Introduction: The Setting for Caribbean Integration
The Commonwealth Caribbean extends from Guyana on the northeast coast of South America to Belize in Central America. The Commonwealth Caribbean region as a whole is economically underdeveloped, given that all of the countries included in it are essentially primary producers, depending heavily on extractive industry and agriculture for export earnings. The principal organ of the Common Market is the Common Market Council of Ministers, which consists of one state minister or his/her alternate from each member country. The Caribbean Community Secretariat, formerly the Commonwealth Caribbean Regional Secretariat, is the principal administrative organ of Caribbean Community and Common Market, which is a prime example of a group of small postcolonial countries involved in efforts to overcome the constraints of underdevelopment and dependency. The history of Caribbean agriculture, with its legacy of British colonialism, sugar cultivation, and slavery, is reflected strongly in present-day conditions in the region. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.