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Today In Black History: July 4th

Barbados Guyana Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago sign The Treaty of Chaguaramas

This day markst the 26th anniversary of the Treaty of Chaguramas which was signed in Trinidad, July 4, 1973 to establish the Caribbean Community and Common Market - CARICOM. It was the result of a 15 year effort to fulfil the hope of regional integration which began with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation. CARICOM member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Treaty of Chaguaramas which established the Caribbean Community, including the Caribbean Common Market was signed by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on 4 July 1973, at Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. It came into effect on 1 August 1973.The Caribbean Community and the Caribbean Common Market replaced the Caribbean Free Trade Association which ceased to exist on 1 May 1974.

The Treaty of Chaguaramas was a juridical hybrid consisting of the Caribbean Community as a separate legal entity from the Common Market which had its own discrete legal personality.The legal separation of these two institutions was emphasised by the elaboration of two discrete legal instruments: the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community and the Agreement establishing the Common Market (which was later annexed to the Treaty and designated the Common Market Annex).

This institutional arrangement facilitated States joining the Community without being parties to the Common Market regime.

In addition to economic issues, the Community instrument addressed issues of foreign policy coordination and functional cooperation. Issues of economic integration, particularly those related to trade arrangements, were addressed in the Common Market Annex.Because of this juridically separate identity of the regional common market, it was possible for The Bahamas to become a member of the Community in 1983 without joining the Common Market.

Find more on Trinidad and Tobago here.

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