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June 24, 2009

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I know this is an old post Noel but then fittingly the subject of Grenadian unification with Trinidad & Tobago is also an old topic. The first mooted proposal I know of was Dr. Eric Williams offer of union (in a unitary state) in 1961/1962 following the collapse of the Federation of the West Indies. The offer was made to any territory which wished to join and only Grenada showed any interest. In fact interest was so high in Grenada that the Grenada National Party (led by Herbert Blaize) won the September 1962 elections on the promise of seeking union with Trinidad (I believe under the slogan of "Go Trinidad") and the issue apparently dominated the election. (see: http://www.thegrenadarevolutiononline.com/blaizeha.html) Naturally this offer of union and Grenada's interest were seen as a threat to the role of East Indians in Trinidad and apparently it was intended to marginalize the Indo-Trinidadian community and establish hegemony over the Eastern Caribbean according to Mr. Capildeo who comes to this conclusion from Dr. Williams autobiography (see: http://books.google.com.jm/books?id=0qDltCJlOAYC&pg=PA141&lpg=PA141&dq=grenada+unitary+state+trinidad&source=bl&ots=yiMrTGIMch&sig=9LtJT58Ehh7XWVnIW6CEZ2aMgv0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VD5ST_2-Gseutwet0vCECg&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=grenada%20unitary%20state%20trinidad&f=false - pages 140 and 141).

Ironically we see in the 2007 episode you mentioned above the rhyming of history so to speak (to paraphrase an alleged quote by Mark Twain). Witness that in 1962 it was the Grenada National Party-led government of Grenada seeking union with Trinidad and Tobago led by the People's National Movement (PNM). Forty-five years later we see in 2007 a New National Party-led government of Grenada seeking to associate with Trinidad and Tobago led by the PNM. Note that the New National Party is the successor to the Grenada National Party (after the GNP unified with National Democratic Party and the Grenada Democratic Movement). In both instances we had the Trinidadian PM being supportive of the idea while the cabinet and Trinidadians in general being "less than thrilled".

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Sadly none of this tragicomedy would have ever occurred had my home island not gone bonkers and decided to hold a referendum and then leave the Federation, thereby precipitating it's collapse. Perhaps if a few things had turned out differently in the 1950s the Federation would have survived and us West Indians would have remained united and better off. Who knows, maybe one day in the distant future we will come to our senses.

Oh by the way, the links in your post to the Trinidad Express article and the OECS-T&T union proposal are now dead. Couldn't find any internet archive version of the Express article but I did find what I assume is the OECS-T&T union proposal you had linked to original at this other site here: http://www.iadb.org/intal/intalcdi/PE/2009/04051a02.pdf

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