The Obama effect on the Caribbean
Barack Obama will not move into the White House and take over the reigns as US president until January 20 next year, but already the Caribbean region is gearing itself up for some very high level meetings with Obama when he becomes president.
Obama will be expected to attend the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in April. That meeting will also be attended by all the caricom heads of government.
Many political analysts in the region believe the Caribbean stands to benefit from an Obama presidency. Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Indiana University in the US, Guyanaese Wazir Mohammed believe in caricom leaders ought to seize the opportunity when they meet with Obama to raise some serious issues of concern to the region.
Mohammed who paid close attention to the American elections and the impact the outcome could have for developing states also served as an Obama volunteer leading up to the final week of the campaign. Barack Obama’s win he believes could get the Caribbean to better understand the issue of race and race relations.
The US foreign policy is expected to remain the same under a President Obama, but in a time of change, the region may be hoping that change trickles down here and have some impact on the region and their economies. The Caribbean and the US have developed and shared close relations over the years.
When the summit of the Americas comes to Trinidad in April, the region is expected to lay its expectations on the table and hope for action. Over the past 2 years, the US has hosted special summits on the Caribbean, committing to assisting the region in several critical areas. Those meetings will continue.