Caribbean Political Economy

Statement on the Guyana-Venzeuela Border Controversy

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Statement by the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General on the Border Controversy between Guyana and Venezuela
PORT OF SPAIN, 21 October 2013On 17 October 2013, the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela, Mr. Norman Girvan, had very productive separate meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Venezuela. The Ministers emphasized the excellent bilateral relations that currently exist between the two States.
In recalling the progress made under the Good Offices process in the recent past, the Ministers welcome the Personal Representative’s initiative to suggest a series of further steps to address the border controversy. These steps could include a schedule of meetings to move the process forward over the coming months.

The Personal Representative notes with appreciation the expression of confidence by both Ministers in the Good Offices process under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General. He looks forward to providing the Ministers with suggestions in the coming weeks, and discussing them with each of the Foreign Ministers in the near future.

United Nations Information Agency, 21/10/2013

Constructing the Greater Caribbean (SALISES Keynote Address)

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Exploring the on-going project of constructing the Caribbean through the optic of the opposing forces of empire and resistance; and concluding with the idea of a Caribbean cultural community .

Click here for text of the address

Reinventing the CSME

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The CSME has been a failure because it is a borrowed model of integration known as Open Regionalism, which is an imperfectly designed instrument to boost the development of Caricom economies.


!804CaribVoices Weekly, 1-34

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PARCOE: response on reparations

We wish to clarify that we have not advocated that governments should not be involved in the cause to secure and effect reparations, we simply highlighted some concerns of what we referred to as a “top down” approach and so wish to provide further insight as to how we suggest the CARICOM reparations endeavours can be strengthened..

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Culture, Food and Identity (2)Mervyn ClaxtonFood aid from the North, which often takes the form of foods that cannot be grown locally in the tropical climate of countries in the South, has helped promote the view among peoples of the South that traditional foods like cassava, yam, quinoa and other staple foods are for poor people. That view is not unrelated to the fact that the importance of such traditional foods, relative to cereals grown in the North, has decreased worldwide.Read this article

Santa Rosa International First Peoples Conference 2013

Since the arrival of the European colonizers and subsequent peoples from various countries and continents, the cultural heritage of the First Peoples has undergone catastrophic changes. Over the last five hundred years, the First Peoples’ Nations across the Caribbean have met with immeasurable hardships and much of their cultural heritage is on the verge of extinction.

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Jamaica logistics hub – a high level course

Barry Wade

The Government has designed and is now offering a high level course in how not to go about establishing a logistics hub in Jamaica.  The course is intended for all citizens, but really only those who can think and act logically which, they suppose, rules out most Jamaicans like those who can’t read or reason out things for themselves, or environmentalists (tree huggers?), environmental scientists (the professionals), or fisherfolk, or camp followers of no political party, or anybody else for that matter.

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T&T: Why proportional representation?Constitution Reform ForumThe Constitution Reform Forum of Trinidad and Tobago views with great concern the announcement made by the Prime Minister that government will be bringing a bill to Parliament to amend the Municipal Corporations Act in order to introduce a system of proportional representation for the appointment of aldermen.

Experts reject proposed site for Chinese Logistics Hub in Jamaica“The entire Portland Bight Protected Area (including the Goat Islands) is totally unsuitable for the proposed Chinese logistics hub. If Jamaica needs this project, Jamaica needs to find a different site.”Read this article
What you should know about Syria: 13 questions answered
William Polk America will likely find itself saddled with another long-term, very expensive and perhaps unwinnable war.   We need to remind ourselves what Afghanistan did – bankrupting the Soviet Union  – and what Iraq cost … about 4,500 American dead, over 100,000 wounded, many of whom will never recover, and perhaps $6 trillion.Can we afford to repeat those mistakes?

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12 Ward Street, Tunapuna, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean
Copyright © 2013 1804CaribVoices, All rights reserved.

1804 CaribVoices Weekly 1-33

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Artists and Intellectuals against attack on Syria

The Network of Artists and Intellectuals In Defense of Humanity is soliciting support for their statement condemning the imminent attack on Syria by Western forces. To support the statement send an email to with your name, email address, country, and title or occupation.

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Culture, Food and Identity (1)Mervyn ClaxtonMost civilizations have developed around the cultivation of one staple food crop, which is almost invariably endowed with religious significance, the origin of which is usually shrouded in myth. In most cultures also, people often do not feel satisfied if their principal meal does not involve a product of the traditional staple food.Read this article

Reflections on 50 Years Since the March on Washington 

Isaac Saney

The 50th anniversary of the March On Washington is a time for serious contemplation on Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. The pervasive and dominant narrative freezes in place King’s politics and philosophy, transfixing his thinking to August 28 1963. The subsequent development of his views on capitalism and imperialism are ignored.

