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

By Holger W. Henke | Go to book overview

Namphy regime. In the following months, Jamaica's Haitian policy waned into nothingness.

Although the Money Index, a magazine of and for the Jamaican bourgeoisie, critically covered the events in Haiti, they were far removed from the concerns of local business circles. This left the Jamaican government with a significant degree of relative autonomy in the handling of this affair. Indeed, the prime minister with respect to his other CARICOM colleagues primarily followed "his own agenda" ( Smith 1988, 11). This agenda, in turn, was apparently influenced by geopolitical considerations, i.e. by the Jamaican government's perception that its active role in the settlement of the Haitian crisis would improve Jamaica's profile as a reliable regional ally of the United States. Thus, it ought to be remembered that at this point Jamaica was involved in difficult negotiations with the IMF and constantly seeking rescheduling of its debt repayments. Washington's deeper concerns regarding the instability in Haiti were aptly captured in an editorial of the Daily Gleaner on the situation there: "The communists, through Cuba . . . will make their bid and those who believe in democracy, that is parliamentary democracy, will also make their bid" ( DG 19/2/1986, 8).

By implication, this view was also meant to influence the public discourse in Jamaica on the crisis. Even though the government never voiced similar sentiments, it would have been well aware that this kind of thinking was prevalent in influential circles of the US administration and that the US was primarily concerned with keeping a potentially eruptive and revolutionary situation in Haiti under control ( Money Index 19/1/1988). Jamaica's position was congruent and partially overlapping with the US approach to the crisis.


CONCLUSiON

Although the JLP government's positions and actions in both the Grenadian and Haitian crises were essentially determined by its own assessments, they were tailored to fit the body of US Caribbean policy. Thus, Seaga pointed to the inherent "naturalness" of his Caribbean policy:

This has been the natural foreign policy for this region because of the levels of compatibility . . . that exist in terms of political system, the type of economic system by which we all operate, the market system economy which gives the opportunity to the natural vent of the people as . . . entrepreneurs and to the value systems and all the other things we share in common. So, it is only logical that there should be a wide range of areas of commonality between the two countries. 37

-127-

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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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