Senator James makes address at Sao Paulo Forum in Cuba
July 20, 2018
Senator James makes address at Sao Paulo Forum in Cuba

The future of our region’s integration process is being threatened by protectionism and political interference from external forces, Senator Carlos James has cautioned.

James made this pronouncement on Monday, in an address to parliamentary delegates across Latin America and the Caribbean at the 24th Sao Paulo Forum being held in Havana, Cuba from July 15-17, 2018.

James, who was selected as the Caribbean region’s representative among a five-member panel of presenters, cautioned the delegation that their respective domestic policy positions and failure to collectively defend the sovereignty of memberstates are adversely affecting the region’s integration process.

“We become our greatest enemy if we allow imperialist practices such as protectionism and political interference to undermine the sovereignty of independent States within our region,” Senator James said.

According to James, regional leaders must become cognisant of the adverse impact that their political miscalculations are having on the region.

“Protectionist-policy is not just about trade, but a retreat to the integration process, restricting the free movement of our people, our failure to arrive at a consensus on fundamental issues of socio-economic and geo-political importance. These are all barriers to our advancement as a region,” James opined.

He noted that the Sao Paulo Forum provides an important platform for progressive movements within the region to unite in their collective fight against the varying threats in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We therefore now have the option of either working closer together in our struggle against imperialism or allow our imperialist practices to divide our political position at a State and regional level,” James said.

The Sao Paulo Forum brings together leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of uniting ideas and efforts against counter-revolutionary offensive within the region.