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View Poll Results: Should the Dominican Republic (be allowed to) join CARICOM?
Yes. 13 72.22%
No. 5 27.78%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-09-2018, 11:55 PM
 
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Well if you're at the bottom, there's no way to go but up. I don't think it takes much for DR to show growth. There are only two choices for the DR: grow or stay stagnant. Trinidad has farther to fall. Economics is not my area, but I don't think any CARICOM members are threatened by the DR. I think not allowing them in is a values-based decision. I checked the CARICOM website, and it looks like darn near every Caribbean country is affiliated. So it's not like they're super exclusive. Haiti is a member, for goodness sakes. I'm not dissing Haiti, but in its current state, it has little to offer CARICOM compared to other members.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:17 AM
Status: "Hope is last to lose it..." (set 1 day ago)
 
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Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
Well if you're at the bottom, there's no way to go but up. I don't think it takes much for DR to show growth. There are only two choices for the DR: grow or stay stagnant. Trinidad has farther to fall. Economics is not my area, but I don't think any CARICOM members are threatened by the DR. I think not allowing them in is a values-based decision. I checked the CARICOM website, and it looks like darn near every Caribbean country is affiliated. So it's not like they're super exclusive. Haiti is a member, for goodness sakes. I'm not dissing Haiti, but in its current state, it has little to offer CARICOM compared to other members.
Haiti and Dominican Republic are practically the complete opposite and I think this explains the very different treatment CARICOM gives to each country.

Haiti is no threat to CARICOM countries because its economy is very small ($8 billion +/-), its very unstable politically, it receives one of the lowest foreign investments, its economy doesn't grow much, and its considered one of the poorest countries in the world. A few years ago they qualified for debt cancellation to the poorest countries and they still receive large amount of foreign aid, which is crucial to maintaining whatever stability they got. The only aspect in which Haiti poses a threat to CARICOM is in its potential to push people to those islands. With a population that lives mostly in poverty and I think roughly half are in extreme poverty, with no real poverty reduction expected for the foreseeable future; that explains why CARICOM hasn't given Haitians the right to travel without a visa to the CARICOM islands. The only thing in which Haiti is a threat to CARICOM, so they accepted Haiti but made sure to keep the threat under control by not giving Haitians the right to free movement among CARICOM members.

On the other hand, the DR is an upper-middle-income country. While Trinidad and Tobago's economy is of an interesting size ($20 billion +/-), the economy of the city of Santo Domingo alone produces more than that. A mere 30 years ago that wasn't the case. The country already has the largest lower middle/middle class in the Caribbean, the largest upper class, and the largest consumer market. It also has the largest manufacturing sector in the Caribbean. To make matters even more interesting, in all of Latin America and the Caribbean only Chile, Panama, and Dominican Republic are closing the gap with developed countries mostly because most countries grow and bust, but over the long term developed countries grow faster. Dominican Republic is also the country that has been surpassing other countries in the region at the fastest rate. We're talking about a country that in 1960 was the poorest Spanish-speaking country in the world to one that is now ahead of practically half of Latin American countries. The country doesn't qualify for foreign aid and was denied debt cancellation because of its upper-middle-income status.

I think Dominican Republic poses a great threat to CARICOM. The people in power in those places are very much aware of the fast changes that have been taking place in the DR and they know where the country is headed, especially compared to their region. You may still have the mindset that the DR of today is the same one from the 1980's, but the leaders of CARICOM are up-to-date and they know what it would mean to their economies to allow a country as the DR into their group.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:25 AM
 
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DR has over 10 million people and Trinidad has just over a million. While DR has the largest economy, the poverty and QOL is much worse in DR as well than Trinidad and honestly most of the English speaking Caribbean. Stats only tell a part of the story.

But DR does pose a threat to CARICOM because they would easily dominate economically and it would make it even easier for Dominicans to flood the rest of the islands.

Last edited by 908Boi; 09-10-2018 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:54 AM
Status: "Hope is last to lose it..." (set 1 day ago)
 
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Originally Posted by 908Boi View Post
DR has over 10 million people and Trinidad has just over a million. While DR has the largest economy, the poverty and QOL is much worse in DR as well than Trinidad and honestly most of the English speaking Caribbean. Stats only tell a part of the story.
Haiti also has 10 million people, yet its economy is smaller than Trinidad and Tobago's, it isn't growing much, and it hardly has a middle class and a tiny upper class. Its consumer market is also smaller than Trinidad's.

