The Jamaican media has a responsibility to investigate and report the news. It has a duty to investigate and analyze events and where possible present to the Jamaican people, reasoned and intelligent analysis of events, in a manner that everyone can understand.
Unfortunately for the Jamaican people, the media has opted to engage in salacious nonsense, cheap partisan punditry, and juvenile cheerleaders to the dancehall culture.
As a consequence, the vast majority of the population does not get quality analytical information upon which it can make better-informed decisions.
Because of that, the Jamaican people are kept in the dark and in most cases, they have no idea what their government is doing in their name.
Take for instance the January visit to Jamaica of the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
The visit was billed as an attempt to solidify the longstanding ties between the two nations.
One Editorial gushed; we should grasp the opportunity for the region to further strengthen its relationship with our long-standing friend, the United States”.
This, even as Pompeo’s visit drew
criticisms that it was intended to divide the CARICOM alliance.
Even while speaking about Caribbean unity, Pompeo decided to meet with only eight Caribbean countries himself. This maneuver was uniquely Trumpian. Doing one thing and saying another. Preaching unity while driving the wedge of disunity.
The following were the Islands on Pompeo’s itinerary.
2. The Bahamas
4. St Kitts
6. Dominican Republic
7. St Lucia
8. St Marteen
One can extrapolate from this list the countries that chose not to support Pompeo’s visit, and with whom he chose not to meet, that list includes Trinidad & Tobago as well as Barbados.
This was a classic attempt at divide and conquer by Mike Pompeo. The Islands that chose not to play ball were excluded.
Pompeo’s boss Donald Trump reportedly asked a confidant in reference to the United States, “have you ever seen a country so divided”?
The confidant replied, “no”.
Trump reportedly responded; “I love it.” Pompeo’s actions were clear as day.
Mike Pompeo was doing exactly what I said in an article I penned at the time.
He was using Jamaica to counter China’s growing influence in the region and to build support against Venezuelan President Maduro. If that meant destroying the CARICOM alliance, neither Pompeo nor Donald Trump was going to be concerned about that.
Trump, Pompeo’s boss has done everything in his power to weaken NATO, why would he care about a bunch of tiny black-ruled (shithole-countries)?
Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean it has always been seen as the center of decision making in the region.
Unfortunately for Jamaica, because of the Island’s crime epidemic, much of the Island’s manufacturing has moved to Trinidad.
Today Jamaica may be the most populous Island but it does not have the wealth to back up its numeric strength.
Trinidad & Tobago the wealthiest Islands, and Barbados, the most educated in the region, forming their own alliance against what they saw as American manipulation, was nothing to scoff at.
They’re not wrong in their opposition to Pompeo, but the Jamaican Media, the cheerleaders they are, completely missed what was occurring with Pompeo’s visit.
We did not.
And so Andrew Holness’s decision to skip the 31st Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, in Barbados, and sending Kamina Johnson Smith to lead the Jamaican delegation was an action that exposes why Mike Pompeo was in Jamaica in January.
Holness’s excuse is that he has pressing matters to attend to. Oh, give me a damn break.
What the hell does he have to do that is more pressing than meeting with Jamaica’s CARICOM colleagues?
Jamaica House issued a statement on behalf of Holness which stated that Holness did not make the engagement due to “pressing national matters and to ensure the constitutional composition of the Cabinet”.
What cockamamie? What a disrespectful slap to the faces of Jamaica’s CARICOM partners.
And for what, but to carry out the dictates of the most corrupt and dangerous American régime in history?
In the meantime, Barbados Prime Minister and CARICOM Chairman Mia Mottley, warned against Nationalism in the region.
Ironically, White Nationalism is what Trump preaches and what Mike Pompeo represents.
Small Caribbean nations should be bonding together, not carrying out the dictates of the racist and divisive régime in Washington DC.
This publication supports the stance taken by Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and others.
The actions of the Jamaican Prime Minister was predictable, it is transparent, and not in the long-term interest of Jamaica.
No Jamaican should take pride in this.
No Jamaican should excuse Holness’s actions. He acted like a servile sycophant to a corrupt, racist, and lawless régime. Not a good look.
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.