . . . and you are holding on. It is creating psychological dependency. Free the Caribbean people, end colonialism. End it, let us see our future as belonging to us,” he told the UWI-organized symposium at the Mona Campus in Jamaica.

The Barbadian-born academic warned that the departure of the region’s second largest trade partner from the EU grouping would rattle the region’s economic foundation and possibly lead to new challenges for the most vulnerable.

“This circumstance is going to adversely affect this fragile stability built through hard work and at the cost of the people of the Caribbean, because there is no doubt that the stability that we have achieved to create the foundations of growth has taken place at the expense of the poor. This now threatens the poor again by threatening the stability that our leaders have put in place.

“The trade agreements will have to be renegotiated, the international banking systems are already looking to re-domiciled, investments are being put on hold, all of the projections we have had for growth were predicated on a kind of stability in the world economy that would allow us to plan. We cannot now do this in the short term,” he said.

Against this backdrop, Sir Hilary urged CARICOM leaders to avoid a wait and see approach and to establish a taskforce to thoroughly examine and research all aspects of Caribbean/EU relations.

This, he said, would eliminate the need for regional leaders to take positions on an ad hoc basis, but instead make decisions based on research.

“We have to shift to a new kind of politics, a new kind of diplomacy; fact based, researched driven,” he stressed.

The UWI professor also made a case for the region to abandon its “anaemic response” to the Economic Partnership Agreements and to
adopt “an activist attitude” towards those treaties.

Sir Hilary also recommended strengthening and expanding Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), the grouping of CARICOM states and the Dominican Republic which serves as a base for economic dialogue with the European Union, advising that it could be the doorway to new opportunities in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

He also impressed upon the region the importance of responding to Brexit with “one strong Caribbean voice”.

“Our future is not secured outside of the context of one strong Caribbean Voice,” he warned.

6 Responses to Remove the shackles, suggests Sir Hilary

  1. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne June 30, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Britain just helped wunna.

  2. jrsmith June 30, 2016 at 5:34 am

    I had high regards for (Sir Hilary ) but what is he on , with out the region Barbados has tried 50 years of (Independence ) (Dependency ), most people in Barbados is not so sure when they wake in the mornings, they would have a glass of tap water or be able to catch a bus to work thats if they have a job..

    Most islands in the region is bordering on being broke, we cant even agree to disagree on unity in the simple Cricket Team , the same rubbish with (Caricom) the only things the region agree on, is the so call climate change rubbish because they have no control in this matter ,which is a good political regional excuse for failure to keep the islands varying infrastructures up to date..

    Brexit , has just come on time for Caribbean politicians great mid year excuse, but the people have had enough of the rubbish from our politicians, (Brexit) should be an eye opener for us all and a better way forward not an excuse to cover political failure..

    Barbados and the region politicians and so educated ones, as like (Sir Hilary) continually use the media as they soap boxes, just to remind us all how big are they CVs and want us to accept the fact they want to teach us how to count 1 to 5 when most of us can count 1 to 100..

    As to all of the politicians educated clever people in Barbados and the region, you all are gradually forcing the hand of the people to gather up the strength to say to you all enough is enough of the rubbish you keep inflicting our people . Where is the political strength, where is the financial strength,

    We had sufficient time to prepare our islands for this type of happening , failure ,nobody seems to be that clever enough to have foreseen such a happen , because decade after decade we waited at the cross roads ,with tin cup in hand waiting for hand-outs from the same (United Kingdom ) who has saved our assess decade after decade from starving to death…We just cant get our fingers out to help ourselves , why, why ?????????

    WHY cant we do for ourselves ,what is wrong with us , what are we waiting on. Who are we waiting for…

    Its nice to want us when it suits certain people egos to become a (Republic) or us in the region to become (Republicans). look at the (Republics ) near and far, see how they are fearing, high unemployment , corrupt governments , serious poverty, crime riddle is this what you really want for our Barbados and the region (Mr Hilary)…….

    • Olutoye Walrond June 30, 2016 at 8:30 am

      JR, have you ever researched the word ‘republic’? If so can you tell us what about a republic would cause unemployment, corruption, poverty and crime?

      Can you also tell us whether there is high unemployment, crime and poverty in monarchical in Barbados and other Caribbean countries?

      And what is the level of poverty and crime in republican Singapore?

  3. Bobo June 30, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Ref To comment JRSmith–True words–H Beckles a man outer base black–inner -confuse melage colour.

  4. H.McGregor June 30, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Sir Hilary, will you give up the Knighthood.?

  5. jrsmith June 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    @, Olutoye, hail, hail, you choose (Singapore), I give you (Venezuela ) you could continue through (South America ) and way beyond the horizon..


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