Regional Public Sector Institutions
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In the Caribbean, the major regional cooperation movement involves the Commonwealth Caribbean countries. This is the largest group of islands in the region with strong affinities arising from history, culture, and ethnicity. The common governmental, institutional and legal roots started from their historical British association and later evolved into the Commonwealth connection. This common history and the circumstances of smallness led to early contemplation of regional cooperation and integration. This became stronger as the British colonies in the Caribbean moved to full self-government and independence in the 1950s and 1960s. Creating a West Indian nation was widely seen as a good precursor to independence, in view of the historical ties and the strong view held in the immediate post-war period, that Caribbean colonies were too small to proceed to independence on their own. Hence in 1958, the Federation of the West Indies was formed, comprising the British colonies in the Caribbean except British Guiana, British Honduras (as Guyana and Belize were then known), the Bahamas and a few of the smaller islands. The Federal experiment (1958-62) was not a success.
Copyright Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies