‘I Want You Back’: Caribbean to the Diaspora

Go Lean Commentary

If only all the islands and coastal states of the Caribbean region were integrated into a Single Market

… then our economy would be big. There would be 42 million people in this integrated Caribbean, counting all 30 member-states that caucus with the region.

If only there were even more …

This is a basic premise in the field of Economics, as reported in this prior blog-commentary from  the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean:

We tend to think economic growth comes from working harder and smarter, but economists attribute up to a third of it [growth] to more people joining the workforce each year than leaving it. The result is more producing, earning and spending.

Many Caribbean natives love their homeland, but live abroad in the Diaspora – estimated at 10 to 25 million. Over the past decades, they had moved away looking for better opportunities or safe haven. The stakeholders of the Caribbean now need to declare to these people:

I Want You Back
(See the VIDEO of the Jackson 5 singing the song I Want You Back” and the Lyrics in the Appendix below.)

Yes, the Caribbean needs its Diaspora back. But being pragmatic, the young people who have left … are probably NOT coming back. 🙁

The opportunities they sought are still not available in our homelands, and the refuge they needed is still elusive here.

It is what it is!

Unfortunately, our best bet is hold out for their …


This brings forth some economic opportunities. Can we better prepare for our aging Diaspora to come home to enjoy their retirement?

Yes, we can.

This also includes the Diaspora that left 50, 40, 30 years ago. These ones are now primed to contribute now as retirees.

This was an original motivation for the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free. It serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean societal engines – economic, security and governance for all member-states. It surveyed the world and assessed that the Caribbean was being impact by Agents of Change. The book states (Page 57):

Assuming a role to “understand the market and plan the business” requires looking at the business landscape today and planning the strategic, tactical, and operational changes to keep pace with the market and ahead of competitors. Strategic changes that must be accounted for now, includes: Technology, Aging Diaspora, Globalization and Climate Change.

Aging Diaspora
The demographics of the world we inhabit were shaped by the events in the aftermath of World War II. Many members of the Diaspora avail themselves of opportunities in Europe and North America during their rebuilding effort. So those that repatriated in the 1950’s and 1960’s now comprise an aging Diaspora – with the desire to return to the “town of their boyhood”. They should be welcomed back and incentivized to repatriate.

The “Welcome Mat” comes with challenges; of which the CU is prepared to accommodate: health care, disabilities, elder-care, entitlements, etc. These are all missions for the CU.

Yes, to all of those of Caribbean heritage: We want you back!

The Go Lean book asserts that the region must work together – in a formal regional integration – to hold on to its populations, to invite the Diaspora back and to better prepare for their repatriation. To accomplish this objective, this CU/Go Lean roadmap presents 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. There are limited economic (job creation and entrepreneurial) opportunities today, but a regional reboot can create a new industrial landscape with long-sought opportunities.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines. This includes the proactive and reactive empowerments to better prepare and respond to natural and man-made threats.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines, including regional integration with a separation-of-powers between each state and CU There is also a plan to engage NGO’s/foundations for advocacies for aging seniors. This stewardship will also aid-assist repatriates to fully consume their entitlement benefits from foreign countries.

We are hereby presenting ourselves to do the heavy-lifting of preparing our society to better accommodate these repatriates, in all phases of life, young, mature adults and senior citizens. The Go Lean book therefore 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 the region’s societal engines. Consider the details and headlines here on how the region can better prepare to accommodate the repatriation of the Diaspora to the Caribbean (Page 118):

10 Reasons to Repatriate to the Caribbean

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, hereby expanding to an economy of 30 countries, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion (according to 2010 figures). This accedence creates a “new” land of opportunity for so many ventures, and so many protections – the Caribbean will be a better place to live, work and play. The economic engines of the CU should therefore “flash the signs of opportunity” to come back home. The CU will not ignore the reasons why a lot of people emigrated in the first place, in some cases there were political and human rights refugees. Therefore, integral to the repatriation plan is a mission for formal Reconciliation Commissions that will allow many issues to be settled and set aside – punishing the past short circuits the future.
2 “New Guards” for Public Safety
The CU implements the anti-crime measures and provides special protections for classes of repatriates and retirees. Crimes against these special classes are marshaled by the CU, superseding local police. Since the CU will also install a penal system, with probation and parole, the region can institute prisoner exchange programs and in-source detention for foreign governments, especially for detainees of Caribbean heritage.
3 “New Guards” for Economic Stability
A Single Market and currency union, with non-political, technocratic Caribbean Central Bank leadership, will allow for the long-term adoption of monetary and economic best practices. Plus, with a strong currency, viable capital markets, and consumer finance options, a prosperous life for the middle class would be easily sustainable.
4 Citizenship at the CU/Federal Level
Over the decades, many Caribbean expatriates renounced their indigenous citizenship. The CU would extend new citizenship rights to this group, and their children (legacies) which will entitle them to infinite residency, equal civil rights but conditional employment, requiring labor certification or self-owned businesses. They would be issued CU passports.
5 Gerontology Initiatives
The Diaspora is aging! They therefore have special needs germane to senior citizens. The CU will facilitate the needs of the aging repatriates and ensure that the proper institutions are in place and appropriately managed. This includes medical, housing, economic and social areas of responsibility. This issue will be coupled with the CU’s efforts for the host countries to extend entitlement benefits to this region, including medical and Social/National Insurance pensions.
6 US, Canada and EU Closing Doors
7 “No Child Left Behind” Lessons
8 Quick Recovery from Natural Disasters
9 Educational Inducements in the Region
The CU will facilitate e-Learning schemes for institution in the US, Canada and the EU. The repatriates will have an array of educational choices for themselves and their offspring (legacies). This will counter the previous bad experience of students emigrating for advanced educational opportunities and then never returning, resulting in a brain drain.
10 Import US, Canada and EU Cultural Institutions

