Skipping CARICOM Conference Exposes Holness & Not In A Good Light…

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

as was

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.
1. Jamaica
2. The Bahamas
3. Belize
4. St Kitts
5. Haiti
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?

Holness & Pompeo last month in Jamaica

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.