US President Barack Obama waves as he stands with Jamaican Prime Minister The Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller after President Obama signs the Guest Book at Jamaica House on Thursday, April 9, 2015.
By Carmen Glover
US President Barack Obama displayed that he perfected Jamaican patois, uttering “Greetings Massive, Wah Gwan Jamaica,” as he greeted a group of youth and youth leaders on Thursday, April 9 in Kingston, Jamaica. President Obama addressed a town hall meeting at the University of the West Indies during his one-day visit of the island paradise. The audience applauded in appreciation of President Obama’s spot-on take on the local dialect. “Big up,” the emboldened president added.
US President Barack Obama greets Jamaican youth in patois saying: “Wha Gwan,” delighting the audience.
During the town hall meeting, President Obama announced a $70 million investment in programs to benefit Jamaican youth and the Caribbean region. And, of course, he fielded questions about the merits of legalizing marijuana.
President Obama engages in discussion with youth and youth leaders in Jamaica.
The town hall meeting followed a packed schedule which began on Wednesday April 8, when President Obama descended the steps of Air Force One at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, where he was greeted by dignitaries including Jamaican Prime Minister The Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, Governor General Patrick Allen and US Ambassador to Jamaica Luis Moreno. President Obama visited the Bob Marley Museum which he later described as his “most fun meeting as President.” He also said that he still has “all of his albums,” as he toured the iconic museum.
U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) is greeted by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (C) as he arrives aboard Air Force One at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller hugs President Barack Obama following the conclusion of their bilateral meeting at the Jamaica House, Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Kingston, Jamaica. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
On Thursday, April, 9, President Obama visited Jamaica House where he met with Hon. Simpson-Miller and participated in a meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). During that meeting, Prime Minister Simpson-Miller told President Obama that he is “very loved in Jamaica,” and that he is on “the right side of history” in his decision to normalize relations with Cuba, which has long been a strong ally of Jamaica.
US President Barack Obama tours the Bob Marley Museum led by tour guide Natasha Clark (2nd-L) in Kingston, Jamaica on April 8, 2015, while US National Adviser Susan Rice, who has Jamaican roots, walks in the background. Obama, the first sitting US president to set foot on the island since 1982, is in the country to meet with a regional block of Caribbean nations and possibly offer them an alternative to cheap Venezuelan oil amid a spat with Caracas. He heads late April 9th to Panama, where he may have a landmark meeting with Cuba’s communist President Raul Castro. AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN
The meeting of the CARICOM nations as well as the summit of the Americas which is scheduled for Panama on Friday, April 10, are both aimed at strengthening the ties between US and the Caribbean region and formalize discussions regarding energy, drug trafficking, and economic issues plaguing the region.
President Obama talks with Prime Minister of Bahamas Perry G. Christie at the summit with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, Thursday, April 9, 2015 in Kingston, Jamaica.
During the CARICOM meeting President Obama announced plans to fund clean energy projects in Jamaica. Prime Minister Simpson-Miller was effusive in her praise of President Obama and just as expressive as she hugged him while telling him “The people of Jamaica love you and I love you.”
Air Force One on the tarmac in Kingston, Jamaica.
President Obama is the first US President to visit Jamaica since Ronald Reagan did so in 1982. As the first African-American President, he was greeted with excitement in Jamaica, a beautiful island that is more than 95 percent proudly black–OnPointPress.net–