Energy security, goodwill top Obama agenda in Jamaica visit

By Associated Press

Published: 17:40 GMT, 8 April 2015 | Updated: 17:41 GMT, 8 April 2015

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — President Barack Obama's visit to Jamaica is weighted with U.S. self-interest as Caribbean nations seek to reduce their dependence on subsidized oil from economically struggling Venezuela and as China establishes an economic foothold in the region.

Obama will hold meetings Thursday with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and with other leaders in the 15-member Caribbean Community, with energy security as one of the top issues on his agenda

White House officials say the U.S. sees significant energy needs in the Caribbean and is prepared to put U.S. energy resources as well as energy infrastructure at their disposal.

FILE - In this April 15, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama holds hands with Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, as they pose for a photo at...

FILE - In this April 15, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama holds hands with Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, as they pose for a photo at a multilateral meeting with Caribbean leaders, during the sixth Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia. President Barack Obama¿s visit to Jamaica is weighted with U.S. self-interest as Caribbean nations seek to reduce their dependence on subsidized oil from economically struggling Venezuela and as China establishes an economic foothold in the region. Obama will hold meetings Thursday with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and with other leaders in the 15-member Caribbean Community, with energy security as one of the top issues on his agenda (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

From Jamaica, Obama will go to Panama for the Summit of the Americas on Friday and Saturday.

He is the first U.S. president in more than three decades to visit Jamaica.

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