US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo Urges Caribbean To Be Wary Of Chinese Investments

— As Washington Seeks Closer Relations

US State Secretary Urges Caribbean To Be Wary Of Chinese Investments As Washington Seeks Closer RelationsPHOTO: United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, addressing a policy discussion session on US-Caribbean relations on Wednesday (January 22) at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston, Jamaica. The meeting formed part of Pompeo’s two-day working visit to the island. Photo credit: Dave Reid And Adrian Walker/JIS.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 24, 2020 (CMC) – The United States, on Wednesday, urged Caribbean countries to be wary of accepting “easy money from countries, like China”, as Washington sought to improve its decades-old relationship with the region.

US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, addressing a policy discussion on “US Caribbean Relations”, acknowledged that the North American giant had been absent from the Caribbean for a long period.     

“I think for too long the United States focused on the Caribbean, only when natural disasters hit. Too many US officials came here to talk about aid, and aid alone. I am not going to give that speech today,” Pompeo told the forum that included the Foreign Ministers of Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Kitts-Nevis, Belize and Jamaica the host country .

“I believe that the United States and the Caribbean can do much more together and, importantly, should do much more together…we are natural allies and natural partners. Now is the time to move forward with even closer ties with so much opportunity,” he said.

In recent times, Washington has become critical of China’s investments in the Caribbean with many regional states signing on to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, the global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 involving infrastructure development and used by the Asian country to strengthen its connectivity with the world.

But Pompeo told the Caribbean foreign ministers and other officials present that “it is tempting to accept easy money from places like China, but what good is it if it feeds corruption and undermines your rule of law”.

He said most of the investments ruin the environment, don’t create jobs for locals, and that there is a better alternative.

“We all know it and we can all achieve it together,” he said, claiming that American firms would provide better alternatives in an environment of “transparent contracts, the respect for the rule of law, honest straight forward accounting practices.

“That’s why I am proud to be America’s Secretary of State and advocate for American companies…coming an invest in places like Jamaica and the region,” he said, noting that some of the businesses attending the discussion “reflect our sincere desire for a partnership and prosperity we can grow all of our nations together”

He said that this is why Washington has launched the Growth in Americas Initiative, with Jamaica, which had been a chartered member during the December kick off and “we look forward to including many more countries”.

He said Washington was working to get more regional countries benefit from private investment and infrastructure and has “created a new development finance corporation (DFC) that works inside our State Department (and) can help your private sector stand on its own”.

He said the US was looking forward to working with Haiti in identifying how the DFC financing can help its economy.

Pompeo said the United States is the largest trading partner with the region, giving as an example, the importation of asphalt from Trinidad and Tobago “which makes up the pavement from Pennsylvania Avenue that connects the White House and the United States capital.

But our economic ties aren’t defined by government aid or remittances from members of your community who come to the United States. We want to build economically, sustainable economies and it is possible”.

He said Washington was also looking to develop the region’s energy sector, adding PetroCaribe, the energy cooperation agreement initiated by Venezuela to provide a preferential payment arrangement for petroleum and petroleum products to some Latin America and Caribbean is “fading into the sunset as the (Nicholas) Maduro regime itself will do”.

Washington has been spearheading efforts to remove Maduro from office and is supporting Opposition Leader Juan Guaido, whom Pompeo said he met during his visit to the region and urged him to convey his thanks ‘to you here”.

“Our sovereignty and security demand that we get even closer today,” he said, noting that prior to arriving in Jamaica he was in Colombia attending a counter terrorism summit.

“Nations all across the region are waking up to the same shared threats and there is no shortage of them. ISIS fighters have come from Trinidad and Tobago. Hezbollah has tentacles all over South America. FARC and ELN take refuge today in Venezuela.

“The man made crisis Maduro has caused in Venezuela has driven an unprecedented migration crisis. Nearly five million Venezuelans have fled his tyranny. Cuba and Russia continue to meddle in nation’s sovereign affairs by trying to destabilise democracies and of course there’s the drug cartels that we deal with and the human trafficking, arms trafficking and cyber trafficking that come alongside.’

This is very different from the times of the Cold War,” Pompeo warned.

