By Clarence E. Pilgrim
The inauguration was a historic moment! A warm sunshine of emotional goodwill spread across that country to touch the hearts of many, who were longing for what was once considered an insurmountable barrier to be crossed. Indeed many never thought that the time would be here and now!
The 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, has managed to transform the words “change we can believe in”, into a tangible array of hope and optimism, in a country besieged by international terrorism, financial crisis, an unpopular war and as many other challenges as there are stars and stripes on the American flag.
His personal ascension to the presidency has captured the imagination of generations of men and women around the world, who dare to have a bold vision and the determination of will to overcome both natural and unnatural obstacles. This is truly a time worth living in, at a time when living has become a journey of lessons awaiting the right answers.
Looking into the future of the US now is like looking into a cloudy crystal ball, hoping to get a glimpse of a safe and certain path to follow in these uncertain times. What must the next step be?
Expectations are high, but there must be pragmatism about reaching for what may be attainable, and having the wisdom to avoid what cannot be realistically achieved.
Caribbean and US relations have not always been the smoothest of wheels turning in synchronicity. The last Republican administration made many missteps by the way it undervalued its relationship with its southern neighbours adorning the Caribbean Sea. This attitude, it is hoped, will be a part of the change many Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders would be looking for.
I believe that it is the right time for CARICOM to develop a framework for “educating” the new administration about its agenda and what it hopes can be accomplished in the best interest of all parties concerned. The summit of the Americas being held in April, in the Caribbean isle of the “humming bird” known as Trinidad, will be the first real opportunity for CARICOM to make a definitive first impression – and you know what they say about first impressions!
In one paragraph of his inaugural address on the 20th January 2009, the new president said, “Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”
The similarities of a number of the human development experiences of the US and CARICOM countries make the quoted words relevant in applying them to the emergence of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and the bold and dynamic leaders who made it materialise.
It also gives a sense of the generations of visionary Caribbean men and women who continue to support the document now, and to its hopeful evolution into an instrument that will form the basis for CARICOM’s inevitable political and economic integration.
While there is still time, the Caribbean leadership must create a realistic list of objectives, which are fine-tuned by consensus and sharpened by reason. From rising food costs to environmental issues, each topic must be a part of a whole and not a fragmented part in search of an ear.
Having given written support to the Obama candidacy from its earliest primary battles to its ultimate result, I will add my congratulations to this victory of hope and character over despair and hopelessness.
I believe that it is possible for CARICOM and the US to work together.
Clarence E. Pilgrim is an environmentalist, advocate for human rights, educator, a senior officer in the Antigua & Barbuda Civil Service and volunteer for various non-profit organisations. (Caribbean Net News)
Jun 02, 2020The tennis world will have to wait at least a month more to know what is the plan of action by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The global body pushed back the date in which they...
Jun 02, 2020
Jun 02, 2020
Jun 01, 2020
Jun 01, 2020
Jun 01, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]