Caribbean Political Economy

Guyanese Strategic Culture, Ivelaw Griffith

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This Report (a) offers historical, socio-cultural, economic, and other contours of the Origins of Guyana’s strategic culture, (b) probes the values and beliefs of its Keepers, (c) examines territorial disputes, drugs, and crime as core enduring rivalries and emerging Challenges, and (d) discusses the November 2011 elections and deficits in capabilities as key aspects of Continuity and Change…


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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Guns, Drugs and Secrets in Trinidad and Tobago: Channel 4 Documentary

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A Channel 4 (UK) Unreported World Documentary. An earlier headline erroneously attributed this report to the BBC

Trinidad has become the murder capital of the Caribbean. While half a million tourists soak up the carnival atmosphere every year, the government has introduced a state of emergency to try to stop the gang violence that results in a murder on average every 17 hours. ..

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Drugs, Crime, Security and Sovereignty, Ivelaw Griffith

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Thirteenth Annual Eric Williams Memorial Lecture of the School of Public and International Affairs, Florida International University delivered on October 28, 2011. Dr Griffith is Professor of Political Science, Provost and Senior Vice President at York College,The City University of New York.

CONTENTS I. Introduction*/ II. The Drama of Drugs/ III. The Crucible of Crime/ IV. Challenges to Security and Sovereignty/Jamaica’s Dudus Affair/ Trinidad and Tobago’s State of Emergency/ V. The Subtitle, the Questions/ VI. Conclusion. Also statistics on Drugs and Crime in the Caribbean.

Click here for Griffith’s Eric Williams Lecture

Trinidad and Tobago: Gangs and the Golden Age, Rubadiri Victor

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We need to get this straight- or we perish. The truth about boys and gangs… This country is being held to ransom by about 6000 boys organized into criminal gangs. These boys are led by about 60 very charismatic boys. These gangs are secret societies- with initiation rituals, codes of conduct, and ways of dress. They have heroes they worship and attempt to imitate, and strict systems of reward and punishment. These gangs are modes of achieving wealth, status and women. Most of all, they are ways of achieving ‘belonging’ and ‘meaning’. ..


C.L.R. James on West Indian Federation, 1958

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Text of a lecture delivered by C.L.R. James on “Federation (West Indies and British Guiana)” at Queen’s College, Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) in June 1958. It is posted here in view of the upcoming C.L.R. James Memorial Lecture.

I must begin by noting one or two criticisms that have been made not only about Federation but about my presence in British Guiana. It has been said that I, a stranger, have no right to come here to discuss with the people of British Guiana the question of Federation. I am not in the least offended by the remark. My welcome in many quarters has been very warm, even enthusiastic, and I think I detect in the critic’s remarks not so much an objection to my presence here, as a means of indicating in a disguised manner his opposition to Federation…

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Caribbean Narco-Triangle: The US-Cuba-Jamaica Connection, Norman Girvan


Among the most fascinating documents to come out of the WikiLeaks revelations is a cable allegedly sent by the head of the US Interests Section in Havana, Jonathan Farrar, on August 11, 2009. The document is a virtual diplomatic bombshell. It could prove a source of embarrassment to all three governments concerned–the U.S., the Cuban and the Jamaican…

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2o letters of protest from Cuba from 2006 to 2009–Jamaica Security Minister The Gleaner

Offical Statement from the Government of Jamaica on the WikiLeaked cable

The statement confirms there there were complaints from Cuba in 2009; and reports on actions taken by the Jamaican Government in response.

Cuba blasts US–dismisses Wikileaks cables Jamaica Observer

“Cuba’s dissatisfaction is with the United States, which is the world’s largest drug consumer and an important centre for money laundering, stemming from drug trafficking,” Ambassador Gala told the Observer.

US tried to discredit Cuban eye care in Jamaica, WikiLeaks cable reveals Jamaica Observer

US diplomatic staff in Cuba are said to have looked for “human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess, which has become a key feature of the regime’s foreign policy and its self-congratulatory propaganda.”

Jamaica, U.S. Lawmen, bring down international drig ring The Gleaner

More WikiLeaks on Cuba at Progreso Weekly