Central America increasingly is being placed into the PR China sphere, and other areas across South America and the Caribbean are.
Recently, El Salvador just announced a new stadium to be built with PR China investment.
And Nicaragua just switched allegiance to the CCP’s China in 2021.
Now, the concerns are in the Caribbean as many nations here are tempted by the opportunity for PRC investment into their nations.
Yet, this region is still the strongest in the world with recognizing the Republic of China (Taiwan/ROC), with three of the 15 member nations of the West Indies National Cricket Team recognizing Taiwan. Those three are St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Furthermore, there are two nations within CARICOM that are not part of the West Indies Cricket Team that also recognize Taiwan and those are Belize and Haiti.
And, with Honduras, Guatemala, and Paraguay, the Americas displays it is still the region standing up the most to the CCP.
But recently, places like Jamaica and Barbados have been receiving major investment from the PRC, and after the Solomon Islands deal, it is well-known now that commonwealth realm members like Jamaica or the Solomon Islands can make deals with the CCP without worries of interference from the Governor-General or the Queen.
This is due to many varying factors such as too many demands attached to aid from Western nations and anti-colonialist rhetoric that the PRC masters its propganada on. While no one really sees the PRC as an innocent player, they do see them as the country that did not enslave them or take over their nation, which is what Jamaica and Babardos sees the UK as, and the USA is linked to the UK in these deals.
But, the USA’s co-hosting at the 2024 Cricket World Cup and their influx of Indian immigrants, especially into their cricket scene, has opened up a pathway between Americans and the people of the Caribbean that did not exist previously, at least not to this extent.
The Americans are dumping tons of money into cricket infrastructure, and tons of money into new cricket leagues, that will surely rival and be the envy of those in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean, meanwhile, has been plagued with not funding their cricket enough, and with their cricket dwindling in popularity. However, for the Caribbean movement, cricket is most important. It is the sport that brought them together in the 1960s-1980s and since and has shown them that together, these mighty small nations can create the best in the world!
And, as seen from policies created by Barbados and Jamaica, as well as others like Trinidad and Tobago, the push for greater integration into CARICOM and the Caribbean Justice System has become the new thing. And only cricket seems to be the sport that unites all, or at least most of these nations together as one.
Cricket is the beating heart of nationalism for the Caribbean.
The USA must recognize this and use their co-hosting to signal to these nations that they are like them and in their neighborhood. The USA must use its Caribbean and Indian community to alert the Caribbean-Black and Caribbean-Indian community that they are more alike than what meets the eye.
The USA must use the soft power of cricket to bring the Caribbean back under its sphere of influence.
The USA can do this with a proper World Cup and proper partnership with the Caribbean. Given that the World Cup the USA is co-hosting is the Twenty20 version, this will mean that more youths across the Caribbean will be watching and will be associating the USA with West Indies’ success. This can do wonders 30 years down the line for the USA.
But, the USA needs something quick so that the PRC does not keep stumping the Americans in the Americas.
The USA knows the likes of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela will almost certainly be pro-PRC, but for the other nations, it does not have to be this way.
Already, one can see the influence baseball plays in foreign diplomacy in the Americas as baseball has greatly reduced hostilities between Cuba and the USA, between Nicaragua and the USA, and between Venezuela and the USA, and it has fostered closer US relations with numerous of nations like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia. Cricket can do the same for a lot of the English-speaking Caribbean.
As it is, it is important for the USA to get along with the Caribbean because it is already there anyway. Puerto Rico is an observer member of CARICOM and the US Virgin Islands is a member of the Cricket West Indies.
The USA can grow closer with more investment into cricket and more cricket diplomacy. The 2024 World Cup signals the best chance for the USA to re-engage the Caribbean.