Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Irwin LaRocque on Saturday met with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during which talks were held concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and the severe economic fallout being experienced by CARICOM member states.
According to CARICOM, the Secretary-General also had talks surrounding the renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade and Partnership Act, the de-risking of regional banks by US financial institutions and cooperation under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
LaRocque also took the opportunity to thank the US Secretary of State for the response by him and US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin to the issues raised in a letter to them by the then chair of the regional body, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley earlier this year.
Pompeo, who is currently on a tour of the Western Hemisphere, met with LaRocque after wrapping up his official business with the Guyana government on Friday.
In a subsequent tweet, Pompeo described the meeting with the Secretary-General as “important”.
During the engagement, the U.S. Secretary of State thanked CARICOM for its support for democracy in Guyana, which helped ensure a credible outcome of the March 2, 2020 elections.
CARICOM had fielded a team of scrutineers to monitor the recount exercise, which revealed that the PPP/C won the elections with over 15,000 votes.
The U.S. Secretary of State himself had played a prominent role in pushing for democracy in Guyana during that tumultuous period. In fact, he had announced visa restrictions back in July against Guyanese officials responsible for undermining democracy here.
Nevertheless, Pompeo asked for CARICOM’s continued support in speaking out against regional threats to democracy during Friday’s meeting
“The Secretary and the Secretary-General also discussed the importance of regional security and the U.S. Caribbean Resilience Partnership, which assists in planning for natural disasters in the region,” Said Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the State Department, Cale Brown.