The Bottom Line for the Caribbean Diaspora
The Caribbean is the best address in the world. However for over 50 years many Caribbean citizens left their island homes to find greater opportunity in foreign lands: USA, Canada and Europe. Though the “man was taken out of the island, the island was never taken out of the man”, and as such many of the Diaspora live in pockets with other Caribbean expatriates in their foreign homelands (i.e. Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York, USA). What’s more, their children, legacies, are still raised and bred with Caribbean values and culture. Many left initially with the intention of returning someday, but life, loves and livelihoods got in the way of a successful return. Worse, many tried to return and found that they were targets of crime and terrorism, mandating that they abandon all hopes and dreams of a successful repatriation. The CU therefore must allow for the repatriation of peoples of the Diaspora, in all classes of society, “the good, the bad and the ugly”.
1. Lean in for the Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME) initiative: Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU)
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
The CU will lobby the US, Canada and the EU to award more foreign aid, and forgive-able loans to the region in exchange for reducing the number of migrants from the CU. Many times, there are quotas for new immigrants, the request is that those quotas be lowered, and the requirements heightened for immigrants, including students.
7. “No Child Left Behind” Lessons
Learning from the experiences of this provision from the US Bush Administration (Appendix DB), where failing students were recruited by the military, the CU would lobby the US, Canada and the EU for permission to solicit individuals and families (of the Diaspora) on the public welfare roles to consider a return to the Caribbean. It is cheaper for them to promote a viable economy “here” than to support the Diaspora “there” on their public welfare roles. The CU will thereby request databases of Caribbean expatriates to solicit and entice them back to their home regions.
8. Quick Recovery from Natural Disasters
Damage from hurricanes (and earthquakes) in the CU region is unavoidable, but the CU will provide institutions to respond, rebuilt and recover so as to mitigate any long term imperilment on the affected areas. This would be modeled after “forest fires” management in the US.
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
Invite Sports Leagues in the US, Canada, and EU to hold exhibition matches in the Caribbean so as to pacify any longing the repatriates may have for their former homelands. The same applies to travelling Art Shows, Museum exhibitions, theatrical companies and concert tours. Broadcast rights for the region will be auctioned by the CU.