The Chinese are coming, corals reefs are dying. What next, the mountains?

by D.R. Miller

Modernization is important; but should it reiterate a nation of its once colonial rule where only the ruling class and famous get to write the rules.

Several Caribbean islands and African nations have seen an explosion of Chinese businesses over the past decade. These investments may offer a path to better economic growth, but some communities are now skeptical that these inroads are platforms for the dumping of their cheap goods and services to maintain their economy for over a billion people.

Some of these developments offered by investors are like a hanging Pinata. They are attractive to many leaders in these poor and developing countries. And it seems some are eagerly waiting to take a whack.

However, a piñata often leaves trash for someone else to clean up. Furthermore, when poor governance struggles to balance their financial books and move people out of poverty, this frequently leads to forced marriages.

Sadly, when the honeymoon is over, what it will take to maintain this economic marriage to keep the family together?

Recently, Jamaica reported about a $180 million grant from the Chinese for border security and airport operations. Any investments that make the best use of safer communities and enhance travel security should be welcomed. But I wonder when did Jamaica, and China has border issue concerns? Moreover, the region does not have political turmoil from people fleeing their neighboring islands or parishes.

We do understand that economic agreement and technical corporation should benefit all. In fact, new technology and infrastructure have made the flow of goods and services more efficient. But who benefits when the region is now dominated with massive imports?

Is this a “debt trap” diplomacy like others have noted in different places?

This seems like a new conquest of colonization that has not lifted the poor from poverty since it started. Even locally grown products have dwindled to small corners like news racks covered with international news clips while local customs and identity get lost.

Few reports noted that China has also used its financial influence throughout the Caribbean Community through [CARICOM] to expand its influence. Several projects from medical centers to stadiums have been built in Saint Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, and Jamaica with cheap loans.

Unquestionable, these developments have some positive effects, but who are the long-term beneficiaries? This is not a new pattern; especially in Jamaica since more people are talking freely.

Reports have shown that China started its diplomatic engagements in the early 1970s, or what can be called their blueprint. For Jamaica, the voyage started under the former prime minister, P.J. Patterson on a high-level visit in 1998, when Jamaica opened an embassy in Beijing. Later, the Caribbean Economic Trade Cooperation was forged.

In 2005, Jamaica hosted the first China-Caribbean trade fair and this pattern remains, while the people who elected these decision-makers have no say in what is next.

Is this economic investment or exploitation?

Photo Credit: 2012-12-1: Reception Celebrating Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between China and Jamaica

The lack of transparency, accountability, even corruption, and ignorance often reported has caused frustration for numerous locals. You can’t have an expansion of trade agreement, and only to find your international competitiveness reduced, and no long-term economic gains for the local people to improve their standard of living.

Some argued that when they arrived, they brought their staff, and locals are not employed in any leadership positions to earn a good salary. They may have contributed to today’s lower employment rates as reported, but poverty remains high due to underemployment, low skills job, less employee protection from low wages being offered.

Other concerns are that land areas that should have been designated as historic sites and preserved are either leased or bought by foreign investors.

Soon Mandarin will become the official language of these places. There are also reports that leaders are granting the exploration to mine famous un-touched mountains that play a pivotal role in the environment. Some argued that these new deals amount to personal financial gains, even after they leave office. But the local people must hold them accountable, demand real answers, and not a quick political response in a tweet.

If the coral reef continues to vanish, so does the island. Tropical coral reefs play an important part on our ecosystem on this planet, it contributes to not only clean air but provides a local fisherman the ability to fish and support his family to attracting tourists.

Photo Credit- R Flying over Jamaica

Few businesses on the sea line now must move further inland, due to rising seawater. After it was reported that a few years ago; Jamaica received US $166 million to begin addressing climate change. Who are tracking these projects and few solar systems alone is not the answer?

Today, these coastlines are being torn apart by development causing severe climate issues. And it seems that the failure of leadership to use economic leverage has made it easier for the public land to be sold off.

It seems someone has put out a fire under the ocean. Has anyone analyzed the impact of non-operational mining plants to see what contaminants have washed out to sea from a poor drainage system?

There are also reports of warmer temperatures on these islands. On a recent trip with a few friends and family, we took a glass-bottom boat on a brief tour. Our tour guide tried to convince us that this is the best coral in the area.

We left wondering if he has been to other parts of the Caribbean where it seems more environmentally friendly, and what a healthy coral reef should look like. Many of the coral reefs look like dying plants on land that could use some fresh water. For the 20 minutes ride, only a few small fishes emerged looking as they too want to escape.

