Yesterday I talked about the fact that the Jamaican Media has been nothing but sycophantic cheerleaders, unwilling to professionally hold the political class accountable for the actions they take.
My comments were particularly aimed at what I thought was the mischaracterization by the media of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit last January.
The Media collectively billed Pompeo’s visit as one aimed at (strengthening the bond between two friendly nations)[sic].
That was the explanation out of Jamaica House. It was the story the Media promulgated.
There was zero critical thinking as to the real reason the US Secretary of State visited the Country at the time he did.
(1) No one wondered whether or not the United States had a vested interest in a fractured CARICOM, or that China’s influence in JAMAICA and the region needed to be blunted.
(2) No one thought it odd that the visit was done at a time when the United States desperately needed something of a consensus of regional players against the Maduro government in Venezuela, even as it lines up a puppet to take over in that country?
(3) There were no questions as to why it took the Secretary of State of the United States to visit to shore up a relationship that has existed for as long as Jamaica has been a nation?
(4) There were no raised eyebrows at the idea that Pompeo would decide that he would only meet with certain leaders of the CARICOM community and not others.
(5) No one asked what was gained from the visit of such a high profile member of the American Administration, that could not be worked out at the Ambassadorial level.
(6) And it certainly did not perk anyone’s interest that the Jamaican Prime Minister out of the blue just decided, “Ah, I think I will just skip this 31st CARICOM conference in Barbados.
(7) What did Pompeo offer the Government to stay away from Barbados? After all, a fractured CARICOM region is a region less susceptible to China’s romantic entreatments.
Look, Andrew Holness is not a horrible Prime Minister, he is arguably running neck and neck with Edward Seaga for who is the better of the lot that succeeded Michael Manley.
Kinda like a novel line from Kris Kristofferson’s classic,[ Sunday morning coming down].
“Then I fumbled in my closet for my clothes and found my cleanest dirty shirt.“
He may be the best of a bad lot. His economic policies are not bad. As it relates to infrastructural development, he is second only to Hugh Shearer who built the most schools and other infrastructural projects per capita than any other Prime Minister in the Nation’s brief history.
Holness’s shortcomings are National security, like many of his compatriots he believes he knows enough to insert himself into the intricacies of policing, to the detriment of the country.
As a consequence, violent crimes have continued to escalate on his watch.
It bears mentioning that the Prime Minister’s most important function is the security of the nation.
It is incomprehensible that anyone would give him a passing grade considering that he is failing at his core responsibility.
Andrew Holness is not out of time, he may yet become a great Prime Minister. In Fact, I am rooting for him, for the country’s sake.
That is, if people are willing to forgive the thousands of people who have been murdered on his watch, who needn’t have died.
If the local media has something to do with it he may very well be sanitized and made a national hero.
The local Observer who cheer led Mike Pompeo’s visit with flowery nonsense, also explained away Holness’s absence from the 31st CARICOM Conference in Bridgetown Barbados.
In response to questions raised by us and others about the real reasons that Holness, the leader of the largest Nation within CARICOM was not in Barbados, the Observer’s Editors decided to take on the role of Spokesperson for Jamaica House on Thursday.
“Caricom meeting: The sky is not falling” they declared.
Some are viewing his decision to stay away as his refusal to deliberately walk into the lion’s den of angry leaders who are in Bridgetown with more than the usual agenda. The fretting about the Jamaican leader’s absence, and the refusal to take his explanation at face value, is clearly related to the timing, because the recent contretemps regarding the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not yet completely simmered. That visit to Jamaica by Mr. Pompeo was criticized by the Caricom Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and a handful of other leaders as an attempt to divide Caricom, while Mr. Holness explained it was a normal bilateral meeting between two friendly countries. The suspicions about Jamaica’s motives as being nationalistic persist and nerves are still raw. As we say in Jamaica, some of the Caricom heads are just being ‘jumpy’. But we believe in this space that too will pass.(Observer)
What a load of crock. The Jamaican Prime Minister had a duty to attend the conference. The Editors, acting as the Jamaica House official organ, and by its own admission, agree that Jamaica needs CARICOM despite what some silly political minions have been saying.
[Jamaica is sensible and practical enough to understand that the country is better off with Caricom than without it. indeed, Canada has just announced it wants an annual meeting with Caricom leaders to strengthen its relationship with the 15-member regional integration grouping. Why would Jamaica not want to be part of that? The Editorial conceded.
The regional alliance is a net positive for all signatories, even as member states retain their cherished sovereignty. The benefits of trade, travel, and other cooperations cannot be overemphasized in the 21st century.
The idea that Jamaica can stand on its own and does not need partners, is the kind of thinking that has gotten the country into this death spiral of crime it is now in.
What the Jamaican Prime Minister must be careful of, is not to allow himself and our country to be used as a pawn against our neighbors within CARICOM by those with sinister motives.
Even as the drumbeats continue about the benefits of the relationship between the USA & Jamaica, the human cargo of deportees continues from the United States to Jamaica.
Many of those being deported are innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. Many left Jamaica as babies. Many committed simple infractions American tourists to Jamaica commit daily.
None of that matter to American Authorities, not in State, and damn sure no one in the so-called Department of Justice.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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