Published:Monday | November 9, 2020 | 12:09 AMErica Virtue/Senior Gleaner Writer


A man pushes his car that ran out of gas as people wearing face masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, walk past a mural with a message that reads in Spanish “No more Trump” in Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday, November 8. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has sent a congratulatory message to US President-elect Joe Biden who defeated the incumbent, Donald Trump.

A man reads the ‘Diario, 2001’ newspaper that carries the Spanish headline: “Agony is prolonged for the White House” at a newspaper stand in Caracas, Venezuela, the day after US elections. Across the world, many were scratching their heads on Frida

A man reads the ‘Diario, 2001’ newspaper that carries the Spanish headline: “Agony is prolonged for the White House” at a newspaper stand in Caracas, Venezuela, the day after US elections. Across the world, many were scratching their heads on Friday wondering if those assertions could truly be coming from the president of the United States, the nation considered one of the world’s most emblematic democracies.

 Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Irwine Clare

Professor Basil Wilson

The curtain finally came down on the United States presidential election on Saturday, when Americans voted to elect a new president. After a seesaw, nail-biting voting count, Joe Biden was declared the winner and president-elect; he will take office in January 2021.

And in the minds of the influential Jamaicans in the diaspora, Venezuela and its ongoing political crisis is one that needs to be addressed.

“What is happening in Venezuela is really a tragedy. The situation there has just increased misery and the sanctions have not helped; instead, you have a collapse of the standard of living. One of the things we need to do is to try to reconcile the differences between Guaidó and Maduro…” said retired Professor of Criminal Justice at the John Jay College, Dr Basil Wilson.

According to him, a Biden win will encourage rapprochement with the country and use diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Venezuela. He said the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), for years, has been trying to maintain a unified front on issues of foreign policy, but it has not worked well on the subject of Venezuela.

Professor Wilson posited that Jamaica has not benefited from siding with the United States on Venezuela rather than taking a principled position.

Jamaica has been warned – not too subtly – by United States envoy here, not to do business with its economic arch-rival China; and many in the diaspora of the view that the US, which is home to more than two millions Jamaicans, is interfering in the island’s business, and also in CARICOM’s.


Meanwhile, diaspora communities would be heaving a sigh of relief, after waiting with baited breath for the final count, while hoping for a Joe Biden win. The election which has exposed a fragmented US, has presented President-elect Biden a tough task to tackle. There will be a range of issues – both internal and external – which the Biden-administration will have to deal with.

According to representatives, President Donald Trump’s campaign has been trying to align Biden’s campaign with communism, and promising Venezuelans in the diaspora status protection with his re-election.

Jamaicans in Florida say Venezuela should be allowed to solve its own problems, and attorney-at-law Dahlia Walker-Huntington said it is unfortunate that Venezuelans have been used as pawns in the US election process.

“They need help and reconciliation to alleviate their misery that has been building up over the years …,” she told a Gleaner Editors Forum.

Walker-Huntington said Venezuelans in South Florida have been dangled with the proverbial political carrot of status protection, while the Trump campaign has been trying to align the Biden campaign with communism.

Campaigning in Florida, Biden said he would encourage dialogue with Venezuela, and Cuba, which has suffered from 60 years of US-led economic blockade.

The Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice-president, had begun a warming of relations with Cuba. The US has supported Venezuelan challenger Juan Guaidó against Nicolás Maduro

“I don’t think, either way, there is going to be an invasion of Venezuela. The region will not stand for such an invasion. And certainly that would not be on the table in a Biden administration. They would be seeking a diplomatic solution rather than by brute force,” she asserted.

Head of the Caribbean Immigrant Services in the US, Irwine Clare, said the Venezuelan situation was “of major concern and presents major challenge for the region”.

Source: The Gleaner