The leader of the Lucian Peoples Movement, Therold Prudent, has declared that the Ross University saga involving Dominica and Barbados, is an indictment on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the regional grouping to which both countries belong.
The institution is relocating from Dominica to Barbados.
“It just proves that we are like crabs in a barrel,” Prudent told St Lucia Times in an interview Friday.
“We are continually fighting each other for a little bread, for opportunity, whereas we should be standing with each other and at least saying to this University ‘Listen, this is a sister Island. You can’t just pick up and go and just come into another Caribbean Island because you believe that the terms aren’t favourable to you anymore in that particular country.'”
The LPM leader asserted that countries within CARICOM need to speak with one voice.
He expressed the view that the Ross University issue demonstrates that foreigners and investors understand the disunity and weakness in CARICOM and Caribbean Islands.
According to Prudent, the investors understand that all they have to do is “put a carrot before us and we will jump for it, not mindful if it is going to cost the other nation or country which is a part of CARICOM. ”
He said CARICOM has not lived up to expectations, including speaking with one voice on the international stage and adopting a unified foreign policy.
“Right now we are in a situation where everybody is looking after themselves and it is not about the region as a whole” the LPM leader lamented.
He told St Lucia Times that under such circumstances, it is easy for investors to disrespect the Caribbean.
On Tuesday, Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley was quoted as denying that there was anything underhanded by her administration, in accepting the Ross University School of Medicine’s move to the island from Dominica.
Mottley asserted that the hands of her administration are clean, local media reports said.
Last Friday, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that Ross University, which had been forced to relocate its operations to St Kitts and the state of Tennessee in the United States following the passage of Hurricane Maria last September, would be leaving the Eastern Caribbean nation after 40 years.