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Full CARICOM membership comes with a cost of participation– Dr Kedrick D. Pickering

- questions whether VI can afford to even become a full member
Former Deputy Premier and Legislator, Dr Kedrick Pickering has questioned whether the Virgin Islands (VI) can afford the cost of full Caricom Membership, a stance that rebottled that of clergyman Claude O. Skelton-Cline that the VI should take up a great role in the regional body. Photo: VINO/File
Claude O. Skelton-Cline & Dr Kedrick D. Pickering were debating on the radio show 'Eye On the Future of the Nation' on ZBVI 780 AM on April 30, 2024, as to whether the VI should take up full membership. Photo: Facebook/File
Claude O. Skelton-Cline & Dr Kedrick D. Pickering were debating on the radio show 'Eye On the Future of the Nation' on ZBVI 780 AM on April 30, 2024, as to whether the VI should take up full membership. Photo: Facebook/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – Former Deputy Premier and legislator Dr Kedrick D. Pickering has questioned whether the Virgin Islands (VI) can afford the cost of full CARICOM membership, a stance that rebutted that of clergyman Claude O. Skelton-Cline, who said the VI should take up a strong role in the regional body.

The two were debating on the radio show 'Eye On the Future of the Nation' on ZBVI 780 AM on April 30, 2024, as to whether the VI should take up full CARICOM membership.

Is full membership beneficial to VI? - Dr Pickering asks 

“Is full membership in CARICOM beneficial to us at this point in time… CARICOM full membership brings with this a number of responsibilities, membership has responsibilities. Are we prepared for those responsibilities?” he questioned. 

Dr Pickering added, “CARICOM full membership brings with it the costs of participation. We can't just be a member and don't participate, because ultimately all that means is we are basically wasting our time and wasting our colleague's time.”

Skelton-Cline had argued that with current conditions in our world, each country, including the VI, needs to have strategic partnership and alliances throughout the world.

Mr Skelton-Cline said, moving forward, the VI needs to position itself to be able to sit at the negotiating table and participate in policy decisions on the strategic direction of the region as a whole.

Administrative infrastructure needed for CARICOM

Dr Pickering added, “If you're not around the table, if you're not there to make decisions and to follow up on those decisions, then you're defeating the very purpose. And then here’s my really big point... Do we have the administrative infrastructure in our country at this point in time to be able to deal with full membership in CARICOM?” he further questioned. 

He said his research tells him that the International Affairs Secretariat, which is the body that primarily handles regional and international affairs, is not at its optimal at this point in time.

“Our leaders will go to CARICOM, the decisions are made at CARICOM. It has to filter back to us. We've got to have the personnel and human manpower resources and everything else that goes along with it to work on implementing those decisions if we are going to benefit from them and if we are going to contribute overall to the greater debate within the wider Caribbean region,” he said.


18 Responses to “Full CARICOM membership comes with a cost of participation– Dr Kedrick D. Pickering”

  • jack (10/05/2024, 09:11) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    He should love caricom more opportunities for the Cuban to get on a plane
  • Veracity (10/05/2024, 09:44) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    It would appear that BVI people can achieve every critical acclaim, represent us at UN, Wolds bank, in Egypt and Mesopotamia, sports and academia, medicine and all letters .....but we need strength , thought ,wisdom ,Greek gods and divine wisdom to join CARICOM...for we may not be able to call on these same local luminaries, sages and qualified local content to participate in this struggling regional collective.