There have been a number of blog-commentaries by the Go Lean promoters that have detailed the prospects for Caribbean repatriation. See a sample list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11314 Forging Change: Home Addiction
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10566 Funding the Caribbean Security Pact to Better Protect Repatriates
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9214 Time to Go: Spot-on for Protest
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9219 Time to Go: Logic of Senior Immigration
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9646 Time to Go: American Vices; Don’t Follow
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7151 The Caribbean is Looking for Heroes … ‘to Return’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5695 Repenting, Forgiving and Reconciling the Past
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=665 Real Estate Investment Trusts explained for Repatriates Housing

More and more people have fled the Caribbean homeland. While the expansion of the Caribbean Diaspora is a real tragedy, it is not so improbable. Our region has societal defects and dysfunctions that have to be assuaged. We are not alarmed when people choose to leave. We are not surprised when/if they turn their back on any interest to help their former homelands. The Go Lean movement has consistently urged regional leaders not to invest valuable resources in trying to solicit investment from the Diaspora.

History shows that the Diaspora usually do not bite on most investment offers; all efforts to outreach the Diaspora are usually futile. It is a losing cause to try and fight for young ones to return.

But come retirement, it’s a different story! All of the Caribbean needs to double-down on the effort to invite the Diaspora back for retirement.

The Caribbean in general is a great place to retire … for the Diaspora or just anyone else – retirement and/or snowbird tourism. See this magazine article here citing great destinations in the region to consider for retirement options. Our region makes the Best Places list and the Worst Places list – stressing the work that still needs to be done: See the related news article here:

Title: 5 Best Caribbean Islands to Live On… and 2 to Avoid
By: International Living Magazine

Mention the word “Caribbean” and most people think of places like Aruba, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and other tourist-rich dollops of sand. The region conjures well-deserved images of crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches.

And there’s no question: If you like sun and sand, these islands are great for a vacation. But move there? Most folks assume it’s just too expensive and don’t give it another thought.

But that’s too bad. Because the Caribbean is bigger than many people realize. And when you look beyond the mass-market shores the tourist brochures describe, you’ll find a variety of sun-splashed islands well worth your attention. They’re not only beautiful… but a lot more affordable than most people realize.

Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico all offer islands off their Caribbean coasts – islands that share the same turquoise-blue waters and powder-white beaches you expect when you hear “Caribbean” – only you won’t pay a fortune to live on any of them.

Read on to find out more about five Caribbean islands that won’t break the bank…and two that just might…

  1. Ambergris Caye, Belize
  2. Roatán, Honduras
  3. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
  4. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
  5. Corn Islands, Nicaragua

 Two to Avoid…Because Costs Are High

The beauty and tropical appeal of St. Thomas and Grand Bahama are impossible to deny. An expat traveling with unlimited funds might well choose either for his island getaway. But for anybody who’s a budget-conscious, these Caribbean retreats will prove hard on the wallet…

  1. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Located in the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islandsis made up of over 60 islands…most of them uninhabited. The three most populated, and most visited, are St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. The U.S. Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated United States territory and their people are U.S. citizens.
    The appeal of these tropical islands is the mixture of the exotic and the recognizable—an island paradise with modern comforts and a balance of Caribbean culture and American practicality.
    St. Thomas is the island on which most of the population of the U.S. Virgin Island lives. It is also the most commercialized of the islands and a regular stopping off point for Caribbean cruise ships. This 30-square-mile island has jungle cliffs that soar high into the sky and the turquoise sea is dotted with yachts of all shapes and sizes. St. Thomas, and in particular the capital of Charlotte Amalie, can get overrun by tourists.
    While St. Thomas may be a nice place to live, we say “avoid” due to the high cost of living. Apartments rent for about $2,000 a month and to buy a two-bedroom house in a good neighborhood will cost about $225,000-plus.
  1. Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas

