Trump’s man in Jamaica Ambassador Donald Tapia has taken the same tack as Southern Command head, Admiral Craig Faller, in talking down to Jamaica about the danger China poses as a result of Sino-Jamaica relations.
Make no mistake about it, every word and every concern coming out of Washington DC’s mouthpieces are true, just not welcome from them.
The problem is the gall and temerity of Washington DC to want to dictate terms to Jamaica as to who her friends should be as well as how she should conduct her affairs.
Can you imagine the Jamaican ambassador in the United States telling the American Government how to conduct foreign affairs?
I am still trying to understand the rationale for America’s unwanted paternalistic propensities.
In response to Admiral Faller’s statements while in Jamaica we wrote yesterday, that as a guest in Jamaica the Admiral was out of order and way ahead on his skis to be lecturing Jamaica about her relationships.
Sure China is a two-headed snake, but as a country, Jamaica has to make decisions in her interests and the choices are not always between good and bad. Those choices are sometimes choosing one of two evils.
In a more comprehensive lecture than that of Fallers, yet in a mode as disjointed as his boss’s infantile style, Tapia went on a tear: “China is a dragon with two heads. If China came to Jamaica presumably with no strings attached, then why did you negotiate 1,200 acres of the most prime real estate with them? Because they need a return on their investment,” Tapia told the local Gleaner publication.
Those are facts, but they are of no concern to either Tapia or the United States.
Tapia; “There is no way that you will be able to fund that highway in 50 years. The negotiation was 1,200 of the most beautiful acres on the water that you gave to China, and they said they would develop it.”
Again true, true, true, but the United States has always had the opportunity to assist Jamaica in a meaningful way which would remove her from poverty.
Jamaica with a first-world infrastructure is in America’s strategic interest as she will be better able to retain its people and develop her economy.
America never cared too much about Black people, so a developed Jamaica would mean fewer Jamaicans seeking to enter the United States.
The United States has acted against Jamaica’s fiduciary interest in the past.
The harm done to Jamaica in the ’70s, was the price the country paid for eschewing socialism/communism. Some argue it was a great victory against those forces, others say it was a pyrrhic victory.
Tapia denounced as unfair the Jamaican Government’s concessions to China Harbour Engineering Company – and other construction firms aligned to Beijing that engage in major infrastructure projects.
This too is true but last time I looked Jamaica did not belong to America, neither is she answerable to the United States for her decision making, no more than the United States is answerable to her.
Again the US had it’s chance if it cared about Jamaica to help her with her development. Instead, Jamaicans are deported from the US with alarming frequency and regularity for the most minor infractions.
Jamaica is awash in illicit American guns, that are killing innocent citizens at an alarming rate each year.
Extradition and deportations are the characteristics that seem to define the American-Jamaican experience today.
Not mutual respect and development which should favor the two nations.
Said, Tapia: “When they (China) go into a country, they go after two things – the minerals and the ports. I could tell you horror stories of countries where they have taken over the ports because those countries could not pay for their investment; China usually has a great propaganda story as to why it has happened.”
“When America invests in the energy and education sectors, we are building a long-lasting effect and will contribute to stability and help to stem the brain drain. Those who talk about free speech, free enterprise and human rights are forgetting that those three things go together with Jamaicans, who are freedom-loving people, and one day, the chickens will come home to roost. So, take all you can from them, but remember that the West is standing there with you.”
We have surely seen what it looks like when America stands with Jamaica, and though the relationship between the two nations is critical, it surely hasn’t been a relationship based on mutual respect.
According to https://travel.state.gov/ as of the fiscal year 2018, the United States Embassy in Kingston’s refusal rate for granting (B)visitor visas to Jamaicans was 54. 46%, as opposed to 5.1% for the Apartheid state of Israel.
The only countries with higher refusal rates are African nations like Liberia, with 64.36%, Libya with 73.73%, and some Asain nations like North Korea, Laos and others.
It is surely the prerogative of the United States, how it handles its business, including who is allowed in as against who it keeps out. Jamaica’s geographical proximity surely hasn’t helped in her relationship with her powerful neighbor to the north.
Jamaica’s relationship with the United States is purely strategic as it relates to America’s interest in stopping the drugs entering her ports and maintaining Jamaica as a sycophantic underling who will ensure none of America’s adversaries gains her affections.
(Former Jamaican ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told The Gleaner yesterday that America had telegraphed its displeasure with Sino-Jamaican pacts since the visit by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February 2018. “We shouldn’t be surprised. It has been going on for two years. Since that time, clearly, Jamaica has not paid attention to what the US has said, but has forged ahead with its developments.”
“Washington should state whether it would fill the vacuum if Jamaica were to pull back from China”, Said Ward.
That’s it in a nutshell, put up or shut up.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid 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.
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