For the Ramjit family, flooding is a yearly occurrence, an unwanted Christmas of sorts.
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Shake off this blighted existence
There is more than a shade of Orwellian doom to this hurricane and earthquake season. It is almost as if there has been hatched a plan to wipe out the Caribbean Sea civilisation, inclusive of the littoral—those on the South and Central American continent and peninsula, Mexico, Florida, and others washed by the warm waters of the sea.
Ah, maybe this is another attempt at displacement similar to that suffered by the First Peoples of the Hemisphere.
Living for long in the wake of its big sister Antigua, Barbuda has been made barren; not a soul on the island after 300 years of New World settlers. St Martin/St Marteen can serve neither the children of Africa dumped there 400 years ago, nor the Europeans who have found relaxation and rejuvenation in the island communities.
Mexico, one of the civilisations of the great Amerindian empire with its infrastructure and systems of governance and people inter-relations which continue to confound 21st-century capitalist democracies, has experienced thundering earthquakes which have killed off hundreds of its people twice within a month.
Dominica, nestled comfortably in the centre of the Caribbean archipelago, a place of rivers and waters with a people who have remembered their ancestors, the First Peoples, and afforded them their dignity to live as a people who did not fall from the breadfruit trees brought by Captain Bligh, has to now recreate with the assistance of us all.
Puerto Ricans have been hovering for decades between a Caribbean identity and an American destiny. Resolution of the problem stays with the status quo as even those wanting differently find it difficult to walk away from the comfort of their American keepers. Maria has confirmed a stars and stripes future, the nationalists amongst them will be kept quiet by necessity.
Not spared are the US and British Virgin Islands—representative of those who intruded into the Caribbean Sea through the pocketbook (the Americans paid US$25 million for Croix, Thomas and John islands) and conquest, Morgan and Drake doing the job for their queen.
But why has T&T, once characterised as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Caribbean, so far (knock on wood) been spared? Surely then, the destructive forces must have nothing to do with loose living, the corrupt and wicked wastage of opportunities and resources, even sorcery.
Time for us all in this space to start anew, shake off this blighted existence; lurking up ahead though there appear historical patterns of underdevelopment which have beset us and other small island nations for decades.
For instance, as the mother country seeks a means to help with the rebuilding of her still valuable ports in the Caribbean Sea, the large and powerful Industrial nations of the Atlantic civilisation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development states, are standing in the way. They are resisting changes to the international rules to allow Caribbean countries with what are considered high per capita income levels (a crude formulation that tells statistical lies about the state of the quality of life right across the population) to receive development assistance after a hurricane.
However, movement forward not only has to cross expected man-made hurdles, to complete the brew of alchemy and geography, a British doomsday predictor ( a kind of Seer man) pronounced that yesterday September 23, 2017, would have marked the start of the Biblically predicted end of the world.
If you are reading this without too much climatic and catastrophic disaster, it means we have been spared, at least for the moment.
Another kind of sorcerer though, continues to decry the scientists who say that it’s our environmental habits, not history or sorcery, which are leading to Armageddon. Similar natural catastrophes of the past have brought Caribbean peoples together momentarily. When the clouds roll back we may catch a vision of our interdependence and our collective existence may become apparent.