Caribbean hopes for continued good relations with US under TrumpThursday, November 10, 2016
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Caribbean politicians and academics Wednesday reacted to the election of billionaire Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, expressing hope for continued good relations with Washington, even as they acknowledged that the region should be prepared for an influx of nationals returning home.
Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Sir Hilary Beckles warned the Caribbean to be prepared for returning nationals and other migrants from North America.
Sir Hilary said that Trump’s philosophies and policies could lead to a demographic change in the Caribbean over time.
Speaking on a post-US presidential analysis on the implications for the Caribbean at the Mona campus of the UWI, the Barbadian-born academic said, "You will also witness, I am sure, a migration of Hispanics out of North America.
"You will witness the return of many Caribbean citizens out of North America and we have to prepare ourselves for return migration. Understand that these are going to be the forces that will be unleashed," he said, telling the symposium "this is not the first time this has happened".
He said there was a similar situation when Margaret Thatcher won the elections in Great Britain and became prime minister in 1979, saying she came to power "with very similar philosophical constructs and that was the beginning of the net migration of Caribbean peoples out of Britain".
Sir Hilary said Trump’s victory will also have an effect on the global recession, predicting it will have an adverse impact on the global economy.
"We have to prepare for the consequences of a return to diminish levels of international trade as a result of this construct," he added.
In a stunning upset, Trump defied the odds and defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was seeking to become the first woman to be elected president in the United States.
Trump, who led a controversial campaign in which he spoke about building a wall to prevent illegal migration, deporting Muslims and vowed to make America great again, has since said he will be president for the whole the United States. He will be sworn into office on January 20, next year.
Guyana President David Granger told reporters he was looking forward to working with the new US Administration.
Granger said the US elections were conducted in a transparent manner and it is now an issue for the American people and Guyana will respect the democratic choice of the American people.
"This is a matter for the American people. America is a democratic country and the elections were conducted in a transparent manner. I think there is no country in the world that is not aware of what was happening over the last six months, so even if some Guyanese had to vote, they were fully aware of the programme of the two major candidates", President Granger said, noting that the United States plays a key role in hemispheric security in this part of the world and over the years, the US Government has provided billions of dollars to Guyana and other Caribbean governments in the area of security.
Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell congratulated the people of the United States for "for their robust participation in a democratic process that has been the beacon of the world for many years.
"It is indeed noteworthy that there was a record engagement of the people of the United States, and that Mr Donald J Trump has earned a sweeping mandate," he said, adding that St George’s was looking "forward to continued strong relations with Washington" under the new Administration.
His St Kitts-Nevis counterpart, Dr Timothy Harris, said he was looking forward to building upon the long-standing relationship between the two countries.
In a congratulatory message sent to the president-elect, Harris said that Trump had attained a "decisive elector victory…particularly during a presidential race that saw record voter turnout, rally crowds and debate viewership throughout the campaign cycle".
He said it was also noteworthy that Trump has had no "political or military experience, but rather strong business and negotiating skills that have been honed from a background in multinational real estate development and licensing, as well as television production.
"My Government and I are looking forward to seeing you govern as the 45th President of the United States of America as you work to execute your mandate of bringing jobs and prosperity to your country, and protecting its interests around the world. Your stirring message of change has energised and electrified the American electorate and changed the political playbook," he added.
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