The Continued Dream for a West Indian Federation

CLS Zoom meeting Sunday 5th June 

Speaker: Ozzi Warwick, Chief Education and Research Officer of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) of Trinidad and Tobago

There has always been a dream of West Indian Federation. A brief scan of the political history of the region will reveal the ever-present, either in loud voices or in hushed tones, the idea of the West Indian Federation. In presenting the case for a West Indian Federation we can do so by looking at the various class interests that made previous attempts difficult if not impossible. However, when we consider the failure of global capitalism, the broken promises of neoliberalism and the existential threat of the climate crisis, it may very well be time to seriously consider the need for a West Indian Federation. The reconstruction of the Caribbean political economy and the rethinking of the existing institutional structures may have elements for a renewed discussion about the Federation, which may not only be a possibility but even an inevitability. It can be argued that with a strong conscious mass movement across the region and a ground-up approach to the Federation, where the structures and policies are developed by ordinary people who understand that it is through solidarity, not competition, unity, not insularity, social economy, not a market economy is what will bring the region closer to freedom.

Ozzi Warwick is a founding member and General Secretary of the Movement for Social Justice and secretary to the Joint Trade Union Movement. He is the Chief Education and Research Officer and Executive Trustee of the OWTU and has overall responsibility for the OWTU’s educational and research activities both internal to the Union and external.