Driving on the coastlines can be breathtaking from new developments, but for many locals on a hot day, without entry fees to prime shorelines to cool off, they now must drive for miles too much fewer desirable areas. This once treasured past-time when friends and family looked forward to the weekends to relax on the nearby beaches, several areas have now become an idea for various locals.

One person I spoke with said, “some of these now gated shorelines are local self-inflicted wounds.” He noted, “when it was free, they littered the area with trash and other questionable activities, and no one bothers to clear it”.

The delicate balance is that new development can offer an opportunity for a local artist to support his family, thereby selling hand-crafted souvenirs. While tucked away at a small stand making sales, the culture fades and weakens through erosion and gentrifications. “Imagine prohibiting citizens from a public park,” as one vendor’s legal struggle to keep one of the last free beaches from development

While social media likes may spread awareness, it takes community collaboration to stop the sand from being swept from under their feet. Jamaica is not all about reported reggae music, high crime rate per-capita, marijuana use, and a relaxed attitude.

Several viewers became aware of the hidden stratification quandary on Sunday, November 17, 2014, after CNN aired the late Anthony Bourdain’s Part Unknown.

This episode illustrated a deep tide that has been uprooting the soul of these coastlines, and that this small land with a global image, few are willing to sell its soul. With high unemployment and poverty, low production, the criminal enterprise often thrives as several youths become hopeless.

Economic stagnations that confine up-ward mobility often breeds tension and violence as they fought for equality and survival. Alone the multimillion-dollar coastline, I left wondering how a young police officer will be able to afford a home in some areas they will patrol to protect mega properties.

Analyzing the region’s plight from the outside can be difficult, but who are the investment bankers in disguise? It seems few uses the one-love vibes while quietly threatens the native culture and their environment?

Economic and environmental policies that are geared to enhance the standard of living should not only benefit few but move people in general forward while protecting their environment. As Burning Spear, one of Jamaica’s favorite reggae superstars once said, in a song, “My island don’t sell out.”

Photo credit: Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Commentary: This Women’s History Month, let’s honour Portia Simpson-Miller, former PM of Jamaica

by D.R. Miller

Women in Politics: Though I am not qualified to speak on women issues, I am fortunate that I grew up in an era that admired, and still strives to develop respect for women and their accomplishments where their gender tends always to be in negotiation. (Former-P.M. Jamaica- Portia Simpson-Miller)

Portia Simpson-Miller’s historic achievement cannot be summarized from an election loss, although many believe she squandered her last run as the head of her party in the 2016 re-election bid to continue her rule as the first woman prime minister of Jamaica.

The bloggers were swift on Facebook, Twitter, radio and other social media.

“She is fool, a liar, uneducated, lucky, ridiculous, and old, a cook for asking for a re-count,” were some of the dispiriting post-election comments.

Sure, disagreements are good for any democracy to thrive but, when political discourse becomes vitriolic, abusive and hateful, it sets the nation back and only reconfirms the challenges from an historical and cultural environmental impediment surrounding women and their vision and the hidden reality of harassment and discrimination.

Naturally, some people were frustrated by their own economic conditions and others were committed to one candidate or the other. However, it does not change her tenacity in a long tradition where many believe men are superior to women, and only through representation can their voice be heard, as studies have shown.

Women in general are under-represented in the region, and leaders should debunk these negative comments beyond party affiliation because one cannot wait until she lies in repose, and the county can look back, and wonder how she did it.

Recognizing the former prime minister’s triumph is not a simple call to rachet down the inflammatory political tone, or diminish her inability to bridge the new form of networking from the old street politics, failed economic policies, challenging issues that were inadequately addressed, or the lost emotional connection to the community when she was first elected that seemed lost.

The quest for equality, social and political accomplishments is not luck as some in the media believe. It is preparation that met opportunity through hard work and dedication. Portia Simpson-Miller and women in general who have made this planet a better place cannot only be judged on few economic quantitative analyses.

This election was bigger than she was. It is the centrality of women, and where women in the region go from here, the disadvantages of being a woman, inclusion, shared priorities, leadership, rights, and security.

A Brief History: March is Women’s History Month, which is celebrated in a few countries. It should remind society of how far they have come and the work that still lies ahead. Despite the missing parades on the islands and other places, women are inspiring generations to strive at becoming better regardless of one’s race, sex, orientation, or social-economic background.

