Go Lean Commentary
Question: “Where does an 800-pound gorilla sleep? Answer: Anywhere he wants!”
The United States of America is the “800-pound gorilla” or the BIG DOG of the Western Hemisphere; (in fact, the US is the last Super Power in the world).
- There are two US Territories in our Caribbean: Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
- The US is the Number 1 Single Market economy in the world
- The US is the Number 1 military (in terms of troop size, armament and defense spending).
- The US is also the Number 1 destination for the Caribbean Diaspora.
We cannot avoid the influence of the American system – Americana – on our Caribbean region…
“Resistance is futile!”
As the 800-pound gorilla, the US can “sleep wherever it wants” and take whatever it wants. They can … and do. Despite the appearance of benevolence and the “rule of law”, the US does at times emerge as a “Bad Actor”. They may at times use their influence and domination of the hemisphere to effectuate policies not always in the Caribbean’s best interest. The influence of Americana affects different aspects of Caribbean society; it affects our …
- Economics – with the domination of US dollar
- Security dynamics – with the reality of Pax Americana
- Governance – the President of the US is considered the Leader of the Free World.
This theme aligns with the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean, where the assertion is that while America is dominant in the hemisphere, we must fight-resist to not be parasites of this BIG DOG American host; rather we must strive to be protégés. The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). As a protégé, our quest is not to be America; our goal is to be better!
First we start by recognizing our status quo-disposition and then to recognize American motivation and influences. This – completing our assessment – is an important first step in reforming and transforming our regional society. This is commentary 5 of 5 from the movement behind the Go Lean book on the subject of the State of the Caribbean Union. Our dire disposition has been assessed in the Go Lean book and many technocratic solutions provided there-in. The full entries of all the blog-commentaries in this series is as follows:
- State of the Caribbean Union – Lacking Hope and Change
- State of the Caribbean Union – Dysfunctional Spanish Caribbean
- State of the Caribbean Union – Deficient Westminster States
- State of the Caribbean Union – Unstable Volcano States
- State of the Caribbean Union – Self-Interest of Americana
The Caribbean has a universal problem with every member-state throughout the region; there is a propensity for our people – especially the youth – to leave the Caribbean homeland; they abandon their ancestral countries and flee to foreign shores; the Number 1 destination is the US. As related in the first submission in this blog-commentary series, the young people in the region need the vision of “something better” or Hope and Change in order to be inspired to participate in the future of their homeland. We cannot have a future without these young people, so these solutions – strategies, tactics and implementations – are not optional.
These commentaries draw reference to the Go Lean book, as it details the quest to transform the Caribbean; it features a how-to guide and roadmap for elevating the region to be an American protégé rather than a parasite; so as to optimize our societal engines for economics, security and governance. But there are stakeholders in the Caribbean that would like to be more independent and agnostic of the American influence – consider the current Venezuela crisis and the response of the St. Vincent Prime Minister wanting full autonomy separate from the US. This is wishful … and ignorant of history – “those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This was the case of …
Despite the passage of time, the US will not compromise on being the only BIG DOG-Alpha Male in this hemisphere. This is referred to as the Monroe Doctrine. See more here:
Reference Title – Monroe Doctrine
The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in The Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.
President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The term “Monroe Doctrine” itself was coined in 1850. By the end of the 19th century, Monroe’s declaration was seen as a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets. It would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. The intent and impact of the Monroe Doctrine persisted with only minor variations for more than a century. Its stated objective was to free the newly independent colonies of Latin America from European intervention and avoid situations which could make the New World a battleground for the Old World powers, so that the U.S. could exert its own influence undisturbed. The doctrine asserted that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, for they were composed of entirely separate and independent nations.
After 1898, Latin American lawyers and intellectuals reinterpreted the Monroe doctrine in terms of multilateralism and non-intervention. In 1933, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. went along with the new reinterpretation, especially in terms of the Organization of American States.
Source: Retrieved July 19, 2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine
Reference Title – Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (Spanish: Organización de los Estados Americanos, Portuguese: Organização dos Estados Americanos, French: Organisation des États américains), or the OAS or OEA, is a continental organization founded on 30 April 1948, for the purposes of regional solidarity and cooperation among its member states. Headquartered in the US Capital of] Washington, D.C., the OAS’s members are the 35 independent states of the Americas.
