New book explores Caribbean and Latin American issues
At an online event Saturday, the Cipriani College of Labor and Co-operative Studies launched the book Contemporary Issues in Caribbean and Latin American Relations.
Edited by Dr Raymond Mark Kirton and Dr Marlon Anatol, the book presents research and discourses on several regional issues, including: climate change, education, health, security, economic development and the effect of the Venezuelan crisis on the small island states of the Caribbean.
Speaking at the launch, a proud Kirton said the book was the result of “evidence-based research into issues of significant importance to the region”.
He added: “It is important to note that in the midst of a pandemic, which has affected the Caribbean and Latin America, young and experienced academic professionals have devoted considerable energy to research with the aim of ensuring advancing data-driven inquiry into issues that affect both the Caribbean and Latin America.
Thanking college leaders for their contribution to the development of the book, Kirton said it showed an understanding of the importance of the discourse surrounding working-class life.
He called on academics in the region to recognize the importance of data-driven research on regional issues.
He insisted: “I believe that the academic communities of the Caribbean and Latin America have a responsibility to present the type of research and, for consideration, the type of policies that could be used in favor of the whole region.
“I wish to implore our young scholars and professionals to continue to contribute to the development of scholarly literature…they must provide policy makers in a wider audience with an analysis of the problems and prospects of our region.”
Anatol said the book is part of the college’s vision to engage in stronger and more critical research in the future on issues affecting livelihoods in the region.
But in doing this research, Anatol said the college will continue to take an inclusive approach to ensure that all multi-faceted perspectives are brought together.
Anatol said the research “is not limited to one perspective. I believe, like the speakers before me, that we need to look at new voices, perspectives and opinions on what matters, what makes us who we are. and how do we do what we do best for national and regional development.
Highlighting the diversity of the book’s researchers, Anatol said Trinidadians, Cubans, Barbadians, British, North Americans and Venezuelans worked on the book. Six of the ten researchers were women.
“It’s indicative of the openness that we try to cultivate and pursue.
“In initiating and continuing the dialogue, we need to make sure that all groups and subgroups … sit down and have conversations about how we are moving forward.”
Labor Minister Stephen McClashie called the book a step in the right direction.
By researching and making data easily accessible to all, he said, higher education institutions continue to play their part in shaping a well-informed discourse on relevant societal issues and the policy development.
Mc Clashie said: “I want to thank all those people who would have contributed to this book and taken on the idea of ’what if we did things differently, what would the world be like?’ What would Trinidad and Tobago look like? What would the Caribbean look like?
“Asking this question, we continue to find ways to address issues that are relevant and (in) which the book tries to find some sort of direction.”