Tensions are rising in the Caribbean as US President Joe Biden’s strained relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) heats up, resulting in threats of sanctions against the Bahamas. The UAE recently signed an agreement with the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote tourism in the Caribbean, a move seen as an attempt to entice Caribbean nations for economic opportunities.
While this signals a new friendship between the UAE and the Caribbean, Biden’s animosity towards UAE and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed has led to concerns about the agreement’s impact, resulting in the threat of sanctions.
US Warns Sanctions
As the agreement between UAE and Bahamas was about to get inked, the US expressed it has ‘strong concerns’ on pricing on Bahamian airlines.
On 22nd February 2023, Federal authorities rejected the American aviation industry’s claims that the Bahamian air navigation fees regime is “discriminatory,”. Though Federal authorities have reprimanded the Bahamas, it has strong concerns.
According to Anthony Hamilton, president of the Bahamas Association of Air Transport Operators, the recent decision by the US Department of Transportation in favor of the Bahamas means local carriers will no longer face access restrictions to US and global markets.
However, the Department warned that if the country’s fees are deemed excessive, actions could still be taken in the public interest, and the issue may need to be resolved at the government or diplomatic level.
The US-UAE Fued!
Under the Biden administration, the once-amicable relationship between the US and UAE has taken a 180-degree turn due to disagreements on human rights, foreign policy, and regional conflicts.
The UAE’s participation in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and its normalization of relations with Israel, brokered by the Trump administration, have contributed to the tensions. Biden’s decision to end US support for offensive operations in Yemen has reportedly angered UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
At this moment, the US doesn’t adore the UAE at all and so, Biden has expressed his vile intention that it might not hesitate to impose sanctions on Caribbean islands if necessary. However, the Bahamas must not back off. This is the golden opportunity, a golden hour to shine and expand relationships with allies other than the USA.