NORMAN GIRVAN 2 2 ND S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9

The Crisis and the Caribbean--Economic
 Declines in tourism, merchandise exports receipts, remittances &

capital flows.  1.2% contraction in sub-regional GDP for 2009, a decline of 8% relative to 2006.  Slowdown expected to last through 2010.  By September 2009, 7 Caribbean countries had resorted to IMF assistance for crisis related financing. Jamaica announced a 20% budget cut 5 months into the 2009/10 fiscal year,  Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica were most affected countries due to tourism; Jamaica suffered a double blow due to the closure of a large part of its alumina industry.

to prevent regional financial firms from evading regulations in one country by improper practices in another  A regional regulatory regime would be provided by the Caricom Financial Services Agreement and the Caricom Investment Code.L.Financial Institution Failures  While the failures of CL Financial in T&T and Stanford International in Antigua & Barbuda were precipitated by the global financial crisis. Of A&B. which have not been adopted  Regulatory failure is also related to the political and economic influence wielded by powerful individuals & firms over political parties and governments. the failures exposed major deficiencies in legal and institutional systems for financial sector regulation in the public interest within the two countries concerned  The failures also show the need for a region-wide regulatory regime. who are claiming damages of U$1. Financial failure has so far cost the T&T govt.225 million. equivalent to almost 600% of the GDP . and show the need for more transparency and accountability  The C. at least TT$5 billion  The failure of Stanford International Bank has led to lawsuit from depositors against the govt.

the Bahamas. and Suriname have also been reported to have initiated deportations of undocumented nonnationals  Concern over rising unemployment and competition for jobs from nationals may be slowing down implementation of existing Caricom-CSME commitments for free movement of certain categories of labour.  Longer-term social and political fall-out uncertain Go to http://www. for more documentation . artisans.normangirvan.g.Social and political impact  Socio-economic tensions over intra-Caribbean migration  Barbados’s policy to remove undocumented Caricom nationals led to tensions with Guyana and St Vincent/Grenadines (see  Antigua and Barbuda.

with North at the top.Global Reconfiguration •The conventional world map. is conveys a subliminal message on the global relation of power •But geo-economic power is shifting towards the East & the Global South .

pdf . with China #1’ EIU’s 2006 Foresight Report http://graphics. 3 of the world’s 4 largest economies will be Asian.Share of World GDP 1820 ASIA CHINA & INDIA 56 49 1950 15 9 1998 30 17 2020 42 30 Source: World Bank WDR 2009: author ‘In 2020.

opposed to US hegemony Institutionality—UNASUR. environmental groups—e. Afro-Latin Americans. Rio Group.g. women. 3. independence Centrality of sovereignty and self-determination. 6. 5. 7.Hemispheric Reconfiguration . 2.Latin America’s New Orientation – 7 Features 1. Politics—dramatic growth in role of social movements representing the poor. 4. indigenous. ALBA Key leadership roles of Brazil and Venezuela . South Bank. World Social Forum Move towards ‘Participatory democracy’ and ‘new models of civilization’ – some governments have rewritten constitutions Ideology – most governments are disenchanted with neoliberal policies of the Washington Consensus Centrality of continental regional integration as means of consolidating Latin American unity. economic and social development.

1 percent of regional exports •Asia insignificant fraction of tourism •This limits potential spin-offs from high growth performing Asian economies •Caricom countries should seek to develop their trade-investment-tourism linkages with Asian economies •Individual countries evidently lack the capacity to adequately service relations with the entire Asian continent. Europe 23% •Spain and U. 53% of tourist arrivals. •Requires improved governance framework for Caricom and institutional capability to handle its external economic relations.7% of regional exports and 35. •US 48.9% of imports in 2001-2006 •U.•Caricom’s main trade & investment links with centres in relative decline. main sources of foreign investment •Magnifies the regional impact of economic downturn in these countries •China takes only 4. •A joint ‘Asian strategy’ by Caricom would share costs and exploit synergies. .S.S.

Afrodescendientes. democracy. political. and their children who migrated to the ghettoes of the cities. We. Belem The crisis of Western capitalist civilization requires us to rebuild and reinvent new and different options of coexistence between nature and society. the Indigenous Peoples and Communities. Caboclos. It points to the adoption new ways of living and in this context. economic. the state and patterns of consumption. ethical. invisible and ‘ untouchables’ of the planet who continue to resist.Example: Declaration of Indigenous People 2009 World Social Forum. and others. Dalits. technological. to strengthen and to update alternative forms of social. . indeed they are being and have been built from the time of the first victims of the most barbaric forms of capitalist violence in the / colonial / modern and contemporary era. Ribereños. Garífunas. Campesinos. it is not just that ‘other worlds are possible’. and all the other excluded. cultural and spiritual organization of the human existence. Quilombolas. Originarios. they are urgent.

