United we stand, divided we fall!!!

The above is an apt description of the current leadership in the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Two recent issues clearly manifested the disunity among the leaders of the English-speaking Caribbean despite their frequent boast of trying to bring about West Indian unity.

Our leaders squandered the opportunity to get a homegrown Caribbean Man to get elected as the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth due to their disunity at the recent Heads of government summit in Malta.

Instead, a British peer Baroness Patricia Scotland, who was put forward by Dominica as its nominee and with support from the Mother Country – England – was handed the prestigious post.

The Caribbean failed to throw their full and total support for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General behind Antigua and Barbuda’s candidate, the Guyanese-born Sir Ronald Sanders.

At one time, the region has three Candidates lining up for the top diplomat post in the Commonwealth with Trinidad & Tobago offering Dr. Bhoendradatt “Bhoe” Tewarie, a former government minister.

The Trinidad nominee only pulled out due to the change of government in Port-of-Spain when his apparent backers – the United National Congress government lost power to the People’s National Movement (PNM) of new Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley.

His withdrawal did not help the cause of Sir Ron as the other leaders in the Caribbean were unable to get their colleague Prime Minister in Dominica, Roosevelt Skerritt to abandon his support for Scotland.

Many persons in the region would not have heard the name Scotland – and if they did – it might have been associated with something unfortunate that had happened in her adopted homeland of England.

Although this British Peer was born in Dominica to a native and an Antiguan father, she is not regarded as a bonafide Caribbean candidate but rather one that is from the so-called Mother Country.

The Caribbean were so disunited on the outing in Malta that it was not able to attract the support of even their brothers and sisters in Africa to land any of the other top posts that were on offer within the Commonwealth of Nations.

This occurred at a time when it was widely felt that the hour had come for a Caribbean candidate to get the nod for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General.

Another clear sign of disunity in the Caribbean is the failure of the sub-regional grouping known as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to select a new Governor for the Eastern Caribbean Central bank (ECCB).

It was known for months that Sir Dwight Venner was bowing out and that a replacement had to be found to put in charge of the bank at the start of December.

The Governor has exited without getting an opportunity to introduce his successor to the staff and giving him a proper and detailed briefing of the affairs of the bank.

The word on the ground is that there is some backbiting taking place among some of the Directors who are mainly Finance Ministers in the member territories.

A committee was set up to search for Venner’s replacement and has reportedly submitted the names of three persons but identified one of them as their choice for the job of ECCB Governor.

This newspaper understands that one Director who is a Prime Minister in a member state is the stumbling block in clearing the way for the well-qualified economist to take up the post.

These are the same regional leaders – who lack unity within their own ranks – and who want to effect change in the leadership of the dying game of cricket in the region.

There might also be a further stumbling block in the “favoured candidate” accepting the post of ECCB Governor.

The person is known to be working for a salary much higher than what Sir Dwight was getting. Why would our leaders expect the individual to accept a salary cut to come and do a job for them?

Finally, THE NEW TODAY wish to make some passing comments on the unfortunate statement made by our Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen on the issue of Chinese assistance to this island.

The remarks as uttered in our Parliament were in very poor taste, offensive to the Grenadian conscience, and lacking in scholarship from someone with such high academic qualification.

It is not too late for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to rise above partisan politics and offer a sincere apology to the nation and move on with the task ahead.

This is no time for NNP vs NDC politicking since the words uttered by Dr. Modeste-Curwen could hurt and damage the Grenadian psyche because many of our people would like to see themselves as needing a helping hand to lift them up to improve their lot in life and not continue to be just beggars.

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