United States Ambassador to Kingston, Donald Tapia, used his first official speech to members of Government and the local business elite on Wednesday to implore Jamaicans living in America to return to their homeland and staunch the erosion of the country’s intellectual and skill capital.
Tapia was speaking at the official welcome reception held in his honour at the AC Marriott Hotel on the fringes of New Kingston.
“This is their country, and we have to make sure they know the pride of their country. They will stay here if we instil that in them,” he said.
Tapia noted that there was potential for stronger cooperation between Jamaica and the US, whose cultural and economic ties date back centuries, causing him to refer to the countries’ existing relationship as that of “kissing cousins”.
He said further that there were more than one million Jamaicans living in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, migrant-rich eastern states that could provide a source for the more rapid development of the island.