———

US Secretary of State and Jamaica PM Insist There’s No Plot to Divide CARICOM

Caricom Headquarters
Georgetown. Guyana.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday January 24, 2020 – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a unified Caribbean Community (CARICOM), amid concerns about efforts to divide the grouping.

And the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose invitation to meet with representatives of only some countries in the 15-member grouping sparked the concerns, has insisted that the US is not attempting to drive any wedge between regional nations.

Concerns were first raised publicly by Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who is also CARICOM’s chairman, ahead of Pompeo’s visit to Jamaica this week, during which he was scheduled to meet with foreign ministers from The Bahamas, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.

“I don’t look to pick fights, but I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something, then it will fall for anything. As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region,” Mottley had said.

But following bilateral discussions with Pompeo during his two-day working visit this week, Holness sought to make it clear that his country “does not want to see, and does not engage in any policy that would divide CARICOM, which is an important fraternity of countries”.

“We want to keep it that way. Jamaica’s interest is to unite the region for prosperity, freedom and peace,” he asserted.

Holness emphasized that the focus has to be that every member of CARICOM and every Jamaican ensure that there is engagement within the region.

“So, the conversation should be how do we get greater engagement, how are we talking more. My interest is to get Jamaica talking with everyone and to strengthen our relationship, particularly with our largest trading partner, particularly with our largest security partner, because we have over one million US visitors coming to our shores yearly. We have significant economic, social and cultural interests, so we should never seek to create an artificial divide,” the Prime Minister said.

For his part, Secretary Pompeo concurred that “there is no intent from the United States to divide CARICOM”.

“We want all the countries of this region to prosper and be successful. We know that countries in this region will agree with the US on certain positions from time to time and disagree with us from time to time. That’s true for Jamaica, as well as true for many of the folks that I’ll visit with this afternoon. We want to invite them all to be part of the economic prosperity security zone that is this region, and we welcome the leadership that Jamaica has demonstrated in the CARICOM region,” he said.

Secretary Pompeo said the US welcomes dialogue with every country in the region, noting that “we’d want to meet with them all, we’d welcome them all to participate in all of the conversations that we are having about important issues”.

“Things that matter to the United States of America we think matter to each and every country in CARICOM and we want to work with them closely to develop a security prosperity dialogue with them, so that we can all be successful, not divided, but together,” he added.

During his visit, the US Secretary of State engaged in round-table discussions with Caribbean officials. He delivered a policy speech on the Caribbean’s critical importance to the US, and the country’s renewed commitment to closer ties, based on shared values, interests and economic prosperity.

Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/us-secretary-of-state-and-jamaica-pm-insist-theres-no-plot-to-divide-caricom#ixzz6C0ZtVwii

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On January 25, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Is it a case of too little too late for
    Guyana/carribean.?
    Economic revolution !
    In USA backyard !

    The power of money …aka Godzilla !
    Hong Kong or King Kong or both !

    Guyanese be aware and beware !

    Kamtan

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 25, 2020 at 4:25 am

    Dear White Evangelicals, ‘Christianity Today’ is Right

    John Pavlovitz | Stuff That Needs To Be Said

    Dear Evangelicals,

    IT IS TIME.

    It is time to admit that this was all a horrible mistake; that whether you were misled by a pastor or deceived by a politician, or lied to yourself, or were blinded by hatred for Barack Obama — or whether you simply never dreamed it would get as bad as it’s gotten — you cannot let this go on any more. This has to be a turning point, a fork in the road where you get to twist the plot into something redemptive.

    Such change is a holy endeavor. Every act of repentance, every turn toward goodness, every world-altering movement of faith — begins with a rock bottom, scales-falling-from-your-eyes moment of clarity and a decision.

    Maybe this is yours.

    Evangelical magazine Christianity Today [CT] published a blistering op-ed, laying out with surgical precision, what many moderate and progressive Christians – and anyone with even a cursory understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus – have been saying for the past four years:

    Donald Trump is NOT Christian.

    Trump is immoral.
    Trump is unfit.
    Trump is criminal.
    Trump needs to be impeached and removed.

    This is revelatory because it is so unprecedented.

    CT never makes such a bold foray into politics and this is the story here. That they are doing so now, speaks to the specific, historic, malevolent threat represented here and the pivot point we find ourselves standing upon.

