The Ward Post Bi-Monthly Brief
Vol. 2. No. 4. (July – August 2017)
The Ward Post Bi-Monthly Brief brings together in one convenient location a synopsis of, and links to the TWP blogs posted during the two previous months.
U.S. Sanctions won’t stop Venezuela Bleeding: Will the UN Security Council Act Responsibly? (08/31/2017) by Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes, “The targeted sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuelan individuals and entities will not be sufficient to change Nicolás Maduro’s behavior and return democracy and rule of law to Venezuela. Resort to military force is not an option. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that military action is on the table is bluster. I also believe the Organization of American States (OAS) has lost its credibility to be an honest broker. Neither do I believe CARICOM collectively, nor individual members, has the persuasive influence necessary to convince Maduro he is pursuing a dangerous path for his country. The question then is: What are the options to stop the bleeding in Venezuela?” Read more
U.S. and China faceoff on North Korean Sanctions (08/25/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “The cooperative relationship between the U.S. and China on North Korean sanctions got off to a good start in the United Nations Security Council. But, before the ink dried on resolution 2371 (2017), the relationship took a body blow from the bellicose rhetoric which flowed between Washington and Pyongyang. China cautioned President Trump not to travel that road and the U.S. president pulled back, at least for now.” Read more
The RAISE Act – An Insidious Attack on Family Values and Unity (08/20/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes, “President Donald Trump’s embrace of the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE Act) is not a Hallelujah moment for immigrant family unity and growth of family values. Quite the contrary. Don’t’ be tricked by a title. The RAISE Act is a blatantly insidious attack on immigrants. While any anti-immigrant policy coming from the Trump administration, or from certain Republicans in Congress should not surprise us, this not being the first time non-white immigrant families have been under attack, it is still disconcerting. Considering the potential damage to immigrant families, we are not giving it sufficient attention.” Read more
P.J. Patterson, In His Own Words – Interview with CaribNation TV (08/14/2017) Ambassador Curtis Ward: “I sat down as CaribNation TV Host with the Most Honorable P. J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica at his New Kingston Office in Jamaica in July 2017 for a conversation which covered a broad range of issues. This conversation with the former Jamaican Prime Minister occured while the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference 2017 was underway at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, attended by over a thousand Jamaicans from the Diaspora.” Read more (Watch Video)
Drums of War Trump UN North Korean Sanctions (08/13/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “An unusual show of unanimity in the United Nations Security Council imposing new, meaningful targeted commodity and financial sanctions against North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea -DPRK) is on the brink of collapse with the bellicosity from U.S. President Donald Trump. The response by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the UN sanctions was not unexpected. The response from Donald Trump in return was.” Read more
Jamaica Diaspora 2017 Conference: Partnering with the Diaspora (08/07/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “The questions asked most frequently in Jamaican diaspora circles have continued to challenge successive Jamaican government efforts since 2004 to engage with the Jamaican diaspora effectively. Still unanswered are: Where are the mechanisms for effective engagement? Is there an effective consultative partnership between the Government and the Diaspora?” Read more
Who Cries for Venezuela? (08/02/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “I have been pressed by my own inner thoughts and by several individuals to express my views on the situation in Venezuela, including on the responses of Caribbean governments to this crisis. I am compelled to respond.
