CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 11, 2010: Caribbean ministers of foreign affairs and heads of delegation of 15 Caribbean countries again met with a top U.S. official on Thursday and yet again, the issues germane to the Caribbean Diaspora failed to make even a footnote on their agenda.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Bridgetown, Barbados to discuss issues of interest to the region.
But while regional issues, including not just Haiti and the oil spill, but health cooperation made the agenda, not a single mention was made of immigration reform, an issue germane to the region`s Diaspora, which has continued to prop up the GDP of many Caribbean nations through billions in remittances sent back annually.
Unlike their Latin American counterparts, who have used every opportunity to push not just domestic issues, but the issue of immigration reform for their Diaspora nationals, Caricom leaders again ignored their Diaspora and kept silent.
In Caribbean American Heritage Month, not a single mention was made of the issues of concern to this important bloc. Instead, all politics was kept local, as leaders pledged to `meet the common challenges of the 21st Century (by declaring) our intention to act in concert to improve the social and economic well-being of our peoples, to ensure the safety of all our citizens, to advance towards a secure and clean energy future, and to defend and strengthen our democratic institutions.`
Among the topics that did made the agenda were the Caribbean-U.S. Dialogue on Security Cooperation; Haiti, Energy Security and Climate Change Cooperation, trade relations and health cooperation.
The leaders also pledge to work together in recovery efforts to battle the global recession and committed to maintaining `regular dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State to meet the common challenges we face and advance the security and prosperity of our peoples.`
Peoples that are regional based it seems, and definitely not those who have moved beyond the borders of their homelands.