    CT speaks to the reality that this moment of urgency transcends denomination and political party and religious worldview — that it is about the shifting bedrock of human decency that demands a choice by people of faith, morality, and conscience.

    It also crystalizes the fact that one cannot perpetuate Jesus and worship Donald Trump simultaneously.

    A person cannot pledge adoration for both an itinerant, compassionate street preacher and to a vile, corrupt wall-building millionaire.

    This is not a both/and.
    There is a choice to be made.

    Jesus requires it.

    You either declare allegiance to one or another.

    Christianity Today is reminding us what that looks like — and the fear mongers are running scared.

    The damage control happening in Trump’s remaining for-profit prophets, led by the inexplicably sycophantic Franklin Graham is predictable, grievous — and sinful.

    Their contention is that the magazine is suddenly a liberal, radical leftist, non-believing organization whose agenda is antithetical to Jesus.

    That is some steaming, sanctified MAGA horse manure.

    I am a progressive Christian.
    I am a Liberal follower of Jesus.
    I am a proud part of the Christian Left movement in this country.

    Up until a few days ago, I would have told you that Christianity Today is one of Trump’s protectors; part of the Evangelical cadre of enablers and yes-men who have insulated him from accountability since his campaign began.

    Trump would have considered them this as well.

    This time I am shocked in the most beautiful of ways.

    Franklin Graham and Donald trump can lie and tell you that Christianity Today is progressive all they want — it is NOT. It is an inherently Conservative Evangelical entity.

    The magazine, launched by the Reverend Billy Graham, for decades has been a hub for exactly the Bible Belt Christians who comprise Trump’s base. It has served as a lynchpin of the Religious Right machine.

    That is why Graham and Trump and the GOP are terrified right now.

    They realize that the tide is turning; that courageous acts yield other courageous acts, that one person or one organization’s boldness becomes the steady shoulders on which others stand to speak a truth they have denied or been afraid to confront or could not see until a moment such as this. Trump’s supporters have warned of a coming civil war. THIS IS IT.

    And this is where you come in. YOU GET TO BE BRAVE NOW, ALSO!

    You get to step into the light as an individual or a pastor or a local church or a denomination — and to emancipate Jesus from the Republican Party.

    You get to remind the world that Donald Trump and men like him bear no resemblance to Jesus, and they are NOT to be worshipped or given carte blanche.

    You get to leverage your voice and social media and your pulpit and your platform to bring your faith to bear on history. YES, You!!

    You get to make a declaration that affirms the spiritual convictions you live and breathe and hold dear — and to condemn and resist the things that run counter to the Jesus of the Gospels, even if it costs you friends and family members and church positions.

    And the moment you do, just like Christianity Today, you’ll find yourself facing the friendly fire from people who you once imagined would be your greatest allies in the tranches of this life; supposed people of faith who betray Jesus with a kiss, all for a bag of coins. That is the cost of convictions — and it is worth paying.

    And when you have made your declaration, those of us who have been out here for the past four years saying what Christianity Today finally said — will greet you the way we greet them:

    We have been waiting for you.

    You are late but you are here and that is what matters.

    There is daylight upon us and breath in our lungs and the present moment we stand in to get this right.

    Welcome.

    We have got work to do!

    • kamtanblog  On January 25, 2020 at 7:46 am

      Really ! Bit speculative if not wishful thinking … am convinced that Humpity Dumpity will be re-elected unless he is removed before November ! No by electorate but from within his own party. Et tu brutae

  • wally n  On January 25, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! There is reality and “feelings” I wish you guys can be specific…..only “he is a bad man”

    • Emanuel  On January 25, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      Wally- “WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! There is reality and “feelings” I wish you guys can be specific…..only “he is a bad man”

      Here’s a few examples off the top of my head-

      1. He likes grabbing women by the ———-

      2. He repeats Russian propaganda that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the last election.

      3. He is lies like you breathe air, when words have consequences.

      4. He calls people names – beneath the office.

      5. He mocks disabled people.

      6. He wants to build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it when it is American taxpayers who really pay for it.

      7. He tossed paper towels to the Puerto Rican people who needed desperate help.

      8. Should I go on?

      Emanuel

      • wally n  On January 25, 2020 at 9:23 pm

        that is your specific response?……….hi …… that is more CRAP!
        give it a rest…. much more to come as your “good people” GET HAULED OFF TO JAIL. BUCKLE UP!

