ENCORE: State of the Caribbean Union

Miami, Florida – The below constitutes a re-distribution of the blog-commentary on the US President’s formal address to his Congress, the State of the Union for 2015. The occasion now is the State of the Union address for 2016. This time is monumental in that it is the final address for the current President, Barack Obama; due to term restrictions in the US Constitution, he can no longer serve as President after this year. The election for his successor is slated for November 2016.


Go Lean Commentary

You are invited to watch the State of the Union address that President Barack Obama delivered to the US Congress on Tuesday night (January 20, 2015). You are urged to listen carefully and count the number of times the Caribbean is referred to. The answer:


The reference to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

That’s it!

(The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is a perpetual leased US territory; so it will not count as Caribbean-specific).

No reference to the US Territories (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands); no reference to the Dutch Caribbean; nor to the French Caribbean; and especially not to the English-speaking Caribbean member-states.

The truth of the matter is that the Caribbean is out-of-scope for Obama. It was the State of the Union of the United States of America. Not the State of the Caribbean Union. Even the US territories have to be concerned. They have a voice in the US Congress, but no vote. (A lesson in American Civics teaches that territories have Congressional representation that can vote in committees, but not vote in full Congress).

So all the President’s focus on job creation, energy independence, growing the economy, controlling healthcare costs, securing the homeland, and optimizing government was directed to his American constituency and not to the Caribbean member-states.

VIDEO Title: The State of the Union (SOTU) 2015 – http://youtu.be/cse5cCGuHmE
Watch President Obama’s 1-hour remarks during his 6th SOTU address and learn more below.

Published on Jan 20, 2015
President Barack Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union address, at the United States Capitol, January 20, 2015.

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We, the Caribbean, are required to focus on the State of our own Union.

The people, the 320 million Americans, elect a President to pursue their best interest, not the world’s best interest. Though the US tries to be a Good Neighbor, there may be times when the priorities of the US conflict with the priorities of the Caribbean, or the rest of the world. In those scenarios, the President is under charge to pursue the American best option.

The 42 million people of the Caribbean homeland are not in his scope!

The foregoing VIDEO and this commentary is being brought into focus in a consideration of the book Go Lean … Caribbean. 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. 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 protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean book (Page 3) makes a simple assertion regarding the State of our Union: the Caribbean is in crisis. The book details that there is something wrong in the homeland, that while it is the greatest address in the world, instead of the world “beating a path” to these doors, the people of the Caribbean have “beat down their doors” to get out.

Why do people leave? The book identifies a numberof reasons, classified as “push-and-pull”. There are economic (jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities), security and governance issues.

One mission of the Go Lean roadmap is to minimize these “push-and-pull” factors that contribute to this alarmingly high abandonment rate of Caribbean citizens – one report reflects a 70% brain drain rate.

Considering “pull” factors, the roadmap posits that the United States of America should not be viewed as the panacea for Caribbean ailments; that when the choice of any challenge is “fight or flight” that Caribbean society must now consider anew, the “fight” options. (No violence is implied, but rather a strenuous effort, heavy-lifting, to compete and win economic battles). One strong reason for cautioning Caribbean emigrants is that America is not so welcoming a society for the “Black and Brown” populations from the Caribbean. This was not addressed by Obama; he has to address the needs of all Americans – not just “Black and Brown” – racial discrimination have not been as high a priority among his initiatives, to the chagrin of many in the African-American communities, including the Caribbean Diaspora.

On the other hand, the Go Lean book does not ignore the “push” factors that cause many Caribbean people to flee. The book stresses (early at Pages 12 – 13) the need to be on-guard for “push” factors in these pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence:

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

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.

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.

xxvi. Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of ship-building, automobile manufacturing, prefabricated housing, frozen foods, pipelines, call centers, and the prison industrial complex. In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries like tourism, fisheries and lotteries – impacting the region with more jobs.

This commentary previously related details of Caribbean emigration and their experiences (Diaspora), the “push-and-pull” factors in the US, and our region’s own job-creation efforts – State of Our Own Union. Here is a sample of earlier blogs:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3780 National Sacrifice: The Missing Ingredient – Caribbean people not willing to die or live in sacrifice to their homeland
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3694 Jamaica-Canada employment program pumps millions into local economy
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3662 Migrant flow into US from Caribbean spikes
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3446 Forecast for higher unemployment in Caribbean in 2015
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3050 Obama’s immigration tweaks – Bad for the Caribbean
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2547 Miami’s Success versus Caribbean Failure
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2251 What’s In A Name? Plight of “Black and Brown” in the US
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1896 American “Pull” Factors – Crisis in Black Homeownership
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1698 American “Pull” Factors – STEM Jobs Are Filling Slowly
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1596 Book Review: ‘Prosper Where You Are Planted’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1433 Caribbean loses more than 70 percent of tertiary educated to Brain-Drain
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1296 Remittances to Caribbean Increased By 3 Percent in 2013
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1256 Traditional 4-year College Degree are Terrible Investments for the Caribbean Region Due to Brain-Drain

The Go Lean book and accompanying blogs posit that for the Caribbean Diaspora, fleeing from their homelands to reside in the US is akin to “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” in terms of effort to succeed and thrive in a community. The message of the Go Lean movement is that it takes less effort to remediate the Caribbean than to fix a new adopted homeland. While the Go Lean planners may not be able to change American society, we can – no, we must – impact our own society. This is the charge of the Go Lean…Caribbean roadmap, to do the heavy-lifting, to implement the organization dynamics to impact Caribbean society here and now. The following are the community ethos, strategies, tactics and operational advocacies to effectuate this goal:

Community Ethos – People Respond to Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influences Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – The Consequences of Choice Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations Page 32
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Make the Caribbean the Best Address on Planet Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Repatriate Diaspora Page 46
Strategy – Mission – Dissuade Human Flight/“Brain Drain” Page 46
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Union versus Member-States Page 71
Implementation – Assemble CariCom, Dutch, French, Cuba and US Territories Page 95
Implementation – Enact Territorial Compacts for PR & the Virgin Islands Page 96
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate Page 118
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence Page 120
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Page 127
Planning – Lessons from the US Constitution Page 145
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236
Advocacy – Ways to Impact US Territories Page 244
Appendix – Interstate Compacts Page 278

This Go Lean book accepts that the current State of Our Own Union is not a permanent disposition. We can do better. This roadmap is a 5-year plan to effect change, to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. From Day One/Step One, positive change emerges. The roadmap therefore serves as turn-by-turn directions for what-how-when-where-why to apply the needed remediation, mitigations and empowerments.

The scope of this roadmap is change for the Caribbean, not change for American society – though there is the need for some lobbying of American authorities for Interstate/Foreign Compacts (Page 278).

That’s lobbying, not begging

As for the Caribbean US territories – the great American Empire – having a voice, but no vote is disadvantageous. A Congressman from Nebraska would not negotiate with a Congressman from Puerto Rico because there is no vote to offer, compromise or “horse-trade”. American territories are therefore just traditional colonies, parasites and subjective to their imperial masters.

The Caribbean strives to be protégés, no parasites! We can be the world’s best address. How glorious the day when we can declare that as the State of the Caribbean Union!

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in to this Go Lean … Caribbean roadmap. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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