Let’s face it—Donald Trump is the most xenophobic U.S. president of our lifetime. If you don’t agree, just look at the anti-immigrant venom he has spewed since launching his campaign, his immigration policy changes since winning the office and the thousands of immigrants he has deported since, and, of course, the rise in hate globally by white supremacists who feel emboldened by his election and rhetoric.

According to a News Americas analysis, the Caribbean diaspora in the U.S. has seen some 12,517 Caribbean immigrants deported between Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018. The majority have been sent back to four Caribbean nations—the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

Yet, the leaders of three of those four nations chose to meet with Donald Trump at his private resort at Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla., on March 22, 2019, and were effusive in their praise.

It is not sure what their agenda coming in was or how much silver they hope to sell their souls for. But from the Trump and U.S. standpoint, the meeting with the hand-picked five Caribbean leaders—Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Michael Chastanet; Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hubert A. Minnis; Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness; President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez and President of the Republic of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse —was largely all about boosting coalition support in the Americas against the current Venezuelan leadership.

Of course, it was promoted under the guise of a discussion on “trade, energy and security issues.” But if the Donald Trump administration has suddenly woken up two years in to their rule to the “importance” of the Caribbean, why was the entire Caribbean Community leadership not invited to a formal meeting at the White House?

Why was this meeting extended only to four of the five invited Caribbean states that voted in January in favor of a U.S.-backed resolution at the Organization of American States to not recognize the elected Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro?

Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is the current chair of CARICOM but was not invited to the meeting? Why?

Simple. Because in Donald Trump’s vacuous mind, if you are not in favor of him and his self-serving policies, you are against him. This is much the same way he uses the old divide and rule tactic to slam those who criticize him, including the media, as “enemies,” versus celebrating his “base” and “his voters.”

In fact, as the five leaders met with Trump, the U.S. Treasury Department announced it was slapping sanctions on the Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, including its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia.

This now puts four of the five at odds with the entire Caribbean Community and for what? A mere promise of U.S. investment in destinations Trump considers largely “s-hole” nations?

From all indication, not one bothered to speak to Trump’s atrocious immigration policy that affects many in their diaspora, and which has seen thousands from their region and countries deported or God forbid, address his reported ‘s-hole’ comments.

For these five, it was all about giving anyone who could see a lesson in obsequiousness, while spewing drivel like “…the United States wants to encourage and promote a stronger relationship with the region” and “…it’s been a really long time since leaders of the region have been invited to meet with the president of the United States of America.” 

Spare us this global humiliation and kowtowing of 45, who has now spread his divide and rule virus to the Caribbean. Your nationals and Caribbean immigrants in the U.S. diaspora deserve leaders who demand respect and represent the interests of all of their nationals—regionally and abroad, not just their own self-interest or the need to curry favor at the expense of loyalty and regional unity.

As the saying goes: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” On Friday, March 22, these five Caribbean leaders proved they will fall for anything, even Donald Trump’s ‘fake’ promises.

The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc. which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.