Why can’t Jamaicans and Trinidadians get along?

Jamaicans vs. Trinidadians
Jamaicans vs. Trinidadians

Why are Jamaicans and Trinidadians always bickering with each other? Reggae is better than Soca, Soca Warriors are better than the Reggae Boyz, Usain Bolt is greater than Ato Boldon, Trinidad’s economy is better than Jamaica’s, Yellowman is better than Mighty Sparrow, Trinidad’s carnival is better than Jamaica’s, Spice’s big butt is real and Nicki Minaj’s is fake and on and on the bickering goes.

Marcus Garvey and Stokely Carmicheal must be turning, kicking and screaming in their graves to see what is happening with their people. It is a shame how we have become complete victims of the “divide-and-rule” strategy. We have more love for the little pieces of lands that we were dumped on to labor without pay on plantations than we do for our rightful continent, Africa. Therefore, instead of allowing our commonality to unite us, we find simple meaningless things to divide ourselves.

It is said that Jamaicans are treated better in any white man’s country around the world than they are when they are in Trinidad, which is very unfortunate.

Recently, however, there seem to be some improvement in the Jamaica/Trinidad relationship. I hope that the trend will continue.

Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith released a report today that says; since the intervention of the Government, there has been a 64 per cent decrease in the number of Jamaicans refused entry into Trinidad and Tobago.

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“We have experienced a 64 per cent reduction in Jamaicans refused entry between March and December 2016, as well as reduced complaints of mistreatment,” Senator Johnson Smith told a press conference at her ministry in New Kingston.

That is very good news but why did it have to get to that point in the first place? How can two groups of people who at one point were one, probably from the same village in Africa, have so much hatred for each other. Why should a Jamaican have to worry about being mistreated when they arrive at Trinidad’s airport?

Jamaica’s foreign minister says that the ministry has received feedback from travelers and, through enquiries by the high commission in Port of Spain, found that there is a “generally improved experience at immigration”.

“We do not expect perfection, but work has definitely been done for which we are pleased. The Trinidadian Government has kept its commitment to retrofit an area in the airport to comfortably accommodate persons, including Jamaicans, who are not landed, while they await return to their country of origin,” the minister said.

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She added that Trinidad has also conducted at least two significant rounds of training for immigration officials at Piarco airport.

“We have been working closely with the Government of Trinidad on improving the ability of our business sector to export to Trinidad. We are re-establishing a trade desk within the Jamaican High Commission, and seeking to establish a model to be replicated in both Port of Spain and Kingston to identify trade issues early for swift resolution; and also working on the systemic issue of implementation of the CSME (Caribbean Single Market and Economy),” she added.

She said that Jamaica was committed to continue the downward trend in returnees and, to this end; her ministry has embarked on a public education campaign seeking to sensitize the Jamaican public on travel within the region. .
“We have hosted and will continue to host sessions that will also cover the rules governing free movement within the CSME, including the rights and obligations of CARICOM nationals,” she also noted.

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