Caribbean Integration Movement

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The integration movement in the Caribbean has been envisioned in days as far back as the West Indian Federation (the original CARICOM) where diverse Caribbean states joined with the intention of creating a political unit that would become independent from Britain as a single state, much like the successful Canadian Federation. This short-lived attempt at regional integration unfortunately collapsed before any real development could be made. The reincarnation of this motion, however, occurred in 1973, 15 years after the West Indian Federation, in the form of The Caribbean Community, CARICOM, with much of the initial motives intact. However, many challenges hinder the progress of CARICOM, in particular, the different levels of development of its member states, thus thwarting regional integration. Economic factors such as productivity levels, social factors such as education which relate to the employment rates and literacy of citizens, as well as the political, and geopolitical factors with respects to natural resources such as oil and natural gas, are a few of the issues which suppress the success of integration as envisioned by CARICOM.

The ideology of CARICOM is that as an integrated region, the Caribbean would be capable of much greater economic development and global competitiveness than as single entities. This means that all members of CARICOM would be required to contribute and as such would each be entitled to benefits which would aid in both the individual development of the states and the development of the Caribbean as a whole. However, at present the economies of many of the islands are not as successful as others, for example, the contrast between the economies of Haiti and the Bahamas. One reason for the difference in levels of development in several islands is the availability of natural resources in some while others depend solely on tourism. Therefore, this disparity in the level of development between the member states results in the delay of...
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