Between Self-Determination and Dependency: Jamaica's Foreign Relations, 1972-1989

By Holger W. Henke | Go to book overview

CONCLUSiON

Above all, it should be apparent that although (or rather, because) the government pursued an independent and sovereign foreign policy with regard to Cuba in the face of severe internal and external criticism, this relatively autonomous approach had extremely high economic and political costs. The issue of Cuba became the rallying point around which political and economic opposition forces fused and which helped to validate and cross-fertilize their criticism which essentially sprang from distinct motivations. While the bourgeoisie was concerned primarily about the state of the economy and the dwindling profit margins, the political opposition utilized the issue as a convenient catalyst for their anti-government campaign. The bourgeoisie was not noticeably split in its opposition and towards the end of the 1970s increasingly harmonized its criticism with the political opposition, especially the JLP. Thus, the bourgeoisie increasingly dropped its economic arguments and directly attacked the government's foreign policy.

As Manley recalls, the Cuba issue was frequently discussed with potential foreign investors:

. . . there were constant references. I think every time one went to try to discuss foreign investment . . . and would point out our record of scrupulous legality and propriety in dealing with foreign capital. [. . . ] I can't recall that I ever discussed foreign capital without everybody wanting to know "But what's your relationship with Cuba?" Everybody did. 31

Certainly Jamaica's close involvement with Cuba contributed to a drying up of various sources of international finance. When Finance Minister Eric Bell failed to renegotiate Jamaica's debt with some of the creditor banks in New York, one banker reportedly commented that it is "not so much Manley's social democracy we mind as the Castro thing" ( Nation 31/ 5/ 1980, 652).

On the political front, the JLP acted in a substitute function, expressing and amplifying (in its own interest) the concerns of the private sector. The opposition in no way hesitated to internationalize its campaign against the government's foreign policy. The ultimate outcome of this campaign was that it induced the US government (to a far greater degree than hitherto acknowledged by the literature) to change its Caribbean policies from an accommodative stance to one of revitalized Cold War thinking.

Finally considering the ideological hegemony of the bourgeoisie in Jamaica the political and military hegemony of the United States in the Caribbean and the global political economy, it is also suggested here that Jamaica's (justified, because desirable) diversification of economic links was conducted against the

-50-

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Between Self-Determination and Dependency: Jamaica's Foreign Relations, 1972-1989
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures viii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xvi
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Internal Dynamics: 1972-1980 14
  • 3 - External Dynamics: 1972-1980 24
  • 4 - Caribbean Tête-à-Tête: Jamaica and Cuba 30
  • Conclusion 50
  • 5 - Jamaica, the Us and International Capital in the 1970s 52
  • Conclusion 66
  • 6 - Internal Dynamics: 1981-1989 69
  • Conclusion 89
  • 7 - External Dynamics: 1981-1989 91
  • Conclusion 99
  • 8 - Jamaica and the Caribbean in the 1980s 101
  • Conclusion 127
  • 9 - Jamaica's Relations with International Capital and the Us in the 1980s 130
  • Conclusion 151
  • 10 - Conclusion 154
  • Appendix 171
  • Notes 174
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 207
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