Size in Caribbean sports conflict

Caribbean Reality

In the Caribbean, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and initially Guyana, saw themselves as the larger nations that should somehow determine the destinies of everyone else. The selfishness bred by the centuries of British slavery and colonialism left a cruel legacy of autocratic leadership, insularity and political myopia.

There was no surprise therefore that the attempt at forging a Caribbean Federation, conceptualised by Theophilus Albert Marryshow of Grenada–a so-called small island–did not go down well with Jamaica in 1958. The Jamaicans did not engage in the venture because the leadership convinced the populace that the small islands possessed nothing and would virtually prey economically off the larger countries such as Jamaica.

Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago characterised the Caribbean reality as, “one from ten leaves zero” (obviously ahead of his time in terms of New Maths) and the Federation collapsed.

The developments that have since taken place in the region at an economic level nonetheless saw the same small islands forging a more stable economies than any of the rest of the Anglophone Caribbean (with the exception of Barbados). Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago all fell into the clutches of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and their respective populations endured severe hardships as a result, inclusive of significant dollar devaluations.

Caribbean leaders failed to see the travesty in the reality of the larger nations in the region doing unto the smaller ones precisely what the larger nations were doing to them at the global level. At the Caribbean level the larger countries merely mirrored and perhaps parroted what was happening to them at the wider international level.

Caribbean Sport

The world of Caribbean sport is a reflection of what happens in the wider Caribbean economic, social and political reality.