Portia Simpson-Miller is not the only first woman who has risen to power. For example, history tells us that Nefertiti ruled Egypt in 2570 BC. In 1920 – with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution – American women were granted the right to vote. In 1966, the National organization for Women (NOW) was formed.

As society evolved, other women in politics made significant contribution. For example, Benazir Bhutto 1988–90 and then 1993–96 in Pakistan was the first woman to lead the government of any Muslin nation. Margaret Thatcher, 1979 to 1990, British prime minister; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, since 2006 the first elected head of state in Africa, Angela Merkel, first female chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since 2005, Eugenia Charles, 1980 – 1995 Dominica, and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, 2010 – 2015 Trinidad and Tobago.

Women’s Salient Score Card: Portia is no stranger to ridicule and intense media. In 2004, the major papers, according to Christopher Charles, highlighted when she was a Member of Parliament and asked if she acted inappropriately by abstaining on a resolution that criticized the shortage of funds to the local fire service.

When women rule, pundits seems to have more questions than collaboration:

• Do they manage politics differently than men?

• Do they represent women’s interest?

• Why are so few in leadership today?

• What is her role in politics?

• What was the country’s GDP, public indebtedness, wages that have been in decline since she began, and other expenditure on health, education during her time in office, and what is it now?

This distinction has to be taken up by the region’s historians in what I believed has been a protracted economy, and the consequence of failure to develop a strategy to cut the long problematic syndrome surrounding crime and poverty, and declining middle class.

The Cultural Stigma: Today it still discourages women from entering politics in Jamaica, and other parts of the region. I do not have to do a comparative analysis or draw on any feminist literature as a male to see that the structure of decision-making by women will diminish if the region’s stereotyping becomes an ongoing norm.

This region still has a social ideology that roars like the ocean taking anything its path (women). Her defeat again echoed an undertone that women, whether a candidate winning an election, or served or serving in a chauvinistic environment and championing equality, such as gay rights, marriage equality, poverty, women power, still have significant resistance.

Women make up about 20 percent of the world’s parliaments and even less in cabinet positions as most studies have shown.

To her credit, as scholars have noted, when women enter politics it changes how men view them.

Her accomplishments were not luck.

Sadly, political discourse has created an impression as if a crime was committed. The political pride that developed out of colonialism has led some to believe that a leader has to graduate from a top university, hold a law degree, or a PhD in government studies to lead, and underscore that one can be less privileged and become a leader from humble beginnings.

Sure, one has to understand geo-political, social, and economic issues, and be able to link it to the corner shop even without electricity or running water. Furthermore, take responsibility as a leader in the context of employment, government spending, investment in education, management, expectation vs reality, corruption, crime, and other mishandled social policies.

Portia’s failure does not lessen her. This mentality only creates barriers for upward mobility, apprehensions, and even exploitation of future qualified women. The participation of women in the legislative process benefits the country in general, and they are often better of solving issues.

When few use selective amnesia and belittle women in politics, it can have a lasting effect on the next young women who believe that women in politics can be a platform for strengthening democracy, but now seeing barriers to social mobility.

Today women are still under-represented in this region, and although a few beams of hope, subjugation in the region and its complex problems woven in structural exclusion are quick to label chaos as a pretrial of a feminist failure.

Many women today have limited but important roles in their society: Portia was saying yes she could before US President Obama stated his favourite line, “Yes we can.”

She committed herself to the public for decades, and has shown that women with power and full participation in decision-making create a better society.

Looking in for a Women Coalition: I do not have a vote, party affiliation, or preference about who should have been victorious in the 2016 election. The only hope from one’s heritage connection is “good governance” in order to move the people forward for upward mobility.

Given today’s society that is polarized on economic status, race, class, and gender, Portia Simpson has beaten the odds, and has contributed to women in Jamaica and beyond.

Anyone can find statistical analysis that supports failures while minimizing the roadblocks on proposed policies. Disagreeing on policies is legitimate; however, quick negative sound bites should not define her. In fact, more push should be directed to recruit more women in politics and not counting “likes” on Facebook.

Thank you: Despite your challenges, constraints, political calculations and even disagreements, as we celebrate women in government, and Women’s Month, your dedication is more than one seat lost.

You are a trailblazer, trendsetter, and even lessons learned was a paradigm shift from the region’s historical and cultural challenges. If I may, I would like to foster some type of feminine socialist bias that you look darn good at age 70.

Commentary: What is the colour of good governance after an election, Jamaica?

