Sun | Mar 7, 2021

Letter of the Day | Ambassador Tapia, you cannot bend a full grown guango tree

Published:Tuesday | February 11, 2020 | 12:00 AM


The consistency of United States Ambassador Donald Tapia in castigating the Jamaican Government and its citizens to be wary of gifts from China is like giving a man without legs and sight an axe to clear a forest, as no Jamaican government would be so short-sighted as to not accept good investment proposal after proper due diligence is done.

We do not need other country officials who have an axe to grind with another country, which is steps away of becoming the world number-one superpower, to direct our path for development.

Having got all the opportunities for over 70 years, suddenly the US wants to build superhighways and open the floodgates for exports.

Please, Mr Ambassador, we are not dummies.

Furthermore, what concern is that to the American government who Jamaica has large scale business agreements with?

Can the ambassador show us the infrastructures built by the US?

Tell us what lasting monument has the owners of the bauxite companies left after over 60 years of ownership?


Ambassador Tapia must be careful about shared values as mentioned – governance, free press, religious tolerance, respect for human rights.

The ambassador must be aware that we live in an age of easy access to information.

And what is happening in his country, a creation of his president, could not happen in this country, and possibly not in China.

We can only see the reflections in a mirror if it is placed before our eyes. Simply put, this is not the time for any American ambassador not to show respect for the country they are assigned.

It is very interesting that the ambassador brought up the Hong Kong incident, making mention of the local media not carrying reports because the oppressive Chinese government, which Jamaica does business with, was involved.

What of the atrocities taking place in his country, courtesy of his president?

I have no doubt the ambassador is a decent man with good intentions, but his message, no doubt from his president, is archaic and is viewed by the majority with contemptuous disdain.


What the ambassador should do is present evidence that Jamaicans are not benefiting immensely from the North Coast Superhighway.

n Does the average Jamaican, I am presuming he means those who don’t drive, traverse the entire north coast by public transportation?

n Does he know there are alternative free routes?

n Did he not expect the Jamaican people to repay for the facility of the comfort of using the highway?

n Would America go to a country and build a highway for free?

On a note of encouragement, the ambassador has made verbal commitment to help Jamaican exporters to American markets, and provide support for infrastructural development.

However my appeal to the Ambassador is: Remember this latin phrase ‘Non verba sed facta’ [Deeds not words].

Mr Ambassador, your presence here is welcome by us Jamaicans, as you seem to be quite involved, but you cannot bend a grown guango tree, as the Jamaican people have elected our governments to act in the best interest of its citizens.

We are all benefiting in some way from the Chinese investment in our country.