No Obama legacy for the Caribbean – Wickham

With Barack Obama back to being a private citizen having handed over the reins of power to Donald Trump today after eight years as United States president, one noted political scientist said unlike former leaders, Obama has not left a legacy for the Caribbean.

When Obama became the first black person to win the presidency in 2008, many in the region had hailed his achievement and anticipated even better relations between the US and the Caribbean.  However eight years later, those expectations have not been met, according to political analyst Peter Wickham.

“The past presidents have left a legacy for the Caribbean that was fairly direct in the sense of we had a CBI [Caribbean Basin Initiative] programme or Enterprise for the Americas programme or something like that.

“In the case of Obama there is no such legacy in the sense that there was no specific plan of action,” Wickham told Barbados TODAY.

However, the pollster acknowledged that the Caribbean and the rest of the world had “drawn inspiration from a presidency that was outstanding in terms of US domestic policy”.

Wickham pointed to normalization of relations with Cuba as a major achievement, although he said the failure to close the US military prison on Guantanamo Bay had left much to be desired.

“Generally speaking I think we draw inspiration from the fact that as a person of colour he was able to win the election, he was able to perform reasonably well, and he leaves the White House without having made the kind of fuss or rancor [associated with some of his predecessors]. There were no scandals or that type of thing.

“And I think we will look back and see him as a person who did well and who represented well, to the extent that a person of colour could be as good a president or better than any that has come before, and certainly will be as likely to stand out a lot more than the one that’s likely to follow,” Wickham stated.

Looking ahead to the incoming Trump administration, Wickham said it was difficult to predict the relationship between the Caribbean and Washington over the next four years.    

“I think that anybody who suggested that they have an idea of what relations would be would be essentially misleading themselves.  Because I don’t think that any of us knows what a Trump presidency would be like.

“Certainly the Trump election campaign has presented certain ideas, many of which have been modified and I think that it depends on how Mr Trump feels on the day he wakes up that you would get a sense of what he will do,” Wickham said of the 45th president, recommending that the region should adopt a wait-and-see approach. 

22 Responses to No Obama legacy for the Caribbean – Wickham

  1. J. Payne January 21, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Did Caribbean put forward anything for Obama? He said: “Trinidad ‘s nice” in 2010 at the meeting in T&T and stroke a cricket bat with Brian Lara and that’s all Caribbean people wanted was show-off cultuure. Supposedly- Trump loses interest easily so we shall see if the Caribbean leaders can even hold Trump’s attention or if they’ll be breif, short, and to the point. The U.K. has Trump’s attention and said they want to work out a new trade deal in short order with the United States A.S.A.P.

  2. Ronnie Warren
    Ronnie Warren January 21, 2017 at 8:49 am


  3. seagul January 21, 2017 at 8:49 am

    How could it be difficult to predict the relationship between the Caribbean and Washington over the next four years when there is no acknowledgement of the role the USA played in bringing misery to countries they then criticize for that and no blame on the media for painting a one-sided picture and being repeaters of government propaganda.

  4. Samud Ali
    Samud Ali January 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

    We continue to sit at the doorstep cap in hand

  5. jrsmith January 21, 2017 at 11:09 am

    @,Samud A, hail , hail, on the button and at the cross roads of the region ….
    Eight years of (Obama ) and he paid a stop over visit in Jamaica because he wanted to kill time ,because of some panama business..
    We are too educated to understand what economy /economics means to our individual countries, if we could find the right people who has a vision on the region and the individual islands we may survive to the next decade….
    Our problem, our educated -educators all seems, to not even try to grab the bull , whether by any part…
    What is so upsetting our region sat back ,waiting until the Americans made the move in Cuba, we all should have had the vision and grab the bull by the horns come what may and covered what ever business possible in Cuba………
    The USA have no real vision for the region they never did, what have we got rum and a hiding place for criminal out of the US , South America and the UK…in other words we need them they dont need us, we have no political , economic or financial
    strength not even strategic bearing…

  6. James January 21, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Mr. Wickham contradicts himself. In making his point he clearly identifies two legacies. Surely Cuba is our Caribbean sister. Not every legacy has to be bricks, mortar and money. In any case do we really know the motive behind the other so called legacies?

  7. allison archer January 21, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Mr. Obama had one agenda on his mind during those 8 years of presidency= to defy every moral, value and principle mankind had inherited from their fore parents.

    the legalizing of same- sex marriage, homosexuality being enforced even in the army, taking taxpayers money and allowing trans genders to undergo sex change, by implementing new laws pushing longstanding companies to relocate outside of America while leaving thousands without jobs and relying on food stamps, aborting babies even in third semester and so much more but still one continue to lift Mr. Obama up as some great one just because he was the first black President

    throughout the world that which was left of him is minds that have been left dysfunctional and in chaos, so brainwash the mind, they can’t even acknowledge that the former president merely bought false hope and left them in a much weaker position, this is the legacy that was left of the former president even in the Caribbean

    • Donna January 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Well said

  8. Donild Trimp January 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Allison Archer, you come over as an intelligent individual.

