JAMAiCA, THE US ANd
iN THE 1970s
As the Jamaican government attempted to diversify its external relations, it did not perceive this process to be accompanied by a parallel alienation of and opposition by Jamaica's traditional external partners. Indeed, resistance from international capital or the US was conveniently rationalized as an inherent feature of the evil of imperialism and, by extension, of the fight of small developing countries, like Jamaica, against it. The applied rhetoric obstructed any collective understanding of the fact that a qualitatively radical reorientation of Jamaica's internal class and external relations could be anything but a long, tedious and carefully directed exercise of economic nation building in the same order of magnitude of what took most developed or newly industrializing countries decades to accomplish. Jamaica's multilateral foreign policy, even in its treatment of economic issues, placed particular emphasis on politics, i.e. questions of democratic participation and distribution of power. There was a clear tendency to replace pragmatic, economic details, involving trade-offs, with broad political considerations of Third World unity. This emphasis on the political, however, was not as pronounced in her bilateral relations.
The last point mentioned was discernible from the very start of the Manley government in 1972 and was exacerbated as the 1970s drew to a close. Only four months after the election, the then minister of industry and tourism,