Jamaica And Barack Obama: A Timeline
Most Jamaicans joined in the celebration after Barack Obama won a second term as US President. diGJamaica has dug up several landmark events in Obama’s first stint in the Oval Office that impacted Jamaica.
Caribbean Hopeful about Obama
Date: October 26, 2008
The Caribbean region for the most part is enthralled and hopeful, especially after Obama outlined his foreign-policy intent towards the region in May 2008. This intent is fuelled by an understanding that a new mindset is needed to deal with the changing realities of the Americas.
"We cannot ignore suffering to our south, nor stand for the globalisation of the empty stomach," Obama stated as he pledged his administration's support to substantially increase aid to the Americas and embrace the Millennium Development Goals of halving global poverty by 2015 within the region. "It's time for the United States to once again be a beacon of hope and a helping hand."
Obama and US Elections
Date: January 19, 2009
Democrat Barack Obama swept to power on the November 4, 2008 with the largest popular vote as well as the largest majority in recent times. His majority of some 9.5 million votes was the largest on record. Obama also captured nine states from the Republicans, with a total electoral vote count of 112.
Obama promises security aid for the Caribbean
Date: April 19, 2009
Prime Minister Bruce Golding says he is encouraged by the commitment of the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to give more assistance to the Caribbean and Latin America to reduce piracy and gun and drug running through the region's waters.
Golding and 33 colleague heads of governments attended the fifth Summit of the Americas being held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, from April 17-19.
Prime Minister Golding said: "We discussed the security issues that affect the Caribbean, particularly as they relate to drug trafficking, and President Obama has given us a commitment to strengthen the level of support. He has initially indicated a commitment of US$30 million towards strengthening security surveillance in the region."
Dudus wanted by the US
Date: January 13, 2010
The United States (US) Government is stepping up its pressure on Jamaica to sign the extradition request for west Kingston strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
A senior US State Department official on January 12 made it clear that almost five months after an indictment was handed down 'Dudus' is still wanted to answer drug-trafficking charges as quickly as possible.
However, Julissa Reynoso, deputy assistant secretary for Central America and the Caribbean, made it clear that the US would not be using its economic might to twist the arm of the Jamaican Government.
Jamaica makes major drug producers list
Date: March 2, 2010
US President Barack Obama listed Jamaica as a "major illicit drug-producing and/or drug-transit" country.
According to the annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released by the United States (US) Department of State, Obama and the US Congress were notified about Jamaica's unenviable position on September 15 last year (2009).
In 2008, the United States Department of States provided Jamaica with US$992,000 (J$88,3 million) and US$1.01 million (J$ 89.9 million) in 2009 to fight the narcotics trade in the country.
Jamaican ambassador to the US, Audrey Marks meets Obama
Date: June 30, 2010
United States President Barrack Obama says he hopes to see the special relationship between Jamaica and the United States continue to develop.
Obama was speaking to Jamaican ambassador to the US, Audrey Marks, when she presented her credentials to him at the White House in Washington DC on Monday.
Marks said the meeting with Obama was very positive and he expressed strong support for the Jamaican Government and people.
Local feedback on Osama bin Laden's death
Date: May 3, 2011
On May 2, 2011 Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led by the United States. Many attributed this as a personal victory for President Barack Obama.
Here are some of the comments posted on The Gleaner's website:
A great achievement for the world. Congratulations to President Obama and the people of the United States of America. Indeed, justice has been done!
A really hollow victory, but a 'victory' which may be understandable in the face of no other news. It is a sad day when our rejoicing comes not by a mending of fences or peaceful progress, but by the amputating of another bad limb that may have been useful under other circumstances.
When a black man is given the opportunity to act he can do so with precision. Kudos to President Barack Hussein Obama.
WIKILEAKS SECRETS! BUSTED
Date: May 22, 2011
After intense discussion, The Gleaner took a decision to partner with independent non-profit media organisation WikiLeaks to provide Jamaicans with information out of dozens of secret cables from the United States Embassy in Kingston. Here is an excerpt:
The United States Embassy in Kingston labelled the Golding administration as two-faced and suggested that the prime minister was less than honest on at least two occasions when he first responded to questions in Parliament about the extradition request for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
A secret diplomatic cable from the embassy claimed that hours after Prime Minister Golding's December 8, 2009 fiery responses in Parliament about the extradition request for the alleged strongman, a high-ranking Cabinet member was on the phone apologising for the comments.
The embassy is also claiming that Golding overstated the case when he told Parliament that Washington and Kingston had agreed not to publicly discuss the issue and that his memory was faulty when he told the House about when he was first briefed on the matter.
Captured by criminals?
