Way Forward – For Independence: Territory Realities

Go Lean Commentary

Notwithstanding indigenous Amerindian cultures, the Caribbean represents the oldest civilizations in the New World. Columbus made his New World discovery here in the Caribbean:

The island of San Salvador in the Bahamas in 1492 …

… and established the first European settlement here:

Santo Domingo, in today’s Dominican Republic in 1496.

So, being the oldest civilization, the expectation should be that we would be the most matured in the hemisphere.

We would be Grown Up … by now?!

Far from it! For many of our Caribbean territories, “grown-up maturity” is far from the truth; they are still dependent colonies. In fact, there are 30 member-states – grouping the Netherland Antilles (N.A.) as 1 member-state – that identify as the political Caribbean. Of that number, 18 of them are considered Dependent Territories without full autonomy to determine their economic, security and governing deliveries for their communities; (this 18 counts each N.A. island).

See this list of “Dependent” territories in the Caribbean:

Member-State Legal Status
Anguilla British Overseas Territory = BOT
Bermuda BOT
British Virgin Islands BOT
Cayman Islands BOT
Guadeloupe French Department
Martinique French Department
Montserrat BOT
Netherlands Antilles
Aruba Netherlands Constituent
Bonaire Netherlands Constituent
Curaçao Netherlands Constituent
Saba Netherlands Constituent
Sint Eustatius Netherlands Constituent
Sint Maarten Netherlands Constituent
Puerto Rico US Territory
Saint Barthélemy French Department
Saint Martin French Department
Turks and Caicos Islands BOT
US Virgin Islands US Territory

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Caribbean#Independence

It is because of this legal status for almost half of the member-states that there is definitely the need for this region to finally grow up and be mature!

The 2013 book Go Lean … Caribbean asserted that the needed maturity can still manifest without changing the legal status from Dependent to Independent territories!

For a long time, right after World War II – 1948 and later, independence was all the rage. People in many communities actually thought that independence was the panacea for their ills in Caribbean communities; (there are even some who want independence for Puerto Rico). But after 70 years and 16 individual independence movements, it is a fallacy to think the independence is the solution. No, it is our conclusion that the best practice for Caribbean prosperity, the Way Forward, is Interdependence … not Independence.

Yes, there is the need for these dependent territories to align with a “bigger organization” structure for better deliveries of the Social Contract – where citizens surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the State in exchange for protection of remaining natural and legal rights. But the Go Lean book presents the roadmap that this “bigger organization” should be tied to the geographical neighborhood, as opposed to some colonial legacy with an “overseas master” up to 8,000 miles away. The book details this (Page 96) as the Step One (Year 1) of a 5-Year Plan:

… this roadmap pursues an assembly of these different institutions and then to supplement them with the creation of new super-national organizations. This approach allows the CU to “stand on the shoulders” of previous efforts and then reach greater heights.

This initial phase entails incorporating all the existing regional organizations – like the ACS and Caribbean Community (CariCom) into the umbrella organizations of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). These organizations include, (but are not limited to):

  • CariCom Secretariat – 22 Agencies – Appendix BA (Page 256)
  • French Overseas Territory
  • CariCom Office of Trade Negotiations
  • US Overseas Territory (Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands) – See Appendix IA (Page 278)
  • British Commonwealth / Overseas Territory
  • Netherlands Overseas Territory
  • Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

As related in a previous blog-commentary

… it is the assessment of this commentary that Independence is so overrated; rather than the independence, the call is for interdependence. A model of this desired interdependence is the inter-state cooperation in the European Union (EU).

Yes, the Europeans did it; they appointed “new guards“. The EU does not possess any sovereignty; that remains with the member-states. The EU is simply a confederacy; a deputized technocracy chartered for the purpose of delivering many of the Social Contract obligations better … than what used to be the norm of the individual states.

The Committee for the Nobel Prize for Peace agreed with this assessment in 2012 … and awarded the Nobel Prize to the EU for that year.

“They” did it; we can too!

For all the Overseas Territories in the Caribbean to embark on a course of action in emulation of the EU, we would be declaring that we too need to “appoint new guards” to make our homelands better places to live, work and play. The Go Lean book opens with the call for all of these 30 Caribbean member-states to make that declaration … for interdependence. This is pronounced early in the book, in the Declaration of Interdependence on Pages 10 thru 12:

Preamble: As the colonial history of our region was initiated to create economic expansion opportunities for our previous imperial masters, the structures of government instituted in their wake have not fostered the best systems for prosperity … . Despite this past, we thrust our energies only to the future, in adapting the best practices and successes of the societies of these previous imperial masters and recognizing the positive spirit of their intent and vow to learn from their past accomplishments and mistakes so as to optimize the opportunities for our own citizenry to create a more perfect bond of union.

