Caricom’s Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley on Monday warned the region about the need for unity in the exploitation of its energy resources and in so doing called for T&T to play a crucial role in the development of hydrocarbons in Caricom.
Her speech was greeted by a standing ovation from the audience at the Hyatt Regency Hotel showed why she is quickly emerging as a star and a regional leader of immense proportion.
Mottley started off by telling a room full of energy experts and leaders that her strength was not in energy but her passion was Caribbean unity.
The Barbados Prime Minister indicated that she leads a political party that has as part of its constitution the need for regional unity and in that respect she was happy to have signed an agreement with the people of T&T for the exploit of any hydrocarbons that may be discovered in Barbados’ waters.
She made it clear that this was on the basis that T&T has a cadre of skills and knowledge that cannot be discounted and 100 years of experience in a sector is nothing to make mock sport about.
Prime Minister Mottley’s call for unity is nothing new as only last month she was prepared to stand up to the United States of America and refuse to have her country participate in any meeting that excluded some from the regional movement.
Her words would have been heard by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who was also in the audience and should strengthen this country’s private and governmental sectors to continue to work with the government and people of Guyana in seeking to develop their newly found discoveries.
To be sure this country has made many mistakes but it is the energy sector that has afforded us a lifestyle that is superior to many, including benefits like free education up to tertiary level and free healthcare.
It should also encourage those on different sides of the political divide to be more supportive of things that are in the political and economic interest of T&T.
In this respect, it is unfortunate that the Opposition spokesperson on Energy David Lee did not see the benefit and possibilities of the agreement to independently develop the Loran and Manatee gas fields.
For 20 years both T&T and Venezuela have been working to develop the much-needed gas, but US sanction have in recent times stood in the way of its development. This move by the government of T&T gives new hope and opens up possibilities.
It is the politics of opposing for opposing sake and ignoring those opposed to your views, a kind of zero-sum politics that the country is so tired of.
Dr Rowley and his team deserve credit for this new deal and it does not diminish the Opposition or anyone else, to acknowledge this.
Maybe one day our leaders may inspire us as much as Mia Mottley did on Monday.