Caribbean Political Economy

Is Caricom at Risk? Norman Girvan


Prime Minister Bruce Golding of Jamaica is reported as having expressed concern about ‘a number of things’ that are ‘destabilising and threatening the existence of Caricom’. In particular he believes that the political integration being pursued by Trinidad and a number of countries in the Eastern Caribbean may be ‘commendable’, but is ‘to the detriment to the deepening and strengthening of Caricom’ (Jamaica Observer June 10, 2009). The Prime Minister is also concerned that membership of ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas), ‘which now engages three Caricom countries, is going to have a destabilising effect on Caricom’.
I have to say that when the Trinidad-Eastern Caribbean integration initiative was launched back in 2008, I was of the same view as Prime Minister Golding. Since then I have experienced a 180-degree about turn in my thinking…

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Port of Spain Declaration or Port of Spain Debacle? Norman Girvan

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The Vth Summit of the Americas is now history. The Summit ended without the signing of the contentious Declaration that several countries had indicated contained unacceptable omissions and inclusions.Having the Declaration signed by the Summit Chairman, Prime Minister Manning of Trinidad and Tobago, was evidently a face-saving compromise to the stand-off over the Declaration’s failure to call for the lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba and for Cuba’s re-admission to the Organisation of American states.

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Haga click para , ¿Declaración de Puerto España o debacle de Puerto España?

See also A Critical Analysis of the Port of Spain Declaration of Commitment, by Mervyn Claxton

ALBA Document For the Vth Summit of the Americas

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Cumaná, Venezuela, April 17, 2009

The heads of state and governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, member countries of ALBA, consider that the proposed Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:

– It offers no answers to the issue of the Global Economic Crisis, despite the fact that this constitutes the largest challenge faced by humanity in decades and the most serious threat in the current epoch to the wellbeing of our peoples.

– Unjustifiably excludes Cuba in a criminal manner, without mentioning the general consensus that exists in the region in favour of condemning the blockade and the isolation attempts, which its people and government have incessantly objected to.

For these reasons, the member countries of ALBA consider that consensus does not exist in favour of adopting this proposed declaration and in light of the above; we propose to have a thoroughgoing debate over the following issues:

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ALBA, Petrocaribe and Caricom, Norman Girvan

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Issues in a New Dynamic (30/05/08)

The emergence of Venezuelan-promoted ALBA and Petrocaribe and their growing relations with several Caricom countries is a significant recent development in regional affairs; with Petrocaribe now the largest source of concessional lending to Caribbean oil-importing countries. This paper examines the trade, financial and social cooperation programmes of ALBA and concludes that participation in ALBA is not incompatible with membership of Caricom. It also addresses broader strategic issues including diversification of Caricom’s international economic relations; opportunities for mutually advantageous forms of South-South cooperation; and the scope,   for a coordinated trade policy by Caricom…

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Related articles

Jamaica’s $1.2B benefit from Petrocaribe–Official

Petrocaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement

Proposed change to PetroCaribe pact has Caribbean worried

PetroCaribe: A model of cooperation – Golding June 14 2009

COHA Analysis of Ecuador’s Adherence to ALBA June 7 2009

Just at a time that analysts were crossing out Hugo Chávez as a ranking regional player, with the days ago adhesion of Ecuador to the Venezuela-inspired organization, he has managed to propel a new spurt of momentum to the Caracas grouping and its now seven fellow-members (Bolivia, St. Vincent, Dominica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba). Up to now, Washington has tended to breezily dismiss ALBA as a bizarre, if whimsical ideological caprice on Chávez’s part, in want of an agenda and serious purpose. While ALBA still has to make some practical progress in terms of currency reform, expansion of trade, unified regional actions, and promotion of social progress that express acts of solidarity, and developing as an ancillary IDB type body, ALBA can by no means be considered a lightweight.

Movimientos Sociales con el ALBA (Social Movements with ALBA) News & Information

The Dynamic Debut of Raul Castro: Storm-Battered, Oil-Rich Cuba COHA,   4/11/08

UNASUR and the South American Defense Council Alex Sanchez, COHA 1/10/08

The View from Europe: Petrocaribe David Jessop, BBC Caribbean 1/08/08

The Chavez Effect: Caribbean Life Belt Sir Ronald Sanders, BBC Caribbean, 27/07/08

A lack of coherence Stabroek News 24/07/08

Nicaragua’s Illegitimate Debt to Venezuela? Alejandro Bendana. Follow the link and scroll down to the posting in English

Is the Monroe Doctrine Really Dead? And what will the Obama Doctrine be Like? Greg Grandin

The debate over Dominica and ALBA

Petrocaribe: A win for Venezuelan Foreign Policy COHA

South American Allies Advance Integration Venezuelanalyis

Latin American and Caribbean Unity Noam Chomsky

Petrocaribe $160 M Support for Jamaican Renewable Energy Projects

Dominica and ALBA, Norman Girvan


Dominica’s announced decision to sign on to ALBA—the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas—has been the subject of some media comment because of its supposed undermining of Caricom. However, this is by no means the first time that a Caricom member state has acted in a way that might be at variance with its regional commitments and responsibilities….


ALBA seen as avenue to economic aid for small Caricom states -Prof Vaughan Lewis, (Stabroek News, Sunday February 3, 2008)

The ALBA advances, by Eduardo Dimas (progreso weekly, January 31 – February 5, 2008)

CARICOM and ALBA (Stabroek News Editorial, February 17, 2008)

There is no basis for concluding a priori that Dominica’s action of ALBA is inconsistent with its membership of CARICOM (Norman Girvan, Stabroek News, February 19, 2008)

Is ALBA more than a storm in a teacup? (Peter Richards, 4/03/08)

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