Conversation with the Hon. Mark Golding – Jamaica’s Leader of Opposition
Ambassador Curtis A. Ward
(19 May 2021) — I had an opportunity recently to sit down (via Zoom) to have a conversation with the Hon. Mark Golding, MP, President of the People’s National Party (PNP), Jamaica’s oldest political party founded in September 1938. Mr. Golding, a member of the Jamaican Parliament, is the Leader of Opposition. He is a successful attorney-at-law and businessman who served as Minister of Justice in a former PNP government, and he also served as a Senator. He was elected President of the PNP in November 2020.
This comprehensive interview is the first of its kind with Mr. Golding addressing Jamaicans worldwide on his leadership, vision for Jamaica, and his agenda for diaspora engagement. In my interview with Mr. Golding, I took the opportunity to ask him questions on a wide range of subjects on domestic and foreign policy issues. He provided comprehensive answers.
The domestic landscape
I asked Mr. Golding to comment on the current state of the PNP following what many observers characterized as a divisive presidential campaign. I also asked him about the state of Jamaica, particularly his perception of the performance of the current Jamaica Labour Party government led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. I asked Mr. Golding for his response to the issue of corruption in Jamaican society permeating high levels of government.
Mr. Golding was invited to expound on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jamaica, and his assessment of the government’s response in dealing with the pandemic – from healthcare delivery to vaccination of the population.
Mr. Golding was also given an opportunity to discuss matters related to the economy, crime and security, and human security – particularly of the most vulnerable in the society.
Regional and international relationships
No interview with a Jamaican political leader would be complete without exploring his or her foreign policy orientation – where the leader wants to take Jamaica, or where Jamaica should be at any given time. Mr. Golding had a lot to say on regionalism – Caribbean integration, the Caribbean Court of Justice, and Jamaica’s future regional role under a PNP government.
Mr. Golding explained his expectations for Jamaica with regard to the Biden-Harris administration, including future US-Cuba relations, and a retooled US-Jamaica relationship with the Donald Trump administration in the rearview mirror.
Engaging the Jamaican diaspora
This interview provided a perfect opportunity to explore Mr. Golding’s plans for diaspora engagement by the PNP and any future government under his leadership. His views on the diaspora, his vision for including the diaspora in the governance of Jamaica, and his agenda for diaspora engagement will be welcomed by the more than two million Jamaicans comprising the nation’s diaspora.
For the answers to the questions and the views expressed by Mr. Golding, please watch the entire interview on CaribNation Television YouTube channel at: