President David Granger will be the first Head of State to initiate dialogue with President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump as part of a multi-nation bloc.
The President made the disclosure this past week when he met with journalists for his weekly televised programme, ‘The Public Interest’.
Speaking on the Donald Trump Presidency and its effect on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)—of which he will assume the chairmanship shortly—the President at the time said it, “means a lot and it means a little.”
Explaining his position, Granger noted that over the past two decades, CARICOM has been engaging US Presidents, among them George Bush, Bill Clinton and more recently, Barack Obama.
Granger said he is confident that CARICOM will, in similar fashion, be engaging the Donald Trump administration.
The President has since disclosed that when he assumes Chair of CARICOM early in the coming year, he will be looking to initiate talks with the Donald Trump administration on behalf of the Region.
He was quick to point out that even though the US Government will effectively be a new administration, there remains continuity through the numerous partnerships in the region, such as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
Granger said that he is confident there will be no significant shifts in the US’ policy towards the Caribbean and has in fact encouraged the incoming President-elect to continue with those initiatives implemented by his predecessors Clinton and Obama.
President Granger also used the occasion to downplay the possible mass re-migration of Caribbean and Guyanese nationals as a result of the rhetoric associated with the US President-elect.
In fact, the President said he has in recent times been looking to woo members of the diaspora to return to Guyana: “I wish some of them would return and help to develop the country.”
He pointed to the fact that many Guyanese living in the USA would have over time, accumulated some level of capital, improved qualifications and experience, all of which would benefit not only Guyana, but the region as a whole.
Granger said he is optimistic that over time, as Trump continues to receive advice and prepares for his presidency, some of his hard-line views would be modified.
The President said he was not in any way worried that a Donald Trump Presidency will be harmful to Guyana and CARICOM: “No I am not afraid that any action he will take will be harmful to Guyana, he is a businessman, he is a tycoon, a magnate,” the President observed, saying, “if he can help to stimulate business in Caribbean and Guyana I am for it.”
Granger said he would in fact like to see more US and North American Investors coming to Guyana to assist with its green energy programme, mining and manufacturing, among other sectors: “If that is the type of businessman he is, I would welcome investment from the United States.” (Guyana Times)