Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Freedom of Movement

Go Lean Commentary

I have a personal confession!

At one point, recently, I had a California address, Michigan Drivers License and Florida car registration; all at the same time. This is demonstrative of a country – United States of America – where stakeholders have ‘Freedom of Movement’. This is a feature of a Single Market.

Live here … work there … play everywhere …

There are planners for a new Caribbean that wants a Single Market economy, where citizens have ‘Freedom of Movement’ from one member-state to another. This would be part-and-parcel of a “Pluralistic Democracy”, which means a society where the many different ethnic groups (or national origins) have respect, equal rights, equal privileges and equal protections under the law; where there are no superior rights to any majority and no special deprivations to any minority, despite the border or language consideration. This is pure Pluralism, whose legal definition of the political philosophy is as follows:

… the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which permits the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions and lifestyles.[1] While not all political pluralists advocate for a pluralist democracy, this is most common as democracy is often viewed as the most fair and effective way to moderate between the discrete values.[2]Wikipedia

This vision of a Caribbean “Pluralistic Democracy” should be more than words, but action too. This need has manifested in recent days with the devastation of two Category 5 Hurricanes in the region: Irma and Maria. Consider the news article here depicting the post-hurricane ‘Freedom of Movement’ among the 6 OECS countries (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines):

Title – Antigua prepares for influx of Dominicans
Barbados Today – Antigua says it is anticipating an influx of Dominicans in the wake of catastrophic Hurricane Maria which has decimated that country.

Acting Prime Minister, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin, on Saturday convened a meeting of the sub-committee of Cabinet responsible for managing the planning for natural disasters and their aftermath.

Government Chief of Staff Lionel Hurst described the meeting as “a proactive drive, intended to manage efficiently the anticipated flow of people from Dominica”.

Also in attendance where Ministers Molwyn Joseph, Asot Michael, Minister Melford Nicholas, Arthur Nibbs, the chief immigration officer and her deputy, law enforcement authorities, representative of the airlines association including LIAT, the head of the Red Cross, and officials from the ministry of social transformation.

The Acting Prime Minister directed the group to present a fixed set of policies that would apply to all those who are leaving Dominica for Antigua, and to plan the reception of those OECS/Dominican citizens who may choose Antigua.

It was agreed that there will be only two legitimate ports of entry – the V.C. Bird International Airport and the Montserrat Ferry Dock at Heritage Quay.

“The Coast Guard is to ensure that no vessel entering Antigua’s waters discharges its passengers at any other dock. Since no vegetables or other food items will be shipped from Dominica in the foreseeable future, all vessels must proceed to Heritage Quay,” Hurst said.

Citizens of Dominica have a right of entry into Antigua and other OECS countries and an automatic six-month stay and must present their passport, driver’s license or voter’s identification card to allow entry.

“A database of the Dominicans entering will be developed. Those citizens of Dominica who do not have any of the agreed identification will be permitted to enter Antigua, after completing a form which the Antigua and Barbuda Immigration Department has constructed specifically to meet the needs of those who have lost their documents in the hurricane. Those persons leaving Dominica who are not Dominican citizens must have onward tickets, or be prepared to purchase tickets for onward travel to their own countries,” Hurst said.

He added that the police and the ONDCP are to work closely to determine if any of the persons leaving Dominica are law-breakers. In this regard, the Dominica Police Force will also be asked to assist.

All Dominican citizens who enter Antigua will also be asked to provide certain health information so that continuing services can be provided or secured, in order to protect their health and the population’s.

“It is anticipated that women and children, the elderly of both genders and the infirm, are likely to be among the first wave of Dominican citizens to arrive [in] Antigua. It is also believed that many will choose to stay with family and friends, especially since a supportive group has already been formed. The entrants will be asked to provide names, addresses, telephone numbers and other contact information to the immigration authorities at both ports,” Hurst said.
He said consideration has been given to preparing shelters at various sites should the flow exceed the provision of housing by family and friends of the Dominicans who live on Antigua.

