Know Here: Trinidadian political William “Willie” Demas - prominent figure in formation of CARICOM

Know Here: Trinidadian political William “Willie” Demas – prominent figure in formation of CARICOM

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The National Archive of Trinidad and Tobago has shared an update regarding one of the important figures – Trinidadian politician William “Willie” Demas, in the formation of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community.

As per the update, William “Willie” Demas was an important figure in the formation of CARICOM. He was the last Secretary-General of CARIFTA (The Caribbean Free Trade Association) and the first Secretary-General of CARICOM: Caribbean Community.

It also informed the general public that he was pictured on the front page of the Express newspaper during the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4th 1973.

Picture Courtesy: National Archive of Trinidad and Tobago

The Treaty did not come into effect until August 1st of that year. By May 1st, 1974, all other members of CARIFTA signed the Treaty and became full members of CARICOM, except for Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis, according to the update.

Since then, CARICOM has expanded to include 20 countries: 15 member states, namely, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The other five are associate member states: Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Headquartered in Turkeyen, Georgetown, and Guyana, CARICOM was established as a new approach to economic integration, functional cooperation (coordinated policy on education, health, and other areas), and foreign policy within the region.

While concluding the post, the National Archive for Trinidad and Tobago mentioned that it is now one of the oldest surviving integration movements in the postcolonial world and the longest-running alliance of Caribbean states governed by Caribbean people.