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Obama and SyriaMark WeisbrotWar advocate Edward Luttwak described in the New York Times what is very likely official policy:  bleed both sides indefinitely, and then maybe pick up the pieces when there is not much left of either.  This makes “sense” from a ruthless, imperial point of view, since the strategic objective for years has been to weaken Assad, but now that Al-Qaida-type forces are the bulk of the military opposition, their victory is not very appealing.

Cancellation of Queen Ifrica’s Performance J-FLAGOn August 7, 2013, the organisation expressed its “profound disappointment” regarding Queen Ifrica’s remarks at the family oriented event.  J-FLAG also used the opportunity to encourage artistes to be more responsible in their public pronouncements and use of their art whilst exercising their freedom of speechRead this article
12 Ward Street, Tunapuna, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean
Copyright © 2013 1804CaribVoices, All rights reserved.








1804CaribVoices Weekly 1-32

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1804 caribvoices newsletter logoVol. 1 No. 32, 2013

Welcome to 1804CaribVoices Weekly


Political Treachery in BarbadosDavid Comissiong
By foisting the payment of tuition fees on the backs of the 7,000 odd mainly working-class young Barbadians who attend the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) governmental administration has committed an horrific act of political treachery against the people and nation of Barbados.Read this article
Traditional Culture and Modern Governance
Mervyn ClaxtonCaricom can draw very useful lessons from the experience of their two principal ancestral cultures on how to improve governance in individual countries of the region. One such lesson is the importance of political inclusiveness, which, ideally, should complement economic development.Read this article

Over three million patients benefit from Operation Milagro

Osviel Castro Medel

More than three million patients across the world, especially in Latin America, have benefited from the Operation Milagro created on July 8, 2004 by Commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

Venezuelan Gabriela Soler, national coordinator of this program, which has restored the sight to so many people for free, noted that these figures are due to the quick increase after the initiative was given a new official thrust last June.

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Britain opposed 1983 Grenada invasionNelson A. KingNational Archives indicate that then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and United States president Ronald Reagan were at odds over the plans to invade the Caribbean island.Read this article
Thought Decolonisation and National Culture in VenezuelaRyan Mallett-OuttrimAfter seven years of planning and public consultation, Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN) has passed a new law aimed to promote Venezuelan culture.Read this article
ALBAmed for cheaper medicineRealCuba’s BlogOpening the door for Cuba’s pharmaceutical and medical industry to a common market of 70 million people with a GDP of $636 billion, the members of the ALBA bloc officially announced the launch of ALBAmed, a multinational body that includes a regulatory institution and a central registry for pharmaceutical and medical products.

12 Ward Street, Tunapuna, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean
Copyright © 2013 1804CaribVoices, All rights reserved.

English versions of essays in El Caribe

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English versions of Essays in El Caribe: Dependencia, Integración y Soberanía by Norman Girvan (Santiago de Cuba: Casa del Caribe/Editorial Oriente, 2012)

  1. Reinterpreting the Caribbean at
  2. Caribbean Dependency Thought Revisited,
  3. Plantation Economy in the Age of Globalization.
  4. Caribbean Integration and ‘Global Europe’: Implications of the EPA for the CSME
  5. Is ALBA a New Model of Integration? Reflections on the CARICOM experience.
  6. CARICOM’s Elusive Quest for Economic Integration. :
  7. Existential Threats in the Caribbean: CLR James Memorial Lecture 2011
  8. Reflections on armed violence and development in the Caribbean.


Integration for true independence, Tania Garcia

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Commentary on El Caribe: dependencia, integración y soberanía by Norman Girvan, International Book Fair, Havana, February 17, 2013.

This book is an important contribution to the formation and renovation of alternative thought in Latin America and the Caribbean; a necessity for action at decisive moments in the struggle for the independence and sovereignty of our nations…

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Versión en Español


Book review: Breaking with Eurocentric Approaches, Silvio Baró

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He is credited with having extended the theory of plantation economy originally developed by Best and Levitt Polanyi, by introducing the analysis of the pernicious role of transnational corporations in the exploitation and plundering of the natural resources of underdeveloped economies and obstructing their efforts at economic development.

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Does Caribbean economic integration have a future? (Video), Norman Girvan

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Does Caribbean integration have a future? Whichever configuration of the Caribbean we talk about, an economically integrated region seems to be remote. The only areas of relatively successful regional integration are functional cooperation; intra-Caribbean migration, and cultural intercourse.

 Click here   for video of address and discussion


Aid Dependency and the ‘Begging Bowl’, Norman Girvan

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The EU decision to apply ‘Differentiation’ in its aid programme has caused consternation in the Caribbean. But could this be a blessing in disguise?