Hurst noted that the other four OECS countries – St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada – are also likely to welcome Dominican citizens to their shores during this crisis.

Source: Posted September 24, 2017; retrieved October 22, 2017 from: 

Normality is disrupted in Dominica  – due to Hurricane Maria – so the people, societal engines and systems of commerce have to transfer over to Antigua. While this is not good for Dominica’s economy, it is better than losing the population permanently to some foreign location – the Diaspora. The Dominican people going to Antigua for hurricane recovery is not the “One Way” societal abandonment, it is just ‘Freedom of Movement’.

The movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean has repeatedly related that there is a need for new stewardship of the Caribbean societal engines (economics, security and governance). The world has changed; the “World is Flat“! The Go Lean book considers these Agents of Change (Page 57) that have dynamically affected the Caribbean economic eco-systems:

  • Technology
  • Globalization
  • Aging Diaspora
  • Climate Change

The Agent of Change of Globalization implies that people can easily move from place-to-place to live, work or play; everywhere is “virtually” next door. Ours, in the Caribbean, is not the first region to contend with this ‘Freedom of Movement’ option. In fact, this practice for the OECS is modeled after the European Schengen Area – ‘Freedom of Movement’ of people, goods, services and capital across 26 European borders, not the USA. See more in the VIDEO here:

VIDEO – Schengen Area: History, Facts and Benefits –

Europe Guide

Published on Apr 13, 2016 – Today, Schengen Area signifies a zone where the free movement of people, goods, services and capital between 26 European countries is not just a concept any longer. Watch this very interesting video about the chronological history of Schengen Area to learn about how the dream for a borderless Europe came true, leaving the opportunity for more than 400 million citizens to travel freely inside the Europe without any border check control.


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Imagine this Caribbean-wide version of the Schengen Area, for all 30 member-states, not just the 6 OECS countries. Imagine a Caribbean-wide Single Market. Imagine how beneficial before, during and after a natural disaster … like Maria.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society in good times and bad – for all 30 member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit, “all for one and one for all” member-state-wise. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

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.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. There is a lot of consideration in the book for the free movement of people, goods, services and capital in the Caribbean region. In fact, the organizational structure of the CU includes a “federal” Department of Labor with the charter to coordinate regional labor dimensions. Since one of the prime directives of the CU is the economic empowerment of the member-states – jobs – there are a lot of angles and views about delivering jobs that needs to be coordinated on a regional level. As such, there are proactive and reactive measures that this department will shepherd.

As related in the book (Page 89), this federal department also coordinates the activities for Labor Certifications in the region. This effort will be collaborated and in cooperation with the many member-state Labor Relations agencies. The CU‘s focus will be towards interstate activities and enterprises, as opposed to an intra-state focus. This Labor Certification is an important role for this agency as it requires monitoring the labor needs of the region to ascertain where skills are needed and where and who can supply the skills. The certification role involves rating the level of expertise needed for job and rating workers skill sets. (Consider a 10-point grading system for positions and personnel, where “apprentice” level ranges from 1 – 3, “journeyman” level ranges from 4 – 6, and “master” ranges from 7 – 10).

This certification role is vital to the strategy of preserving Caribbean human capital in the region, even if this involves some movement among the member-states. Notice these treatments from the book:

