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Caribbean News Today

Expectations Tempered for CARICOM Meeting with US President

Featured Heads of Government and Delegations at the 26th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, March 2015 | Photo: CARICOM Secretariat Heads of Government and Delegations at the 26th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, March 2015 | Photo: CARICOM Secretariat
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to pay his first state visit to Jamaica this week, but not everyone is excited or hoping for significant gains from CARICOM’s sit-down with Obama.

In the wake of a damning report following the withdrawal of U.S. aid to St. Lucia’s Police Force, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says his expectations for the meeting have been tempered.

“Whether there will be any benefits from the encounter is very debatable. The United States doesn’t seem to be in the mood of providing financial assistance to the region. They do have some projects, but some of those projects the allocations to them have been reduced,” he said.

Political Scientist Denys Springer is hoping that the CARICOM Leaders will view this meeting with the U.S. President as a chance to take the US to task for its recent heightened sanctions against Venezuela.

“Say yes it’s nice to see you but we are not happy with what you have been doing to Venezuela and we cannot accept it as a Region. I think that is what should be said to Obama,” he said, adding “they should be speaking as one voice, because the South American countries will be there and I believe that everybody should really sit with the president and say nice meeting you, but hands off Venezuela.”

Regional political analysts warn that if previous high-level meetings offer any guidance, the Regional Heads should avoid high expectations for any gestures of significance from the U.S. President, despite frequent assurances of ‘friendship.’

Note: This article was originally published on April 7, 2015 on TeleSUR.com. It has been edited and republished by News Jamaica.net. The original version, with references, can be seen HERE.

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