In the 1970s Jamaica was going through political turmoil as violence went hand in hand with elections. At the centre of this violence was the covert support of the CIA for political opponents that were favourable to US corporate interests.

During Jamaica Independence Day, it is important for all of us to understand just exactly what independence means.

An Impotent Independence

Jamaica was granted so called independence on 6 August 1962, by the British government. Yet, like many former colonies of European colonialism, Jamaica remained, and continues to remain under the economic jurisdiction of Western corporate interests. So, what exactly are we celebrating?

In the 1970s, when Jamaica was going through political turmoil and violence. At the centre of that violence was the CIA, supporting the political candidate who best serves US corporate interests. Behind the Violence in Jamaica Of course, the CIA have always denied this, but nonetheless, their familiar modus operandi can be seen within Jamaican politics.

Jamaican Prime Minister, Michael Manley, was perhaps the only real independent leader who had intentions to make Jamaica an independent island in the economic sense. He refused to take sides in the Cold War, made friends with Cuba, and attacked the racist policies of Apartheid South Africa. He attempted to use Jamaica’s resources to eradicate poverty, improve education, the health service, and infrastructure.

America’s response to Manley’s policies was to support a covert war on the ground using Jamaica’s Judas political class, such as  Edward Seaga. America also used the deadly economic colonial weapon, the IMF, and the control of the global financial system, to threaten Jamaica’s business class with economic sanctions, such as no access to loans etc.

These dirty tactics worked, and Manley sadly succumbed to the directives of the IMF, effectively handing over Jamaica’s wealth to western corporations.

Economic Servitude

Bauxite, is one of Jamaica’s biggest resources, yet this precious resource, and the profits that come from it goes to western multinational companies such as Noranda Jamaica Bauxite, an operation of American company New Day Aluminium Holdings LLC, now Concord Resources Holdings Limited. Noranda Bauxite changes ownership again, Concord promises continuity.

Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum is owned by Italian company Campari.

The list goes on of Jamaican resources being owned by foreign controlled corporations, and I have to ask, is this the independence that Jamaicans had in mind? Is this the independence that we are celebrating?

The English had their Brexit, the Americans had the Donald Trump administration on the slogan of making American Great Again. How is it that Jamaica, and indeed other former colonies are not afforded these political and economic privileges?

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