NOT SO: Pompeo says US not trying to divide Caricom

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared that his country has no intention to bring division to CARICOM.

He made the remark in response to a question posed at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Andrew Holness at Jamacia House on Wednesday (Jan 22).

Pompeo is in the country for bilateral talks with Jamaica and a few other Caribbean countries. This has not gone down well with Caricom chairperson and prime minister of Barbados Mia Motley, and several other Caribbean nations which see the move as an attempt to divide the Caribbean on important issues.

Pompeo sought to calm fears when he disclosed that they had no intention of doing so “not today and not tomorrow” he remarked. “We want all the countries of this region to prosper and be successful and we know some of the countries will agree with the United States on some positions from time to time and disagree from time to time and that true for Jamaica and for many of the folks we visit with this afternoon” he stated. He added that he wants every country in Caricom to engage with the United States on the various important issues and to work together to make prosperity a reality.

His statement was further endorsed by Holness, who remarked that Jamaica does not engage in any policy that will seek to divide the fraternity that is Caricom. He, however, remarked that it was the sovereign right of every nation to make connections with any other nation and being friends with America, it was not a problem hosting this visit. In, fact, he noted that if any other Caribbean nation wanted to attend all they needed to do was ask.