      • Emanuel  On January 25, 2020 at 9:42 pm

        Wally, if your hero gets back in for four more years, as a black man, you’d have plenty to worry about and going to jail. In a America if you’re a black man, you cannot support a bigot and a racist who hates you. If you do, you need to see mind doctor.

        Emanuel.

      • kamtanblog  On January 27, 2020 at 7:20 am

        Ha ha hilarious…
        Not only if u black man….
        If you not white also !

        Not to mention if of colour or poor !

        USA will take decades to recover from
        the words/action deeds of their present
        Commander in Thief !

        Corrupt greed is insatiable!

        God bless USA !
        God save it from bancrupt Armageddon

        So much change in such short period

        Kamtan

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On January 25, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Is Guyana’s oil reserves the reason for the US re-engagement with CARICOM?

    • Kman  On January 28, 2020 at 11:14 am

      The US already have that in the bag, way before a drop of crude was pumped,

  • wally n  On January 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    not necessary US presently self sufficient, but between us………there is always Venezuela……standing by.

    • kamtanblog  On January 27, 2020 at 4:53 am

      Clyde
      We travelled to UK as teenagers in the
      banana boat ! Landed in Genoa Italy with
      train journey across Europe then ferry
      to Dover via calais. Most on board were
      Jamaicans. We were all heading for the
      Mother country.
      Saw picture of Buckingham palace and
      expected vip treatment on arrival.
      When expectations are high one is
      disappointed.
      In hunt for spare room accommodation
      doors were shut in our faces.
      Certainly not the welcome we expected.

      That’s 1960’s for you.

      After my 5 years military service RAF
      returned to de fatherland. HRH LFSB
      was dictator appointed USA/UK

      History
      Best forgiven
      Not forgotten
      Fools forget !

      Kamtan

  • wally n  On January 27, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Dr. Lerah Lee, Black Conservative running for Congress:

    Say what you want about President Trump, but …
    👍 Would a racist president stand for pro-life legislation when the majority of babies impacted by abortion are babies with disabilities and babies of color?
    👍 Would a racist prioritize reducing prison sentences for non-violent crimes which disproportionately affect minority communities?
    👍 Would a racist give the most money to historically black colleges and universities of any recent president?
    As Republicans, we should be so proud.
    I am Canadian, and I am sure if the U S goes under with the new breed of communists/socialist idiots, Canada will surely go under too.
    I am still waiting to hear, your “candidate” that can save the U S from falling into sh…hole status?
    WAITING WAITING

    • kamtanblog  On January 27, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      In my opinion
      USA is fast becoming a corrupt “dictatorship”
      Not unlike Russia. However USA CIC is putins
      lap dog….who may yet join other traitor Snowden in exile.
      China’s greedy filthy people …surprise surprise ! Corona !
      Most popular Mexican beer 🍺 USA.
      Now no one wants to drink corona beer
      but may soon be drinking Chinese pee !

      Wake up USA the Chinese coming to take you
      away ! Ha ha !
      USA
      Be aware beware dem filthy greedy corrupt
      capitalistic Chinese own you.
      Holding more USD$ than those in circulation
      USA.

      God bless and save USA

  • wally n  On January 27, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    “Holding more USD$ than those in circulation”??????? Every one wants weak US but strong US currency??????

  • Kman  On January 28, 2020 at 11:23 am

    America is fighting and bullying to remain on top.

    Go back to the gold standard and see what happens. They will crumble like a skyscraper in an earthquake.

    Why is the rest of the so called free and democratic world not calling them out?

    Trump gets re-elected and world disruption may start.

    • kamtanblog  On January 28, 2020 at 11:52 am

      Comrade
      The diisruption has started already.
      My gut feeling is that HDumpity will
      succeed in bancrupt ing USA .
      World debt is already 188T$
      Google world debt FMI
      The usd$ will not remain as world reserve
      currency …my concerns …what will replace it
      and when.?

      Will it be £ € or ¥. ?
      Trillion dollar question.
      € must be favourite !

      All will be revealed soon

      Watch this space

      Kamtan

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 29, 2020 at 5:46 am

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