Caribbean Political Economy

Why Ecuador will not attend the Cartagena Summit, Rafael Correa

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In his letter to his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador avers,  ”By definition a meeting that intentionally and unjustly excludes one American country cannot be called a “Summit of the Americas”… we all know that we are dealing with a veto by hegemonic countries, an intolerable situation for our America in the 21st century…”

President Correa’s letter (English translation)

U.S. War on Venezuela: False Accusations Against the Chavez Government, Eva Golinger

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Ever since the US-supported coup attempt against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela failed in April 2002, Washington has been pursuing a variety of strategies to remove the overwhelmingly popular South American head of state from power. Multimillion-dollar funding to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela … has increased exponentially over the past ten years, as has direct political support through advisors, strategists and consultants- all aiming to help an unpopular and outdated opposition rise to power..

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A Public Relations Disaster for the U.S., Norman Girvan

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Commentary

Stupid, petty, vindictive, short-sighted, counter-productive, a huge diplomatic faux pas. These are the some of the words that could be used to describe the U.S. decision not to issue a special license to allow the Trinidad Hilton hotel to host the Cuba-CARICOM Summit in Port of Spain on December 8…

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Unwelcome meddling by the United States Trinidad Express

US out of step on Cuba Trinidad Guardian

Shame on the USA! Federation of Independent Trade Unions

CARICOM’S stinging rebuke to the United States Rickey Singh

Blunder after blunder Raffique Shah

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister apologises to President Raul Castro Trinidad Guardian

SPECIAL STATEMENT BY HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF CARICOM AND CUBA

Declaration adopted by the Cuba-CARICOM Summit

Honduras: America’s great foreign policy disgrace, Mark Weisbrot

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From the Guardian (UK) 18 November 2011

Imagine that an opposition organiser were murdered in broad daylight in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela by masked gunmen, or kidnapped and murdered by armed guards of a well-known supporter of the government. It would be front page news in the New York Times, and all over the TV news. The US State Department would issue a strong statement of concern over grave human rights abuses. If this were ever to happen…

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WikiLeaks Cables Show Haiti as Pawn in U.S. Foreign Policy, COHA

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From the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Washington D.C.

Information released by WikiLeaks points to a continuation of U.S. dominance and the application of “neo-imperialist” diplomacy in Latin America. The cables regarding Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, exemplify the persistence of U.S. interference…

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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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The PetroCaribe WikiLeaks Files: How the U.S. Embassy and Oil Companies Fought Against a deal That Would Benefit Haiti’s Poor, Dan Coughlin and Kim Ives

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Leaked US Embassy cables show how ‘Washington and its allies, including Big Oil majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron, maneuvered aggressively behind the scenes to scuttle the PetroCaribe deal’ between Haiti and Venzuela, which would save Haiti $100 million a year and provide financing for providing basic goods and services for 10 million Haitians.

Go to Nation article on the PetroCaribe cables

Political Realism and National Transformation In Honduras, Annie Bird

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An agreement brokered by the presidents of,   Colombia and Venezuela has paved the way for ousted President Manuel Zelaya to return to Honduras and for that country to be reincorporated into the OAS. Two articles analyse the agreement and the current political situation.

Zelaya has sought to return to Honduras ever since the military coup that expelled him, but was prevented by criminal charges filed in Honduras’ corrupt and internationally condemned ‘justice’ system. Undoubtedly, he is interested in returning for the June 28, 2011 launch of the constitutional convention process by the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP)…

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Posada Carriles, ‘The Bin Laden of the Americas’, Horace Campbell

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Horace Campbell, who is from Jamaica, is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University

As dreadful as Bin Laden was, modern international terrorism did not begin with him. As quiet as it is kept, international terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001. Before Osama Bin Laden, there was Luis Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles, also known as Posada Carriles or “Bambi”, according to a de-classified CIA file…

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No More Murder In Our Names! Peoples Empowerment Party, Barbados

The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Fidel Castro

Bin Laden is Dead: What Next? IraqVeterans Against War

A Nobel Prizewinner Without Scruples Atilio A. Boron

Targeted killing: the ethics and realpolitic of assassination The Economist

WikiLeaks’ Lessons on Haiti, Mark Weisbrot

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What the US embassy cables reveal about Washington’s malign influence should make Latin American nations quit the UN force.
From The Guardian (U.K.) 16 December 2010

The polarisation of the debate around WikiLeaks is pretty simple, really. Of all the governments in the world, the United States government is the greatest threat to world peace and security today. This is obvious to anyone who looks at the facts with a modicum of objectivity…

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Ecuador’s Abortive Coup and its Implications, Mark Weisbrot

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In June of last year, when the Honduran military overthrew the social democratic government of Manuel Zelaya, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador took it personally. “We have intelligence reports that say that after Zelaya, I’m next,” said Correa…

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Why are Marines Disembarking in Costa Rica? Atilio Boron

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With votes secured from the official National Liberation Party (PLN), the Libertarian Movement, and Justo Orozco, the evangelical congressman from the Costa Rican Renovation party, on July 1st, the Costa Rican Congress authorized the entry into that country of 46 warships from the U.S. Navy, 200 helicopters and combat aircraft and 7,000 Marines. ..

