Jamaica supported postponement of OAS meeting on CubaThursday, July 29, 2021
By Balford Henry
Jamaica is among 18 Caricom countries and other regional members of the Organisation of American States (OAS) whose threatened boycott led to the postponement of an OAS meeting on the current situation in Cuba, which was scheduled for yesterday.
The OAS announced yesterday that the meeting was postponed after it had become obvious that it would not be able to proceed due the imminent lack of a quorum from among its 33 member states.
An earlier Caribbean Media Corporation report suggested that only 13 Caricom states had decided to boycott the meeting. However, it was confirmed last night that Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Argentina had also reported that they would not support the planned meeting of the OAS Permanent Council.
Asked last night whether she was aware of the reports that the decision was taken by 13 Caricom nations and excluded Jamaica, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said that the mix-up may have resulted from the fact that Jamaica's ambassador to the OAS Audrey Marks had been tied up in another meeting while the consultations were taking place among the Caricom ambassadors.
Senator Johnson Smith said that Jamaica's position was always that the country would join in the consensus against the virtual meeting, but that the letter to the OAS administration had been sent before obtaining Jamaica's response from Marks.
“When Ambassador Marks came out of the meeting and when I got back online, I had my team asking me what is to be done. I instructed our ambassador to join the consensus and she communicated that to Ambassador [Ronald] Sanders (Antigua and Barbuda). I communicated that to my fellow Caricom ministers, as well. So everyone was clear that the meeting would be cancelled,” said Johnson Smith, who returned to Jamaica last night.
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