Some ways in which LA’s New Orientation has impacted Caricom countries  Collapse of the FTAA negotiations due to opposition of Mercosur and Venezuela  T&T had spent resources on the HQ campaign. Caricom had spent resources on the negotiations  Petrocaribe – 12 of 14 Caricom countries participate  ALBA – 3 Caricom countries are members  All Caricom countries participated in the first LAC summit in Bahia (Brazil) December 2008  Lack of consensus on the Declaration of POS at the 5th SOA – no collective signature  Foreign policy positions of Caricom countries as members of ALBA & of UNASUR .

& women’s organizations. 2009. but not of Lula. indigenous groups. anti-Chavez and anti-Cuban elements in Washington But the coupists did not count on the determined and sustained popular resistance. was precipitated by President Zelaya’s moves to take Honduras in the direction of a ‘participatory democracy’ and to join ALBA The coup was carried out by representatives of the traditional oligarchy.The Honduras Coup dramatises key features of Latin America’s ‘New Orientation’      The coup of June 28. now coalesced into the National Resistance Front—a coalition of popular organizations grouping campesinos. Garifunas (Afro-Hondurans). at least officially The role of Brazil. probably with support from the US military and right wing. securing the support of the OAS and the United Nations General Assembly and dragging a reluctant US Administration to oppose the coup government. . securing the diplomatic protection of international conventions and the political protection of Brazil. has been crucial. poor communities. This has prevented the coup government from acquiring internal legitimacy and consolidating its power Two institutions of the New Orientation—UNASUR and ALBA—have played decisive roles in the isolation of the coup regime. Hence Zelaya was granted refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. even more than Venezuela. The US can be dismissive of Chavez.

com/  Betty Vasquez of Movement of Women in Resistance of Santa Bárbara  Garifuna leader Fanni Elizsabeth Solarzano Castillo from Triunfo de la       Cruz and National Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH) Indigenous leader Salvador Zúñiga from Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) Garifuna leader Miriam Miranda from National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres from Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) Garifuna leader Teresa Reyes from Triunfo de la Cruz community on Honduran north coast Afro-Honduran leader Alfredo Lopez from National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) Peasant Leader Rafael Alegria from Via Campesina Honduras .Voices of the Honduran Resistance http://hondurasresists.blogspot.

Betty Vasquez Fanni Castillo Salvador Zúñiga Miriam Miranda Berta Cáceres Teresa Reyes Alfredo Lopez .

28 and 29 in La Ceiba. and authored this declaration calling for a November 2010 referendum for a new Constitution.National Gathering of Afro-Honduran Youth Call for a November 2010 Plebiscite so Honduran People Can Vote on a New Constitution Seventy-five young community organizers met on August 27. Honduras. .

defence Infrastructure Integration--IIRSA—River & road network.htm 12 countries. energy: 31 high-impact projects of $10 billion selected for 2005-2010. treatment of asymmetries.Brazil the driving force – Guyana & Suriname included Focal areas: Colombia-US bases controversy  . social cohesion.comunidadandina. $973 B GDP. 514 in portfolio costing $69 billion. political dialogue. convergence of integration schemes—FTA by 2019. 4th largest world pop. telecommunications. financial mechanisms.. and 5th largest GDP .iirsa. South Bank South American Defence Council Foreign Policy coordination—Honduras Coup. 361 M pop.      http://www.


not a treaty http://www. .to provide an alternative ‘integration model’ to neoliberal integration schemes based on free trade and investor-friendly rules  Executed by means of inter-governmental agreements. Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines – 73 m. Nicaragua.alternativabolivariana. $669 billion GDP  Purpose.ALBA – Bolivarian Alliance For The People of Our America  Launched 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba  Membership now of nine countries including Bolivia. Dominica. Honduras. population.

