Editorial: Not to be overlookedPOSTED: 06/23/14 6:27 PM
We tend to overlook our Spanish speaking counterparts in the Caribbean, and even view them as somehow not “Caribbean” for some odd reason. Yet the Spanish speaking Caribbean accounts for over 70% of the region’s population when you just factor Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico alone. Those who ignore trade and partnerships with those kinds of numbers are seriously misguided.
Spanish should be no handicap for St. Maarten, as the chamber president pointed out. Puerto Rico historically played, and still plays, an important role in the Caribbean, both economically and politically. Now that St. Maarten has greater political and economic autonomy, deeper ties should be fostered with our neighbor, who is a mere half hour flight away.
Being part of the American system, Puerto Rico has a lot in common with us: pro-market oriented and entrepreneurial. And, like us, its economic system is underpinned by the credibility of a sound judicial system which can protect investment and is one of the reasons for St. Maarten’s success. It should not be overlooked.