Antigua and Barbuda–United States relations

Antigua and Barbuda-United States relations

Antigua and Barbuda

United States

Antigua and Barbuda maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, Petrocaribe and the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).

As a member of CARICOM, Antigua and Barbuda supported efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute personnel to the multinational force which restored the democratically elected government of Haiti in October 1994.

In May 1997, Prime Minister Bird joined 14 other Caribbean leaders and President Clinton for the first-ever U.S.-regional summit in Bridgetown, Barbados. The summit strengthened the basis for regional cooperation on justice and counter-narcotics issues, finance and development, and trade.

Antigua and Barbuda is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98).

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as a drug-money-laundering center.

Antigua and Barbuda – United States relations

Relations between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States have been friendly since Antigua and Barbuda's independence from the United Kingdom in 1981.

The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens' standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S. Government to issue a financial advisory for Antigua and Barbuda in 1999. The advisory was lifted in 2001, but the U.S. Government continues to monitor the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's regulation of financial services.

The United States also has been active in supporting post-hurricane disaster assistance and rehabilitation through the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Peace Corps. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as well as through the USAID office in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Antigua and Barbuda is strategically situated in the Leeward Islands near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. Antigua has long hosted a U.S. military presence. A former U.S. Navy support facility, turned over to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, is now being developed as a regional coast guard training facility.

Antigua and Barbuda's location close to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers. To address these problems, the United States and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-narcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include overflight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996). In addition, Antigua and Barbuda receives counter-narcotics assistance and benefits from U.S. military exercise-related and humanitarian civic assistance construction projects.

In 2005, Antigua and Barbuda had 239,804 stay-over visitors, with nearly 28% of Antigua and Barbuda's visitors coming from the United States. It is estimated that 4,500 Americans reside in the country.

In 2005 both countries disputed a World Trade Organization ruling over gambling law. In 2007 relations were strained when Antigua and Barbuda demanded sanctions worth $3.4bn imposed on the U.S. for its failure to obey the WTO gambling ruling stating that "while we realise this is a significant step for Antigua and Barbuda to take, we feel we have no choice in the matter".[1] Nevertheless, relations between the two countries are still strong.

U.S. embassy officials

  • Ambassador - Mary M. Ourisman
  • Deputy Chief of Mission - O.P. Garza
  • Political/Economic Counselor - Ian Campbell
  • Consul General - Clyde Howard Jr.
  • Regional Labor Attaché - Jake Aller
  • Commercial Affairs - Jake Aller
  • Public Affairs Officer - John Roberts
  • Peace Corps Director - Marjorie Jeanchild

Embassies

The United States maintains no official presence in Antigua. The ambassador and embassy officers are resident in Barbados and travel to Antigua frequently. However, a U.S. consular agent resident in Antigua assists U.S. citizens in Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados is located in the Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael.

Antigua and Barbuda – Venezuela relations

Antigua and Barbuda enjoys close relations with Venezuela. As of June 2009 it became a formal member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) international cooperation organization and the Caribbean oil alliance Petrocaribe. In 2009 Antigua and Barbuda received US$50 million from Venezuela because of the country’s membership of these initiatives.

“We have benefited from these relationships and so we will continue to forge these alliances, whether it is with Venezuela, Cuba or whoever else that we feel is in the interest of Antigua and Barbuda and the sub-region,” said the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer.[2]

See also

References

External links

  • History of Antigua and Barbuda - U.S. relations
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