Last month a report appeared indicating just how important one of the Caribbean’s overseas territories has become in facilitating global trade.
There is a pervasive view within and beyond the Caribbean that the regional integration process is foundering, and that its progress is being held back by an absence of political compromise and a failing bureaucracy.
Last month, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) produced a worrying “situational update” on the implications of the accelerating numbers of Venezuelans arriving in Trinidad, Brazil and Colombia.
A little over a week ago, the British people went to the polls.
For the Caribbean, climate change and its mitigation is like no other issue: it is existential.
When the former US President, Barack Obama, announced in late 2014 that he was easing travel restrictions on US citizens wishing to visit Cuba, a frisson ran through the tourist industry in the rest of the region.
A few days ago, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, and the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, agreed to work towards a closer relationship.
In much of the world, young people feel economically marginalised, politically alienated and in a struggle against insecurity and inequity.
Last week, after months of growing street protests, detentions, escalating violence, at least 36 deaths, and shortages of almost all basic necessities, Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, announced the creation of a constituent assembly with the ability to re-write the country’s constitution.
One of the most common complaints about tourism is that it does not spread the wealth it creates into rural and urban communities.
Before the end of this month, Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, will invoke article 50 of the European Treaty, starting a process that will lead to the UK leaving the European Union (EU) in 2019.
A few days ago, an astute observer of the US political scene told me: “Watch what the new administration and Congress does, not what the President tweets.
Unless the sugar industry in Caricom can develop in the coming months a co-ordinated and concerted plan of action, it is quite possible that in a few years’ time there will be little left of an industry which, for evil and good, has played a central role in the making of the Caribbean.
“Tourism is a vital sector to the economies of Member States”. So said Caricom Heads of Government in the communiqué that followed their recent inter-sessional meeting in Georgetown, Guyana.
In the last few weeks, Washington think tanks, financial services analysts in New York and London, and publications from the New York Times to the Petroleum Argus, have all found a reason to express a view on Guyana, the Caribbean nation they now see as set to become one of the Western hemisphere’s major oil producers.
When it comes to Cuba, the world’s media tends to focus on the obvious: the possible outcome of the new US administration’s policy review, the multiple difficulties faced by Cuba’s over-centralised planned economy, or the implications of Fidel Castro’s passing.
In the coming months, it is likely that the way in which governments think about international trade and their fundamental values will evolve rapidly, as the promises and threats that President Trump made on the campaign trail become US policy.
Late last November the Government of Antigua gave notice to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Disputes Settlement Body (DSB) that if the United States did not reach “an appropriate and beneficial settlement” in relation to a legal adjudication made previously in its favour, it would act to recover the revenue it has lost.