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  • Caricom representatives meet in Grenada.

    Caricom representatives meet in Grenada. | Photo: Caricom

Published 7 July 2017

Caricom also took a strong stance defending the sovereignty of Venezuela and the Latin American region.

The Caribbean Community, Caricom, revealed that it will work to implement a common market to promote regional integration.

The 15-member bloc made the announcement at the end of the organization’s summit in Grenada on Thursday.

Caribbean Heads of State in Grenada for Caricom Meeting

The Caricom Single Market and Economy, or CSME, would facilitate the free movement of goods, labor and people throughout the region, in a proposal that had been blocked by a lack of agreement among the members of the Caribbean group on previous occasions.

Guyana's President David Granger said in the news conference that "significant advances have been made to achieve the CSME" despite the obstacles.

Grenada Prime Minister and Caricom President Keith Mitchell said tourism would be the key aspect for promoting larger economic growth in the region.

"To take advantage of our tourism effort, air transport needs to be improved," Mitchell said. He asked the leaders of the region to agree to implement measures to facilitate travel in the region as well as promoting state airlines in the area "to increase their level of collaboration and coordination."

The organization's leaders also called for a common stance on Venezuela and reaffirmed that the only real solution to the country's political situation is dialogue.

Caricom’s statement asked all parties "to engage in renewed dialogue and negotiations leading to a global political agreement with established timetables, concrete actions and guarantees to ensure their implementation in addition to seeking the welfare of the nation."

Caricom also slammed countries within the Organization of American States, led by the United States, that have repeatedly called for action against the democratically-elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Heads of state representing Caricom member countries convened in Grenada for its 38 Regular Meeting to discuss current issues in the region. The summit took place from July 4 to 6 at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort.

Caricom was established in 1973 to form a regional, multilateral organization to promote unity among Caribbean nations, as well as economic integration and cooperation on foreign policy.

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