Jamaica has been warned by a senior United States military commander to be wary of China’s campaign of “disinformation” in Latin America and the Caribbean, hinting that President Xi Jinping’s ties with Venezuela were part of a hemispheric axis, worsening security concerns in the region.
The riposte of Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), followed announcements yesterday by Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, chief of defence staff for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), that the army has been preparing for possible security threats that could come from ongoing conflicts in Haiti and Venezuela.
“All the security challenges that the region faces today have been magnified by the crisis in Venezuela … ,” said Faller. “The level of narco-trafficking through Venezuela and then out into the Caribbean has doubled in the past year … . Venezuela is now a safe haven for terrorists,” said Faller.
“We see that other external actors, other regions of the world that do not share the same values, are operating in conjunction with [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro for their own good,” he said, listing Cuba as one such territory.