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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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‘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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From Kabul to Kingston, Richard Drayton

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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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Jamaica’s Governance Crisis–5, Norman Girvan

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5. Statement by Civil Society Coalition. June 5, 2010

Fourteen Jamaican civil society organisations, four umbrella church organisations and four academics have formed a coalition and released a ,  statement signaling their ‘intent ‘to ensure transparency and accountability in national leadership’.,   This is a welcome development and the measures proposed by the Coalition are deserving of widespread support.
I would like to suggest that there are two issues not mentioned in the statement that need to be addressed. One is support for a genuinely independent enquiry into the operation by the security forces at Tivoli Gardens that left at least 73 people dead. As the government has already promised an enquiry, and the Public Defender has begun to take statements on the matter; the signatories to the statement could have explicitly affirmed their support for this process and indicated that they intend to hold the government accountable for its integrity. Their statement does this in relation to several other commitments announced by the Prime Minister.
In so doing, the signatories would have made it absolutely clear that, while supporting the security forces in the lawful exercise of their functions; they regard the lives, rights and dignity of all Jamaicans as deserving of respect irrespective of their social status, social connections, political affiliation or place of residence.
Secondly, one would have wanted to see reference to the need for massive and effective social interventions in Jamaica’s inner cities and depressed communities island-wide; in order to address the conditions under which thousands of citizens have turned to criminal activity as sources of livelihood and to criminal gangs for the provision of welfare services and security. (I recall a statistic that an estimated one-third of the Jamaican population live in ‘squatter’-i.e. informal-settlements; and another from an official source that there are an estimated 200 criminal gangs with 4,000 members in operation).
By omitting reference to the socio-economic conditions which have fertilised the lethal connection between politics and organised crime, the signatories risk the appearance of suggesting that the current crisis can be resolved merely by setting up formal mechanisms to severe this connection-which is certainly necessary-while ignoring the pressing need for social justice and economic opportunity for all Jamaicans. In this connection I have just read a government announcement of a Programme to Transform Vulnerable Communities, for which support by the private sector and non-government organisations is being invited-what position will the Coalition take on this development?
Hopefully these issues will be addressed in the future by the Coalition.

4. The continuing ‘Dudus’ debacle. June 1, 2010

There seems to be no end to the sorry tale of the botched handling of the ‘Dudus’ extradition affair by the Government of Jamaica. A death toll of at least 76, including 73 civilians, a marked disproportion between the number of civilian deaths and the number of firearms recovered by the,   security forces, mounting charges of human rights abuses and chilling accounts of the conditions prevalent in the Tivoli community, are some of the disconcerting tales to surface after one of the most tragic and shameful weeks in modern Jamaican history. Amidst all this ‘Dudus’ is still at large, and conflicting accounts are being given of negotiations between him and at least two interlocutors, which were aborted by the coordinated attacks on the agencies of the state on May 23,   followed by the assault on Tivoli by the army and police on May 24. Information is also coming to light on the extent of public funding for enterprises controlled by ‘Dudus’ and his associates by means of government contracts. Meanwhile the governmment’s Attorney General has reportedly done an ‘about turn’ in explaining the decision to sign the extradition request for the reputed drug lord–an account at odds with that previously given by the Prime Minister.,   The bright spot on the horizon is the growing national consensus for a political renewal in Jamaica, reflected in several of the items reproduced below.

3. Government ineptitude, governance crisis May 30, 2010.

The violent events in Jamaica in the week of May 23-30 were the tragic culmination of the inept handling of the ‘Dudus’ extradition matter by a government that is deeply compromised, like the Opposition party, by an unholy alliance between politicians and criminal,  ,  organisations that became established in the decades since Jamaica attained nationhood. Electoral democracy and state sovereignty, the two principal pillars of Jamaica’s post-colonial dispensation, are clearly at risk; while the society is terrorised by a relentless wave of criminal violence which the organs of the state appear powerless to control. This,  is a crisis of governance and politics that will not be resolved merely by the military occupation of a community, the extradition of a single individual or the resignation of a Prime Minister. Civil Society organisations in Jamaica, the media, and a wide-cross section of citizens in all walks of life are speaking out to demand accountability, transparency and the severing of links between criminal organisations and politics. They are saying that the present crisis must be used as an opportunity for political reform and social,   renewal.