Date: May 22, 2011
THE NINE-monthlong face-off between Kingston and Washington over the extradition request for alleged drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke triggered speculation within the United States government that garrison dons and criminals might have captured the Golding administration.
The Gleaner has gained access to the secret cable from the US Embassy in Liguanea, St Andrew through the whistle-blowing entity called WikiLeaks.
In January 2010 when the Obama administration and the Golding government were at a stalemate over two extradition requests, US officials in Jamaica sent the cable to their superiors in Washington taking issue with Jamaica.
US plane monitored Tivoli operation
Date: December 7, 2011
A United States (US) report is contradicting claims made last year by the Jamaican Government that it did not receive any foreign assistance during the Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston, operation to nab Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
An investigative piece to be published in the American magazine, the New Yorker, has revealed that a US spy plane took surveillance imagery of Tivoli Gardens on May 24, 2010 during the incursion into that community.
Obama congratulates PM on election victory
Date: January 9, 2012
United States President Barack Obama has called Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller to congratulate her on her recent electoral victory.
A release from the United States Embassy in Kingston says President Obama also commended the people of Jamaica for their dedication to democracy.
US injects millions into Caribbean Basin Security Initiative
Date: March 30, 2012
A senior United States (US) official says Washington has ploughed a significant amount of funds to assist the Caribbean in its fight against the illegal drugs trade.
Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the Barbados-based United States Embassy Brian Greaney said the Barack Obama administration has injected US$133 million in its first two years of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
Obama backs gay marriage
Date: May 10, 2012
US President Barack Obama has become the first sitting president to back gay marriage.
On May 9, he ended months of hedging on the issue of gay marriage by saying he thinks same-sex couples should be able to wed.
Find out how many Americans were behind him on this issue
'Bold move!' - Thousands of Jamaicans in the US to benefit from Obama's immigration policy shift
Date: June 16, 2012
Leaders in the Jamaican diaspora community in the United States have embraced the new immigration policy announced yesterday by US President Barack Obama, saying as many as 100,000 Jamaicans stand to benefit.
Calling it a significant announcement, Irwin Clare, the managing director of Caribbean Immigrant Services based in New York City, said the new policy removes the cloud of deportation from over the heads of the thousands of undocumented Jamaicans living in the US illegally.
US lists several regional countries in human trafficking report
Date: June 24, 2012
The United States (US) State Department has named several English and Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations, including Jamaica, in its Trafficking in Persons Report 2012, as not making the minimum effort to fight the human trafficking.
Jamaica was placed on the tier two watch list which means that the US noted that a severe form of trafficking was very significant or is significantly increasing in Jamaica.
Vasciannie presents credentials to Obama
Date: July 30, 2012
Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States Professor Stephen Vasciannie presented his credentials to the President of the United States Barack Obama at the White House.
Professor Vasciannie met the President in the Oval Office.
Professor Vasciannie was officially appointed as Ambassador in July 2012 and took up office on July 17, 2012.
Read what Obama had to say to Jamaica
President Obama sends delegates for Ja 50
Date: August 4, 2012
US President, Barak Obama, has announced he will be sending a high-level delegation to represent the US at Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations on Monday (August 6).
Former US Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, who is of Jamaican heritage, will lead the delegation.
The President says it is important to send the representatives, as a signal of the strong bond of friendship and mutual respect between the US and Jamaica.
I'm no Usain Bolt - Obama
Date: August 14, 2012
United States (US) President Barack Obama has warned supporters that he is no Usain Bolt, and that his re-election bid would be a fight all the way to the finish line, not an easy jog to victory.
"This is not going to be a race like Usain Bolt where we're like 40 yards ahead and we can just kind of start jogging 10 feet before the finish line," Obama said, referencing the Jamaican legend, who has won the 100 metres and 200 metres sprint double at the last two Olympics.
Barack Obama signs Jamaica's birthday card
Date: September 21, 2012
University of Miami alumnus David Mullings, chairman and CEO of Keystone Augusta, his wife, Kathryn, a University of Tampa graduate, and their six-month-old son Luke, had the opportunity to meet and take photos with President Barack Obama in Orlando, Florida, after his recent speech at Rollins College.
They took photos with President Obama, also taking the opportunity to give him a Jamaica50 pin of pride as a birthday present. President Obama turned 51 on August 4 and Jamaica celebrates 50 years of Independence on August 6.
OBAMA TIDE - US President powers to re-election
Date: November 7, 2012
President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Republican Mitt Romney, prevailing in the face of a weak economy and high unemployment that encumbered his first term and crimped the middle-class dreams of millions.
The president sealed his victory in Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado, four of the nine battleground states where the two rivals and their allies spent nearly $1 billion on duelling television commercials.