Pompeo Can’t Really Think Jamaicans Are That Naïve, Or Can He?

This is the sec­ond of a two-part series, on the sub­ject of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s vis­it to Jamaica, for talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
I intend to show in the sim­plest form pos­si­ble, that the American Secretary of State’s vis­it, though couched and wrapped in beau­ti­ful and flow­ery dress­ing, is noth­ing more than an attempt by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion in Washington DC to ensure that it keeps Jamaica in the fold, in the face of the mas­sive Chinese for­ay into the Caribbean and the devel­op­ing world.

Even as Pompeo was sup­pos­ed­ly engrossed in seri­ous bi-lat­er­al talks with lead­ers of the tiny island of 2.7 mil­lion peo­ple, large­ly of African ances­try, house man­agers were pre­sent­ing cred­i­ble and damn­ing evi­dence against Donald Trump, Pompeo’s boss, for high crimes and mis­de­meanors.
In nor­mal times the evi­dence against Trump would have been enough for the 45th occu­pant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to be sent pack­ing.
These are no ordi­nary times, the very exis­tence of the American exper­i­ment is at stake. Regardless of the out­come, a new prece­dent will be set, and the United States will absolute­ly be worse off for it.

Part #1 of this dis­cus­sion


I have no doubt that the Jamaican Prime Minister rec­og­nizes that the coun­try can­not con­tin­ue under the cloak of mur­ders and vio­lent felonies com­mit­ted dai­ly across the coun­try.
And so I have no doubt that he believes in Pompeo’s [BS] charm offen­sive.
He may even be daz­zled by the pres­ence of the Secretary him­self, as some in the media believe that Jamaica should be hon­ored to have the sec­re­tary him­self, when a low­er-rung bureau­crat would be more than enough for Jamaica, right?

[We peas­ants out hey in di colony do not need any­one as impor­tant as Massa’s sec­re­tary, we [is] quite com­fort­able with any­one white].

Clearly, some in the opin­ion-mak­ing busi­ness still strug­gle with unshack­ling them­selves from the yoke of sub-human sta­tus.
It is for that rea­son that the Prime Minister said the fol­low­ing with gid­dy school­boy excite­ment;
For our region­al engage­ment, the US-Caribbean 2020 Engagement Strategy also sets the course for fur­ther work to pro­mote pros­per­i­ty, ener­gy secu­ri­ty, health and well-being, peace and secu­ri­ty, and ongo­ing high-lev­el polit­i­cal engage­ment in the years ahead.

In a press brief­ing after the talks end­ed Mike Pompeo said the fol­low­ing:
Today in our meet­ing, the prime min­is­ter and I strength­ened our coun­try’s friend­ship and set the table for greater engage­ment.”

Does any­one seri­ous­ly believe that the bonds between Jamaica and the United States need strength­en­ing?
Whether it is pros­per­i­ty, ener­gy secu­ri­ty, health and well-being, peace and secu­ri­ty, or high-lev­el polit­i­cal engage­ment, the United States has had more than enough time to strength­en those areas over the last decades.
And so the ques­tion must be, “why now”?
What about the mass depor­ta­tions of peo­ple who com­mit­ted only minor infrac­tions, some who are even inno­cent?
What about the mass influx of ille­gal auto­mat­ic weapon­ry flood­ing Jamaica’s streets and alley­ways, is America help­ing to stop it?
What about infra­struc­tur­al devel­op­ment, why did the United States not offer Jamaica low-inter­est loans over the years?
Those infra­struc­ture devel­op­ment loans would have helped to make Jamaica a first-world nation as Israel is?
Jamaica is small­er than the state of Israel, so if America want­ed to help Jamaica, it would be rather easy to help Jamaica’s devel­op­ment over the years.
Those loans would have pro­vid­ed good jobs for Jamaicans, which in turn would lessen the need for Jamaicans to line up seek­ing a way into the United States.
Or, is tak­ing mon­ey from poor Jamaicans who line up expect­ing to get a vis­i­tors visa an eas­i­er way to extract from the poor what lit­tle they have? Even though the vast major­i­ty of those peo­ple will nev­er receive a visa to set foot in the United States?

