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Saint Lucia

Mia Mottley: A Breath of Fresh Air to CARICOM and the Caribbean at Large

“If our leaders’ interests are truly focused on human resources and their development, coming together and strengthening our presence on the international stage, this is what will put the Caribbean in a position of respect and real independence.”

Image of Mia Mortley
Mia Mortley

THE Caribbean, for whatever reason, has not been able to develop its own balls to come together and realize that there’s strength in numbers. This is something the islands’ schools all teach kids to do; “Come Together”, “The Power of Collaboration”, “No Man is an Island”, and the list goes on and on and on, in the name of brotherhood and island hood. Suffice it to say, that the Bajans victory came through the poles when the Mortley entrance came to life. She, Mia, went straight for the jugular with a strong and firm message that small island states must see the value in genuine collaboration for a sustainable and successful Caribbean. That message to me, is one of hope, resilience and intellectual prowess. I mean students of Sociology and Economics in particular, together with a few blind men can see how coming together, especially with scarce resources, is where optimal success resides.

Gone are the days when Barbados saw themselves as Little England with the privilege of having tea under the scorching Caribbean sun, when Trinidad thought the straight hair phenomenon and the oil that seeped from their soil made them invincible and when Jamaica thrived on the “Irie Mon” mantra and used the Bob Marley legacy as an introduction for every handout. Today is a different day! The present has gifted all of us with its collaborative and unbiased climate change threats and its mixing pot of terrorists recruitment as close as Trinidad.

So when I listened to one of the smallest Caribbean Island representatives in the name of St Kitts, speaking like it’s only St Kitts’ interests he is concerned about, with disregard and to the detriment of his other island sisters and brothers, I wondered if that wasn’t part of the Signs of the Times, when men shall be lovers of themselves, greedy and narcissistic in their actions, because the last time I checked, the Bahamas didn’t see that level of devastation coming in, riding at bull speed, in the name of Dorian. It is therefore a sad day when shallow men speak of standing alone just to protect 104 square miles.

You see, our problems and failures in the Caribbean have always been our inability to put our heads and resources together to create an incomparable and impenetrable bond for our children and our children’s children, which in turn will solidify our Caribbean legacy once and for all.

Mia has the right approach, the right formula and the right mindset. And if her Caribbean counterparts adopt this approach, they will develop a force to be reckoned with and may even defy the winds of climate change, pun intended. Mia understands that after seeing the downward spiral of corruption, bad investments and recurring mistakes, that no one island has it all. That no one island’s currency is strong and mighty. As a matter of fact, the currencies of a few of the big guns in the Caribbean, cannot even be located on the foreign exchange display boards anymore, who will remain nameless. She understands the changing narrative of this new decade; the new threats and what’s needed to harness and realize new opportunities.

If our leaders’ interests are truly focused on human resources and their development, coming together and strengthening our presence on the international stage, this is what will put the Caribbean in a position of respect and real independence. If we continue to be divided, accept envelopes underneath tables, throw our brothers and sisters under the bus for a few roads and bridges, then I’m afraid, to quote an unknown person, slavery will come back in the form of investments.

Mia at the helm of CARICOM is the beginning of change! If we rally around her and grab the last chance at Sustainable Development and Caribbean success, the world will watch and weep with envy. Be brave, be bold and realize Caribbean Unity!

— Little Black Girl

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