U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has arrived in Jamaica on the last leg of his regional tour which comprised several Latin American countries. Expected to remain on the Caribbean island for only three-hours before heading back to Washington, he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness where the two will hold bilateral talks on national security and other matters.
However, many Jamaicans are calling on Holness to reject the U.S. agenda, which may attempts to garner support for sanctions imposed on Venezuela.
Richard Bernal, a former Jamaican ambassador to the United States and current pro-vice chancellor of Global Affairs at the University of the West Indies, said there is some “uncertainty as to why he's (Tillerson) visiting Jamaica at this time.”
He added that many people have taken to social media to demand that the government “are calling on the (Jamaican) government not to immediately accept everything that United States' is requesting of them, but to put an agenda which is in the interest of Jamaica and not merely subscribe to the wishes of the U.S.”
Other issues may factor into discussion between Tillerson and Holness, such as the fight against crime, climate change, border security and trade arrangements, according to The Jamaica Gleaner.
Tillerson's six-day Latin American tour included visits to Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Colombia. One of the main objectives of the tour is to try to garner support for sanctions and other measures against the Venezuelan government.
Countering Tillerson's diplomatic sojourn is a regional tour undertaken by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. Titled the Latin American and Caribbean Union and Dignity Tour, his travels revolve around strengthening bilateral relations and other common areas of interest with regional partners.