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Noticias Turbo | Orin Gordon | CARICOM’S Commonwealth conundrum

No country has embraced the fluidity of nationhood more than Jamaica. Jamaicans revelled in the Olympic success of their sons, Linford Christie and Donovan Bailey, who competed under the flags of their adopted countries. Merlene Ottey was no less revered when she chose to run for Slovenia near the end of her career

In confirming Trinidad and Tobago’s (T and T) support for Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith for secretary-general (SG) of the Commonwealth, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that T and T did not see the incumbent, Baroness Patricia Scotland, as a candidate who truly represented the Caribbean. And, he reminded us, it’s the Caribbean’s turn

CAST THE VOTES In just under a month, heads of government of the 54-member body hold a summit in Rwanda. They will vote for an SG. CARICOM chairman, Belizean Prime Minister John Briceño, announced that both Scotland and Johnson Smith were CARICOM candidates.

In 2015, when Scotland competed for the job against Sir Ronald Sanders – now Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the US and the Organization of American States – I supported Sanders, and the argument that Scotland was a British candidate sailing her ship under a Dominican flag of convenience. But the argument has become less persuasive over time.

Nationhood and belonging are fluid, deep and complex; and are exacerbated by our vast diasporas. Patricia Scotland’s cut-glass, aristocratic tones are no more disqualifying than the less posh ones of Audley from Streatham – born in the UK, visited Jamaica only twice, but feels a stronger connection to Jamaica than Britain.

No country has embraced the fluidity of nationhood more than Jamaica. Jamaicans revelled in the Olympic success of their sons, Linford Christie and Donovan Bailey, who competed under the flags of their adopted countries. Merlene Ottey was no less revered when she chose to run for Slovenia near the end of her career.

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