The DR's poverty rate has been falling steadily and in the 1980's its economy was not the largest in the Caribbean nor did it had a sizeable middle class, let alone a dynamic consumer market. Jamaica, which is the largest economy in the CARICOM was actually richer than the DR. That changed due to two reasons, the fast development of the DR and the stagnation that has affected Jamaica, which is a stagnation that actually affects most CARICOM countries.

If we were to look at migration rates and brain drain rates between the DR and the CARICOM countries, I'm willing to bet the CARICOM countries are suffering a much greater loss proportionally of economically important people than is the DR. The last time I looked at brain drain data (it must had been about a decade ago) the typical Lesser Antilles island was losing upwards of 80% of their young people with college degrees while the DR's brain drain rate was around 30%. When a country is losing most of it college educated people, that's a major problem that speaks about not only the QOL at the moment, but also the prospects of that QOL. If people think the QOL will be better as time goes on, they are much more willing to staying put, especially the college educated people. Haiti is another country that loses over 80% of its college educated population to emigration and I mention this country because in terms of population size its a twin of the DR.

To put it mildly, anyone that knew the DR of the 1980's and know the DR of today agrees that the difference is like night and day. Very few countries have gone through such a large change in such a short period of time.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PrizeWinner View Post
I agree. The DR would have a big burden to carry. The DR is already kind of swamped with other immigrants.
I can tell you don't travel around the Caribbean. The DR is swamped by Haitians. Dominicans swamp almost every other Caribbean island. Any Dominican who approaches CARICOM with the notion that it is superior deserves to be told that they shouldn't be admitted. DR has all of the challenges that other Caribbean nations have.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post
Haiti also has 10 million people, yet its economy is smaller than Trinidad and Tobago's, it isn't growing much, and it hardly has a middle class and a tiny upper class. Its consumer market is also smaller than Trinidad's.

The DR's poverty rate has been falling steadily and in the 1980's its economy was not the largest in the Caribbean nor did it had a sizeable middle class, let alone a dynamic consumer market. Jamaica, which is the largest economy in the CARICOM was actually richer than the DR. That changed due to two reasons, the fast development of the DR and the stagnation that has affected Jamaica, which is a stagnation that actually affects most CARICOM countries.

If we were to look at migration rates and brain drain rates between the DR and the CARICOM countries, I'm willing to bet the CARICOM countries are suffering a much greater loss proportionally of economically important people than is the DR. The last time I looked at brain drain data (it must had been about a decade ago) the typical Lesser Antilles island was losing upwards of 80% of their young people with college degrees while the DR's brain drain rate was around 30%. When a country is losing most of it college educated people, that's a major problem that speaks about not only the QOL at the moment, but also the prospects of that QOL. If people think the QOL will be better as time goes on, they are much more willing to staying put, especially the college educated people. Haiti is another country that loses over 80% of its college educated population to emigration and I mention this country because in terms of population size its a twin of the DR.

To put it mildly, anyone that knew the DR of the 1980's and know the DR of today agrees that the difference is like night and day. Very few countries have gone through such a large change in such a short period of time.
You're correct. But I personally would not want to be poor in DR, much rather be poor in the Anglophone Caribbean (sans Guyana)
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, T&T and Haiti are either evenly-split or decidedly black. The DR is historically anti-black. I'd bet money that's the underlying reason they've rejected the DR. Until the DR gets its race politics together, the other members of CARICOM would be foolish to invite them in. Might as well let yourselves get colonized again. Also, what is this talk about the DR's wealth? I've always been under the impression that Trinidad was one of the most stable countries on that list. Trinidad has oil. It's why it doesn't depend on tourism and isn't known as a tourist island, which the DR is.
Not sure that Guyana and T&T are "decidedly black". In Guyana 29% so self identify and in T&T its around 35%. 20% of the population in Guyana self identifies as mixed as do 23% of those in T&T. Many of these people look the same as do many Dominicans who don't want to identify as "black". The ODR only applies to the USA because of the unique racial history of this country.

