Caribbean Political Economy

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


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 …


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

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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‘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…


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. ..


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.”..


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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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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Jamaica’s Revolution: Clarification and Update, Marc Ramsay

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Over the past week a renewed energy has begun to stir among the people of Jamaica. We have faced the big blue Fire that has been slowly growing since independence- ‘Choice’. Many of us have ignored the full range of choices available to us. These choices have always been there, including the choice to engage in revolution…

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Jamaica: Optimism and the Way Forward, Milton Samuda

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Address by the President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce on February 24, 2011

What we have seen is a significant shift in the relation between people and power. Civil Society, united around common principles of accountability, transparency and integrity, reached across the several ideologies and sociologies which divides them and forged a common purpose and intent – to demand accountable government and set in place for posterity, standards of behaviour in public life…

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Law Students Calls for Jamaica’s Egypt Jamaica Gleaner

‘Our Revolution is Coming’: A young Jamaican speaks out On The Ground

A Tale of Two Extraditions, Saul Landau

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The U.S. government demanded that Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding extradite a drug dealer. When Venezuela made similar demands on Washington, for arguably the Hemisphere’s most notorious terrorist, the Justice Department brushed off the request…

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The West Kingston Crisis and Party Politics in Jamaica, Rupert Lewis

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Keynote address at States of Freedom: Freedom of States Symposium, held at UWI, Mona, June 16-18, 2010. Rupert Lewis is Professor in Poltical Thought in the Department of Government, UWI

There has been an unprecedented national discussion in and out of parliament, in the Jamaica diaspora, in the Caribbean and international media over the past 10 months since the U.S. issued the extradition request for Christopher Dudus Coke. I have been forced, with the rest of society, to think about the ongoing crises on the socio-racial, economic, cultural and political levels..

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Reflections on Armed Violence and Development in the Caribbean, Norman Girvan

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The extraordinary events surrounding the proposed extradition of Jamaica’s Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke have served to highlight the pernicious consequences of transnational organised crime in the Caribbean region. These consequences extend to the spheres of politics, governance, sovereignty, social organization and the economy. They call into question the entire model of development followed by the region in recent times as well as the model of governance which was at the heart of the post-colonial dispensation in the English-speaking Caribbean…

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Related items
The World Drug Report 2010, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) addresses recent trends in illicit drug production, trafficking and consumption. It gives an analysis of three key transnational drug markets (heroine, cocaine and amphetamine-type stimulants), followed by a presentation of statistical trends for all major drug categories and a discussion of the relationship between drug trafficking and instability.

‘America’s Dudus’: Luis Posada and the U.S.’s Double Standards, Rickey Singh

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WHILE Jamaica’s security forces intensify their hunt for most wanted reputed dealer in illicit drugs and guns, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, for extradition to the USA, Venezuela has chosen to increase its pressure for Washington to extradite to Caracas a most wanted terrorist….

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Jamaica’s Sovereignty Saga, Ivelaw Griffith


From the New York Carib News. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, a political scientist from the Caribbean, is Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of York College, The City University of New York.

Discussions about sovereignty often focus on its international dimension; freedom from outside interference; that no authority is legally above a state except that which a state’s leaders voluntarily confer on international bodies. This is the formal-legal aspect of sovereignty, and it’s a cardinal feature of international relations. But there’s another key aspect of sovereignty, one related to a nation’s internal dynamics…

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From Kabul to Kingston, Richard Drayton


Richard Drayton, who is of Caribbean origin, is Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College, University of London. This article appeared in The Guardian on June 14, 2010

The many allegations of human rights abuses committed by the Jamaican security forces – including extrajudicial killings and the disposal of bodies – have received almost no international attention. Nor have the linkages between the Jamaican crisis, the security establishments in the US, Britain and Canada, and the mutations of the “war on terror”…

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A Flawed Analysis: The Inadequacies of Western Liberal Democracy, Mervyn Claxton


In this commentary on Orlando Patterson’s article Jamaica’s Bloody Democracy, in which the recent violence in Kingston is used to draw a link between democracy and violence, Mervyn Claxton argues that Patterson’s thesis is seriously flawed because, inter alia, it accepts Freedom House’s concept of democracy which is wrongly assumed to be universally valid. The principles and concepts of Western political theory are incapable of explaining the political dynamics in countries of the South, which is the principal reason why institutional forms of western democracy have proven so ineffective in promoting genuinely democratic governance in these countries, including the Caribbean. Different modes of governance are needed, as shown, inter alia, by the,   recent demand by Jamaican civil society groups.

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Jamaicans for Justice in Tivoli Gardens

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Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is concerned about the high number of casualties and detentions resulting from the ongoing operations of the security forces in Tivoli Gardens and the wider Corporate Area. Since the recent unrest, JFJ has been contacted by several families. In addition to working on these individual cases, we are raising our voices in harmony with international human rights advocates to call for an investigation into the deaths in West Kingston.

To ensure that the residents of West Kingston and the trauma they have experienced are not soon forgotten, we have produced a video focusing on the survivors. Click the following YouTube link to watch, or and please distribute widely to interested networks. The video also signifies the launch of JFJ’s media campaign, so expect more throughout the summer, and feel free to give your feedback and suggestions.

As always, thank you for your support,
Jamaicans for Justice
2 Fagan Avenue, Kingston 8
Phone: (876) 755-4524-6
Fax #: (876) 755-4355

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