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CARICOM leaders say change must come

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The 23rd half-yearly meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government opened Thursday morning in Surname, with a resolve from leaders that change must be the order of the day.

The opening ceremony heard addresses from CARICOM Chair of the Conference, Desiré Delano Bouterse, President Suriname; Outgoing Chair, Dr. Denzil Douglas; and, Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque.

Bouterse emphasized that CARICOM was badly in need of new seed and a new beginning and that Heads of Government should not only “take account of their failures,” but should allow for “new energy to infuse our possibilities.”

Pointing to the Landell Mills Report (2012), which has recommended new directions for the Community and a restructuring of its administrative body, he insisted that “the in-depth analysis of our institutions must lead us to a better way of doing things, a faster response to false starts and wrong directions and, more importantly, to the meaningful and effective participation of our citizens in all areas and throughout the entire region.”

Bouterse, however, acknowledged that this was a tall order, especially within the context of high global economic anxieties, but hastened to add that while the emphasis seemed to have been placed on a better and more empowered Secretariat, there was an urgent need for Heads of Government to flex the political will to further the integration agenda “even as our peoples do on their own — traversing sometimes through unfriendly waters and turbulent skies across the region, to make sense of the opportunities as they know them to exist.”

He maintained that a part of the change must include a well-resourced CARICOM Secretariat and urged member states to pay their dues as a matter of priority. A revamped Secretariat, he stated, would still not be able to do its job effectively if it did not have predictable financial resources to sustain its viability.

Outgoing chair Douglas stated that the people of the Community not only expected technical competence from its leaders but demanded visionary leadership. In this context therefore, he urged CARICOM to position itself to become more meaningfully engaged with, but not subsumed by other groupings.

In light of this, Douglas was opined that CARICOM “… must continue to forge strategic alliances recognising that their respective strengths and resources can assist the Community in propelling itself towards a platform for strengthened functional cooperation.”

He underscored the need for optimism, noting that CARICOM should focus on adapting and re-inventing itself to make it more efficient, effective, relevant and more sharply focused on results; but he warned however that while the focus should be on the way the Community functioned, it should not be on changing the core values purpose, principles and ideals of the integration movement.

“In light of ever-changing global and regional conditions, it remains CARICOM’s essential responsibility … to provide greater clarity and form regarding the ideals of integration so that we inspire hope and confidence for the people of our region who are questioning our resolve to truly transform their lives,” the St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister asserted.

Secretary-General LaRocque warned of drastic change that would flow from the recommendations of the Landell Mills Report. He added that change would have to be managed in an environment of reform within the Community, its Organs, Bodies and Institutions. Those changes, he stated, must take into account the way the Community conducted and governed its affairs. An important part of that process, he explained, was the need for further prioritization.

He also pointed to the re-engineering of the CARICOM Secretariat’s organizational culture, which he warned would not be easy but would be managed and would definitely require a new mindset and a new way of doing things.

The opening of the CARICOM half-yearly Summit coincided with the global observance of International Women’s Day under the theme: Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty. All three speakers acknowledged the pivotal role that women continued to play in regional development and called for greater improvement of the economic circumstances of women, particularly rural women. The Summit itself is being held under the theme: “Healthy women; Wealthy Region”.

Three new leaders were welcomed the Conference: Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana, who joined the Conference for the first time; Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, and Dr. Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St Lucia who were returning, following their victories at recent polls.

(CARICOM Press Release)

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Discussion

9 thoughts on “CARICOM leaders say change must come

  1. What about our St. Vincent PM’s 8 page letter? Did it not make it on the agenda? Did Secretary-General LaRocque not consider it worthwhile for discussion? I think it sits at cross effects to the Landell Mills report.

    Posted by Mark | March 9, 2012, 06:39
  2. It is on the agenda. Remember this is the opening exercises……

    Posted by Elson Crick | March 9, 2012, 11:23
  3. Tell us Crick in the neck, what do you know about the Land Fill Report? why don’t you stop draining the Vincentian coffers with your worthless employment, don’t you think your out of order, because we do.

    Gonsalves is a very nasty little fat Marxist mischief maker, living in the past, Humpty Dumpty the 20 dollar fertilizer man.

    LIAR KING, THE NEW DISNEY FILM, STARRING THE 20 DOLLAR FERTILIZER MAN, EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES TURNS TO CRAP.

    Posted by Peter | March 10, 2012, 21:50
  4. BE WARNED CARICOM IS AT SERIOUS RISK.

    According to the ‘Marxist-Lenninist Daily News’ CARICOM is looking to be an associate member of ALBA, eventually becoming dissolved and being swallowed by ALBA.

    That should not be a problem with Dési Bouterse at the helm of CARICOM. He is well placed with the right credentials to help the other Marxist scum bags in ALBA. Bouterse is a convicted criminal with oustanding warrants for his arrest.