Debating Cuba-Caribbean, Esteban Morales, Norman Girvan

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Do Cubans see themselves as part of a Caribbean family? Are there historical, social and cultural reasons for a ‘Caribbean Cuba’ and how does the Caribbean appear in the Cuban imaginary? How is this conditioned by attitudes to race in Cuban society? A conversation taking place within Cuba and between Cuban and Anglo-Caribbean scholars…

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El Caribe: Dependencia presented at the Havana Book Fair

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My book in Spanish, El Caribe: dependencia, integración y soberanía was recently presented at the International Book Fair in Havana. Here is a report of the presentation and panel discussion and the comments of one reviewer, in English and in Spanish.

Report on Girvan book launch (English)

Review by Silvio Baró (English)

Informe (Español)

Comentario Silvio Baró (Español)

Colonialism and Neo-colonialism in the Caribbean: An Overview, Norman Girvan

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Prepared For IV International Seminar Africa, The Caribbean And Latin America, St. Vincent And The Grenadines, 24th- 26th November, 2012.

The contemporary Caribbean is one of the most politically fragmented regions for its size on earth; and one with the strongest remaining colonial presence… (but) slowly but surely, a pan-Caribbean consciousness is emerging, led by the vision of cultural practitioners; and containing the seeds of a future Caribbean nation….

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1804CaribVoices – Pan Caribbean Voices for Integration and Social Justice

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On January 1, 2013—209th anniversary of Haiti’s Declaration of Independence and 54th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution–1804CaribVoices went online. Inspired by the freedom struggles of Caribbean people through the centuries; 1804CaribVoices will aim to give expression to the myriad voices calling for a united and sovereign Caribbean with social justice, responsible governance and sustainable living. It invites participation from across the Pan-Caribbean space—the islands and adjacent mainland communities—to disseminate critical analyses and to facilitate collaborative activity among organisations and individuals sharing these objectives. Its aim is to fertilise the further development of a collective Caribbean consciousness; rooted in our rich history of resistance and creativity; transcending regional differences of language, ethnicity and political status; and supporting the emergence of a united community of Caribbean nations charting its way in the world. Visit the new web forum at

1804CaribVoices is a joint initiative of – Caribbean Political Economy – and of the Caribbean Movement for Civic Empowerment, an organisation formed in 2011 by a group of young academics and social activists at the St Augustine (Trinidad) Campus of the University of the West Indies. will now publish the majority of its new blogposts in Caribbean Political Economy at; and will make available to the latter its extensive list of contacts, collaborators and contributors. will continue to operate as the personal blog of the publisher and in order to make accessible to the public its previously accumulated stock of online materials.

I thank readers of for their support and encouragement over the past six years and invite you to support this new initiative by registering for updates and sending us your critical analyses, commentaries and information.


January 2, 2013.


Fifty Years of Jamaican Independence: A Manley Perspective, Rachel Manley

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A granddaughter recalls the personal and political tragedy of the collapse of the West Indies  Federation and makes a poetic call for renewal of the dream.

I believe a generation will emerge again who will set aside island machismo or personal ambition, putting our region’s fate ahead of our sole selves. Over the years I have held onto this dream, and I believe we will return to federation one day…

Read Manley perspective



Quo Vadis, Caricom? Kenny Anthony

The current chairman of Caricom, Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony of St Lucia, has added his voice to those calling for breathing new life into an institution  widely perceived to be comatose. In a recent speech in Barbados, he is saying that the region is facing its greatest crisis since Independence and that its  institutions have not kept up with the times. But where is the action plan? Who will lead it?

Click for Dr Anthony’s speech

Homophobia Fi Dead! Anthony Morgan

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The recent ugly incident of anti-gay violence at the University of Technology in Jamaica has highlighted the need, in the words of Anthony Morgan,  for Caribbean people ” to raise our voices, joining with Jamaicans on the ground and in the diaspora, unifying us in an undeterred stance for full equality and justice for all.”

Read Homophobia Fi Dead from Stabroek News, In the Diaspora

Why everyone enjoys West Indies’ win, Harsha Bhogle

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Because they rarely sledge or harbour rancorous feelings towards the opposition

Something very unusual and heart-warming happened in the moments following West Indies’ win in the World Twenty20 final in Colombo. The players celebrated like no one else I have seen, but across the world, in countries that played cricket and those that merely followed it, there was an outpouring of joy. It does not happen in sport…


Significance of Hugo Chavez’s victory

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Hugo Chavez’s re-election to a third consecutive term is not only unsurprising, given his government’s pro-poor policies, but consistent with the South American trend  of re-electing presidents opposed to neoliberal  policies and to Washington’s dictates.

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