J’cans suspicious of Tillerson’s impending visit to Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The impending visit of United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson to the island has sparked an online debate among Jamaicans, some of whom expressed little confidence that there will be a good outcome from the visit.

Tillerson is to embark on his first major tour of Central and South America this week as a worried region watches Venezuela’s slide into crisis. He is scheduled to meet with the Jamaican government on Wednesday before heading back to the US.

The political and economic turmoil in Venezuela will be top of the agenda at each of the stops: Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and then a few hours in Jamaica on the homeward leg and he seeking to rally support for Washington’s tough stance against President Nicolas Maduro’s regime, international media have reported.

However, several OBSERVER ONLINE readers have suggested that the Trump administration cannot be trusted, while others ponder whether or not the visit is a reward for Jamaica abstaining from the Jerusalem vote last year.

“Trump, is using Jamaica to save face with his s***hole comment and to thank Andrew for abstaining from the UN vote condemning him for his untimely recognition of Jerusalem as Israel capital,” argued one reader.

The comment was in reference to the island, among a number of other CARICOM countries, to either abstain or not turn up on December 21, 2017 as the UN General Assembly voted whether to denounce Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Meanwhile, another reader said: “THE EXXON MAN!! Arriving in Jamaica? Can’t fool me!….Most probably to deliver a message, which might say – keep cool and look the other way when they try to take down the Cuban regime this spring. And YOU Jamaicans, just pretend YOU didn’t see nothing, when they go after the Venezuelan regime and the oil!”

“I heard everywhere that man visit a pure destruction take them … hope that’s not the case here,” said one reader.

Many have also expressed that the US is worried about the Chinese in Jamaica and rightly so, Tillerson yesterday warned that China and Russia are assuming “alarming” roles in Latin America and urged regional powers to work with the United States instead.

“Latin America doesn’t need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people,” he said, adding that “China’s state-led model of development is reminiscent of the past. It doesn’t have to be the hemisphere’s future.” Tillerson warned that “unfair trading practices” would cost local jobs.”

Meanwhile, a few readers have expressed hope that the secretary of state is “coming with a signed document to say the US is no longer opposed to Jamaica legalising Ganja.”

Still, other readers are waiting to see the result of the visit, with one reader saying: “Well let’s see what fruit this bears.. Hoping for positivity with this visit.. Good luck Mr Holness and Mrs Johnson Smith.. Do unnu ting! We have always had a relationship with the US so not as usual as people making out.”

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