There are rough­ly 39 mil­lion African-American peo­ple liv­ing in the United States. That num­ber is greater than the entire pop­u­la­tion of Canada, with its 37.59 mil­lion.
Black spend­ing pow­er is 1.3 tril­lion dol­lars annu­al­ly, accord­ing to [Neilsen].
Despite that numer­ic strength and eco­nom­ic spend­ing pow­er, the United States still treats its black cit­i­zens as sec­ond class cit­i­zens, and with­out the respect they deserve.
It behooves those gid­dy with excite­ment that [mas­sa] came down to the [colony] to grace the peas­antry with his pres­ence, and to offer plat­i­tudes, to cool off on drink­ing too much of the cool-aid.
As I wrote before Pompeo start­ed his talks with Holness, the sin­gu­lar rea­son he is in Jamaica is to whip Jamaica in line over China’s grow­ing influ­ence in the region.
Of course, this did not require much crit­i­cal think­ing. Last year the American Ambassador to Jamaica, some guy named Donald Tapia, had the gall to lec­ture the Island about accept­ing loans from China.
And then Pompeo made clear the real rea­son for his vis­it by admon­ish­ing the Island about accept­ing loans from China. The United States is itself heav­i­ly indebt­ed to China. If America is so heav­i­ly indebt­ed to China, why should Jamaica not have the right to exer­cise its dis­cre­tion on who it bor­rows from and under what con­di­tions?
Who gives Pompeo, and the United States the right to exer­cise pater­nal­is­tic author­i­ty over Jamaica? Is Jamaica unequal to the task of self-deter­mi­na­tion?

I hate to say I told you so but .… actu­al­ly, I don’t, I told you so. If Jamaica is able to secure low-inter­est loans from China, America los­es out on its high-inter­est loans to Jamaica.
If Jamaica sees ben­e­fit in deal­ing with China, the Asian behe­moth becomes a lot more attrac­tive to the Island, as it does to oth­er Caribbean nations.
It is for that rea­son that the stance tak­en by Barbados & Trinidad & Tobago is so valiant.
I under­stand the utopi­an view Jamaicans at home have of the United States, who could blame them.
If we wish to speak the truth, most of us believed that American streets were paved with gold when we saw the beau­ti­ful pic­turesque images of the Manhattan sky­line.
In our minds, there were no pot­holes. Friends and I joked recent­ly, many believed there were no mos­qui­tos in America.


Despite the best men­tal images we had of what America was, before we first set foot on American soil, she remains every­thing but what we imag­ined.
No, the streets are not paved with gold, they are pot-holed infest­ed.
Sure the Manhattan night-time sky­line is pic­turesque, but the back­ground dark­ness masks the hunger, home­less­ness, and despair of tens of thou­sands, it is a beau­ti­ful wall­pa­per that cov­ers up the decay­ing walls, of pover­ty and racial exclu­sion.
For the hard-work­ing peo­ple of col­or rais­ing their boys in Manhattan and oth­er met­ro­pol­i­tan cen­ters across the coun­try is a dai­ly grind of nerves. Their fears are not that their boys will be mur­dered by their con­tem­po­raries so much, as it is that they will be mur­dered by the very peo­ple they pay to pro­tect them, the police.
Poor whites with no influ­ence are hard­ly any bet­ter off, pover­ty, eco­nom­ic anx­i­ety, and drug abuse are wreak­ing hav­oc all across the nation. When it affects blacks they are lazy crack addicts, this time the label is the opi­oid cri­sis.
If America refus­es to fix its own peo­ple, why in hell would it want to help black peo­ple in Jamaica?

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.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.