US Ambassador to Jamaica meets with minister of foreign affairs, presents credentials


Mr. Luis Moreno, US Ambassador-designate to Jamaica, presented his diplomatic credentials to Jamaica’s Minister o Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Arnold J, Nicholson.

January, 17, 2015, Kingston, Jamaica:The United States Ambassador-designate to Jamaica, Mr. Luis Moreno, presented his credential letters on Tuesday, January 13, to Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson QC, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade.

In addition to the presentation, there were initial discussions on Jamaica and US relations, the recent shift in US policy concerning Cuba, and Jamaica’s fiscal tightening efforts in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

After adding his support to the US policy shift toward Cuba, Minister Nicholson expressed appreciation for the opportunities and assistance the US had through the years provided Jamaica and the Caribbean. For his part, Mr. Moreno congratulated Jamaica on its progress with the fiscal programme and IMF collaboration. He also noted that he intended to promote an increase in US investments in the country and assistance in the area of security.

Both gentlemen also discussed the upcoming January 26 high level visit by Jamaica’s Prime Minister the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller to Washington. Prime Minister Simpson-Miller will participate in the Energy and Security Summit between the United States and the Caribbean. The summit will be hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden.–

President Obama’s new stand on Cuba is bold, timely and brilliant

President Barack Obama has campaigned with candidates who valued and respected the impact he brings to their race.

President Barack Obama has shown courage, independence and foresight in normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba and authorizing the release of three Cuban captives in exchange for US captives held in Cuba.

President Obama’s decision on Wednesday, December 17 to normalize relations with Cuba by exchanging prisoners, expanding trade, travel and diplomacy is the right decision at the right time.

“We are making these changes because it’s the right thing to do,” President Obama said in making the announcement. He also said Americans are “cutting loose from the shackles” of policies towards Cuba that have failed.

After more than a year of discreet negotiations which included input from Pope Francis, the two nations agreed to chart a new course towards diplomacy. It is only fitting that  President Obama has shown the foresight and grit to heed the pleas of the Pope and secure the freedom of Alan Gross, who was held captive in Cuba since December 2009, as well as a CIA operative who was held for 20 years, and in exchange return three Cuban captives that the US had in custody.

Alan Gross, expressed his gratitude at being freed.

Alan Gross, expressed his gratitude at being freed, saying he was “blessed” to be a citizen of the USA.

The cold war that has existed between the USA and Cuba began in the 1960s when the USA government tried on several occasions to assassinate former Cuban President Fidel Castro, including the Bay of Pigs debacle. The US government refused to acknowledge Castro as Cuba’s rightful leader because of his militant, revolutionary comportment. Castro surged to power as Cuba’s leader in January 1959 and has outlived all of the US leaders who plotted and tried to ensure his demise.

Immigrants from the Caribbean who are naturalized Americans know first hand how valuable Cubans are in providing the services of their doctors to developing countries so that people who are poor can have excellent medical care. Jamaica, for one, has long enjoyed a proud and rich relationship with Cuba, and when Fidel Castro walked into the funeral for beloved late Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, pandemonium erupted with people struggling to contain their excitement.

Cuban President Raul Castro.

Cuban President Raul Castro has been a more low-key President than his brother Fidel.

Raul Castro, who has been running Cuba since his brother Fidel became ill several years ago, expressed his support for the new era in relations between the two nations.

“This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people. We have to learn the art of living together with our differences in a different way,” he said.

The decision to open an American embassy on Cuban shores for the first time in decades while opening up trade, travel and talks towards forging a strong relationship between two strong nations shows the courage, independence and brilliance of President Obama, who refuses to be shackled by a divisively destructive Congress who resent his mere existence.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, brother to current President Raul, has been in ill health for years but has reportedly retained his sharp mind.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, brother to current President Raul, has been in ill health for years but has reportedly retained his sharp mind.

When the Ebola scare was eliciting hysteria among Americans, hundreds of Cuban doctors were busily treating West Africans, rendering the selfless, excellent bedside manner for which they are well-known to their neighboring countries. It is time for the American people to shake off the remnants of obsolete thinking and embrace diplomacy as a broad, encompassing and mutually beneficial alliance that fosters the free and easy cultural exchange that is vital to a culturally competent society. President Obama, in taking this first step, again defies his detractors and moves boldly towards practical solutions to seemingly intractable problems.–