First Steps – Free European Money – To Start at Top

Go Lean Commentary

Do I look like I have a plan? – Sarcasm by ‘The Joker’, the villain advocating for anarchy in the 2008 movie Batman: The Dark Knight

Most definitely, yes we do!

Despite the reality of a regional crisis, there is a plan to stop the bad trend of Caribbean people abandoning their homeland and emigrating away to North American and European destinations. Consider these thoughts:

  1. Do you know the Golden Rule; it’s he who has the gold that makes the rules.
  2. In the best control conditions of time, temperature and pressure, people will do … as they damn well please.

This is the conundrum of forging change in Caribbean society; where do we start, the Top (leaders) or the Bottom (people)?

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – declares: Both!

The fact that both approaches must be engaged at the same time depicts both a Top-Down plan plus a Bottoms-Up plan. The quest is that Caribbean society must change – if it is to survive – so either and both approaches are pursued.

Yes, we can …

The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all 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.

This commentary is the first of a 6-part series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean in consideration of the First Steps for instituting this new regime for the Caribbean homeland. The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1.     First Steps: EU – Free European Money – To Start at Top
  2.     First Steps: UK – Dignified and Efficient
  3.     First Steps: US – Congressional Interstate Compacts – No Vote; No Voice
  4.     First Steps: CariCom – One-Man-One-Vote Defects
  5.     First Steps: Deputize ‘Me’!
  6.     First Steps: A Powerful C.P.U.

All of these commentaries relate to “how” the Caribbean can finally get started with adapting the organizational structures to optimize the region’s societal engines. This is the consideration of leading from the Top. This conforms with the Go Lean quest to reform and transform the Caribbean member-states so that they can be better places to live, work and play. Then, only then, can we stop the bad trend of our people emigrating away to North American and European destinations.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. – The Bible Proverbs 29:18.

In a previous Go Lean commentary, it related:

Yes, the societal defects of the Caribbean can be fixed – remediated and mitigated – but “if it is going to be, it starts with me”; it is necessary for all stakeholders to engage in the effort to turn-around the Caribbean. To forge change, the region must consider top-down and bottoms-up approaches, so we need the multitude of Caribbean people (bottoms-up) and politicians and community leaders (top-down) to lean-in to this quest to turn-around the community. Yes, it starts with “me”, as in everyone.

The people of the Caribbean are more ordinary than they are extraordinary, they just want what everyone else wants: opportunities, peace & security, good stewardship, and the fulfillment of the Social Contract (implication that people will surrender their natural rights to the State in exchange for protection of other human and civil rights).

People deserve this and demand this – they will petition their leaders, cry-and-complain, and even take to streets if necessary. But once these Social Contract deliverables are delivered, Caribbean people will do what people everywhere do: comply with any new regime. This is the plan to lead from the Bottom – demand change – this is the easy part, leading from the Top on the other hand is the mystery.

This is easier said than done…

The Go Lean book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. 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.

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. (One implementation is the assembly of all regional organizations and “overseas masters”: French, Dutch and British authorities, separately and in concert with the European Union).

This all sounds good, but what do “we” do next … or first, since the CU Trade Federation is not currently in force?

Accordingly, the strong urging here is to “follow the money”! There are available grants from organizations like the EU to conform, comply and “confederate as a regional entity to bring about change”. Yes, the EU provides Aid for Trade between the Caribbean and the EU. To strengthen the competitiveness of economic operators as well as the integration process of our countries in the global economy, the EU provides development cooperation in the region.

Note: The Caribbean region following the EU’s lead automatically includes the EU’s Caribbean jurisdictions: Dutch and French sovereign territories (17 lands). CARIFORUM – see below – includes 15 other nations. So these efforts are intended to be Caribbean-universal.

See a sample reference here, with excerpts from the European Union Commission website – and a related Pro-Con discussion VIDEO:

Title: European Commission Trade Policy for the Caribbean
The EU’s trade and development partnership with the Caribbean stretches back over more than 30 years. In October 2008 Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Surinam, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Dominican Republic signed with the EU the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement. Haiti signed the agreement in December 2009, but is not yet applying it pending ratification.

The agreement also comes with substantial EU aid for trade.

The purpose of the agreement is to make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other and thus to help Caribbean countries grow their economies and create jobs.

The EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership in Practice

Trade picture
The EU is CARIFORUM’s second largest trading partner, after the US. CARIFORUM runs a trade deficit with the EU. In other words, CARIFORUM countries export less in goods and services to the EU than they import from the EU.

The main exports from the Caribbean to the EU are in:

  • fuel and mining products, notably petroleum gas and oils;
  • bananas, sugar and rum;
  • minerals, notably gold, corundum, aluminium oxide and hydroxide, and iron ore products;
  • fertilisers.

