Waning influence of the British monarchy in Anglophone Caribbean
September 12, 2022
Antigua and Barbuda became the latest Caribbean country calling for a potential removal of the British monarch as their head of state following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, reports NPR. The country joins recent efforts by Caribbean nations who have pushed for a recognition of the harms of British imperialism and interference in the region. Antigua and Barbuda will hold a referendum within the next three years to determine the role of the monarchy in the country, according to prime minister Gaston Browne, who also stated that the referendum “...is a final step to complete the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation.”
NPR notes, “In addition to the United Kingdom, there are 14 countries known as Commonwealth realms that still have the ruling British royal as their monarch,” with eight of these countries - Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - being Caribbean islands. As Indian Express highlights, various Caribbean countries have already chosen to leave the Commonwealth realms, including Dominica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970s, and Barbados in 2021. Six more are considering removing the monarch as sovereign, a decision which, as Mary Yang at Foreign Policy writes, “...would be a symbolic move for formerly colonized countries to unlink themselves from the former empire that enslaved and brutalized their ancestors.” Though the monarch’s constitutional duties in its Commonwealth realms are mainly ceremonial, with little to no real influence over the country’s politics, “becoming a republic would enable each country to install their own popularly elected head of state, as Barbados did last year,” according to Foreign Policy.
A week-long trip in the Caribbean by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year resulted in an increased push for British recognition of its history of enslavement and brutal treatment of its colonial subjects, spurring some Caribbean countries to announce their intentions to become a republic in the near future, reports The Guardian. The Black Lives Matter movement, which began in the United States, has also served as a catalyst for Caribbean countries, as citizens protest and demand reparations from the part of the British government.
Last week, Argentina formally applied to be a full-time member of BRICS, the trade organization composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, reports MercoPress.
According to Reuters, Argentina’s central bank’s most recent monthly poll estimates the country’s inflation to reach 95% this year.
An El País photo story shows and explains conflict over a “parallel market” for coca in Bolivia.
Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has agreed to allow the armed forces to conduct a “parallel count” during October’s presidential elections, reports Folha.
Last week, a Bolsonaro supporter murdered a Lula supporter in Mato Grosso state following a disagreement about politics, reports Globo. In São Paulo, Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) federal deputy candidate Guilherme Boulos was threatened by an armed man, reports Folha.
Lula’s VP candidate, centrist Geraldo Alckmin, is in the running to become Minister of Economy should the former president win the presidential election, reports Reuters.
“The so-called ‘Complexo de Israel’ is an alliance between drug traffickers, evangelical churches, and paramilitary groups that currently controls a vast territory in Rio's North Zone… This alliance combines the modus operandi of drug trafficking, which seeks expansion into markets and territories, with a religious fundamentalism that sees non-evangelicals as followers of the devil. What is being waged in the North Zone is therefore a ‘holy war,’” with the alliance taking on the Red Command (Comando Vermelho - CV), says Kristina Hinz to InSight Crime.
At the Foreign Policy Latin America Brief, Catherine Osborn explores Chile’s failed “constitution revolution.”
Colombian President Gustavo Petro proposed a Military Force, in collaboration with the United States, to be dedicated to protecting the Amazon, reports Infobae.
Yucatán, considered Mexico’s “safest state” due to its low crime levels, is also “a state where police violate human rights and commit torture,” reports Pie de Página.
Though the AMLO administration formally admitted state complicity in the Ayotzinapa case of forced disappearances in 2014, recent statements by government officials have cast doubt onto the government’s intentions to fully admit to institutional responsibility from the part of the state, says John Gibler at NACLA.
“Over 60 percent of Mexico’s mining accidents occur in Coahuila, the state known as Mexico’s región carbonífera, or coal region… Today, Coahuila is one of the few states still governed by the PRI, and this old political guard still largely controls the coal mining sector,” writes Chelsea Carrick at NACLA.
A study of several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean found Panama to have the highest prices for medication, reports La Prensa.
Paraguayans rely on contraband, including illegal food imports for consumption from Argentina and illegal exports of consumer goods for trade in Brazil, reports InSight Crime.
“How fair is it to say that the Castillo administration is fully to blame for Peru’s economic woes? While the country’s governability has always been shaky, Castillo has taken this to new levels… The Castillo government, thus far, has not proved to be the threat to the private sector that it was feared to be. In fact, it has largely maintained the same fiscal and macroeconomic management that’s been in place since the structural adjustment policies implemented in the 1990s. And yet, macroeconomic discipline alone cannot foster the conditions necessary for Peru’s development. Politics was eventually bound to catch up to the economy,” writes Andrea Moncada at Americas Quarterly.
A recent Atlantic Council issue brief highlights the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as harbingers of economic growth in Latin America, and offers policy options for governments to better support “SME access to financing, technical assistance, and digital literacy—three drivers for unlocking the potential of LAC SMEs.”
Latin America lags behind advanced economies in the percentage of board seats held by women, notes Luisa Palacios in Americas Quarterly. “More diverse boards are one of the very few low-hanging fruits in ESG implementation,” she says, arguing that “ there is a key component with the potential to bring high ESG returns at very low cost: increasing the share of women on the boards of directors of companies in the region.”
Tourism accounts for more than 65% of St. Lucia’s economy, and with the return of foreign tourists boosting local businesses, the country’s GDP is expected to grow 8% this year, according to Nearshore Americas.
Punta del Este, a city in southeast Uruguay popular for summer vacations and jet-setting locals and tourists alike, is beginning to be a “year round city” due to increased Argentine immigration, says El Observador.
Uruguay’s efforts over the past decades to mitigate the causes and effects of climate change, including becoming a renewable energy exporter and having more than 90% of the country’s electrical grid supplied by renewable energy, can serve as a model for other countries in the region to implement similar policies, write Jackson Mihm and Alejandro Trenchi in Global Americans.
The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) faces repression from the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), as the PCV stands out as the only leftist opposition party in the country, reports Crónica Uno.