When the Caribbean comes to mind, most think of trips, touring, and time-wasting. But most people never stop to think about the ancient history of the Caribbean colonization, slavery and British Commonwealth. Before the colonization of the great European countries, the languages of the Amerindians were spoken throughout the islands. After the Amerindians were forced off the Caribbean by the Europeans, the language of the different Europeans came into existence in the Caribbean. But mostly, the enslaved people were brought to the Caribbean from all regions of Africa, resulting in many different languages and cultures. The languages of enslaved people were shaped by the new environments and how the Europeans spoke their languages. Eventually, after slavery and colonization ended, the British Commonwealth was formed to foster peace, democracy and prosperity in the member countries, including Caribbean countries. Also, members of the Commonwealth are governed by three main values; respect, tolerance and understanding. It would make great sense for all Caribbean countries under the British Common Wealth to leave their colonial past behind.
It is essential and logical for Caribbean countries to let go of the hurt brought by colonialism and slavery to keep them on the right track of chasing common interests like other members of their British Commonwealth. When the Caribbean countries under the British Commonwealth leave their colonial past behind, it demonstrates their understanding of situations that cannot be fixed. One of the key values observed by members of the Commonwealth is understanding (“Commonwealth Charter.”). Caribbean countries should be able to demonstrate their understanding by embracing diversity. Diversity can only be achieved when the countries put aside their colonial past and embrace countries that have descendants of their colonial past. Letting go of the colonial past is logical in terms of achieving the goals of the Commonwealth. The goal of the Commonwealth is to achieve democracy, peace and prosperity in all states. It can be achievable when members understand that human dignity should be respected regardless of the past. If Caribbean countries keep holding on to the colonial past and are still members of the Commonwealth, it would be hard for them to live by the values. Consequently, it would become hard to achieve the members’ common interests. Therefore, regarding the values of the Commonwealth, it is logical that Caribbean countries let go of their colonial past, considering the British Commonwealth’s values and the members’ shared interests.
Also, despite the painful happenings in the past decades, Commonwealth is focused on ensuring that Caribbean countries grow economically. It demonstrates the goodwill of members of the Commonwealth towards each other. Caribbean countries that are part of the Commonwealth share the advantage of trading amongst members at lower costs than countries that are not part of the Commonwealth. They trade at 20% lower costs than none commonwealth countries (“Op-Ed: Working Together Will Boost Caribbean Exports.”). This alone is evidence of the goodwill towards Caribbean countries, considering that nothing can be done to change the past, but the British Commonwealth is doing something to change the future. The economic status of Caribbean countries is changing due to trade opportunities offered by the Commonwealth to its members. Caribbean exports are smaller portions, and the British Commonwealth helps the countries export to Europe and the UK by combining members’ exports; British Commonwealth gives loans to members, including Caribbean countries, to boost their economies. However, during challenging moments, Caribbean countries fail to pay the debt. Commonwealth steps in to help the countries find solutions to step back economically as they pay the debt (“Commonwealth and UNDP Work with the Caribbean on Debt Challenges.”). In addition, Commonwealth has made Caribbean countries stay united through economic cooperation and integration (cite). Gradually the economy of Caribbean countries becomes stronger. Therefore, Caribbean countries under the British Commonwealth should consider letting go of the colonial past and fully joining the journey of the British Commonwealth that looks forward to bettering their economy.
Lastly, Caribbean countries under the British Commonwealth should let go of their colonial past and focus on the contemporary world where the British Commonwealth seeks to promote and protect human rights. The painful colonial past when descendants of Caribbean citizens were denied basic fundamental human rights cannot be fixed. It cannot be fixed by dwelling on the past because the hands of the clock keep going forward. However, there is hope from the British Commonwealth that looks forward to promoting and protecting human rights to ensure that people in the Caribbean are comfortable. The Caribbean States are too small to sufficiently participate in “ international human rights mechanisms and implementing international obligation.” (The Commonwealth, pg. 30 ). It is also a challenge for the states to achieve national human rights institutions. The British Commonwealth is focused on helping the state participate in international human rights by requiring the states in terms of technology so that they do not have to be present all the time in Geneva. Also, the fifth goal of SDG is slowly being achieved as girls in the Caribbean citizens are being empowered and gender equality is embraced because of the influence of the British Commonwealth. Ensuring that human rights are embraced and protected is a step that focuses on creating a better future than the colonial past of the Caribbean people. Therefore, there is no need to hold on to the painful past when they are under an organization seeking to better their lives.
Conclusively, It would make great sense for all Caribbean countries under the British Commonwealth to leave their colonial past behind. Regarding the values of the Commonwealth, it is logical that Caribbean countries let go of their colonial past, considering the British Commonwealth’s values and the members’ shared interests. Also, Caribbean countries under the British Commonwealth should consider letting go of the colonial past and fully joining the journey of the British Commonwealth that looks forward to bettering their economy. Lastly, Caribbean countries under the British Commonwealth should let go of their colonial past and focus on the contemporary world where the British Commonwealth seeks to promote and protect human rights.
“Commonwealth Charter.” Commonwealth, https://thecommonwealth.org/charter.
“Commonwealth and UNDP Work with the Caribbean on Debt Challenges.” Commonwealth, 2013, https://thecommonwealth.org/news/commonwealth-and-undp-work-caribbean-debt-challenges.
“Op-Ed: Working Together Will Boost Caribbean Exports.” Commonwealth, https://thecommonwealth.org/news/op-ed-working-together-will-boost-caribbean-exports.
“Our Work.” Commonwealth, https://thecommonwealth.org/our-work.
The Commonwealth. The small States and the Commonwealth. https://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/inline/Small%20States%20and%20the%20Commonwealth%202017_1.pdf.