By D.R. Miller

Every election has consequences, and regardless of what colour one identifies with, after the paint job has been completed, the nation has to deal with it until the rust emerges again. The people will always be the body shop to select the right paint and hope the dents are fixed from years of neglects, and bumps. Sometimes these new or recycled paints blend and other times it fades and does not shine as expected.

Photo credit: Jamaica Gleaner

On February 25, 2016, the island votes in its parliamentary election amid an ongoing troubled economy. However, despite plenty of blame to go around, Jamaica has made significant strides in its election process. Several international and local observers have responded to its positive signs.

Over the past few decades, political violence seems to be on the decline. During the 1980s, over 800 people were killed in election related crime. People are still being killed, but the numbers have reduced, and more work needs to be done given the recent news on a few new election related deaths.

One cannot run or benefit from a 21st century election with barbaric ideology.

Elections in the Caribbean, despite its beautiful colour, can be extremely dangerous when it is simply an interest for good governance and democracy that should be colourless as people try to find the best canvas to represent them.

With speculation, increased pressure, poll numbers and questions of leadership, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Simpson-Miller called early elections. The population of about three million people will put to rest for a few hours the ongoing issues of organized crime, drugs, trade, low growth and high debt or even a positive sporting event, from the coastal areas to the interior to select the right colour with even a simple hope that the average life expectancy remains at 73 as reported in Jamaica.

Although the margin of victory, whether for the Peoples National Party (PNP) or the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP), will be close, the psychology from political identity will still have discourse. Election settles debates, but that does not stop a few from seeing their party as the only good, and seeing the other side negatively.

What is uplifting is that the constitutional parliamentary democracy will remain intact this time around. Sure, you still have pockets of bad colours that have resulted in roadblocks, and other criminal elements and that can be related to political tribalism, as many scholars have noted.

Photo Credit: towson.edu

However, since its independence from British rule in 1962, politics, crime, management, economic stagnation, poverty and power has always been a struggle from the ballot box to Main Street in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands. Despite smooth transitions of power, Jamaica still struggles under the multitude of colours to find the right mixture.

This election and its bountiful colours are beyond party identity and boisterous claims of accomplishments, or the lack thereof. Quietly, it is more of a personality contest where, on one hand, current Prime Minister Simpson-Miller perhaps seems more aware of the latest dancehall moves, and opposition leader, Andrew Holness, who rose to the top after former Prime Minister Bruce Golding stepped down.

Andrew Holness, who won the delegates from Shaw, a longtime member of parliament and finance minister, has to constantly convince the public that he has put in his time, and has the right in-depth knowledge of what it takes and that he should benefit from his leadership victory.

Photo of Jamaica’s General Election 2016

Some are still unable to unlink him from Golding and still believe that his sudden departure was due to an internal fight, but others saw it to save himself and the party in the process from embarrassment.

Political power is seldom based on accomplishments, but time served in the Cabinet. However, one hopes the Jamaican people will look for sustainability on many fronts as it searches for the right colour to offer the highest quality of living where both the people and the currency have lost value in governance.

As this election cycle grows in Jamaica, supporters will usually show up to political rallies ether in red, green or orange, as if it is carnival season, having a good time listening to speeches, dancing for their particular party.

Sadly, these parties operate like primary colours: you cannot mix them after an election cycle, or even bring others to the canvas; thus making it difficult to govern and paint a picture for a brighter future. These election colours should be by definition where other colours derive from.

Hopefully, after this cycle, there will room for mixing to move the nation forward.

This is not an opinion on election monitoring and difficulties faced stemming from influence on of the electoral process. It is a hybrid of finding a revolution that will uplift not only the poor, but also the middle class to continue to paint a better colour after the last ballot has been counted, the street are clear, and the markets are open again with fruits still looking for buyers.

As pundits hit the airwaves to argue about the failing economy and use ignorance as growth, there is plenty of blame to go around for people not to vote.

The question you should be asking, what will be different this time around?
Can many continue to live only on remittances from Jamaicans living abroad, which seem to be a rise?
What next will be cut from public programs, and what other fees will increase?

I hope this election will be one where people vote their own self-interest, even on a single issue. One should not be fooled by selective amnesia, and change of language to cover diminished credibility and, in the end, the ultra-rich, plutocrats get richer, and everybody else get poorer.

The question you should be asking, what will be different this time around?

