Experimenting Under the Sun

Reagan's Caribbean initiative is off to a bad start

Poverty and lagging economic development have long plagued the nations of the Caribbean basin, which stretches from the Bahamas off Florida to Surinam in South America, 2,000 miles away. The region's islands and Central American countries sorely lack the skilled manpower and other key ingredients of modern industry. The hot, tropical area simply remains the developed world's supplier of raw materials like sugar, coffee, cotton and bauxite, the ore from which aluminum is made.

Last February the Reagan Administration proposed a three-pronged effort to bolster the Caribbean economies and prevent them from being...

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