Column: Chris Famous On Caricom & More

November 22, 2023 | 4 Comments

[Opinion column written by PLP MP Christopher Famous]

At times it is good to simply sit back and observe vs. engage at the given time. It gives an opportunity to let others state their opinions and viewpoints. So, today we will look at some opinions versus facts.

A few weeks ago former One Bermuda Alliance [OBA] Senator Michael Fahy made these comments in reference to Bermuda seeking to start consultations about becoming full members of CARICOM.

“Membership of any organisation that impedes on sovereignty — in as far as that exists at present — needs to be carefully considered…”

Clearly he, and others, are attempting to sow seeds of doubt and distrust amongst Bermudians. Many of whom are of direct Caribbean heritage.

Ok so let us now deal with some facts.

Both of our regional neighbors The Bahamas and fellow Overseas Territory [OT] of Montserrat are full members of CARICOM. Yet, they do not have freedom of movement of labour. Nor have they signed up for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy [CSME]. As a matter of fact not every member state of CARICOM has signed up for CSME.

Why? Simply because freedom of movement of labour works logistically better for larger countries such as Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados that need labour for their industries. Whereas, smaller islands such as Antigua and St. Kitts would see their native populations / workforces outnumbered and limited housing and land resources used up.

As a prime example, in the Caribbean island that Michael Fahy loves to promote as what Bermuda should be, The Cayman Islands, the native population now constitutes only 30%  of the total population. At the current trend, by 2030 generational Caymanians will only account for little over 20%  of their population.

As a further reference point, the Cayman Islands is not a full member of CARICOM.

The reality is that, unlike the European Union [EU], all internal governance, inclusive of immigration and work permits, remain under the sovereign control of each individual CARICOM member state.

Skipped meetings

Mike Fahy, is someone who, according to his own words, has attended a grand total of one CARICOM meeting in 2014. In July of 2018, we were informed that Bermuda did not attend most CARICOM meetings under the OBA. Upon further discussion with regional ministers, it was made clear that under the OBA, there was little to no interaction between Bermuda and other Overseas Territories.

This clearly states that in his position of Home Affairs Minister from 2012-2016, Mike Fahy had very little interest in learning about the region and even less regard for engaging with regional leaders.

So, it is ironic that he now wants to appear to be some expert on CARICOM.

- Thomas Christopher Famous

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Comments (4)

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  1. OK says:

    Chris, what are the Benefits for Bermuda and Bermudians, ho much will these benefit cost in terms of fees. How much will it cost us to keep flying and to finance an office in the Caribbean.

    I truthfully cannot thing of any benefits to Bermuda that we can’t already enjoy or leverage.

  2. Hilarious! says:

    I seem to have missed what CARICOM membership advantages and benefits to Bermuda Mr. Famous listed.

  3. Thomas Famous says:

    A 90% of CARICOM meetings are via zoom
    B There is no need for an office

    As stated merely 2 weeks ago, there will be public consultation.

  4. Let’s start with a few facts rather than typical deflection playing the race game.
    1. Amongst the CARICOM membership are pretty well all of the most corrupt Countries in the Western hemisphere with Guyana and Haiti leading the way.
    2. Many members have diplomatic and financial ties to both China and Russia
    3. Bermuda has no export trade
    4. We are not part of that region
    5. I have lived and worked in this region and saw first hand the government corruption
    7. I tried to use my Bermuda citizenship as associate members of CARICOM. I received zero assistance.
    8. The Caribbean Governments number in the worst in the world for self service and failing their people through all the same things we are seeing in Bermuda these days.
    9. What exactly are the benefits to all Bermudians as members of a known entity with deep corruption as a known part of their membership?

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