US Secretary of State arrives in Jamaica for talks on Hemispheric issues

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Kingston, Jamaica today to meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, as well

pompeo jamaica

Photo: AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Kingston, Jamaica today to meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, as well as several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, to discuss improving ties with CARICOM and outstanding issues with Venezuela.

The visit comes almost a year after President Donald Trump’s meeting with five Caribbean leaders from the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia regarding US investments in the region. Washington made investment promises in return for support for Venezuela’s US-backed, self-declared president, Juan Guaido.

Pompeo is likely to stress that international pressure is required for the departure of rival Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Indeed, Washington is vying for the re-election of the Organisation of American States Secretary-General Luis Almagro, who is backing Guaido.

Leaders in CARICOM, such as Barbados PM Mia Mottley, remain wary about Washington’s intentions and its effect on CARICOM unity. The bloc is collectively rich in oil and natural gas reserves and is likely to welcome conditional international economic support. However, Washington’s promises of investment to different Caribbean countries may adversely affect bilateral relations in the medium term.

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