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The PM at Medgar Evers College

It was a dreary afternoon but I felt obligated to get out of my cozy home and make the trek across Brooklyn to meet and greet the Prime Minister of Jamaica as he addressed the nationals at a Youth Forum and Town Hall meeting on topics of interest and concern to the Jamaican population.

I was expecting to be turned away because there was no more room but, I got to the door and was ushered into the building.  The metal detecting was painless and I entered the auditorium that was sparsely populated, maybe due to the weather or the word not getting out the masses.

The prime minister spoke on various topics including the following:

  • Sugar industry-The Brazilians are now the primary owners of the sugar industry with the Jamaican government maintaining a twenty  five percent (25%) interest. The Brazilians will be producing ethanol.


  • Trelawny stadium-The question was asked if he still felt that the stadium was a white elephant to which he responded yes.  Only one other event "Cure Fest" was held at the stadium since the cricket world series and the place is populated by goats.  Studies are being conducted to see if the stadium can have a built in track and ongoing uses, before even considering a name change to The Usain Bolt Stadium.


  • Energy sources-The government is looking into other sources of energy including gas, coal, solar and wind.  The feeling of being a yoyo on the oil string was not a comfortable position and one that Jamaica was trying to get away from.  Did not like the feeling that they are begging other countries for oil.


  • Tourism-More hotels was being built, especially by the Spaniards, with larger capacity to accommodate the arriving tourists.  A question was asked if the government would pursue medical tourism as a way to expand the tourism market.  Medical tourism allows sick patients to seek affordable medical care in other countries outside of the one they live in.  This is something that the government is looking into.


  • Air Jamaica-A buyer is still being sought for the nation's airline.  Buyers would need to maintain the Air Jamaica logo as well as the colors.  The government would maintain part ownership.


  • Usain Bolt-The recent visit of Usain Bolt to New York was part of his obligation to his sponsor and plans are underway to have him visit places like New York and London to give his supporters a chance to show him love.


  • Food cost-Plans were made to subsidize certain food products to allow the most needy to get the benefit but it turned out that they were not the beneficiary of such an action.  What was done instead was to provide a set amount of money directly to the needy through the country's food program.


  • Guns-Ninety eight percent (98%) of the guns coming to Jamaica are from the United States and the prime minister met with Condoleezza Rice to ask for help in curbing the gun problem on the island.  The two guns that are creating the most problems are the thirty-eight and forty-fives.

Mr. Golding expressed his disappointment that potential returning residents were not getting enough information from the PSOJ.  He promised to investigate further.

Before the meeting and Q&A ended, the Prime Minister was presented with a Proclamation by Nick Perry, on behalf of the State Mrs. Golding was pinned with a Barack Obama pin to show her support for the Democratic Presidential candidate.


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