By the Caribbean Journal staff

United States President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit Jamaica in more than 33 years with a visit to Jamaica this week. Obama arrived on Wednesday for short meetings with US Embassy staff, although he made a late-night visit to the Bob Marley Museum that evening. On Thursday, Obama met with a group of CARICOM Prime Ministers for what was billed as a CARICOM-US Summit.

While Obama met some criticism in the region for what was perceived as a lack of attention, the President has recently made a renewed push in the region. That began in December with his historic rapprochement with Cuba, followed by a major Caribbean energy security summit convened in Washington and hosted by Vice President Joe Biden.

Speaking to the CARICOM summit at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters, Obama urged the region to work together to address the high cost of energy, with an audience of leaders from Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, among others.

“This region has some of the highest energy costs in the world,” Obama said. “Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and we have to act now.”

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