By Haydn Hughes
News Americas, THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Tues. Nov. 13, 2012: With a second term assured, President Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States, pledges to be more flexible as a leader.
This pledge was overheard on an open mike on March 26th 2012 while speaking to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. In that conversation, he said, if given “space,” he’ll have more flexibility “after my election.” The mike was supposed to be off but what did that pledge really mean? In my opinion, it means many things including of course, the issue of nuclear proliferation.
There has been a lot of speculation over that statement but here is what I think he meant as it relates to our space – the Caribbean. I believe, and it has been confirmed, that the current Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, will step down just as General Colin Powell Stepped down after one term as Secretary under the George W. Bush administration.
There have been speculations of this with two names touted namely, John Kerry the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts and Ambassador Susan Rice. If Rice became Secretary of State, it would mean the end, at least for the next four years, of her vacationing on Anguilla. This is a vacation which she has broken just once in the past eight years. I am doubtful President Obama will chose Rice as Secretary of State due to the Benghazi scandal and upcoming investigations so most likely, the President will go with the experience of Mr. Kerry.
Attorney General Holder is of Caribbean Heritage, (Barbados), and by adding Mr. Kerry to his Cabinet, the President I am predicting, will pursue an end to the Cuban embargo. Yes, after some fifty-three years in isolation from the US and vice versa, Cuba’s embargo will end. I am no prophet but I have followed Obama since 2004 and have seen how he has subtly changed many, many things. Besides, Cuba is no threat to the USA and Mr. Obama recognizes this.
The end of the embargo will also be due in part to the massive investment from Europe and Canada and the safety and security of Cuba as a Tourism destination along with tremendous trade possibilities. Of course, Cuba already sits in second place the Caribbean in terms of tourism arrivals with 2.7 million a year. Only the Dominican Republic receives more tourists with some 4.3 million tourists a year mostly due to all inclusive packages.
Mr. Obama will again go down in history for more than ending don’t ask don’t tell, signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair pay act, credit card reform, the Health care bill (Obamacare), investing heavily in renewable technology, regulating tobacco and improving the FDA food safety thought the food safety modernization act, passed the act that reduced sentencing disparities between crack and powdered cocaine, ending the ridiculous war in Iraq, getting Osama Bin Laden when Bush said he don’t even think about him, increasing support for veterans, turning around the Auto industry with new fuel efficiency standards, new EPA restrictions that are closing down the biggest pollutants, expanding Pell grant spending and improving America’s image around the world. He will also go down in history as the man who ended the most ill-conceived embargo ever in history and one that has outlasted ten US Presidents.
President Obama will ensure that the embargo does not outlast him and the world, in particular, the Caribbean, will celebrate this bold move!
Editor’s Note: Hadyn Hughes is the Parliamentary Secretary of Tourism for the island of Anguilla.