Above: Trinidad PM Kamla Persad Bissessar
By the Caribbean Journal staff
As CARICOM marked its 40th anniversary on Thursday, Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it was time for the movement to admit a new member.
“The ongoing reform process in the community must be one that will make CARICOM not only more efficient and effective but more relevant as well,” said Persad-Bissessar, who assumed the CARICOM Chairmanship earlier this week. “In this regard, may I urge you to consider expanding our membership to welcome the Dominican Republic into the CARICOM family.”
It’s not yet clear whether CARICOM Heads will agree, but the move could prove critical as the Dominican Republic increasingly allies itself both with Latin America and Central America. The Dominican Republic is currently an observer to CARICOM.
Indeed, the Dominican Republic has been an associate member of the Central American Integration System since 2004, and just last week became a full member state.
Persad-Bissessar’s words came as Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina was on hand in Port of Spain for the Heads of Government conference this week.
Her proposal came as the Heads of Government marked the 40th anniversary of the CARICOM integration movement, which was founded by the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973.