    Desiré Delano “Dési” Bouterse
    1980 –
    From 1980: Dési Bouterse’s name is closely bound with the military regime that controlled Suriname from the 1980 Surinamese coup d’etat until the beginning of the 1990s.
    February 25th 1980: The government of newly-independent Suriname underwent a military coup which declared the country to be a Socialist Republic [Communist] and Bouterse became Chairman of the National Military Council.
    August 1980: President Johan Ferrier was forced out of office by Bouterse pressure, and several months after the coup d’état by Bouterse most of the political authority transferred to the military leadership.
    From 1980 until 1988: The titular Presidents were essentially army-installed by Bouterse, who ruled as a de facto leader with few practical checks on his power.
    1980:   Desiré Delano “Dési” Bouterse, Interim President of Suriname.
    1980-1988:   Desiré Delano “Dési” Bouterse, Chairman, Suriname National Military Council.

    1982 –
    December 8th 1982: At Fort Zeeland, 15 prominent opponents of the military regime were shot dead. Bouterse denied being present and that the decision was made by the commander of the battalion. Dési Bouterse did, however, accept political responsibility.
    1982:  Desiré Delano “Dési” Bouterse, Interim President of Suriname.

    1986 –
    November 29th 1986: The army attacked the village of Moiwana, killing at least 35 of the inhabitants, mostly women and children, and burning the house of Ronnie Brunswijk. The survivors fled with thousands of other inland inhabitants over the Marowijne river to neighbouring French Guiana. Bouterse is accused of having a hand in this matter. Moiwana is a Maroon village in the Marowijne district in the east of Suriname.
    This massacre took place during the Suriname Guerrilla War between the Surinamese military regime, headed by Dési Bouterse and the Jungle Commando led by Ronnie Brunswijk,
    Since 1986: The human rights organisation Moiwana ’86 has committed itself to justice with regard to the massacre at the village.

    1990 –
    August 1990: Chief inspector of the police, Herman Gooding, was murdered while carrying out an investigation of the 1986 massacre. He was forced out of his car near Fort Zeelandia and shot in the head, his body was found outside the office of Desi Bouterse.
    Other police investigators fled the country, stalling the investigation.

    Drug Trafficking: After the return of democratic government, Bouterse was accused on various occasions of involvement in illegal drug trafficking.

    1999 –
    July 1999: Bouterse was convicted in absentia in the Netherlands [Holland] to nine years in prison for cocaine trafficking
    In 1999: An international warrant for Bouterse’s arrest was ordered by Europol, regarding his conviction for the illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs.
    [According to the United Nations Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, since he was convicted before his election as Head of State and he has only been Head of State since 2010, he has no immunity. This was confirmed by various specialists in International law]
    [Wikileaks published in 2011 a cable in which the American embassy confirmed Bouterse’s involvement, together with that of Shaheed Roger Khan from Guyana, in the drugs trade. Representatives of the parliament say that President Bouterse should give an explanation for the Wikileaks cable, but officials from the government discard this as not being their problem]

    2000:   Desiré Delano “Dési” Bouterse, Chairman, National Democratic Party (NDP)

    December Murders: Although Bouterse was convicted in the Netherlands of drug offences, he has remained free in Suriname. The Surinamese government has said that it is preparing a case against the perpetrators of the December 1982 murders to be brought before a judge. The cases were ongoing as of April 2006. Bouterse has denied any involvement in the killings on 8 December 1982 at Fort Zeeland, in which 15 prominent opponents of the military regime were shot dead. Bouterse denied being present and that the decision was made by the commander of the battalion, Paul Bhagwandas, who died in 1996. Bouterse did, however, accept political responsibility.

    Moiwana massacre of 1986: Moiwana is a Maroon village in the Marowijne district in the east of Suriname. During the Suriname Guerrilla War between the Surinamese military regime, headed by Dési Bouterse and the Jungle Commando led by Ronnie Brunswijk, Moiwana was the scene of the Moiwana massacre on November 29, 1986. The army attacked the village, killing at least 35 of the inhabitants, mostly women and children, and burning the house of Ronnie Brunswijk. The survivors fled with thousands of other inland inhabitants over the Marowijne river to neighbouring French Guiana.
    The human rights organisation Moiwana ’86 has committed itself to justice with regard to this event.
    A chief inspector of the police, Herman Gooding, was murdered in August 1990 while carrying out an investigation of the massacre. Reportedly he was forced out of his car near Fort Zeelandia and shot in the head, with his body left outside the office of Desi Bouterse. Other police investigators fled the country, stalling the investigation.
    The government has stated that it is still continuing its investigation of the massacre, but that prospective witnesses had either moved, died or were uncooperative. It has also said that an investigation of the murder of Herman Gooding was continuing.

    2005 –
    August 2005, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered Suriname to pay 3 million USD in compensation to 130 survivors of the massacre, and to establish a 1.2 million USD fund for the development of Moiwana.