    What do Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Oprah Winfrey, Sean Connery, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have in common? Apart from being celebrities, they’re among thousands of North Americans and Europeans who own second homes in the Bahamas.
    Like other expats who live there for all or part of the year, these stars often think of the Bahamas as a paradise—an upscale group of islands with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The Bahamas are friendly to newcomers, there’s no foreign language to cope with, crime is relatively low, and the islands are positioned just off the Florida coast.
    That’s the good news. The bad news is that property on the islands usually isn’t cheap. Medium-size residences in exclusive gated communities with ocean views often cost more than $2 million.
    Even though Grand Bahama is the closest major Bahamian island to the U.S. (about 55 miles off the Florida coast), it was one of the least developed until only a few decades ago. In the middle of the last century, the population was about 500.
    Today Grand Bahama is the second most populous island, with more than 50,000 residents. Its major city, Freeport, has a population of about 27,000, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, far eclipsing West End, the former capital of Grand Bahama.Grand Bahama Island has become a haven for beach-lovers as well as divers, fishermen, golfers, and sports enthusiasts of all kinds. It’s also a prime destination for people who enjoy world-class shopping. But living here costs a premium as it’s between 30% and 50% more expensive than in the U.S..
    Source: Posted July 18, 2016; retrieved November 21, 2017 from: https://internationalliving.com/5-affordable-caribbean-islands-to-live-on-and-2-to-avoid/

Planners of a new Caribbean are now saying to their Diaspora: We Want You Back!

We will do the work necessary to improve our prospects. As related in the song lyrics in the Appendix below:

Give me one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go

Trying to live without your love is one long sleepless night
Let me show you, girl, that I know wrong from right

In the Caribbean, we now need to do the heavy-lifting to reform and transform our societal engines to allow our people to prosper where planted here at home. If only we can get more and more of our Diaspora back. The Go Lean book made this urging in its conclusion … on Page 252:

Valediction – Bidding Farewell

To the Caribbean Resident: Count your blessings, while you work for improvement.

To the Caribbean Diaspora: Come in from the cold.

To the Caribbean Emigrant: Get yours, come home.

To the Caribbean Children, living at home: Help is on the way.

To the Caribbean Children, living aboard: You’re always welcome home.

To the Legacy Children of Caribbean parents: Come home, discover why your parents are so proud.

The Go Lean roadmap asserts that the Caribbean can assuage its defects and dysfunctions. The vision first calls for an interdependence among the 30 member-states in the region. This was the motivation for the CU/Go Lean roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13) of the book:

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, domestic and foreign. …

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.

xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xx. Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

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 Caribbean is now begging for one more chance to prove that we love our citizens and can serve and protect them.

We want you back.

But what we want even more is to ensure that our young people do not have to leave in the first place.

Any policy that double-downs on the Diaspora is actually doubling-down on failure. We should never want our people to have to leave then hope they remember us for their retirement. No, we want and need them here at home at all times: in their youth, as young adults, middle age and senior citizens. We want and need them to “plant” … and prosper where planted.

We strongly urge Caribbean stakeholders – governmental leaders and citizens alike – to lean-in to this roadmap to make our homeland, all 30 member-states, better places to live, work and play. 🙂

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

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


Appendix VIDEO – I Want You Back – The Jackson 5 – https://youtu.be/s3Q80mk7bxE

Published on Jan 10, 2010 – The Jackson 5 perform “I Want You Back” on their “Goin Back To Indiana” TV special in 1971. HQ sound.

  • Category: Music
  • License: Standard YouTube License


Appendix – I Want You Back – Lyrics
Sung by: The Jackson 5

When I had you to myself, I didn’t want you around
Those pretty faces always make you stand out in a crowd
But someone picked you from the bunch, one glance is all it took
Now it’s much too late for me to take a second look

Oh baby, give me one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I’ve seen you it is on
(I want you back)
Oh I do now
(I want you back)
Ooh ooh baby
(I want you back)
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
(I want you back)
Na na na na

Trying to live without your love is one long sleepless night
Let me show you, girl, that I know wrong from right
Every street you walk on, I leave tear stains on the ground
Following the girl I didn’t even want around

Let me tell ya now
Oh baby, all I need is one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I’ve seen you it is on

All I want
All I need
All I want!
All I need!

Oh, just one more chance
To show you that I love you
Baby baby baby baby baby baby!
(I want you back)
Forget what happened then
(I want you back)
And let me live again!

Oh baby, I was blind to let you go
But now since I’ve seen you it is on
(I want you back)
Spare me of this cost
(I want you back)
Give me back what I lost!

Oh baby, I need one more chance, hah
I’d show you that I love you
Baby, oh! Baby, oh! Baby, oh!
I want you back!
I want you back!

Songwriters: Freddie Perren / Alphonso Mizell / Deke Richards / Berry Gordy Jr

I Want You Back lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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