Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Tell me, Mr President...

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Since the announcement last month that United States President Barack Obama is to visit Jamaica, The Gleaner has been asking readers to tell us what they would want to ask the leader of the free world. There's quite a bit that Jamaicans have on their minds as the responses reveal. From getting the International Monetary Fund to pardon Jamaica's debt, the killing of black people in the US, the guns entering Jamaica from the US, to gay rights and pardon for Marcus Garvey, if they could, they would give the president an earful. 


1. Would the United States partner with Cuba and Port Royal/Southern Atlantic to stage the Water Olympics by 2020?

2. There are allegations that America is holding back on the levels of trade with Jamaica because of our government's refusal to legalise homosexuality. Is there any truth to this?

3. You have managed to pull the United States from the brink of economic disaster. What lessons would you pass on to countries like Jamaica that are still reeling from economic hardships?

4. What are the three big steps you would want America to take with regard to Jamaica and the Caribbean after your presidency?

5. With the increasing rise of persons joining ISIS, and this group's callous and barbaric way of dealing with hostages, how does the US administration aid small countries like Jamaica in making our shores and its citizens safe from these criminal and animalistic terrorists?

6. Mr President, what is your secret to having a healthy marriage?

7. Any chance of an apology from the United States for the CIA flooding Jamaica with guns in the '70s and '80s, causing a vile epidemic gun culture that blights Jamaica to the present day?

8. Mr Obama, in this your final term, there is a very real threat to national security in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria. Why not go in with ground troops to help neutralise the existence of such problems?

9. There is a huge market in the US for Jamaican products. What can be done to loosen trade among countries so that products can be easily purchased from Jamaica?

10. Why aren't you doing something about the crime in your backyard - Chicago?

11. What will your government do about reducing the number of firearms and ammunition that illegally leave the US and enter the region each year?

12. You are a black man, what are some of the constraints you face as the first black president of US?

13. Mr President, will you be working with the PM to remove the barriers to allow countries like Jamaica to have more freedom to export their goods and services?

14. As you approach the end of your second term, what remains undone that you would like to have dealt with at home and abroad?

15. Please ask the IMF to pardon Jamaica's debt and grant Marcus Garvey pardon.

16. After promising so much hope, enthusiasm, youthful and charismatic perspectives as the free world's first black president, reinforced by your "yes we can" slogan, what would you say your legacy will be remembered as inside the black world, America, Africa, and the Caribbean, by extension?

17. What will you say to Jamaica regarding its human rights violations where children, women, lesbian, and gays are concerned?

18. What programmes can the US offer to Jamaica to aid us in fostering economic growth for our citizens so we don't have to migrate to the US of A for a better life?

19. What is your response to cops killing innocent black people in the US?

20. Do you feel any remorse for children in Yemen killed by drone strikes ordered by you?

21. Deporting Jamaicans who spend almost all their lives in the US back to Ja, where there is nothing for them - no home, no family, they live on the streets - is this the best the US can do?

22. How do you balance being a dad and being the president of America?

23. When are you going to completely remove the embargo against Cuba?

24. What can you offer the Caribbean to assist in its development? How can we grow with so much debt?

25. Through our history of slavery and pain you have risen to the top. How does it feel to motivate a whole race?