(Go-Jamaica) A leaked US cable has claimed that Lorna Golding, the wife of Prime Minister Bruce Golding, believed the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was under the “pernicious influence” of U.S. Representative Charles Rangel in the extradition request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke.
The cable published by the UK-based Guardian newspaper reported that Mrs Golding expressed the sentiment to Patricia Attkisson, the Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Kingston.
Mrs. Golding reportedly alleged that Congressman Rangel was a “sympathizer” of the opposition People’s National Party who is “manipulated” by party elements in the Jamaican diaspora in the U.S. and is “whispering in Secretary Clinton’s ear” in order to “downgrade” the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Government of Jamaica.
According to the leaked cable, Mrs. Golding claimed that there was a direct relationship between the influence of those elements and the White House’s delay in naming a new ambassador to Jamaica. The cable also says Mrs Golding believed the relationship had impacted the Government’s efforts in finalizing a Standby Agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The cable further says although it appears unlikely that Mrs. Golding was delivering a message on behalf of the Prime Minister, her comments and penchant for sharing conspiracy theories with a key member of the U.S. Embassy community is consistent with a growing sense among many of indecisiveness and a lack of direction on the part of the Prime Minister and the JLP.
In the cable American officials claim that the US public affairs officer was unexpectedly invited by Mrs Golding for afternoon tea on December 11, 2009 at Vale Royal. It says there were no other guests in attendance and no tea was actually served, although the Atkisson was offered some salad that Mrs. Golding said the Prime Minister had prepared the previous evening.
It further says Mrs. Golding didn’t seem to be using any talking points.
The cable also says although the Prime Minister was aware of Atkisson’s presence and in fact dropped in for some small talk later in the meeting, the US did not believe Mrs. Golding’s opinions were intended as an effort on the part of the Office of the Prime Minister to establish some sort of back door communication or to present any informal messages or official Government of Jamaica policy.
But in the cable, the Chargé d’affaires at the United States Embassy, Isaiah Parnell, said if the Prime Minister had hoped to establish a backchannel for discussions with the US Embassy or to convey some informal messages to the American Government regarding the Coke extradition request, the status of IMF negotiations, or some other matter of mutual concern, it would appear that the opportunity was lost.
He also claimed that this was consistent with past practice however, as the Prime Minister and the Jamaica Labour Party Government had missed a number of opportunities in recent months to signal their willingness to make difficult decisions or to address the myriad economic and social crises the nation faces.