ALBA PRINCIPLES AND RULES  Trade and investment to be instruments of fair and sustainable development with            effective participation of the State. . Special and differentiated treatment for participating countries according to their level of development and size Economic complementarity and cooperation between countries to preserve efficient and productive specialization and balanced economic development Cooperation and solidarity for a Continental fight against illiteracy provide free healthcare and a scholarship programme. including democratization of international organizations particularly the United Nations system. Intellectual Property Rights to protect the patrimony of the region while not becoming an obstacle to cooperation Harmonization of positions in multilateral fora. Creation of a Social Emergency Fund Integrated development of communications and transport Protection of the environment Energy integration Promotion of intra-Latin American Investment through a Latin American Investment Bank. a Bank of Development of the South and a Latin American Society of Reciprocal Guarantees Defense of cultural identity: creation of TELESUR.

ALBA PRACTICES & PROJECTS  Petrocaribe .. ALBA Caribe Fund ALBA Food Security Fund .concessional financing for imports of       crude oil – not tied to ALBA membership but based on ALBA principles of solidarity Financial support for state-owned industries & physical & social infrastructure Financial support for health & education that directly benefit the poor Non-reciprocal trading and financial arrangements ALBA Bank – authorised capital $2 b.$100 M initial capital . paid-up $1 b.

Cuba agreed to grant duty-free access to Venezuelan imports and to remove non-tariff barriers. while in return Venezuela has agreed to eliminate only non-tariff barriers on Cuban imports • Compensated trade .through direct product exchanges – Dominica is allowed to pay for 40 percent of its Petrocaribe oil imports with exports of bananas • Trade agreements negotiated on a case-by-case basis. allowing for flexibility of commitment according to country circumstances. . • Reciprocal Credit Arrangements Venezuela-Cuba Agreement.ALBA TRADE AGREEMENTS • Non-reciprocity .

2 B.Petrocaribe is now the largest single source of soft loans for the 16 beneficiary countries • Petrocaribe finances a portion of Venezuelan oil sales to • • • • • Caribbean and Central American importing countries by means of loans payable over 25 years at 1-2 percent interest. Foreign Assistance commitments to most of the participating countries in 2005-2907. with a twoyear moratorium The percentage of the sales value financed was formerly computed on a sliding scale that increased with the world market price of oil. compared to $58 M US assistance for FYs 2005-2007 .. to June 2009 it was said to be $1. IDB disbursements to 16 PC participating countries in FY 2008 is about one-third that of Petrocaribe In Jamaica – PC credits for June 2005-June 2008 was $471. In June 2009 this was reportedly changed to a flat rate of 50 percent Petrocaribe loans from June 2005--December 2007 are estimated at $1. A calculation made one year ago showed Petrocaribe credits exceeding U.S.4 B.

over 100 students attending Cuban medical and nursing schools.000 students are receiving training as health professionals Over 2 million made literate in literacy programmes 600.000 Venezuelan and Cuban scholarships are available to qualified Dominican students in computer science. math. 5000 Cuban medical scholarships for Bolivia. sports. physics. and agriculture’. .ALBA SOCIAL COOPERATION IS POWERED BY CUBA • 30. medicine. approximately 75 Dominican students are in other Cuban schools. Dominica . engineering.000 people have ‘had their sight restored via Operation Miracle’ 2000 Cuban scholarships per year for Venezuela. 2.000 Cuban doctors providing free medical services to • • • • • the poor in LAC 70.

normangirvan. potentially environmentally damaging projects Transparency/accountability issues Potential for corruption .POTENTIAL NEGATIVES OF ALBA  Donor dependency  Energy dependency  Economic vulnerability  Political vulnerability  State-centric. participatory governance should be integral to ALBA http://www.normangirvan. as opposed to ‘grassroots’ or community-based       development Capital intensive.

but two Caricom countries also attended an ALBA summit prior to the 5th Summit which adopted a public declaration that there would be no signature of the draft declaration because of its omission of this issue  Caricom condemned the Honduran coup. SICA and the OAS in taking firm positions on the coup  Two Caricom states as UNASUR members have participated in the debate over the Colombia-US bases agreement . but individual Caricom states have also joined ALBA. UNASUR.Latin America/CARICOM Relations  Events in 2008-2009 dramatised the growing alignment of Caricom and with the new LA groupings on key issues in relations with the US  The Cuban embargo issue at the 5th Summit of the Americas—Caricom had always declared against the US embargo on Cuba.

Present)  Trinidad & Tobago.OECS Integration Initiative .Caribbean Integration Initiatives  West Indies Federation (1958-1962)  CARIFTA (1965-1973)  Caricom I (1973-1989)  Caricom II (1989-Present)  OECS (1981.

The Association of Caribbean States (ACS)  Failure to create an ACS FTA.  Failure to assume a critical role in political matters between member or between members and an external party.  Success of the Caribbean Sea Initiative. .

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