Golding backs Maroons' push for lumi and renewable energy

Golding backs Maroons' push for lumi and renewable energy

Sunday, January 12, 2020

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President of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica (UNIA), Steven Golding has signalled his support for the Maroons in their pursuit of renewable energy solutions through the establishment of the lumi currency.

Golding, who met with members of the Maroon council at the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong last Monday as they celebrated their annual festival, told the Jamaica Observer that the concept of a currency backed by renewable energy was not only sound, but the Government should include Maroons in talks on alternative energy.

“The issue of Maroon sovereignty is one that I am very concerned with as president of the UNIA in Jamaica. But in terms of energy and renewable energy in Jamaica I believe that the Maroons have an important role to play, and one of the reasons I am here today is to support them in that endeavour,” Golding said.

“There needs to be more interaction between the Maroons and the Government, and I think that if what they are speaking about and planning to do is done properly, I don't see why the Government wouldn't be receptive to it,” he said.

According to Golding, “The issues of Maroon sovereignty and renewable energy meet in terms of the Cockpit Country and the land space which we know traditionally and historically the Maroons occupy. Let's think solar farms, wind farms, and biomass for example. If you are talking about converting wind or solar to electricity, there is one electrical company that has a monopoly in this country because of Government policy. That is just an example of where there would have to be some agreement.”

Added Golding: “Overall, we have to be forward-thinking. The Maroons, because of their sovereignty which has made them isolated makes them ideal to try and implement new things without the obstacles that the rest of the nation may face in terms of legality, in terms of policy, in terms of business tenders and so forth. Their sovereignty protects them, and we should support that.”

The UNIA president also said that the issue of Maroon sovereignty should be addressed, as it has been used as an excuse by the Jamaican State to keep them underdeveloped.

“By right and true sovereignty, the idea of its development really rests with them. So in this age of climate change, and with a new generation thinking in a new way, it's time for the Maroons to step into the 21st century,” he said.

“Every year we honour the signing of the treaty and we recognise the fact that their sovereignty dates back some 200 years. It begs the question, what is the interaction between the Maroons and the nation's leaders on a level of governance? Why don't the Maroons have a say in the Senate or in the national politics of the land?” Golding asked.

“Part of it is that they have not aggressively pursued that enough, but the fact that they are a state within a state, you have to understand that, by nature, there is a symbiotic relationship between the Maroons and the State because the Government provides roads and schools in here and as such, the Maroons should also have representation within the national Parliament.”

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