CARICOM Circle in Belize | Photo by Jerrye and Roy Klotz, MD via Wikimedia Commons
Part V: “Florida, the State of the Future” Series
To the limited knowledge of this columnist, no Florida governor or a Floridian member of the U.S. Congress has batted for the Sunshine State to aid, invest and even offer to lead the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) in its quest for “Economic Promised Islands.”
The CARICOM is a regional group of nations that encourage common policy and economic goals. The single market and economy are known as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), which is meant to integrate all member states of CARICOM. It is still in development.
The members include Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
On the other hand, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and the Government of Mexico approved a seventh Mexico-CARICOM Technical Cooperation in 2017. But the Mexican-CARICOM “partnership” is also “still in (full) development.”
The U.S. has two territories in the Caribbean, namely the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The U.S. won and annexed Puerto Rico in the Spanish and American war of 1899 (along with Guam and the Philippines and establishing a strong presence in Cuba).
Historical records show that in 1493 Christopher Columbus founded Isabela, the first permanent Spanish settlement in the New World, on Hispaniola. It happened during the second expedition that Explorer Columbus commanded.
But Spanish Florida (Spanish: La Florida) was the first major European land claim in what is now the Continental United States (CONUS) that led to the Spanish settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire during the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
A new governor of Florida — like Ms. Nikki Fried — can use her State’s distinction of being Spain’s first significant colony in the CONUS and the Caribbean to propose this conceptual framework of approach to the CARICOM and implicitly to Mexico. Yes, to have more extensive economic cooperation between Florida, Mexico, and the CARICOM countries. And includes the development also of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Cuba.
“It will help not only North America and the Caribbean but also the entire world if a Governor Fried can indeed bring “Something New” to the socio-economic fabric of Floridians. …
“Yes, Floridians will have to vote for that elusive political will to elevate their State to a higher economic profile and a better future. And the future begins on August 23rd.”
This column has written about the vision of former Mexican President Vicente Fox and friends of their country becoming the world’s fifth-biggest economy by 2050. This journalist was present when former President Fox discussed the 2050 vision for Mexico at an economic conference in 2014. It was sponsored by the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, CA. Since then, he has carried on a dialogue with Mr. Fox and has exchanged notes about the 2050 target of the Mexican economy.
The vision of Mr. Fox is also bogged down like the CARICOM initiative and is likewise “still in development.” To read about Mr. Fox’s 2050 vision for Mexico, readers may search the Philippine Daily Mirror website and type in “Vicente Fox” to read more about it.
As soon as Ms. Nikki Fried wins the Democratic primary for governor of Florida, this columnist — if requested — can present to Ms. Nikki’s economic advisers a position paper about the feasibility of a Florida-Mexican partnership in support of the CARICOM initiative. Florida has the human and financial resources to become the lead partner of Mexico in its bid to achieve its economic goal by 2050 (as visualized by former President Fox). And together, Florida and Mexico can elevate the CARICOM countries, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and even Cuba to full socio-economic development.
Reducing the said conceptual framework of approach into viable project feasibility studies and environmental impact reports will be the first few steps in a proverbial voyage of thousands of miles. It will help not only North America and the Caribbean but also the entire world if a Governor Fried can indeed bring “Something New” to the socio-economic fabric of Floridians. And as the ancient global proverb says, “If there is a will, there is a way.”
Yes, Floridians will have to vote for that elusive political will to elevate their State to a higher economic profile and a better future. And the future begins on August 23rd.