Racial identity is a social construct so clearly varies depending on the society which one lives in. Michael Manley (a former Jamaica Prime Minister) illustrated that by saying that in the USA he would be black, in Jamaica he is brown and in Brazil he would be white, especially given his family background. It is what it is and none of these societies are wrong or right for developing these identities.

The days of T&T and for that matter even Barbados, being stable are gone. T&T depended heavily on gas exports and they have lost their biggest market, the USA, which has now become a net exporter. Most shocking to those who know T&T there are now discussions about closing down their oil refinery as its losses have become too burdensome for its owner the gov't.

The DR does have a powerful economy, because of its scale (11 million people) but has low labor rates so has massive poverty issues. So Dominicans swamp many of these islands, as do Haitians. Any Dominican who poses the DR as this huge advanced nation superior to the rest of the Caribbean will get laughed at. Just arrive at almost any Caribbean airport and be behind a passport holder from the DR or Haiti and observe the scrutiny that people from either country get. Within the Caribbean Haitians are seen as the cheapest with Dominicans being slightly more costly.


Now as to the "anti blackness". Well that is too simplistic. The DR didn't have the patterns of slavery that most of the Caribbean had so there wasn't this dichotomy between the European slave owner and the African enslaved. While the mulattos became a sub elite in many Caribbean societies (as they were used as a buffer) they became a "norm" in the DR. So the narrative of race and "blackness" differed. The DR didn't go through the 60s and early 70s with the black pride movement, so didn't develop a narrative which counters the one of "self hate" that pervades just about every society that has undergone colonialism and slavery.


Every where when people talk about "good hair" we all know what that means. What is unique about the DR is (until recently) there wasn't an opposing narrative which stated that such thinking is a manifestation of backwardness and self hatred. So Dominicans don't want to confront the issues of skin colorism which are very determinative of one's access to opportunity. Jamaicans do and there is ample chatter about the "black vs. brown" issues and the issue of colorism.


So what is unique about the DR isnt the supposed self hatred. Its about the fact that they don't want to admit that it exists so do little to offset the problems that it causes. On HBO Demand some Dominican films have been shown. What is quite obvious is that those who inhabit the slums of Santo Domingo look extremely different from those who live in the mansions. Dominicans don't want to talk about that. Jamaicans definitely do about their own similar issues.

But the issue of Haitians in the DR has to be seen separate from that of Dominican attitudes towards "blackness". The fact remains that Haiti is a highly dysfunctional semi failed state and none of its neighbors have the ability to absorb the consequences of this. The Bahamas and the DR are best friends as they cooperate with strategies about how to deal with their "Haitian problem". The Bahamas is too small and DR too poor to be expected to absorb every Haitian who wishes to flee that tragic land.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post
I don't see Trinidad as the most stable country on that list. For the sake of comparison, I'll limit to DR vs TrSo Trinidad is a country that as of late has been getting poorer, the economy is shrinking, the population is shrinking, and emigration is very high and possibly growing. In the meantime, the DR is getting richer, the economy is growing faster than most in the Caribbean and Latin America, the population is growing at a healthy rate, and emigration is slowing down.

To make matters more interesting, Trinidad's population is older than the DR's (median age in Trinidad is 36 vs DR 26: https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...elds/2177.html). This means that Trinidad's population is at the peak of its economic productivity while the DR's population still has its most productive years ahead of them. This will definitely impact the economies of both countries in the following decades, but the effect will be in favor of the DR and detrimental to Trinidad.

At least to me, it doesn't seem that Trinidad is the most stable country in the region and much less the country with the brightest future. Trinidad's neighbor Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Colombia also has much oil, as well as Mexico, and even Nigeria.

Dominican Republic is the destination to 60% all the direct foreign investment that is made in the Caribbean (https://financialtribune.com/article...for-third-year). While direct foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean is decreasing, in the DR its increasing at an accelerated pace. This would had been unheard of a mere 30 years ago, and anyone that back then would had suggested that this was going to be the case today would had been laughed at.


Despite all of this the DR remains poorer, the standard living lower, serious issues of income inequality exists and Dominicans can be found just about every where in the Caribbean, having to obtain visas for entry in most instances.

The fact that T&Ts population is older is actually an indicator of its higher levels of social development. If you doubt compare Europe with sub Saharan Africa. The T&T birthrate began to drop a while ago, which is why its population of youths is lower.