The main imports into the Caribbean from the EU are in:

  • boats and ships, cars, constructions vehicles and engine parts;
  • phone equipment;
  • milk and cream;
  • spirit drinks.

EU and Caribbean
Economic Partnership Agreements set out to help African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to improve their trade. The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the 15 Caribbean countries provides predictability in the market access into the EU for these countries. The agreement will lead to a general opening of the EU market beyond WTO commitments in the services sectors, including creative and entertainment industries. It ensures duty-free-quota-free market access into the EU for all products. With regard to EU exports to the region, EU exports of sensitive products will gradually be liberalised over a period of 25 years. The Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU will make it possible for CARIFORUM companies to set up a commercial presence in the EU.

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the 15 Caribbean countries  is in part a free trade agreement, or FTA. And like any FTA, it opens up trade in goods between the two regions. But unlike other FTAs, the EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement goes further. In fact, it’s a wide-ranging partnership putting trade at the service of development.

That is because the agreement:

  • also opens up trade in services and investment;
  • makes it easier to do business in the Caribbean – governments there have made commitments in many areas directly affecting trade, like rules to ensure fair competition;
  • comes with financial support from the EU to help Caribbean:
    • governments implement the accord; and
    • businesses to use the EPA to export more and attract more outside investment.

In recent years CARIFORUM countries have been integrating more closely with each other. This is part of their strategy to play a fuller role in global trade, and to offer the economies of scale and simpler rules which are vital to attract more foreign investment.

The EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement helps to consolidate this process, by making it easier to export goods and services between:

  • the fourteen countries of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, and the Dominican Republic, which together make up CARIFORUM;
  • these fifteen CARIFORUM countries (CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) and seventeen territories in the Caribbean with direct links to EU countries (four French ‘outermost regions’ and thirteen ‘overseas territories’ – six British, six Dutch and one French)

Trading with Caribbean

This can include support for building new transport, energy or telecommunications infrastructure, investments in agriculture, fisheries and services.

  • Help for exporters from developing countries
    • The EU’s Trade Helpdesk supports small traders in developing countries by helping them access the EU market, and provides information on EU rules and regulations.
    • The International Trade Center (ITC) supports several development projects across the world.
    • The ITC’s Standards Map provides information on standards, codes of conduct and audit protocols for international trade.
    • The Small Traders Capacity Building program supports developing countries in administration, training, and information on tariffs, trade flows, standards, etc.

Source: Retrieved January 16, 2018 from:</a


VIDEO – DISCUSSION | E.U – A.C.P Economic Partnership Agreement –

Strong Body and Mind

Published on Jun 7, 2016 – E.U – A.C.P Economic Partnership Agreement Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partners engaged in regional economic integration processes. Take a look at the various arguments, do some research then let me know your thoughts on the subject. European Commission – Economic partnerships:…

This foregoing reference is not just a document of talking points; it is an actual Action Plan. In fact, the Actions have already manifested in the region, as related in this previous Go Lean blog-commentary describing the EU’s sponsor of Green Energy initiatives in the country of Barbados; they gave 1.12 million Euros (US$1.37 million) towards the advancement of energy self-sufficiency from renewable resources. This is the first payment of a total contribution of 3 million Euros.

Needless to say, EU money comes with strings attached – see the foregoing VIDEO. They are leading the leaders of the Caribbean. This constitutes a Top-Down approach for forging change in society.

Top-Down and Bottoms-Up – this is the First Step! The Go Lean roadmap (Page 96) calls for this functionality – “assembling” all the regional stakeholders in the Caribbean, including the “overseas masters” – for the first year of the confederacy plan. (Since this book was published in 2013, the United Kingdom has divorced themselves from the EU).

Forging change is a common theme by this Go Lean movement. Consider these previous 10 blog-commentaries that detailed approaches for forging change, in reverse chronological order:

  1. Forging Change – Collective Bargaining (April 28, 2017)
  2. Forging Change – Addicted to Home (April 14, 2017)
  3. Forging Change – Arts & Artists (December 1, 2016)
  4. Forging Change – Panem et Circenses (November 15, 2016)
  5. Forging Change – Herd Mentality (October 11, 2016)
  6. Forging Change – ‘Something To Lose’ (November 18, 2015)
  7. Forging Change – ‘Food’ for Thought (April 29, 2015)
  8. Forging Change – Music Moves People (December 30, 2014)
  9. Forging Change – The Sales Process (December 22, 2014)
  10. Forging Change – The Fun Theory (September 9, 2014)

As related in these commentaries, forging change is how the Go Lean roadmap will make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. We urge every Caribbean stakeholder to lean-in to this roadmap to elevate the societal engines of the region. 🙂

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.

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