The Caribbean islands are small countries in Central America that consists of small islands all surrounded by the sea. It comprises of a little over 7000 islands. The islands are organized into various sovereign states but some are dependent on main land nations like Britain and the United States.
In modern times, it has proven a major challenge for the Caribbean nations to integrate and form any meaningful political or economic blocks. The challenges arise from their racial, regional and national backgrounds.
Racial identity in the Caribbean is very diverse. The people inhabiting these islands are of diverse races as well as culture. This makes each of the small nations in this region unique. The quest to maintain their status prevents most from joining up to form any meaningful political or economic alliances (Girvan & Jefferson, 1971).
Most of the Caribbean nations are poor and lack adequate resources. This prevents richer islands from getting into agreements to form alliances. The wealthier islands consider smaller poorer islands as economic burdens thus failing to form any alliances (Sherwood, 2012).
Most of the political leaders prefer to govern smaller regions to maintain their power and their little wealth rather than bigger regional blocks. The need to protect national identities of most of these islands has also been a great impediment towards forming economic or political alliances. The only alliance ever made was the Caribbean Common Market and Community which is also rather unstable due to the meager contribution by the member states (Amitai, 1965).
The international community’s lack of interest in this region has also been an impediment towards integration (Will, 1991). The lack of interest of the major powers in the world has also enhanced the growth of regionalism hence making integration a rather daunting task. If these island were to be assisted both politically and economically, especially being fully involved in the world affairs, then they would probably integrate to create reasonable economic and administrative blocks which would help alleviate poverty in the region and enhance better living standards.
Amitai, E.(1965). Political Unification. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Girvan, N, & Jefferson, 0. (1971). Readings in the Political Economy of the Caribbean. Trinidad:
New World Group.
Sherwood, Marika. ‘The United Nations: Caribbean and African-American Attempts to
Influence the Founding Conference in San Farancisco in 1945.’ The Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol. 3, No.5.
Will, Marvin. A Nation Divided: ‘The Quest for Caribbean Integration.’ Latin American
Research Review, vol. 26, No. 2 (1991), pp. 3-37.