    My question to you is this, do you know anything about who really run things in the USA?

    It is not what you think it is.

    • allison archer January 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Donild Trump, the elite in USA we know it is they who pull the strings not the President but they don’t put a gun to your head, one can always choose to walk away and give up the post
      the Obamas of their own choice decided to deceived the people and leave them incapacitated especially those of his own race.
      this is such an evil place

  9. allison archer January 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Mr. Obama slogan for the presidency “change we can believe in ” while chanting “yes we can”= this is what the change is introducing a more depraved life to the masses, leaving them as robots in giving over their thinking abilities to the leaders in this world.
    this is his legacy.

  10. Mikey January 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    What resources Barbados has for the rest of the World ???
    That is the million dollar question.
    When we become creative enough to offer the Others something, then we are on the right track to be heard and be influential.
    Sadly led by any bunch of non-achievers, we we will stay put going nowhere.

  11. Jennifer January 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    This is how ignorant my people are, do you think because he Is black that he is of the same race as you??? There are 40 nationalities in Africa WHICH ONE DID YOU COME FROM????

    This man job was not to do anything for black people, far less the Caribbean, further more – more black people were gunned down by the police unfairly than under any other president, look up the statistics. Obama ran nothing in the USA but his mouth. All he did was implement THEIR GAY AGENDA, THAT IS HIS LEGACY. HIS JOB WAS TO TAKE LIFE NOT GIVE IT.
    The Caribbean can pi$$ off just like the majority of blacks in the USA – after all you are the same race of people NOT HIM.

    As for a trump presidency we will soon find out. What did Trump say “let drain the dirty water from the swamp”. He is a true manifestation of white america, but to no avail, TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

    • Donna January 22, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      You sound off course

  12. Carson C Cadogan January 21, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    America’s Guantanamo Bay torture center in Cuba is still open for business..

  13. Michel Payne January 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Jamacia benefited more than any of the other Caribbean Islands from the Obama Presidency. Within the past three years, he visited Jamaica and Jamaican products flowed into major markets in the metropolitan cities of the US: Sugar, juice, soft drinks, malts, teas, ground provisions, banana and plantation chips, dried coconuts etc. While the few products, Barbados exported like Miller pepper sauce disappeared from the grocery store shelves. Barbados exports systematically decreased. ” King Sugar” Barbados major export for centuries decreased as the world started to focus on brown sugar and molasses as healthy alternatives to the white refined sugar Europe produce for us from our organic. Barbados Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and its exports were out of sync.

    While Jamaica started to address the issue of crime in a big way and more loans flowed into the country; Barbados developed a major crime problem, a problem it did not historically have. Barbados had a solid healthcare system and doing well economically, so of course, American Presidents will visit and did. They hail and visit developing nations that are making progress according to their economic, educational, healthcare and infrastructure development criteria; Barbados has regressed in each of these areas. Why would President Obama visit or establish a legacy in Barbados?

  14. jrsmith January 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    @, Carson C,C hail, hail , we will need it you just watch and see the terrorists isn’t going to give up and go away .
    The only country who could handle the terrorists is (Israel )…the west needs to learn from them….

    • Carson C Cadogan January 21, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      The state of Israel is an illegal entity which needs dismantling.

  15. Jennifer January 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Israel is a rogue and illegitimate state of Khazars and Ashkenazim people. The same people who GB put in there and currently own Hollywood, music industry, federal reserve and all the banks, and all evil plaguing the earth. They too will get their share of the fire. All praises.

  16. ch January 21, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Very well said @ Mikey.
    Our government owes us a legacy not the administrations of Mr. Obama nor President Trump.
    And what have they done in nine years?
    As for our people- today they are like beggars waiting on political crumbs and handouts. Unlike our elders who put their heart and sweat into building this country.
    I also see that spirit of resilience and effort in the American people so nobody owes us anything.

  17. Jennifer January 22, 2017 at 3:23 am

    @ch – They owe us everything as they put us in the position we are in today. Due to ignorance of both ours and their history we cannot see this. WATCH THE INEQUALITY RACE ON U TUBE and you will see it and how we will NEVER catch up. We will continue to be beggars receiving crumbs because our founding fathers had no way of removing the locust from the field, now they continue to eat everything in $ite and getting fatter. All nations which had terrorism done to them had reparations, wheres ours???? Our people need education on their history to see how we got into the current condition we are in. But not to worry THERE WILL BE PAYBACK TIME.

  18. Frank White January 23, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Great article Peter, as always.


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