BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has outlined some Caribbean issues which he said can be re-examined by the new United States Government, which takes office on January 20th next year.
In an telephone interview with BBC Caribbean News, Dr. Douglas said that the election of the Illinois Democrat Hon. Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States, gives America an opportunity to refocus on the rest of the world.
“We (the Caribbean) are hopeful that the relationship between the United States of America and the Caribbean can be revisited. Over the last years we have seen a number of policies which have hurt us. We know specifically that it was under the former Democratic President that we have seen a number of serious challenges to the economic and social stability of the Caribbean,” said Dr. Douglas.
“The international financial services sector, the trade issues that we have experienced as Caribbean countries in recent times and to a large extent, they have been born out of the United States of America,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that he was hopeful that this “new presidency would re-examine past policies of the United States Government and give us the opportunity to dialogue and to reshape those policies with our benefits in mind.”
Prime Minister Douglas said that he would like to see the Barack Obama Administration “hear from the Caribbean leaders very early, what the specific challenges that we are facing and how the new policies that will emerge from his administration can mutually help America and also the Caribbean region.”
Dr. Douglas said he would like to see early dialogue for United States officials and Caribbean governments to fashion a policy that can be mutually beneficial to both sides.
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader said the election of Obama “tells the ordinary people in America, especially the Afro-American community, that the American dream really is still alive. That one can achieve almost anything he or she wants to achieve, once he is focused, once he continues to respond positively to the values that are still coming from the family, the church, the community.”
“What it does for the rest of the world is that it gives American the opportunity to become more focused on the rest of the world as over the last few years, we have seen the United States of America as a Government almost focusing on itself and not really responding to what world leaders have been saying, simply because she is bogged down with its own domestic affairs and interests,” said Dr. Douglas.
“The incoming Barack Administration will have a good opportunity to refocus, to link again with the other world leaders and other countries, which I believe have a real positive message to share in shaping what the world is to be like in the future,” said Dr. Douglas. (CUOPM)