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May 27, 2003

P.M. welcomes Caribbean scholars

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It was an affair that spoke volumes for the Caribbean, as more than four hundred scholars from across the region gathered for the official opening ceremonies of the twenty-eighth annual Caribbean Studies Association meeting in Belize City. In his keynote address, Prime Minister Said Musa emphasized the need for the Caribbean to bond in its commonalities, so as to grasp a greater destiny for all its peoples.

Prime Minister Said Musa

“We believe that the project of emancipation of the mind, so vital to freedom and development, requires that African and Maya history must be part of our educational curriculum. So that all future leaders, teachers, journalists and public policy makers will have a greater understanding of our historical legacy.”

“Only through an understanding of our civilized past, how we came into being, where we have reached, who we are and what we are, will we be able to take greater pride in ourselves as citizens with the capacity to participate in national and regional development. The choice before us is whether we are going to be helpless, resigned, conforming to externally imposed definitions of our political, economic and social condition, or whether on the basis of a pragmatic assessment of our situation we are going to assert a decisive and collective role for ourselves in a greater Caribbean.”

“We cannot afford to perpetuate the legacy of negative images of the past that seek to keep us apart in mental slavery. We must break the identity crisis that has plagued the peoples of our region. We may not be out of many, one people, but we are Caribbean peoples of many cultures sharing a rich heritage with a historical legacy of resistance and survival coming together to forge a better tomorrow.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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