Nothing New, Minister? Follow the E-mail Trail Godon Robinson

The Suicidal Bruce Golding Mark Wignall

‘Take Back Jamaica’ Makes Demands of Country

Coalition Of Civil Society Groups Signals Intent To Ensure Transparency And Accountability In National Leadership June 4, 2010

Government must Resign Now so we can Rebuild Jamaica Jamaicans United For Sustainable Development

Prime Minister Golding’s Web of Deceipt Abe Dabdoub, Attorney at Law

Wanted: a National Movement Lloyd B Smith

Building a new political architecture in Jamaica Rosalea Hamilton

My Tour of Tivoli Lloyd D’Aguilar

Massacre in Tivoli Gardens Ken Chaplin

Something went horribly wrong in Tivioli Gardens Mark Wignall

Government contracts to bosses of the criminal underworld Mark Beckford

A Government’s credibility in tatters; an Opposition whose hands are not clean Selected media comments

Statement From Presidents Council on the Current Governance Crisis in Jamaica

Citizens’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) Press Release on the Governance Crisis in Jamaica

Jamaicans for Justice Joins Call of CAFFE and Presidents Council

Jamaicans United For Sustainable Development support Presidents Council, CAFFE and JforJ

Corruption, Criminality, Chaos: decades in the making Betty Ann Blaine

International Links of Jamaican Criminal Organisations Don Robotham

Historical Origins of the Link between Politicians and Criminals in Jamaica Martin Henry

Bruce and ‘Dudus’: The Constituency Power-Share Sunday Gleaner

Time For Political Renewal Mark Beckford

Testing Electoral Democracy Robert Buddan

Crisis of Leadership Tyrone Reid

Jamaica: A Nation in Crisis Diaspora SpeaksBlog

Crisis of Morality Martin Henry

‘We Need To Look In The Mirror’, says PNP Leader

Who Is There to Vote For? The Dilemma Facing Jamaica’s Youth

Can Bruce be rebuilt? Tyrone Reid

“I Apologise”–Prime Minister Golding’s Speech of May 17, 2010

Related Items:

Indictment against Christopher Coke in the Southern District Court of New York

Jamaica: Danger of State Capture; Transparency International

Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: Report of a Commission

‘Putting my career and my life on the line’ Edward Seaga Interview (1994)

Seaga and Tivoli Jamaica Observer

We have lived too long with anonymous terror John Maxwell,   (1997)

Imperialism and Drugs Fidel,   Castro

How The CIA Created The Jamaican Shower Posse, Casey Gane-McCalla

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This article was accessed from,   NewsOne For Black America and has been published widely on the Internet. It refers to several sources published over the last 30 years that discuss the role of the CIA in the creation and/or encouragement of the infamous ‘Shower,   Posse’ as part of the policy to destablise the Michael Manley-led government of Jamaica in the 1970s.

With the recent violence in Jamaica and the controversy over alleged drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, many people are talking about the infamous Jamaican Shower Posse and the neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens, where they have their base. What is being is being ignored largely by the media, is the role that the American government and the CIA had in training, arming and giving power to the Shower Posse…

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Jamaica: Different Drug War, Different Strategy, COHA

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by Katherine Haas, Council on Hemipsheric Affairs

Essentially, U.S. policy has been a source of benign neglect, with the continuation of a drug policy that does not emphasize the demand factor, despite words to the contrary. Certainly, the White House has no intention of taking on any new, big ticket programs. There is no evidence that the Department of State possesses the means or the vision for a new policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean that will dare to think the unthinkable…

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Honduras: Obama’s Latin American Waterloo, Larry Birns

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Larry Birns is Director of COHA, The Council on Hemispheric Affairs

The staging of the Honduran presidential election on November 29 was meant to represent a satisfactory resolution of the Honduran crisis in Washington’s thinking. But to short-sighted U.S. policymakers, the magnitude and prohibitive costs of their maladroit strategy are being left out of the equation…

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Related

Brazil’s Unavoidable Differences With Washington Mark Weisbrot

National Resistance Front: Elections were a farce

Ousted Honduran leader urges region to reject vote – AP

Honduras: the devastating effects of the June 28th coup on the Honduran economy are not likely to be undone by illegitimate elections - COHA

Honduran Dictatorship Is A Threat To Democracy In The Hemisphere, Mark Weisbrot

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A small group of rich people who own most of Honduras and its politicians enlist the military to kidnap the elected president at gunpoint and take him into exile. They then arrest thousands of people opposed to the coup, shut down and intimidate independent media, shoot and kill some demonstrators, torture and beat many others. This goes on for more than four months, including more than two of the three months legally designated for electoral campaigning. Then the dictatorship holds an “election.”…

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