Public holiday for Caricom Day ‘unlikely’

July 4 will mark 50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas (Photo courtesy Wayne Mariette, Facebook)
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By Robert A. Emmanuel

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne says it is unlikely that Antigua and Barbuda will follow the likes of Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis in observing July 4 as a public holiday.

Next Tuesday will commemorate 50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas between the Prime Ministers of Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago which established the regional community, Caricom.

During a meeting in the Bahamas between Caricom leaders, a declaration was made that July 4 2023 be celebrated as a public holiday across all member states.

However, speaking at a flag-raising ceremony yesterday, PM Browne said that the issue was still undecided by the Cabinet.

“Truth be told, we have had so many public holidays…that it is always difficult to add additional holidays, and this is no disrespect or lack of commitment to Caricom if we decide not to,” the Prime Minister said.

Meanwhile, Browne also gave remarks celebrating the longevity of the regional institution.

“Fifty years in the life of any organisation is significant and it is to the credit of the Caricom people that we have been able to keep this integration movement for 50 years, and I hope we will use this opportunity to redouble our efforts and to ensure that Caricom lasts thousands of years,” he said.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ’50 years strong: A solid foundation to build on’. A series of activities is scheduled for July 3-5 with the 45th regular conference of Caricom heads of government planned for July 4.

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