Wed | Mar 3, 2021

Letter of the Day | No, PM Holness, Ja is not America’s backyard

Published:Friday | January 15, 2021 | 12:13 AM


I was appalled by Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ statement that Jamaica is in the backyard of the United States in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television. This was in answer to a question on Jamaica’s position on the controversy between the US and China.

Holness stated, “Jamaica understands the orbit in which we are. We are in the backyard of the United States, so to speak. Our economy is intrinsically and inextricably linked to the United States. We will always be very close to the United States and very much aligned with the politics of the United States.”

This neocolonial mindset is not fit for leading a proud sovereign nation that is no one’s puppet. It has led Jamaica to align itself closely with US President Donald Trump, who is now being impeached for a second time. The politics of the United States under Trump has been geared towards attacking sovereign countries in the region and imposing harsh sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba. Jamaica has earned the shameful reputation of being party to the use of the Organization of American States (OAS) to undermine the government of Venezuela.

PM Holness went on to say that all the US needs to do is “increase spending in the region” to eliminate the concern about growing relations with China. This is beyond embarrassing. It is so ‘licky-licky’. Is he saying that we are open to being a bribed tool of the US?