Sunday | March 1, 2015

US feared Jamaica collapse

Published:Monday | June 6, 2011
Golding

THE UNITED States Embassy in Kingston in 2008 urged Washington to support the Bruce Golding-led Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government because it feared that Jamaica could become "the next Haiti".

In a secret diplomatic cable sent April 3, 2008, the embassy also expressed fear that Jamaica could slip into a pitiful position if Dr Peter Phillips was sidelined by Portia Simpson Miller if the People's National Party (PNP) was elected to form a new government.

"… If the current JLP Government fails in its economic and national security reform efforts and Golding loses the next election, Simpson Miller then would return to power and form the next government with Phillips and his supporters relegated to the backbench," the cable said.

"In such a scenario, Jamaica could go the way of Haiti: fatally driven by crime, poverty, drugs, gangs, social disintegration, and emigration - all more reasons for strong US support for Golding's ongoing reforms," the cable said.

Golding's Government at the time was bedevilled by rising crime, general inflation and rising fuel and food prices. Opinion polls had also shown that the administration was rapidly becoming unpopular.

Added to that, the JLP was awaiting the ruling of the Dabdoub v Vaz case, which political observers had said could force the prime minister to call a snap election should Abe Dabdoub be handed the West Portland seat by the court in his dual-citizenship challenge.