Above: CARICOM SG Irwin LaRocque (BIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The relationship between the Caribbean Community and the United States remains strong, despite differences of opinions “from time to time,” CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said during his visit to the Bahamas Friday.
LaRocque was making an official visit to the Bahamas ahead of the CARICOM Summit in Haiti that begins Monday.
“Friends and family can disagree amongst themselves without necessarily straining a relationship and that is how I would characterize the relationship between the United States of America and CARICOM,” he said. “The relationship between the United States of America and the Caribbean Community has always been a strong one and it is because of that strength that it allows for – from time-to-time — differing of opinions about certain issues.”
He said the US had just committed in December to extending its Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Partnership Agreement with the Caribbean, and pointed to other work performed together in areas like crime, HIV/AIDS and education.
“If you were to recognize the levels of engagement that have taken place over the years including meetings between the Presidents of the United States of America and the Heads of Government of CARICOM, most recently President Obama meeting with our Heads in Colombia; the somewhat regular meetings between United States Secretary of State, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Caribbean Foreign Ministers and other engagements at the senior level, they all tell you that our relationship is a good one, a strong one,” he said.
LaRocque was addressing the Bahamian media at the Ministry of Foreign Affars in Nassau.