Spektakula artists endorse regional integration

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Three soca artistes who performed here over the weekend have thrown their support behind the regional integration movement, in particular the free movement of people.

Veteran calypsonian, Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osuana, who performed at Calypso Spektakula in the early hours of Sunday morning, told OBSERVER Media shortly after his performance that he’s always advocated for the region coming together.

“Long before this talk came up, I had a song called One Caribbean. In that song I am inviting all the Caribbean islands to come together for betterment, for culture and for sports.

“If you listen to the music, yes I am for integration,” said Osuana, a Trinidad & Tobago native who is also in support of the Caribbean Court of Justice based in that twin-island republic.

“Because it’s a new venture, it will take some time to adjust. People will definitely miss the Privy Council, but I think it is time that we should cut the umbilical cord,” Osuana, the 2008 Trinidad & Tobago calypso monarch said.

While he did not perform his integration song, One Caribbean, Osuana pleased the crowd at the Antigua Recreation Grounds with hits like I Love Being Me and Nobody Loves No Body.

Erphaan Alves, the In your eyes singer, also from the oil rich twin-island republic, described the regional integration movement as beneficial for the music industry.

“In the United States where you have artists doing major collaborations, I would like to see that more among the soca artists throughout the Caribbean,” he said. “We should promote unity and regional integration with the music.”

Nadia Batson, the Trinidadian Shiver singer, has called for less restriction on free movement of people in the region.

“I think that we should be able to come in and out of each other’s country with no trouble,” she said.

“I feel that we have to respect each other and just have a better camaraderie in the Caribbean islands.”

Carcom, which includes the OECS countries, has been working towards a fully functional Single Market and Economy (CSME) by the year 2015 but has suffered several setbacks as it moves towards that goal.

2011 party monarch Tian Winter and soca diva Tanzania “Tizzy” Sebastian and El-A-Kru also performed at Saturday’s event.