As far as most Caribbean employers are concerned Haitians are the "Salvadorians" and Dominicans are the "Mexicans" of the Caribbean. Dominican women are also notoriously sexually trafficked, with some even getting as far south as Guyana. So even in Guyana Dominicans attempting to enter undergo extra scrutiny, just as is accorded to Haitians.


Now tell us what is the minimum wage in the DR.


I will suggest to you that the DR, with its huge population, many of whom are poor, has way to much to concern itself with than for some elite Dominican to fool themselves that some how that nation is superior to the rest of the Caribbean. I will place more bets on Cuba as at the very least its population is highly educated. I don't think that one can say the same for that of the DR.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post
I think Dominican Republic poses a great threat to CARICOM. The people in power in those places are very much aware of the fast changes that have been taking plac.
In what way? There is already a trade agreement between the DR and CARICOM and I am not aware that the DR is swamping anyone. Dominican companies have made some acquisitions in St Lucia and a few other places, just as Trinidadian companies have a presence in the DR, and I don't see any riots in the streets. In addition the DR and CARICOM operate within the scope of CARIFORUM where they jointly negotiate on trade and economic issues with the EU.

Haiti was admitted because they are so poor, broke and friendless that their presence in CARICOM wouldn't impact how that entity runs. The reality is that Haiti accepts whatever CARICOM does because they have no choice. Latin America doesn't accept them. Suriname (not poor) was also admitted as their isolation from the rest of the Americas also forces them to fit into CARICOM.


Let us face it CARICOM is a creation of the English speaking Caribbean and will remain that way, so those who don't want to accept that fact cannot join. There are 15 votes to counter any take over attempts. DR will have 1 vote in a 16 member entity. I suspect that both Suriname and Haiti will also oppose any DR take over attempts.

1. Does the DR even want to be in CARICOM? Are they prepared to abide by the decisions made by 15 other CARICOM nations? You know running in and screaming that the DR has almost double the population of the English speaking Caribbean. Its like the senate, one country one vote and so tiny St Kitts Nevis with its 55k people (as many as 5% being Dominicans) will have as many votes as the DR. The racist arrogance of the DRs elites doesn't allow them to tolerate this. I submit that the DR isnt interested in joining as the CARICOM DR Free Trade Agreement and CARIFORUM already provide all the interaction that the DR wants.


2. Even without being included in the freedom of movement arrangements that CARICOM members abide to Dominicans swarm many of these islands. Do you think that Kittitians or Antiguans want to wake up one morning to find out that Spanish is the de facto language? Already they are burdened with having to make provisions for Dominicans kids arriving with no knowledge of English. When it comes to migration the smaller islands see the DR exactly as the DR sees Haiti. Their treatment of Dominicans is marginally better than how Haitians are treated in the DR. Last time I was in St K I felt as if I was in the west Bronx.

3. The Dominican elites don't understand the political and cultural history of the rest of CARICOM. These islands are run by people whose ancestors were slaves. The DR is still openly dominated by the old elites who control the cultural narrative and imagery of that nation.

4. Can you explain to me why only one of the recent Dominican presidents resembles what most Dominicans look like? I can assure you that the whiteness of the Dominican elites and the obnoxiously obvious skin colorism which pervades in the DR UNCONTESTED is why people don't want DR in. They don't want a re-opening of raw wounds that took decades to close.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 908Boi View Post
DR has over 10 million people and Trinidad has just over a million. While DR has the largest economy, the poverty and QOL is much worse in DR as well than Trinidad and honestly most of the English speaking Caribbean. .
I am always amused by these Dominican elites who think that they are better than the rest of the Caribbean. They just don't understand that the DR isnt seen as this wildly progressive nation that people wish to emulate. In fact much of their economic growth is motivated by their low wages. I don't think that anyone is rushing to the DR because they think that their labor force is highly skilled.

The question that people are asking, is why do so many Dominicans swamp their little countries? Check out the poor parts of many of these places and one will find the Dominicans. The shocking thing is that Dominicans are even beginning to show up in Guyana. Someone said that this mere fact shows that there must be serious issues of income inequality in the DR for some to venture all the way to Guyana, which isnt an easy place to get to from the DR.
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