Sat, 30 May 2020 06:24:53 +0000
‘Independent Thought and Caribbean Freedom’ revisited
DR KIRK MEIGHOO
WE IN TT have found ourselves in a political and diplomatic mess, in the middle of a geopolitical conflict between the US and Venezuela – perhaps even Iran now? – and apparently taking sides in the latest Venezuelan civil war.
It appears as though we have lost sense of the fundamentals of our independence, foreign policy and international relations. Other interests appear to be taking us off course into dangerous territory which does not serve our short-, medium- or long-term interests.
An important place to start to regain our bearings is Lloyd Best’s seminal 1971 essay, “Independent Thought and Caribbean Freedom.”
This was in many ways the seminal statement of the pan-Caribbean, political-intellectual New World Group – to which I have been connected for some decades. The New World Group began in Jamaica while Best was lecturing there, inspired by CLR James’s lectures at the UWI Mona Campus on the West Indies Federation. The movement spread down to Guyana, TT, and throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
By 1971, Jamaica (1962), TT (1962), Guyana (1966) and Barbados (1966) had become independent. The Eastern Caribbean states had not done so as yet. Black Power, radical trade unionism, so