The member-states are as follows:
Antigua Argentina Bahamas Barbados Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba (Suspended) Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru St. Kitts St. Lucia St. Vincent Suriname Trinidad United States Uruguay Venezuela (Withdrew)
Source: Retrieved July 19, 2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_American_States
As depicted in the foregoing, the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well. Today, it is expressed through the American tutelage for the modern expression of multilateralism with the “Organization of the American States” (OAS). Since the purpose of the OAS is regional solidarity and cooperation, it automatically assumes a defensive posture. There is no active cross-border war in the Americas at this time; (there was only a Civil War / Domestic Terrorism campaign in Colombia). The US is using its BIG DOG status to force international peace in this hemisphere. This exercise of the American security mandates is casually referred to as “Pax Americana”.
But, the reality of living in the shadows of America means that we have to be aware of American self-interest and what it means to our hemispheric community – Resistance is Futile. Scanning the landscape of the region’s economic, security and governing engines, we see these obvious expressions of American self-interest … conveyed in previous blog-commentaries:
According to the Go Lean book, the CU is designed to be a technocratic intergovernmental entity that shepherds the Caribbean region’s economic interest. As the “800-pound gorilla” in the hemisphere, the evidence of American self-interest cannot be ignored. Notice the samples-examples in these scenarios:
- Jones Act – Law designed to ensure profits for American shipping interests
- Concussions in Sports – Ignored because of the BIG money interest
- Abusing the Poor trying to get an education – Lower Ed!
- Abusing Sick people in need of medical care – Book Review: An American Sickness
- Caribbean currency standard based on US dollar – so we get punished for Americas mistakes
- Crony-Capitalism with Drug Patents
- Unrealistic High Cost of Cancer Drugs – Despite Cuba’s cheaper deliveries.
- A Lesson in History – Panama tried to move away from US Dollars to their own Balboa Currency – FAIL!
- For-profit Educational Institutions: Plenty of Profit; Little Education
- Education Textbook Pricing-gouging
- Companies move Operations Overseas to Lower Payroll
Depending on Pax Americana means ignoring many security best practices in the region. The US works to ensure security on their homeland, while ignoring the Caribbean. See how this thesis is presented in these sample blog-commentaries here:
- Managing the Strong Versus the Weak – A Series
- American Meteorologists Ignoring Climate Change
- Sum of All Fears – America’s Enemies targeting the Caribbean
- Military Industrial Complex – Big Defense: Peace is bad for business
- Corrupting a Good Idea for Red Light Traffic cameras
- Prison Industrial Complex – Prisoners for Profit
- Depending on the US for Caribbean Security – FAIL!
There are a lot of expressions of American governance that is evident that American self-interest overrides common sense and the Greater Good. Consider these samples-examples:
- The US President ignoring the Climate Change Abatement needs of the Caribbean – Leader of the Free World? FAIL!
- American Charities fleecing Caribbean causes – Waiting for the American Red Cross’s $500 million collected. FAIL!
- Corrupted governance at the State/Municipal level
- Corporate Welfare that Builds Private Stadiums at Public Expense
- ‘Merchants of Doubt’ Undermining Climate Change Reform
- Big Salt: Short-term Benefit; Long-term Damage
- Health-care fraud in America; criminals take $272 billion a year
- Conservative heavyweights have solar industry in their sights to undermine
- US Territory Puerto Rico had to file bankruptcy for relief.
- The Divide – ‘American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap’
The movement behind the Go Lean book wants to help reform and transform the Caribbean. But we recognize that there will be no chance for success in the Caribbean region if our efforts go against American economic/security/foreign-policy interest.
The Go Lean/CU roadmap employs a tactic of a “Separation-of-Powers between CU federal agencies and Caribbean member-state governments”; so the limitations of national laws in a member-state does not have to override the CU. The CU constitution would apply to the installation of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and Self-Governing Entities (SGE) that operate in controlled bordered territories like campuses, industrial parks, research labs and industrial plants. Lastly, there is the power of “peer pressure” where progress by one Caribbean state would incline others to follow suit. In total, the Go Lean/CU roadmap will employ strategies, tactics and implementations to impact its prime directives; identified with the following 3 statements:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security-disaster apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.