    2006 –
    December 2006: The Surinamese government has said that it is preparing a case against the perpetrators of the December 1982 murders to be brought before a judge.
    Bouterse has denied any involvement in the killings on 8 December 1982 at Fort Zeeland, in which 15 prominent opponents of the military regime were shot dead. Bouterse denied being present and that the decision was made by the commander of the battalion, Paul Bhagwandas, who died in 1996. Bouterse did, however, accept political responsibility.

    President of Suriname: After the return of democratic government, led in succession by Ronalddenbosch Venetiaan, Jules Wijdenbosch, and Venetiaan again, Bouterse tried repeatedly to return to power through elections.

    2010 –
    2010:  Desiré Delano “Dési” Bouterse, Chairman, Mega Combination (government coalition party comprising NDP, KTPI, PALU, and New Suriname)
    July 19th 2010: Bouterse was elected as President of Suriname.
    In the Surinamese legislative elections, Bouterse and his coalition, the Mega Combination (De Mega Combinatie) were voted to become the biggest party in Suriname. The coalition failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament by three seats, requiring 51 seats. In order to secure the votes necessary to become President, Bouterse needed to cooperate with either Ronnie Brunswijk – his former enemy – or the Javanese leader Salam Somohardjo of the Peoples Alliance (Volks Alliantie), who had left the New Front party before the election
    August 12th 2010: Bouterse was installed to the office of President of Suriname.
    After his inauguration, Bouterse immediately honoured all nine still living 1982 murder conspirators, who together with Bouterse were also involved in the 1980 Surinamese coup d’etat.
    They were all awarded with the ‘Grand Cordon of the Honory Order of the Yellow Star’ , the highest honour of Suriname. This led internationally to great controversy, since all nine are accused of involvement in the December murders of 1982, when thirteen civilians and two military officials were murdered because they opposed the military rule in Suriname.

    2011 –
    December 2011: Controversial Presidential Pardons; President Desi Bouterse granted a pardon to his foster son Romano M. who was convicted of murder in 2005.
    Romano M. was convicted of the brutal robbery of a Chinese trader in 2002. Romano M. sat out a sentence of 15 years for manslaughter, robbery and throwing a hand grenade at the house of the Dutch ambassador. Judge Valstein-Montnor, also the judge in the December Murders-case, considered proven by evidence that Romano M. tried to commit a similar robbery at a later stage. This was however prevented by guards from the Dutch embassy. In response, Romano M. then threw a hand grenade from a car to the residence of the Dutch ambassador. The pardon caused commotion in the country, as it is the first time a President pardons a murder with robbery. “This is contrary to the natural justice of all Surinamese,” said former justice minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi. “People that have committed such heavy offends, should not get a pardon.” Bouterse’s staff denied that there was favoritism, as there were strong legal arguments for the pardon. MP Aziz Gajadien stated that the Bouterse-administration also intends to pardon predatory murderers, rapists and coke dealers, as they are now eligible for an early parole. Gajadien stated that 11 early releases are based on unclear criteria. Former convicts also appear near Bouterse. In Bouterse’s delegation that visited a South American summit, two other members apart from Bouterse, had a criminal drug record: former military Etienne Boerenveen and Hans Jannasch. “Such people now circulate around the state power”, said former president Venetiaa. “Their history is known.”

    2012 –
    January 6th 2012: Desi Bouterse becomes the new Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairman, His Excellency Desi Bouterse, has called on the region to make 2012 a year of change.
    Bouterse, who is also the President of Dutch-speaking Suriname said that “by changing the way we do things, this Community will be a changed one – for the better – by the end of 2012.”

    His Excellency, are they kiddinggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

    Posted by Peter | March 12, 2012, 07:56
  5. Well CRICK, VINCYPOWA, and all other supporters of our own Marxist crapola, how about this ehhhhhhhhhhh

    Now CARICOM is under the control of all the Caribbean scum, we are in even more threat from the new empire of ALBA.

    ALBA Army being pumped out from the ALBA military school.

    Perhaps Gonsalves would like to tell us how many of the secret police and black squad have had military and political training at the school?

    Posted by Peter | March 12, 2012, 08:07
  6. Duck for cover oh scum of the first order, the scheme to destroy CARICOM has been exposed. VINCYPOWER, get your instructions from Gonsalves and do your best to refute the truth.

    ALBAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, ba black sheep.

    The silence is deafening.

    Posted by Peter | March 13, 2012, 14:43
  7. WOW, what an effect that had, un-refutable, what a shame, looked forward to all the lies and spin from the paid Marxist collaborators.

    I HOPE ALL YOU FOLKS IN THE DIASPORA ARE AWAKENED TO WHAT THIS MARXIST SCUM REGIME IS REALLY ABOUT

    Posted by Peter | March 16, 2012, 13:18
  8. Has anyone got anything to say about the convicted CARICOM drug dealer.

    How on earth can such a person be elected as president.

    Posted by Peter | March 26, 2012, 09:16
  9. THE SILENCE OF VINCYPOWA IS DEAFENING

    Posted by Peter | March 29, 2012, 18:38

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