Prepare for Return Migration UWI Chancellor Beckles Warns.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Caribbean politicians and academics Wednesday reacted to the election of billionaire Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, expressing hope for continued good relations with Washington even as they acknowledged that the region should be prepared for an influx of nationals returning home.
Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles warned the Caribbean to be prepared for returning nationals and other migrants from North America.
Sir Hilary said that Trump’s philosophies and policies could lead to a demographic change in the Caribbean overtime.
Speaking on a post US presidential analysis on the implications for the Caribbean at the Mona campus of the UWI, the Barbadian born academic said “you will also witness, I am sure a migration of Hispanics out of North America.
“You will witness the return of many Caribbean citizens out of North America and we have to prepare ourselves for return migration. Understand that these are going to be the forces that will be unleashed,” he said, telling the symposium “this is not the first time this has happened”
He said there was a similar situation when Margaret Thatcher won the elections in Great Britain and became prime minister in 1979 saying she came to power ‘with very similar philosophical constructs and that was the beginning of the net migration of Caribbean peoples out of Britain”.
Sir Hilary said Trump’s victory will also have an effect on the global recession, predicting it will “have an adverse impact on the global economy.
“My expectation as an economic historian is that we are going to see the deepening of the world recession because three quarters of humanity will assume that the United States no longer possess a moral authority to direct the world economy.
“World trade has always been driven by certain kinds of multi-lateral and bi-lateral ideologies and philosophies. Their assertion of these value systems in the current space will have an adverse impact on global trade. I think in the Caribbean we have to prepare for that,” Sir Hilary said.
“We have to prepare for the consequences of a return to diminish levels of international trade as a result of this construct,” he added.
In a stunning upset, Trump defied the odds and defeated the Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was seeking to become the first woman to be elected President in the United States.
Trump, who led a controversial campaign in which he spoke about building a wall to prevent illegal migration, deport Muslims and vowed to make America stronger again, has since said he would be President for the whole United States. He will be sworn into office on January 20, next year.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness in extending congratulations to the 70-year-old President-elect, said that Jamaica has always welcomed “the longstanding friendship and cooperation, which has shaped our bilateral relationship with the United States for more than 50 years”.
Guyana President David Granger told reporters he was looking forward to working with the new US administration.
Granger said the US elections were conducted in a transparent manner and it is now an issue for the American people and Guyana will respect the democratic choice of the American people.
Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said he wanted to congratulate the people of the United States for “ for their robust participation in a democratic process that has been the beacon of the world for many years.
“Grenada looks forward to continuing the Caribbean and Latin American dialogue with the United States that involves the deepening of engagements with nations of the region, and the continued respect for sovereignty of states, large and small,” Mitchell said, hoping for “a positive continuation of the leadership of the United States, among the community of nations under the new President”.
His St. Kitts-Nevis counterpart, Dr. Timothy Harris said he was looking forward to building upon the longstanding relationship between the two countries.
In a congratulatory message sent to the President elect, Harris said that Trump had attained a “decisive elector victory…particularly during a presidential race that saw record voter turnout, rally crowds and debate viewership throughout the campaign cycle”.
He said it was also noteworthy that Trump has had no “political or military experience, but rather strong business and negotiating skills that have been honed from a background in multinational real estate development and licensing, as well as television production.
Jamaica’s Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller urged Trump to “quickly reach across the political divide in the US and try to build bridges in the global space so that we can continue to foster peace and development around the world”.
In her congratulatory message, Simpson Miller, who lead the People’ National Party (PNP) into defeat in the February general election in her country, extended “sincere congratulations” to Trump saying “he joins a select group of men who have attained the distinction of becoming Leader of the Free World.
“This job carries with it an awesome responsibility, as the President of the United States has a major influence on global affairs,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda opposition legislator, Joanne Messiah said women has always had to fight more to achieve political power and praised Clinton for her achievement.
“I don’t think it could be disputed that women are in position of leadership and politics that the bar is always high up for women. We are not judged by the same rule and we saw it in the case of Hillary Clinton it was very glaring,” she said on a radio programme in Antigua.
“The majority of white men voted for Donald Trump,” she added.
Jean Henry Céant, who is one of the candidates contesting the presidential elections in Haiti on November 20, extended “congratulations to the new President of the United States Donald J. Trump and to the American people”.