Sun | Jun 4, 2023

Are we really free?

Published:Saturday | March 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

It seems that Jamaica's woes just keep growing! More and more reports reflect a country that is awash with corruption and criminality - or so it would seem if you pay heed to the recent International Narcotics Control Strategy Report coming from America's State Department of Justice.

Remember those unpopular high school girls, desperate to be part of the ruling clique? No matter what they did, they were never good enough, or if they were lucky to attain grudging recognition and admission, the goalposts were never constant and at a moments notice, they could be booted. Well, in my mind, this situation pertains to the admission and acceptance in what I will call the US country-club set.

Jamaica has a long history of kow-towing to colonial masters and superowers, notwithstanding its so-called Independence in 1962 when the umbilical cord to the mother country, England, was purportedly severed. To this day however, a governor general, appointed and knighted by the Queen, remains as the British representative to this island nation. Yes, Jamaica may have gained its Independence, but are its people really free from the benevolent or sinister motives of its wealthy neighbour to the north?

Those old enough will remember the mass exodus in the 1970s after the now undisputed US efforts to destabilise the country and rumours that abounded of then Prime Minister Michael Manley's intention to turn Jamaica into Cuba's communist outpost. Some of those principles and objectives are today being dusted off and rehashed as a model for self-reliance. How ironic that Jamaicans still haven't learned that lesson 30 years later!

In a country where you don't have to have green fingers to grow your own produce and seeds and suckers thrown willy-nilly into God's green earth will bear fruit, I just don't comprehend the 'foreign-brand' mentality. Jamaica needs to wake up and wise up, with more and more pesticides and genetically engineered foods contaminating the food supply, surely the country that grows its own will know what goes into its own.

Screws are tightening

I do not condone crime or criminality in any shape or form, but a sovereign country must use all means within its power, without recourse to partisanship politics, to protect its citizens from oppression, injustice and undue deprivation of their rights. Now it seems the screws are tightening and concerted attacks are coming from all sides, visas are being withheld from prominent Jamaican citizens and the latest news is that a moratorium on the issuance of new visas has just gone into effect.

With the recent deportation of Jamaican radical cleric Sheik Abdullah al-Faisal from Britain, will Jamaica now earn the dubious title of terrorist state, and looking at the past modus operandi of covert and overt US operations in countries like Haiti, Panama, Mexico and most recently Honduras, how long will it be before more stringent sanctions are applied to our beloved nation?

I am, etc.,