Caribbean Political Economy

Saul Landau and the Democratic Socialist project in Jamaica

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Saul Landau, who is gravely ill in California, is an American journalist and filmmaker whose work expressed solidarity with the Jamaica’s Democratic Socialist project of the 1970s. ..

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Jamaica: Reflections on Fifty Years of In-Dependence, Norman Girvan

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An interpretive overview of Jamaica”s post-colonial political economy. focusing on economic retrogression in the age of neoliberalism, the need to recover policy independence, and the imperative of regionalism.

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Link to Video of Norman’ s address

The Raffer Debt Insolvency Proposal

A Jamaica 50 Message, Hope McNish

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A nation that is not subject to manipulation by external powers and the dictates of international funding institutions,,   scientific and technological support and for farmers in organic farming, a strong manufacturing industry and one in which all natural resources are harnessed for the benefit of the nation; are among the main wishes outlined by this Jamaican on the 50th Independence Anniversary.

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Jamaicanisation of the eurozone, Mark Weisbrot

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Jamaica appears to be approaching the 50th anniversary of its independence in a state of virtual debt bondage and IMF trusteeship. Mark Weisbrot argues that the austerity programme being imposed on the country, and on the eurozone countries, will push these economies even further into recession and ultimately make it harder for them to service their debts.

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Jamaica: debt, the IMF and economic stagnation; CEPR Report

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“The paper notes that Jamaica remains one of the most highly indebted countries in the world, and that its interest payments as a percent of GDP were higher than anywhere else in the world in 2011, including even crisis-stricken countries in the eurozone. Jamaica’s large debt burden has displaced most other public expenditures, taking up almost 50 percent of total budgeted spending over the last four fiscal years while health and education have been only around 20 percent combined.”

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Portia’s Inaugural Address

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Jobs, transparency, inclusiveness, respectfulness, full accession to the Caribbean Court of Justice and Jamaica to become a Republic are among the commitments made by Jamaica’s new Prime Minister in her inaugural address on January 5, 2012.

Text of the address

Shaggy performs at Jamaica House for Portia

Radical Solutions: If I Were a Young Man..,Michael Witter

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One of the journalists posing questions to the two panels of young politicians in the first debate of the Jamaican election pursued all six young leaders for radical solutions, in vain. I still hope that this emergent generation of politicians represented by both panelists has some radical ideas, but that we did not get them …

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A Policy Agenda for the New Jamaican Government, Michael Witter

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In this pre-election commentary, Dr Michael Witter of the UWI outlined an agenda of economic policy, social policy and governance policy that a new Jamaican government should address.

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Jamaica’s PNP—Back in the Saddle Again, Norman Girvan

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The economy, relations with Caricom, the CCJ and Jamaica as a Republic are three issues to be faced by the new Jamaican government.

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A Massacre in Jamaica, Mattathias Schwartz

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Following is the link to an article published in the New Yorker Magazine (December 12 2011) on the operation by Jamaican security forces in May 2010 to execute an extradition order against now convicted drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, which resulted in over 70 civilian deaths. it comes at a time when the Jamaican government has confirmed that a U.S. military plane provided intelligence to the forces on the ground during the operation. Jamaican civil society organisations have long campaigned for an independent enquiry into the deaths.

Most cemeteries replace the illusion of life’s permanence with another illusion: the permanence of a name carved in stone. Not so May Pen Cemetery, in Kingston, Jamaica, where bodies are buried on top of bodies, weeds grow over the old markers, and time humbles even a rich man’s grave…

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The Case for a Forensic Audit of Jamaica’s Public Debt, Lloyd D’Aguilar

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It has been suggested that as much as 70 percent of Jamaica’s public debt may be illegitimate.,   The following is a list of twenty-one questionable projects and dealings which need investigation. It is by no means exhaustive, but there is a pattern which suggests recklessness and lack of accountability for the spending of public funds…

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Wanted: An Audit of Jamaica’s Debt, Lloyd D’Aguilar

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Webmaster’s note: as Jamaica faces yet another round of austerity measures in a desperate attempt to get back on track with its latest IMF programme, a call has been made for debt repudiation backed up by an audit of its national debt. While we do not agree with everything in Lloyd D’Aguilar’s article, we share the view that a rebuilding of Jamaica’s shattered social infrastructure and the achievement of sustained economic growth will not be possible without substantial debt restructuring to reduce the crippling burden of its national debt on the public finances and on the national economy.

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Watch Debtocracy–the acclaimed documentary on the causes of the Greek debt crisis and its solutions, that you won’t hear about from the corporate media.

‘Occupy Jamaica’-Heart to Heart, Betty Ann Blaine

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T started off with fewer than 2,000 young people about four weeks ago, and in a flash it has mushroomed into a global movement. “Occupy Wall Street” is now “Occupy Together” as the common chords of injustice, greed and exploitation have found resonance with people all over the world…

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Andrew Holness as next Jamaican Prime Minister, JUSD

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Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development (JUSD) look forward to what appears to be the inevitable confirmation of MP Andrew Holness as the next Party Leader and Prime Minister of Jamaica. ..

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Resignation of Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister

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The announcement made today by Prime Minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Bruce Golding that he will shortly step down as Prime Minister and leader of the JLP, is welcomed by New Nation Coalition as the “right and proper thing to do”, and “a step in the right direction for Jamaica.”..

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For background go to Jamaican Politics

Jamaican Vibrations: Rocking Steady to Reggae, Adalbert Tucker

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On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence, we reproduce Bert Tucker’s lyrical account of Jamaica’s political climate and cultural ferment in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mr. Tucker, now Ambassador for Foreign Trade and Head of International Cooperation in the Government of Belize, was a student on the Mona Campus of the UWI at the time.

Jamaica in the late sixties was a seething volcano with political lava bubbling up through the confining covers of colonial society, and day by day it burned, hotter and hotter- intensifying. Intensified! …

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Video on IMF Programmes in the Caribbean, CEPR

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Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, debates Therese Turner-Jones, Deputy Caribbean II Division Chief at the International Monetary Fund on the IMF’s policies in the Caribbean.Hosted by Paul Tennassee.This show aired on CaribNation TV, on July 24th, 2011.

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Growing Out of Debt: Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and the IMF, Colin Bullock

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Address to the St Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Commerce on June 23, 2011. Colin Bullock is a former Financial Secretary and senior central bank official of Jamaica.

I thank the Chamber of Commerce of St Kitts-Nevis for inviting me to speak on the nature, prospects and challenges of an IMF borrowing arrangement. The timing is opportune as I understand that St Kitts-Nevis has recently concluded arrangements for a Standby Borrowing Arrangement with the IMF and Jamaica signed a similar agreement some 16 months before…

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Lessons for Greece of Jamaica’s debt crisis, Mark Weisbrot

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From The Guardian, UK, 22 July 2011

Some have pointed to the Jamaican debt restructuring of last year as a model for Greece…It is worth a closer look at what has been done to Jamaica, not only as a warning to Greece, but to shed some light on the damage that can be done when “the international community” is willing to sacrifice a country for the sake of creditors’ interests…

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Assessment Of The Manatt/Coke Commission Of Enquiry Report, Jamaicans United For Sustainable Development

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After weeks of high profile media attention and commentary in the wider society the report of the Manatt Commission of Enquiry and the extradition request from the United States for Mr. Christopher Coke has been tabled in the Jamaican parliament. It has been greeted with much disapproval and scepticism and has reinforced the view held all along by the majority of the population that nothing was going to come out of it…

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