Thu | Aug 6, 2020

Proceed carefully, US Ambassador Tapia

Published:Tuesday | November 5, 2019 | 12:31 AM


This is an open letter to United States Ambassador Donald Tapia.

Lesson 1: Never show up to a gun fight with a knife. An invaluable political lesson learnt growing up in Chicago, home to Al Capone.

The US government has pulled the visas of two important members of the Jamaican Government. Ambassador Donald Tapia has been in his post for less than two months, his first real exposure to Jamaica. Is this a good start? You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Lesson 2: Embarrassing your friend only emboldens your adversary.

The Chinese ambassador is smiling. The Chinese government has invested billions of US dollars in Jamaica, and will invest more.

Huawei has made Jamaica its centre for telecoms in the Caribbean, yet the US is trying to shut down the spread of Huawei worldwide. How much direct investment has the US made in Jamaica over the past three years under the Trump administration? The Chinese goal is to make Jamaica an economic and military base for them in the Caribbean.

If the US government has cause to pull the visas of the Jamaican officials, it would have been better to deal privately with the JLP and PNP. How does openly embarrassing the two parties benefit the US government’s standing in Jamaica?

Canines have two innate DNA traits: assess the threat around them while remaining still, and never act aggressively until threatened, or prey can be had. The new ambassador should learn a lesson from the canines.


Washington, DC