The Ward Post Bi-Monthly Brief
Vol. 1. No. 2. (December 2016)
The Ward Post Bi-Monthly Brief, which is published monthly,brings together in one convenient location a synopsis of, and links to the TWP blogs posted during the month.
Russia Warns U.S., Sanctions Will Affect Cooperation on Syria (12/26/2016) – Ambassador Curtis Ward breaks down the new sanctions imposed by President Obama against Russia and the pointed warning from Russian president Vladimir Putin of the effect these sanctions would have on future Russian cooperation on Syria. Ambassador Ward saw these as empty threats in light of the fact Putin had not cooperated with the U.S. on Syria in the past, and should be interpreted as a warning to president-elect Trump that Putin expects these sanctions to be removed when Trump assumes office, or face strong Russian opposition on Syria . The difficulties president Trump would face in order to comply seems lost on Putin.
Obama Sticks it to Trump’s Russian Partner (12/22/2016) – Ambassador Curtis Ward analyses the latest round of sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration on Russia, including the expulsion of over 30 Russian diplomats/spies in response to intellignce reports of Russia’s attempts to influence the U.S. presidential elections in favor of Republican Donald Trump. These sanctions increased considrably the difficulties for preseident-elect Trump to keep any promises he may have made to Russian president Vladimir Putin to ease U.S. sanctions. These new sanctions, according to Ambassador Ward, increases the possibility of trouble ahead for President Trump.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Economic Shocks (12/20/2016) – Mr. Adam Raffoul, a young Trinidad & Tobago businessman provides an excellent breakdown of issues affecting his country’s economy. This analysis could only have been done by someone with firsthand experience of the problems faced by the T&T government. Mr. Raffoul points to mismanaged economic benefits from T&T’s energy resources for resulting foreign exchange pressures facing the country.
Jamaican Ambassador Audrey P.Marks Christmas Message (2016) (12/16/2016) – Ambassador Audrey Marks in her Christmas message updates Jamaicans in the diaspora on the Jamaican Government’s commitment to diaspora engagement in the country’s development. The ambassdor highlights some areas of achievements since the smooth democratic transfer of government in 2016.
Jamaica Diaspora Engagement Imperatives: A Youth Perspective (12/16/2016) – Ms. Lisa Soares, a member of the next generation Jamaican diaspora leadership challenges the government of Jamaica for its seemingly lack of effective engagement with second generation Jamaicans in the diaspora. She raises questions concerning the new thrust by the government through its Economic Growth Council, and, in particular, how it envisions implementing its diaspora engagement program. She offers a unique perspective as a young Jamaican for the Government to consider in its thrust for economic development.
Trump v. Congress on New Russian Sanctions (12/10/2016) – Ambassador Curtis Ward raises the possibility of the Congress pushing for new sanctions against Russian operatives, Putin’s inner circle, and Russian corporations with close ties to the Kremlin, in the context of opposition to such sanctions by President Donald Trump. Ambassador Ward suggests that there will be serious disaggreement between the White House and the Republican Congress, in particular members of the U.S. Senate who already harbor’s strong resentment towards Vladimir Putin’s role in the world.
The Antigua “Terror” Video (12/09/2016) – Ambassador Curtis Ward discusses a video issued by an Antigua & Barbuda politician which demonstrably calls for incitement to violence against government officials and political opponents. Ambassador Ward condemns the contents of the video which the Antiguan & Barbuda prime minister characterized as an act of terrorism. While not suggesting the terrorism threshold was crossed, Ambassador Ward challenges politicians across the Caribbean to exercise civility and responsible behavior in their political actions and their discourse.
Tribute to Jamaica’s Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller (12/06/2016) – Ambassador Ralph Thomas pays tribute to Jamaica’s first and only female Prime Minister who announced her retirement as President of the People’s National Party and Leader of Opposition in the Jamaican Parliament. Ambassador Thomas, who served as Jamaica’s ambassador to China and to the United States under Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s administration, highlights some of Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s historic impact on Jamaican politics and on the country. After over 40 years of representational politics during which time she rose to the highest political office in Jamaica, Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s retirement heralds the emergence of new political leadership for her Party.
Will Trump Fall on the Sanctions Sword? (12/06/2016) – Ambassador Curtis Ward analyzes United States targeted sanctions against Russian government officials in Putin’s inner circle, and against entities engaged in Russia’s critical financial, defense and energy sectors, as well as individuals connected with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in the context of president-elect Trump’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. In light of bi-partisan support for these sanctions, which are imposed under legislation enacted by the Republican Congress, Ambassador Ward concludes that waiving of these sanctions against Putin’s inner circle by president Trump in deference to the Russian president in the face of Congressional opposition could lead ultimately to a move to remove Trump from office.