Not me and the monarchy

Prime Minister Dr Rowley. File photo/Ayanna Kinsale
Prime Minister Dr Rowley. File photo/Ayanna Kinsale

THE EDITOR: I am an unrepentant Caribbean man. I am now 90 years of age, still an active agent for Caribbean unity. I do not think TT could enjoy a better diamond jubilee present than the recent gathering of Caribbean leaders, inclusive of Haiti, Suriname, the Virgin Islands, etc – the commitment and decisions they made on the various problems confronting the region, the comradery displayed towards each other and their commitment to work together in the interest of the region.

Even at this advanced age, witnessing the coming together in TT of Caribbean leaders brought not only joy and happiness to me, but brought back memories of the historical eras of the 1930s to the early 1960s when patriotic, then colonial, subjects anxiously looked forward to the Federation as we supported our now almost forgotten Caribbean leaders in their struggle for freedom and liberty.

The pioneers – Norman Manley, Sir Grantley Adams, Bradshaw, Compton, Forbes Burnham, Cheddi Jagan, Bramble, Marryshow, Gairy, Joshua, Eugenia Charles, Cato and from Trinidad Cipriani, Butler, Gomes and Williams – whatever their faults and mistakes, they were all committed to regional unity. All this fell apart in four short years, 1958-1962. All our dreams and hopes for the West Indian nation disappeared as insularity prevailed over West Indian unity.

Now almost 60 years later, while there is no expectation for a resurrection of those historical dreams and hopes for a regional government, it is still good to see our Caribbean leaders – and hopefully our Caribbean people – recognising the realities of the problems confronting the region and coming together to put their collective wisdom and experience at the disposal of the region.

What better gift could TT receive on our diamond jubilee during a period when the super powers are inching closer and closer to destruction of the species? The world has never been closer to this undesirable catastrophe.

The great US, in the words of its historical society, “is tethering, getting closer and closer to civil war.” Great Britain, once the bastion of democracy, continues to pay a heavy price for its disconnection with the European Union. Russia continues to pay a heavy price for Vladimir Putin’s personal ambition to re-establish the USSR empire. China’s ambition to establish its supremacy in the Far East region, the USA’s provocative relations with Taiwan and Hong Kong, all add up to unpredictable dangerous uncertainties.

All this threatens the destruction of the planet as never before. Hence as a Caribbean man I am finding some measure of comfort as our region once again has recognised that, as small as we may be, as insignificant as we are sometimes viewed, we can now come to terms with the unquestionable fact that our over-dependency on imported goods and services and an insular approach to our problems will not be in the best interest of the region. Like Finland’s and Sweden’s recent decision to join NATO, we too must act in the best interest of the region.

I thank and congratulate our Prime Minister and all those responsible for the rejuvenation of this illusive Caribbean dream, and anxiously look forward to further integration and swift and decisive implementation of decisions. I have no doubt we are on the right side of history.

Happy diamond anniversary! Let’s however, in spite of our current problems, not forget where we were in 1962, compared to where we are today. Having lived my first 30 years under colonial rule and the next 60 years under independence, I can say that the good thing about long time is that it is gone. In the words of a famous calypsonian, “Not me and the monarchy.”


Diego Martin


"Not me and the monarchy"

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