There is limited media attention given to Venezuela, and the dangers facing that country are being drowned out by the turmoil surrounding President Donald Trump’s administration. Yet we saw the U.S. imposing unilateral sanctions on July 31, 2017 against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros. While not unprecedented, the U.S. government seldom imposes sanctions on the political leader of a country directly, but rather on a leader’s inner circle, as well as on targeted critical areas of a country’s economy, especially sectors controlled by the government or on which the government depends for its survival.” Read more
U.S-Russia Daggers Drawn: Unsheathing the Sanctions Sword (07/30/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “This article could well be titled “Trump vs. Congress on Russian Sanctions,” (Part 2) as a sequel to what I wrote in The Ward Postalmost eight months ago. By that time, I had already offered the probability in “Will Trump Fall on the Sanctions Sword?” that President Donald Trump would likely fall on the sanctions sword if he tried to do President Vladimir Putin’s bidding. The scenario I described would be driven primarily by Trump’s undisclosed business links to Russia and Putin’s expectations, and perhaps confidence that he could control Trump. I pointed out that Putin expected Trump to waive U.S. sanctions against Russia, and that Trump was inclined, or may be forced by Putin to do so. In my follow-up, I discussed Trump’s dilemma in dealing with a Congress that is united against Russia and determined to enforce sanctions against Russians in Putin’s inner circle, and against critical Russian financial and energy sectors.” Read more
Implementing the U.S.-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (07/21/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “As pointed out by Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in his opening remarks at the Committee’s hearing on implementation of the U.S.-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016 – Public Law No: 114-291 (the Act) on July 19, 2017, having received the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in the Caribbean (the Strategy) report submitted by the Department of State a month earlier, implementation will be the hard part. Implementation of the Act, which was the first step in prioritizing U.S.-Caribbean relations, is up against the budget cut proposed by President Donald Trump and Secretary Rex Tillerson. In addition to across-the-board cuts, funds for the Caribbean Basin Security initiative (CBSI) faced a 37% cut and funding level of $36.2 million.” Read more
Jamaican Government Urges NAJASO Delegates to Invest in Homeland (07/19/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “The thrust of the messages delivered by Jamaican government ministers to the NAJASO convention is to encourage the diaspora to take advantage of investment opportunities in Jamaica. Accordingly, the diaspora would be contributing to helping the government achieve its growth and prosperity objectives.
NAJASO delegates had anticipated welcoming the Hon. Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, as the evening’s keynote speaker. However, breaking with precedence and due to scheduling issues he sent a representative. The Hon. Dr. Horace Chang delivered the Prime Minister’s message.” Read more
Jamaica Leader of Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips Responds to Diaspora Issues (07/19/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “The setting of NAJASO’s Convention held July 13-15, 2017 in Montego Bay, Jamaica was a perfect occasion on which to draw attention to shared issues of concerns to the Jamaican Diaspora and the Jamaican homeland and offering of possible solutions. The National Association of Jamaican And Supportive Organizations marked its 40th Anniversary as an umbrella diaspora organization of organizations in the United States by providing a forum for a wide range of discussions, information sharing, and solutions-based ideas to convention delegates from across the United States and from Jamaica. Read more
NAJASO – Addressing Jamaican Issues Head-on (07/17/2003) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “Only one week away from a broader government-sponsored Jamaican Diaspora Conference to be held in Kingston, July 23-26, 2017, the issues discussed at the NAJASO 40thConvention held in Montego Bay, Jamaica set the stage for broader diaspora discussions and problem solving. The level of discussions set a very high bar for the diaspora. The discussions at the NAJASO Conference set an extraordinarily high standard for identifying the issues, analyzing their impact, and offering some relevant solutions in which the Jamaican diaspora can play a significant role. These discussions, part of a very packed program of activities, covered some of the most topical issues important to Jamaica and the diaspora communities. They included the following:” Read more
The Jamaican Diaspora: Convergence or Divergence (07/03/2017) Ambassador Curtis A. Ward writes: “Perhaps by error or coincidence there are two conferences taking place in Jamaica in July 2017 featuring significant segments of the Jamaican diaspora. The National Association of Jamaican And Supportive Organizations (NAJASO) is celebrating its 40th Anniversary at its Annual Conference in Montego Bay from 13-15 July. A week later, at the opposite end of the island, will be the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference (the Biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference) being held in Kingston from 23-26 July. Normally, the Biennial Conference is held in June in even numerical years. NAJASO’s Jamaica conference is following its normal schedule. Under those circumstances there would be no actual or perceived scheduling conflict.” Read more
© 2017 Curtis A. Ward/The Ward Post