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  • Prime Minister Andrew Holness gives statements alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Kingston. January 22, 2020.

    Prime Minister Andrew Holness gives statements alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Kingston. January 22, 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @SecPompeo

Published 5 September 2020
Opinion

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo celebrated the sweep by Andrew Holness as the U.S. seeks a cozier relationship with its Caribbean allies.

Washington has welcomed Thursday’s election result and the resounding win of the Jamaica Labour Party headed by re-elected Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

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Election Results: Jamaica Labor Party Wins, PM Re-elected

In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, congratulated the Jamaican people “for their dedication to democracy as demonstrated in the September 3rd general election,” adding, “The United States and Jamaica share a commitment to free and fair elections, regional security, and broad-based economic prosperity, including expanded bilateral trade and investment ties.”

Tweets were also shared in support of the Holness government from Pompeo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Michael G. Kozak, and the U.S. ambassador in Jamaica, Donald R. Tapia with talking points on partnership, democracy, and security in the region.

Though the U.S. ambassador serves in Jamaica, Tapia’s twitter has been used almost exclusively to rail against the Chinese government and also the government of Venezuela.

Holness’ Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) won 49 seats in the parliament, while the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) experienced a significant loss, winning just 14 constituencies. 

PNP leader Peter Phillips stepped down as party leader on Friday, as a result of the devastating defeat.

Pompeo visited Jamaica in January, meeting with a small group of U.S. allies, in a move which appeared to be an attempt to divide the Caribbean Community (Caricom), which has taken a principled stance of non-intervention and defense of peace in the region.

Barbados Prime Minister and then chair Caricom, Mia Mottley, expressed deep concern about Pompeo's meeting, whose concerns were echoed by other regional leaders.

The U.S. has announced its intentions to increase its pressure campaign against Venezuela and further position its military and allied forces in the Caribbean under the guise of a ‘counter-narcotics’ operation which has been accompanied by a propaganda blitz and new efforts to court governments of the region.

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