President Ram Nath Kobind will travel to the Caribbean country of Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines starting Sunday (May 15, 2022). According to the Foreign Ministry, the announcement of President Cobind’s seven-day visit will start from Jamaica and then to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is the first visit of an Indian head of state to these countries.
India and Jamaica
This year, the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Jamaica. Another significance is that it marks the 176th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Jamaica.
The tour begins in Jamaica on May 15-18, and its agenda includes delegation-level talks with its counterpart, Sir Patrick Allen, Governor-General of Jamaica. In addition to addressing a joint sitting of the two chambers of the Jamaican parliament, he will meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other dignitaries during his visit.
According to Foreign Ministry Secretary (East) Sourav Kumar, during the visit, some MoUs are expected to be signed with Jamaica, the largest English-speaking island country in the Caribbean. He will also hand over cricket kits for young cricketers to the Jamaican Cricket Association.
A road has been named to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations in Kingston, the capital of Dr BR Ambedkar, on the agenda of the President’s busy schedule in Jamaica. Part of Jamaican society.
The Caribbean nation is one of the Girmitia countries with 70,000 strong Indian expatriates, which acts as a living bridge with India.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)
From Jamaica, President Kobind will pay a state visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) from May 18-21. Talks with his counterpart Governor-General Susan Dugan and meetings with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonzalez and other top officials, followed by a speech at the SVG’s House of Assembly. And India will drive and hand over cricket kits by changing the name of a street.
The importance of traveling to these small island countries that make up CARICOM
Never before has an Indian head of state visited these countries and this is a welcome step for India. Although the Caribbean countries have long and old connections with India due to their connections through the Diaspora, it is a step towards greater connectivity with CARICOM countries. Caribbeans have traditionally been neglected by most nations because of their limited geographical boundaries as well as their limited economic footprints. Tourism is the mainstay of the economy of the small Caribbean islands, but more and more Caribbean countries are discovering crude oil and natural gas; They are standing on the brink of an economic boom and a potential environmental catastrophe.
Jamaica is one of the larger Caribbean countries and part of the Girmitia countries. It is home to about 70,000 people of Indian descent who are now in their third or fourth generation; However, their cultural and linguistic ties with India remain severed.
The politics of most Caribbean countries that were colonized by workers from India and enslaved by African slaves who were taken there by their former colonial masters; People vote on the basis of their ethnicity. As the Indian community unites itself in the region, its political capital is growing and at such a time, it would be wise for India and the Caribbean to work together.
India offers special security solutions to the Caribbean. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are the countries with the highest crime rates. Jamaica also faces the problem of narco-terrorism, India can provide these countries with weapons, training, strategic assistance, as well as joint exercises for the defense forces.
Which country forms CARICOM?
Forms Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent And The Grenadines, Antigua And Barbuda, Suriname, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts And Nevis, Trinidad And Tobago Group, CAR.
And of these, there are many countries with India that are part of the Commonwealth and support each other in multilateral forums.
The first India-CARICOM Cabinet at the Foreign Ministers level was held in New York City in 2015 and 2017, respectively, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The relationship between India and CARICOM received a major boost in 2019 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of 14 member countries on the sidelines of UNGA.