    Translate, Doc
    • @ veracity (10/05/2024, 14:05) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
      BVI People perhaps stamp your passport as well at an Entry. PORT - please humble yourself.
  • Greg (10/05/2024, 10:11) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an intergovernmental organisation that is a political and economic union of 15 member states (14 nation-states and one dependency) and five associated members throughout the Americas and Atlantic Ocean. It has the primary objective to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and coordinate foreign policy. The organisation was established in 1973,[11] by its four founding members signing the Treaty of Chaguaramas. Its primary activities involve:
  • bvi (10/05/2024, 10:27) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    BVI people who feel they're all that and better than their Caribbean brothers and sisters only want Caricom when it is to their advantage to help them fight UK. If Caricom investigate how their own diaspora is being treated in BVI, they would be appalled. It is only for their convenience but them people don't care nothing about nobody else if it is not U.S. They snob their nose on everybody else
    • Local (10/05/2024, 11:29) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
      @bvi dont it wrong its only this fool Shawnda want to join caricom the rest of dont care for that and diaspora you talking about this the best life you living so shut up.
      • @local (10/05/2024, 15:04) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
        Is the BVI special? Yes. it is, but not so long ago we faced some of the same economic challenges that some of our neighbours are currently facing. Why do you think that so many of our cousins are in the USVI? Why are there so many people from the Dominican Republic living here who share common BVI surnames? The answer is that our grandfathers travelled to St. Thomas (and horror of horrors!) to Cuba and the Dominican Republic trying to earn enough money to feed their families back in the BVI. If we learn our history, we might be a little less arrogant and recognise "today for me, tomorrow for you".
    • randy (10/05/2024, 22:12) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
      @bvi. So why are you here if it is so bad? Oh yes, the US dollar, because you cannot get into the US to live so easily.
      Wouldn't it be better for you to go BACK home and live in peace since it is so bad here? Hmmmmmmmmm?
  • jack@$$ (10/05/2024, 10:39) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    If we give him the job to go to the meetings I'm sure he'll think it's a good idea.
  • Opinion (10/05/2024, 11:20) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    This brother need to go back and sleep, had so many years in and what was achieved?. Can some one from the 7th say???.
    • l (10/05/2024, 22:25) Like (41) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Opinion. Nothing was achieved, in fact, we went backwards. There is no longer one of our most needed resources, which is AGRICULTURE! He destroyed that completely and never looked back to fix it. NO RESPECT!!!
  • Stealth (10/05/2024, 12:19) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The (British) Virgin Islands, is a small, resource-poor, small population, etc group of islands but it cannot behave as an island unto itself. It needs to collectively, cooperatively and collaboratively work close up and closely with other regional countries. The VI is too small to go it alone. The region is too small to go it alone. It must work together to addressing the myriad of problems facing the region, ie, climate change, socioeconomic, cultural, security, health, natural and other disasters, etc. They must work as a group pooling resources of the region for the good of the region. Insularity killed the West Indian Federation (1958-62). Jamaica pulling out the Federation in August 62 was the region’s Brexit. The region would have been farther down the growth and development if the region’s leaders had given the Federation a chance; instead insularity killed any hope.

    The VI cannot lean on Caricom and other regional organizations when just in need of help or support.,They need to be part of these organizations. What is the cost-benefit of the VI becoming a full member of Caricom? Dr. Pickering stated that it will be costly. But what is the cost? We cannot just make statements without supporting data/information. Regional unity is important. The VI send a number of students to UWI but without the contributions of regional countries there will be no UWI. Is freedom of movement the tall pole in the tent, the canary in the coal mine, the poison pill?
    • @Stealth (10/05/2024, 14:37) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply

      Dr. Pickering was an elected official for over 20 years if I'm not mistaken and held posts as Minister and Deputy Premier. Pull his file and you will see why you shouldn't be wasting half a brain cell trying to figure out what he is saying. He is talking pure $%!* hoping that it sounds good to people that are displeased with the government and how things are going. Pickering and Claude are old news who were part of the system that caused the problems that we are now seeing in full bloom. Dr. Pickering misses the prestige of being a Minister for I'm sure the invitations to jets, yachts and outer Cays have ceased since the cut @$% Sowande gave him in 2019.

      • Stealth (10/05/2024, 16:18) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
        “ Don't wait until you're thirsty to dig a well” implored Chinese philosopher Zhu Xi over 800 years ago.” The power, status, elitism, etc is like a drug, ie, it is addicting. Watching Sammy Davis, Frank Sinatra, etc trying to perform beyond their prime was painful. History is replete with politicians getting addicted to the job , not knowing when to hang it up.
    • be careful (10/05/2024, 15:25) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      The first thing we need to understand is that there is FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT. What is that? It is the Free Movement of Skills/Labour which entails the right of a CARICOM national to seek work and/or engage in gainful employment in all CARICOM member states with the exception of The Bahamas, Montserrat, and Haiti without the need to obtain a work permit.

      That should stop us dead in our tracks. And if you think I lie, ask Antigua. Does the BVIslander goto any other Caribbean nation or island en masse to live or work? No. The Caricom nationals will be on our doorsteps pronto. They say it's about skills and labour but in reality it will be about the god almighty US dollar.
  • Maria Louisa Varlack (10/05/2024, 17:49) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    if the british virgin islands become independent of the united kingdom and severe ties with the united kingdom i would not want to move back home to my birth place to live.
  • long look me come from (11/05/2024, 09:59) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    After 20 years in office doing nothing and 2 election defeats he still trying to come back what a shame

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