Caribbean Wants Respect From Obama Administration

Barbados PM David Thompson

Barbados PM David Thompson
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 05, 2009 (CUOPM)

Barbados Prime Minister Hon. David Thompson says the Caribbean region requests mutual respect and an acknowledgement of shared interests from the incoming United States Presidency of the Hon. Barack Obama.

“We look to the new administration in Washington for an expression of interest, an attitude of understanding and a display of sensitivity. That is what we seek and that is what this region deserves,” said Prime Minister Thompson told nearly 600 patrons at the 8th Annual Prime Minister’s New Year’s Gala on Saturday at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino.

Prime Minister Thompson noted that with the historic inauguration of Obama as the 44th President of the United States, there are those who say President Obama has already delivered meaningfully to the world and may expect a pipeline of gold to flow from Washington.

“He had the audacity of hope and he dared to believe! Those qualities alone have distinguished him. He has inspired the world and his inauguration on January 20th is already serving as a beacon to light the path of other world leaders,” said Prime Minister Thompson, adding:

“Those of us who have been around long enough would, however, not be so gullible as to expect a pipeline of gold to flow from Washington as a result of the inauguration of President Obama. Indeed, this region’s most recent experience with Democratic Administrations in the United States of America has been less than flattering. But, we have come of age. We seek neither handouts nor hand ups.”

The Barbados leader acknowledged however that the region is fortunate to have leaders who have cultivated friendships and relationships with key members of this new administration over the years.

“Both your Prime Minister (Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas) and I have cherished relationships with key policy makers in the Congressional House and Senate. I am aware also that your Prime Minister in particular, has the ear of someone not so far removed from the nominated Secretary of State. It is in times like these that experience and networks count! It makes a difference when you can call Washington and say “˜this is So and So! I need an audience with “˜X’ or “˜Y’, to solve my country’s problems’,’ said the Barbadian leader.

Mr. Thompson pointed out that even though President Obama may not know a great deal about St. Kitts and Nevis at this time, he has sitting pretty close to him an Attorney General with roots in Barbados and incoming Secretary of State (Hilary Rodham Clinton), whose husband, former President Bill Clinton has deemed St. Kitts and Nevis and its leader, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, as having a profound impact on his post-White House experience.

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