Security in the Caribbean Basin: The Challenge of Regional Cooperation

By Joseph S. Tulchin; Ralph H. Espach | Go to book overview

13
The New Caribbean Security Agenda
Wattie Vos

This chapter seeks to identify and discuss the threats the region as a whole and each of our countries faces as we enter the twenty-first century. Once identified, we citizens of the Caribbean can together establish a framework for prevention, engagement, and commitment on a mutual and cooperative basis.

As we look to the future, I believe we face three separate but related threats: economic disasters; the use of drugs and alcohol and their abuse; domestic violence and related public health problems.


Economic Disasters

First, we face a threat from the consequences of poorly managed economies and the dispersion of economic opportunity. Some of these consequences include the risk of an increase in crimes against tourists, domestic violence, and an increase in child abuse, and the ever present threat of substance abuse, both alcohol and narcotics, and their immediate implications, including driving under the influence of these substances.

If the region as a whole does not work cooperatively from a planning through an implementation stage, then the problems of economic decline and their accompanying debilitating consequences will follow. The spread of these types of crime is socially harmful and has an economic destabilizing effect.

So far, Aruba, my home country, has been very fortunate. Only ten years ago, Aruba faced an unemployment rate of 38 percent and the absence of any significant viable industry. Through the hard work of the people of Aruba and the dedication of the government, a rescue plan was developed and then successfully implemented. In 1996

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