This election should not be only a high visibility of colours that will fade shortly afterwards but, like others, it should be won on the right mixture for the future. Jamaica will not escape from the dark colour of current governance, and even if the paintbrush has been changed, often it too carries the stains from the past. Therefore, it becomes difficult to paint a much needed new canvas and here many still hope for the best outcome.

This election is both internal and external aftershock as poverty lingers. As these aggressive campaigns continue to seal their platforms, it will not change most recent reports that have seen a deterioration in Jamaica’s trade deficit combined with growing imports, and spending.

Fundamentally, this election will come down to what party can project itself as the best choice. As the paint dries, the quest for good governance should bring out the best in elected officials to get things done, and stop promising ideas that they knew in advance cannot be fulfilled due to other economic reasons.

Several promises have been made, from who is best to handle crime, to free education and medical care, and yet some medical centres could use an election to replace some their own leaders. This is not an indictment on one party, but put forth a solid plan that has a sharp difference from the other.

Being angry at each other does not solve anything.

Jamaica must find a way to make sure these movements and organizations involve a prosperity platform build tolerance, justice and equality for as the island continues to look for the best sunshine.

The MVP from Obama’s Jamaica trip:

By D.R. Miller

The Starting Team: April 8, 2015, President Barack Obama’s trip to Jamaica, the anticipation seemed like a World Cup football game where Jamaica made the play-off. The 24-hours ticket created a nostalgic vibe across all strata of fans. Some even took credit for his visit.

President Obama-Jamaica. Photo Credit-Gleaner

Some of what was highlighted suggested that the Jamaican government bought a new set of brooms and swept up several unappealing spots that had been overlooked for decades.The facelift gave an impression of a well-kept yard when it was simply a temporary cosmetic:

Many asked, when the mascara fades, now the last whistle has been blown, what next. Despite the joy, social media quietly erupted, where pundits, politicians, and bleachers seized the opportunity and aired what is called their dirty laundry. Few debated the new asphalt concrete pavements, and what happen after it fades.

One suggested only criminals benefit, as people are scared to venture out on these new roads after dark. Additionally, temporary relocation of mentally ill and homeless people in disguising images of poverty. Given the president’s compassion for the poor and youth in general, leaving these images intact could have resulted in more aid.

Under his administration, the US budget for the homeless to help affordable housing programs increased and the homeless rate has been reduced, according Housing and Urban Development.

The irony is that some have been part of the team for decades and refused to quit, retire, or accept the penalties for their foul play. Many players who arrived at the airport and the town hall meeting wore hidden bandages, hurting in disguise.

The region’s stagnated socio-economic problems have been a cancer for decades and this one-day match has not solved corruption, poverty, high unemployment, crime, and social stratification.

Paradigm Shift: Even women in power, when women negotiate, it looks like they continue to suffer a social cost: the unintentional bias still lingers: Before the MVP is selected: First, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller must be commended for a successful visit

Despite the struggles and obstacles, Obama called Marley’s house “one of the most fun meetings I’ve had since I’ve been president”. The reggae legend Bob Marley lived there until his death in 1981.

Even Jamaica’s relaxed and warm attitude brushed off on him (no comment about what might have been the cause). He even signed the Jamaica House visitors’ log one day in advance: April 10, 2015, and not April 9, 2015. What was this trip or game about? Despite the chatter, the Caribbean needs a new broom.

Few local outlets believed that Jamaica’s new economic power in the region plays a role. Local pondering and political ploy is always an option. According to Reuters, Obama wants to reassert US leadership in the Caribbean that has been overlooked. Many analysts say a key reason Washington is suddenly paying attention to the Caribbean Basin is that it wants to wean the islands off Venezuelan oil and influence.

Recently, the United States declared Venezuela a national security threat. When a country is so declared, it is the first step in starting sanctions. However, CNN’s Joe Johns in a recent interview with Jamaica’s Police Commissioner Carl Williams discussed the potential of sleeper cells in the region.

This issue appears moot, but he noted that Jamaica has formed a new intelligence unit to collect data in collaboration. Stay with me here, the game is still playing.

I will get to the MVP. Concerning potential sleeper cells as reported, the region has not seen Al Qaeda, as in the Arabian Peninsula, capitalizing on the region’s poverty or a homemade bomb to date, or locals travelling to join ISIS.

However, these concerns should not be taken lightly. Even smart people can be confused to believe that only Islamic countries and religion can create terrorists.

One cannot discount the ideologies that it can strike anywhere. However, with the lack resources to solve a wave of recent local crimes, one wonders? Several victims have lost trust in the government and are still searching for answers and justice.

