Jamaica in the 1970s and 1980s (videos no longer available)

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Michael Manley’s newly elected government built up close ties with Fidel Castro’s Cuba and brought in a wave of social reforms. Inevitably, this attracted the negative attention of the US.

Jamaica in the 1970s (1 of 3)


Jamaica in the 1970s (2 of 3)

After Michael Manley won a second election, the US stepped-up it’s efforts to avoid “another Cuba.” Political violence and unrest exploded in Jamaica resulting in many people losing their lives. This, coupled with the cutting of economic aid from the US put a severe strain on Manley’s ‘leftist’ PNP government.

Jamaica in the 1970s (2 of 3)


Jamaica in the 1980s (3 of 3)

Edward Seaga’s Reagan-friendly government took Jamaica in a different direction to Manley’s leftist government. The island was once again open to business to global Corporate interests but, surprise surprise, things got worse for the average Jamaican. Michael Manley returned to the hotseat in the latter part of the 1980s but by then, it was too late to really continue the reforms that he had begun in the 1970s.

Jamaica in the 1980s (3 of 3)

3 thoughts on “Jamaica in the 1970s and 1980s (videos no longer available)

  1. Pingback: Life and Debt – Globalization and Jamaica (2001)

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  3. I spent quite a bit of time in Jamaica in the 80’s, tires burning, serious strife then conflicting with the Seaga reaganists. It was a bad time.

    But instead of ‘bettah time soon come’, worse times came when the cocaine hit. Peter Tosh had already been killed, reggae was already gone, it was all dance-hall dub hell. Trenchtown is ghetto hell, don’t even go in daylight.

    This is a very poor place. But at least one can grow yams in the hills, and find breadfruits.

    How a land of such plenty could be so poor, it could only be a capitalist, abusive conspiracy to control the land (All the good land is devoted to sugar cane, which is good for rum and american-owned exports, but not for food)

    Laid back as it is, the people work far harder than we.

    Manley was likely the only reason Jamaica didn’t become Haiti.

    But he gave the island to the IMF, and there began a worse downfall. There is plenty of fertility in Jamaica, they could be even more successful than poor Cuba.

    A tough people ‘dem, Jamaica will prevail!

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