Go Lean Commentary
The book Go Lean … Caribbean aligns with one objective depicted in the below news article: to reconcile the flawed economic policies of the past and lean-in for the optimization of the Caribbean future. Beyond this stance, the book deviates from these advocates calling for reparations from the colonial powers that participated in the slave trade, slavery or colonial suppression of the indigenous people.
Reparations stress at its root, a sense of entitlement to other people’s resources. The book, on the other hand, serves as a roadmap for the regional integration of the 42 million people and 30 member states of the Caribbean with the implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This roadmap advocates the reconciliation of the economic and security engines to grow the region’s economy from $378 Billion (2010) to $800 Billion in a 5 year time span.
NEW YORK, United States, Friday March 28, 2014, CMC – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will address an international forum in reparations in the United States next month.
Gonsalves will deliver the feature address at the April 19 forum titled “Revitalizing the Reparations Movement,” organized by the New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW).
IBW described Gonsalves as “one of the leading voices in the Americas demanding that the former European colonial powers pay reparations to Caribbean and South American countries for centuries of African enslavement, native genocide and colonial exploitation”.
The forum will be held in collaboration with the Center for Inner City Studies and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.
IBW said among the specially invited guests will be Detroit’s congressman John Conyers, Sr., dean of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and sponsor of HR-40, the Reparations Study Bill and Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.
“A primary goal of the forum is to revitalize the reparations movement in the USA by revisiting the Durban Resolution on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, presenting an update on HR-40 and examining the status of CARICOM’s reparations initiative,” IBW said.
“We are delighted and honored to have Prime Minister Gonsalves keynote this critical forum on reparations, a subject of fundamental historical justice that is near and dear to the hearts of Black people around the world,” said IBW’s president Dr. Ron Daniels.
Director of Chicago’s Inner City Studies, Dr. Conrad Worrill, said “our ancestors will be pleased that the reparations movement is being re-energized from the Caribbean islands”.
“In demanding reparations, CARICOM is vindicating the vestiges of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade,” he added.
CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St, Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this month discussed the reparation issue and hope to have a meeting with European leaders in June.
The leaders unanimously adopted a 10-point plan that would seek a formal apology for slavery; debt cancellation from former colonizers, such as Britain,
France, Spain and the Netherlands; and reparation payments to repair the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery.
The Go Lean roadmap commences with this ideal embedded in the Declaration of Interdependence, pronouncing as follows, (Page 10):
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 of the indigenous people. 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.
The subject matter of reparation is polarizing, based on assumptions that the Caribbean is comprised of mostly African or Ameri-Indian peoples. While many CARICOM states do possess a majority Black population, this is not so within the larger Caribbean, of whom the CU confederates. There are also large populations of European (White) ethnicities, Indian, and Chinese descendants that should also unite.
— UPDATE (Sep 30, 2015) – See VIDEO in the Appendix regarding the UK Prime Minister’s recent visit to Jamaica —
There is a benefit, however, that can be garnered from compensatory talks with European nations, that of making “Aid” more empowering. The roadmap details an advocacy on the roles and responsibilities of fostering International Aid (Page 115). So while the political leaders of the CARICOM may be exerting energies to “guilt” these Europeans leaders to “pay up”, the CU Trade Federation will instead work to improve trade and re-boot the economic engines of the region.
It is a known fact that most of the resources of the European powers are tied to the strength of their economies, not the reserves gathered up from centuries of exploiting African slaves and their descendants. The country with the largest reserves is the USA; but their gold in Fort Knox is only estimated at $800 Billion, while their economy is $16 Trillion of GDP output … annually. So reparation is not a winning formula; it assumes some abundant stockpile of savings. This is a flawed logic and strategy. On the other hand, the Caribbean needs to create 2.2 million new jobs; this is only possible with the turn-around strategies as detailed in the roadmap of Go Lean … Caribbean.
So as a policy decision for the economic strategies of the region, the Go Lean book and movement recommends:
- Re-boot – Yes!
- Reparations – No!
Appendix VIDEO – Slavery Reparations Dominate David Cameron’s Jamaica Visit – https://youtu.be/al453a8rLy8