July 12, 2011

THE BIG INTERVIEW - Jagdeo’s way ahead

SUN, JULY 03, 2011 - 10:59 AM

The tenure of Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo is nearing its end. While attending his last CARICOM Summit as Head of Government, Jagdeo spoke frankly to regional journalists, including NATION Managing Editor Tim Slinger, in St Kitts yesterday.

He was candid on several topical issues, including freedom of movement across the region, REDjet and West Indies cricket.

Q: This is your final appearance at the CARICOM Heads of Government conference. After 12 years, what are your impressions of the regional body?

Jagdeo: For too long we’ve held up these lofty ideas of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and almost in a sacred way without focusing enough on how we break those down into projects and programmes and get those implemented.

The only way that we’ll change the perception of CARICOM is not just through a PR job . . . . There are a lot of positive things about CARICOM but the more ordinary people can feel regional initiatives impacting on their lives.

The fishermen in Barbados, in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Guyana and Suriname can have their fisheries agreement that allows them to move seamlessly across these countries and fish, then without any hassle they will start to say CARICOM is working. So it builds support through specific initiatives.

There is that sense of urgency that we need to create the mechanisms for that new approach. A change in mindset.

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