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Barbados Won't Send Delegate to Meet With Mike Pompeo During His Visit to Jamaica, Citing Concern of Effort to Divide CARICOM

Barbados Published On January 20, 2020 10:00 AM
Staff Consortium | January 20, 2020 10:00:34 AM

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley By GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS

BARBADOS — Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has warned of possible attempts to divide CARICOM, a 15-member body of Caribbean islands, during U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's two-day visit to Jamaica beginning Jan. 21, where only a few islands were invited, and not the entire CARICOM group.

“We don’t look to pick fights. I don’t look to pick fights, but I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something, then it will fall for anything," said Ms. Mottley while addressing a gala to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Barbados prime minister and regional integrationist, Errol W. Barrow on Saturday night, according to Barbados Today. "As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my foreign minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region."

According to the Jamaican Gleaner, Mr. Pompeo's trip to the land of Reggae follows the 67th holder of the office, Hillary Clinton, who also made an official stop on Jamaican shores in an election year, and his immediate predecessor, Rex Tillerson, who made a three-hour stop in the island for bilateral talks in 2018. Jamaica is expected to hold its general election in the coming months.

At the gala, Ms. Mottley added, “Conscious that this region must always check itself to ensure that we not become the pawns of others, the satellites of others, but that we keep ever most and uppermost in our minds what we must do for our people without simply becoming pawns on a chessboard for others to be able to benefit from."

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