  • 10 Ways to Improve Interstate Commerce (Page 129)
    #8 – Labor Markets – Freedom of Movement
    The CU seeks to improve the transparency and mobility in the Caribbean labor markets to contend with the challenges of scarcity of skilled labor (openings can be staffed by any CU resident), innovation deficits (solutions come from a large educated market), and financial risks in social pension systems (need more young workers). The CU strives to offer an alternative Caribbean state to residents looking for a new address/dream. This will assuage risks of brain/capital drains.
  • 10 Ways to Model the EU (Page 130)
    #9 – Labor Issues
    The EU seeks to improve the transparency and mobility in European labor markets to contend with the challenges of an aging population, scarcity of skilled labor, innovation deficits, and financial risks in social security systems. The CU will have to contend with many of the same challenges plus the goal of repatriation. The EU model provides great lessons [for the Caribbean].
  • 10 Ways to Mitigate Black Markets (Page 165)
    #4 – Caribbean Dollar Realities
    The [CU] Federation plan … allows for mobility of labor from one Caribbean state to another. The CU will ensure protections for the work force (unemployment and health insurance benefits) thereby nullifying “black markets” for labor.
  • 10 Ways to Foster Empowering Immigration (Page 174)
    #1 – Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market & Economy Initiative
    The Single Market structure allows for the controlled movement of labor from state to state, and the opportunity to correct actuarial imbalances. … The skills needed for today’s global economy may not be plentiful in the Caribbean and thus the need to invite empowering immigrants.
  • 10 Ways to Promote Contact Centers (Page 212)
    #6 – Capitalize on Multi-lingual Society
    With Dutch, English, French and Spanish speakers proliferating in the region, the CU will catalog bilingual (or multilingual) skills as an asset in the labor market. This will create more of a demand for this talent base as supply systems are implemented to showcase their skills. In macro-economics, the readiness of the labor market is called “capital”, and an offer (or fulfillment) of tele-services to foreign markets like Holland, France, Quebec (Canada), (Border States) and other former Dutch/French colonies will lead to growth of the industry and the CU’s GDP.
  • 10 Ways to Re-boot Haiti (Page 238)
    #8 – Labor, Immigration and Movement of People
    The recovery plan for Haiti would discourage the emigration of the population. Haiti has a population base (10 million) that can imperil other islands if too many Haitians relocate within the Caribbean. As a result, the CU will expend the resources and facilitate the campaign to dissuade relocation for the first 10 years of the ascension of the CU. During these first 10 years, Haitians visiting other CU member states, with Visa’s, with careful monitoring to ensure compliance.
  • 10 Ways to Impact The Guianas (Page 241)
    # 6 – Emigration Circuit Breaker
    Some chronic problems related to economic progress has been the shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. The CU seeks to offer an alternative to citizens abandoning the region for EU or US shores. A diverse, well-managed economy of 42 million people, rather than the minimal 200,000 of Guyana alone and 160,000 of Suriname, offer more options to assuage pressures for Guianian talent fleeing. The whole CU can provide solutions to contend with the scarcity of skilled labor, innovation deficits, and financial risks in social pension systems.

The Go Lean…Caribbean roadmap presents the advocacy for Benefiting from Globalization (Page 119). Globalization has been exacerbated thanks to Free Trade Agreements – the CU Trade Federation is a Free Trade Agreement – so the goal is to master the art-and-science of Free Trade and the Free Movement of people, goods and capital. So these subjects are part-and-parcel of this comprehensive roadmap to elevate Caribbean society to be a better place to live, work and play..

Yes, this Go Lean roadmap considers the heavy-lifting of structuring Caribbean society to benefit more from Globalization. As individual member-states, there is no chance for success, but together, as a unified region, there is so much to leverage. The Go Lean roadmap seeks to unite the people of the entire Caribbean region (leveraging all 42 million people), diversify the regional economy (to create new 2.2 million jobs) and reverse the trend for our people to seek refuge in foreign lands. Let’s do better here at home. Let’s allow our citizens to prosper where planted here in the Caribbean.

Live here … work there … play everywhere …

Now is the time for all stakeholders in the Caribbean – governments and citizens – to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. We can do better and be better. This is part of our quest for a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’; this is Part 2 of a 3-Part series. The full collection is as follows:

  1. Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Respect for Diwali
  2. Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Freedom of Movement
  3. Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Multilingual Realities

This ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ vision is a BIG deal, yet this is conceivable, believable and achievable. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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