The Pick: Many outsiders do not claim to be experts on the Caribbean region’s politics, crime, economic, or social justice. In fact, legally, several of us cannot play or even cast a vote, but the migration roots continue to connect these ocean shores.

So, technically one never leaves the ballot box and checking-in is mandatory even to simply make sure a future visit or mom’s return can be fun without an overwhelming security apparatus.

Although it seems society is picking MVPs before a season ends, Commissioner Carl William is the MVP. You might not agree because your crime and safety concerns, even corruption, remain active.

Dealing with crime variables is certainly a challenge: all economic correlations, including changing criminogenic needs, the security team has to stay the tallest person in the room.

Jamaica’-Commissioner Of Police, Carl Williams

Commissioner Williams will always have difficult task ahead, especially to decide potential sleeper cells, track and measure criminal history and people engaged in crime, and prediction requires synergy. Sadly, today it appears social media can get more evidence than a local investigator.

Jamaica, Trinidad, Guatemala, Haiti and others cannot be successful with pockets of outlaws who continue to cause mayhem, and residents remain silent(no snitch). These communities must become vigilant and be protected. Mr Williams and others holding top cop positions cannot solve crime alone.

If Obama’s trip was built on security concerns, the nation needs to realize, despite their frustrations with local criminal elements, solving crime requires critical data and analysis with methodological commitment from the team.

 Since high-profile games are played in nation’s capital, often rural communities are overlooked when they need a new social and justice stadium.

Crime Victims

Recently, a lifeless body stood still for hours from a machete chop. (What happened to a trained forensic expert?) Speaking on condition of anonymity, an officer noted you cannot solve a crime arriving several hours later, at times intoxicated, the entire community has possession of the deceased. The crime scene compromised and the officer fears for his/her own safety in investigating the incident to decide the direction.

There are many parents still searching for justice. Fourteen-year-old Kayalicia Simpson’s family now wonders how the system missed the warning signs, while other mothers are living in fear of their young child being kidnapped and raped to and from schools. The idea that some local communities now have turf wars like the Sunnis, Shiites, and ISIS is problematic. These conflicts cannot be allowed to be manifested into more issues.

Eliminating potential threats and cutting recidivism requires community trust and resources. The politics that often surrounds community policing has to be balanced with accountability. It is less likely for a young man or woman to join a gang when he or she has opportunities, equal protection, and respect for the rule of law enforcement.

Dangerous ideologies are often formed from exclusion. What if the society had continued to isolate the Rastafarian movement, the question posed to President Obama on the legalization of marijuana would not have been possible. Inclusion only makes a society stronger even when we disagree

The crime rates have declined as reported. However, several are not resolved while victims search for follow-up and support. The sense of hopelessness cannot be measured.

Strengthening local police departments with modern equipment and training is more critical, even sensitivity to a rape victim. “To serve and protect” is not simply the power of one badge received after an academy.

The recent reported killing of a police officer shot dead by another officer after allegedly trying commit a robbery on a bar only further deteriorate trust in the system. The ending of police violence is equally important, and an independent review is paramount

Our Hope: As Obama said, “Wah gwan, Jamaica?” Being critical of public safety only makes the system better. It is not a good feeling having to spend one’s vacation in another part of town simple because of a fear being killed, and frustration in seeing others suffering from barbaric atrocities.

President Barack Obama poses with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller prior to their bilateral meeting at the Jamaica House, Thursday, April 9, 2015 in Kingston, Jamaica. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

For Prime Minister Simpson-Miller, despite difficulties, she has tried and needs more collaboration. This is not an endorsement. Winning this bid to host Obama comes with enormous responsibility.

Obama leaves Jamaica, what next? The region has to get back its moral compass. Leadership can no longer ignore rural areas until an election season, while continuing to depend on its fruits and vegetables.As an outsider, how do you choose this MVP? One simple watches the young people basking in hope and change through education.

After the last whistle has blown, and parade is over, the confetti is off the street, and planting of new trees to meet the next leader, the commissioner will be the fence around their safety to grow. If this MVP has already begun to stretch this physical and mental fence, great. If not, we cannot see how he can build confidence. I still believe the community is where his best players are.

Finally, the critical value attributed to the cosmetics cost generated for Obama’s visit only confirms that if the region focuses its resources on solving systematic problems, the temporary beautification can have a lasting effect, and residents will have less ammunition during high profile visits to vent their frustrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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