By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C, Mon. May 2, 2022: The US’ Caribbean American Vice President, Kamala Harris, last week met virtually with 15 leaders from the Caribbean region and proposed an annual meeting of this group to continue high-level discussions.
The Vice President insisted that the United States is committed to work with “our Caribbean neighbors to advance cooperation on economic recovery, the climate crisis, and security, among other areas of mutual concern.”
A date for the annual meeting was not set and the US VP gave no firm commitment on any upcoming investment by the U.S. in the Caribbean even though she discussed economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirmed that equitable economic growth in the Caribbean is a priority. Harris and the leaders discussed ways to further facilitate trade and attract U.S. investment.
The Vice President and the leaders discussed cooperation to address the climate crisis and the transition to clean energy. and discussed ways to strengthen energy security, increase the deployment of clean energy, and enhance resilience and adaptive capacity to withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.
On security, the vice president informed the leaders that the United States will expand our assistance to the Caribbean through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). She also discussed new funding to combat firearms trafficking, enhance maritime security, and support training for police and others.
The leaders who met virtually with Harris were Presidents Dr. Irfaan Ali of Guyana; Chan Santokhi of Suriname and Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic as well as Prime Ministers: Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda; Phillip Davis of The Bahamas; Mia Mottley of Barbados; Prime Minister Juan Briceño of Belize; Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica; Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada; Ariel Henry of Haiti; Andrew Holness of Jamaica; Phillip Pierre of Saint Lucia; Dr. Timothy Harris of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dr. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago. Secretary General of CARICOM Dr. Carla Barnett also participated in the meeting.