… we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends … it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

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.

This need for “new guards” have been detailed in many previous Go Lean blog-commentaries. Consider this sample:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16668 New Guards for Justice and Economics
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16364 New Guards for Technology Deployments
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16210 New Guards for Currency Management
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16002 New Guards for Corporate Governance
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=15996 New Guards for Emergencies
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=15075 New Guards for e-Government
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14825 New Guards for Jobs
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14480 New Guards for Mental Health
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13472 New Guards for Tertiary Education
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13321 New Guards for a “Pluralistic Democracy”
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13063 New Guards for Civil and Gender Rights
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7789 New Guards for Global Trade
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7601 New Guards for Caribbean Sovereign Debt
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6341 New Guards for Tourism Stewardship
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6103 New Guards Against Deadly Threats

In summary, despite all these many words, the Way Forward for stewardship for the many European-and-American Overseas Territories in the Caribbean is simple: Interdependence among the regional neighbors, despite any language or colonial legacies. (This is the same that they did in Europe … and America; we must now do “it” here).

This is easier said than done. This is why there is the need for a detailed roadmap to provide the guidance – turn-by-turn directions – for this Way Forward. The 370 pages of the book Go Lean … Caribbean present the community ethos that must first be adopted to be successful in this endeavor; plus the many strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies that must be executed to forge collaboration and interdependence in this region. See the specific details from the book in these pages:

Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence Page 120
Planning – Ways to Model the EU Page 130
Planning – Lessons Learned from the West Indies Federation – Previous Interdependence Effort Page 135
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Impact US Territories Page 244
Advocacy – Ways to Impact British Territories Page 245
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Dutch Territories Page 246
Advocacy – Ways to Impact French Territories Page 247

This commentary continues the consideration on the Way Forward for the full Caribbean and the individual member-states. This submission here focuses on the 18 member-states that are considered overseas territories. While their needs are the same as everyone, their organizational and governmental structures are different – they have only limited autonomy. Yet, there is a Way Forward. This is entry 8-of-9 for this April 2019 compilation of commentaries; (the list started as 3, grew dynamically to 6 and will finalized with 9). The full series of commentaries related to the Way Forward is presented as follows:

  1. Way Forward: Puerto Rico learns its “status” with America
  2. Way Forward: Virgin Islands – America’s youngest colony
  3. Way Forward: Bahamas – “Solutions White Paper” – An Inadequate Plan
  4. Way Forward: Jamaica: The need to reconcile the Past
  5. Way Forward: Caribbean Media Strategy & Deliveries
  6. Way Forward: Strategy for Justice: Special Prosecutors et al
  7. Way Forward: Strategy for Energy – ‘Trade’ Winds
  8. Way Forward: Strategy for Independence – Territory Realities
  9. Way Forward: “Whatever it takes” – Life Imitating Art

This series posits that “no man is an island” and further that “no island is an island”; this is the epitome of interdependence. The benefits of a leveraged confederacy in the Caribbean region is a win-win for the people of the Caribbean and their overseas masters burdened with their care.

The Caribbean now wants to grow up and take care of our own affairs. Besides, we can do it better with local oversight to local problems. The label of Overseas Territory is still just a different name for the old practice of:


That is still a flawed concept  – assuming White racial supremacy – with flawed prospects for future success; this is true if its colonialism in the Caribbean, Asia and/or Africa. We reap what we sow; we cannot expect to plant weeds and harvest wheat. See this analysis addresses in this VIDEO here:

VIDEO – Colonialism’s Impact on Africa – https://youtu.be/xhnG8JbBegA

Big Think
Published on Apr 23, 2012 –
The journalist says colonialism was “short enough to destroy leadership in Africa but not long enough to replace it with anything else.”

Notice his hint as to how Internet & Communications Technologies bring New Hope

Notice his hint on how a repatriated Diaspora brings New Hope

Everyone in the Caribbean – citizens, institutions and dependent member-states and  independent member-states – are hereby urged to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. The end-result is conceivable, believable and achievable: a better homeland to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book

The book Go Lean…Caribbean 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.

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.

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

Who We Are

The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines – economics, security and governance – must be a regional pursuit. This quest was also an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

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.

xxiii. Whereas many countries in our region are dependent Overseas Territories of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule by sharing tools, systems and teamwork within the geographical region.

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.

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


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