The Go Lean roadmap seeks to prepare the Caribbean region to be a protégé of Americana, not a parasite. While this is easier said than done, it is conceivable, believable and achievable. This quest, optimizing the entire Caribbean economic/security/governance eco-system, was the motivation of the Go Lean movement. This vision is defined early in the book (Page 12) in the following pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence:
x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety. …
xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.
xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.
The Go Lean book posits that dysfunctional Caribbean communities can be reformed and transformed if they adopt the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies as depicted in the Go Lean roadmap. The book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” so as to turnaround the societal engines of Caribbean society. For one, the recommendation is to reform and transform Caribbean foreign-policy – i.e. 10 Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up on Page 102 of the book. – from parasite to protégé.
The Caribbean can succeed in our efforts to improve our dependence of Americana. Consider this sample of previous blog-commentaries that delve into aspects of transforming the Caribbean region to a protégé status, away from a parasite status:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11759||Understand the Market, Plan the … Change|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10216||Waging A Successful War Against Societal Defects – A Series|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10043||Integration Plan for Greater Caribbean Prosperity|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9595||Vision and Values for a ‘New’ Caribbean|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7646||Going from ‘Good to Great’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7628||‘A Change Is Gonna Come’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6993||Forging Change: ‘Something to Lose’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1596||Transforming to where we can ‘Prosper where Planted’|
This commentary completes the 5-part series on the subject of the State of the Caribbean Union, (notwithstanding future sequels). Our region is really hurting! We are near-Failed-State status now. Our societal defects abound, whether we are among the big islands (Cuba, D.R. and/or P.R.) with the big populations, or whether we are among the small volcano islands, waiting for the next eruption. All in all, the Caribbean status quo is not successful and what little societal cohesion we have cannot be sustained, alone … for long. We must act now and seek refuge, but that refuge is not Americana, as our Caribbean interest is not American interest. 🙁
The reality of Americana is that “there will always be winners and losers” … in their society.
This sounds so familiar! This was the lyrics of the Rock-n-Roll song – Pink Houses – by John Cougar Mellancamp, where he scorched the hypocrisy of the American eco-system – see VIDEO and Song Lyrics in the Appendices below; with this sample here:
And there’s winners and there’s losers
But they ain’t no big deal
‘Cause the simple man, baby
Pays for thrills
The bills the pills that kill
American self-interest dictates making the winners from some American special interest groups, at the expense of the Greater Good. It is hard for the winners to be foreigners, or the Black-and-Brown of the Caribbean. No, the American “game is rigged”; the winners represent the Crony-Capitalists in American society. In the Caribbean, we can … and must do better. We urge all Caribbean stakeholders – governments, citizens, residents and Diaspora – and all those who love the Caribbean region to lean-in to this vision described within this Go Lean roadmap.
The vision for a new Caribbean is one that is not a parasite of the US; but rather a protégé!
Yes, we can … stand tall and make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.
Appendix VIDEO – John Mellencamp – Pink Houses – https://youtu.be/qOfkpu6749w
Published on Oct 5, 2009 – Music video by John Mellencamp performing Pink Houses. (C) 1983 John Mellencamp under exclusive license to the Island Def Jam Music Group.
- Category: Music
- License: Standard YouTube License
Appendix – John Mellencamp – “Pink Houses” Lyrics
There’s a black man with a black cat
Livin’ in a black neighborhood
He’s got an interstate
Runnin’ through his front yard
You know he thinks that he’s got it so good
And there’s a woman in the kitchen
Cleanin’ up the evenin’ slop
And he looks at her and says, hey darlin’
I can remember when you could stop a clock
Oh, but ain’t that America
For you and me
Ain’t that America
Something to see, baby
Ain’t that America
Home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses
For you and me
For you and me
Well, there’s a young man in a t-shirt
Listenin’ to a rockin’ rollin’ station
He’s got greasy hair, greasy smile
He says, Lord this must be my destination
‘Cause they told me when I was younger
Said boy, you’re gonna be president
But just like everything else
Those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went
Well, there’s people and more people
What do they know, know, know
Go to work in some high rise
And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico
And there’s winners and there’s losers
But they ain’t no big deal
‘Cause the simple man, baby
Pays for thrills
The bills the pills that kill
Source: Retrieved July 19, 2019 from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnmellencamp/pinkhouses.html