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SAT., DECEMBER 23, 1323
THE CAROLINA TKiSES -19
Signs of a Jamaican economic resurgence are
developing now after the landslide victory October 30 of
Prime Minister Edward P.O. Seaga, who led the coun
try's Labor Party to the capture of 51 of the sixty seats
Tourism, the country's second largest foreign ex
change industry which earns $200 million a year, is up
twenty per cent after a deep slump during the year
because of political violence that left 655 dead.
American banks have restored lines of credit snipped
abruptly after former socialist Prime Minister Mich. e
Manley abruptly broke off negotiations with the In.
national Monetary Fund on terms of government
austerity tied to loans.
, And American industrialists, including represen
tatives of the Reynolds Metal Corporation which has
aluminum operations on the island, have met with
Jamaican businessmen and been impressed with the pro
spect for lucrative ventures.
This was the very response Seaga, a proponent of
free-enterprise, hoped for when he took over the
government for the island's two million people, whose
country was $1 billion in debt and whose national bank
was completely out of reserves.
This was the result of seven years of negative
economic growth under the regime of Manley, a severe
decline that set in bold relief the choices between more
Democratic Socialism or a turn to pro-Western
capitalism in the most important election in the coun
U.S. officials hailed Seaga's victory as a defeat for
revolutionary politics and a continuation of the
moderate political impulse in the Caribbean reflected in
the elections this year in St. Vincent, St. Lucia,
Dominica, and St. Kitts-Nevis. Foreign policy analysts
Around The World
ELECTION RESULTS MAKE
JAMAICAN HOPES RISE
By Lawrence Muhammad
saw the Jamaican development as an opportunity wor
thy of government support and foreign investment.
Multinational companies, as well as Jamaica's own
middle class, which had skills and hundreds of millions
of dollars, were frightened off by the Manley regime's
leftist rhetoric and buddy relationship with Cuba.
After the flight of merchants and professionals,
Jamaica also suffered thirty per cent unemployment,
shortages of food staples like rice and fish and com
modities like detergent. The oil bill became more of a
burden, the deficit in foreign exchange grew, and pro
All the blame of course cannot fall on Manley, who
was the darling of radical chic after his landslide win in
1972. The charismatic and handsome 56-year-old inter
national socialist is a stirring orator who the people
likened to Joshua, the Biblical figure who led his
followers to the promised land. His father, Norman
Manley, founded the Peoples National Party, and the
former prime minister who since 1967 has represented
the black district of East Central Kingston is heir to a
name that conjures the magic of Kennedy in America.
And after he first took the helm of government, he in
stituted free education at all levels, women's work
rights, a minimum wage, and built some 40,000 new
housing units, all of which were fueled by a free-
enterprise economy which exported large amounts of
aluminum to industrial nations.
But in many parts of Jamaica desperation and pover
ty went untouched, a carryover from the plantation
economy that existed when the country became indepen
dent of Britain in 1962. The light-skinnedgentry lived
good on vast land holdings worked by cheap labor.
They spurned their own culture, sent their children
abroad for schooling, and imported vital commodities
from colonial manufacturers.
Soon the country was importing more than it ex
- ported and its foreign debt skyrocketed. Right after
Manley was elected, oil prices rose, and in 1974 he im
posed a levy on bguxite to pay the bill. But by the time
of his re-election in 1976, the desperate poor, lacking
hope or incentive, were mired in crime, and Manley's vi
sionary rhetoric sparked a further exodus of the
bourgeoisie, so that today, half Jamaica's native
population lives abroad.
In 1978 the government appealed to the International
Monetary Fund, which in exchange for help, forced
devaluation of the Jamaican dollar. Meant to entice
foreign capital, this move helped keep it at bay. And by
the time of the elections this year, Jamaica's economy
rested on the largesse of countries such as Venezuela,
the island's chief oil supplier, which agreed to credits of
thirty per cent on the oil bill, and on the lucrative Reefer
During the campaign, Seaga, a l.ity-year-old
sociologist of Lebanese, Scottish and Jamaican parents
who was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard,
harped on economic woes. Married to a former Miss
Jamaica, Seaga at 29 became the youngest memBer of
Parliament in the country's history after attracting the
attention of Alexander Bustamente, founder of the
Jamaican Labor Party.
Since independence, Seaga has represented the poor
black section of Western Kingston and is a student of
African religions and culture. -He brought back the re
mains of Marcus Garvey to the country and established
the National Heroes Award which lauds Black Moses as
founder of the Back-To-Africa movement.
Seaga's admonition of a return to the free-enterprise
system that produced prosperity in the 1960's, and his
charges that the Cubans were meddling in Jamaican af
fairs, heated up the campaign and there was constant
For nearly six months the country was under the
Supression of Crime Act, which gave authorities broad
police powers and bestowed a wartime atmosphere on
Jamaica at night.
The Manley government, in its turn, sponsored a v hit
by Lewis Wolf, co-editor of the leftist coun'er
intelligence journal Covert Action, to charge that CIA
operatives were trying to "destablize" Jamaica.
But the country's economic plight, producing hunger
for the impoverished, was linked strongly to Manley,
and produced a landslide for Seaga.
One of the new Prime Minister's first acts was a re
quest for food grants for soybeans, rice, chicken and
other staples from the United States.
(Continued firm Page 13)
between students and the Bay, students organized a
police. Angered by the
ingness to meet lecturers'
demands for pay raises to
end a strike at Fourah
peaceful march to the
State House November 6.
Police broke up the rally
with teargas and batons
and the mistakenly bea
Letter to the Editor
To develop a positive attitude in our neighborhood,
we must come together and discuss the problems that
exist in our community. Some of us were born here,
others migrated from different sections of the country.
Regardless of where we are from, it's where we decide to
make our home. I find that Durham is a very nice city,
and those of us who live on the East side think it's a
good section in which to live and do business.
Our aim is to work harmoniously with other groups
of dedicated people, from a cross-section of the area
who are definitely dedicated to the continued health and
security and growth of the entire community.
We believe that you are as equally interested in im
proving the conditions in the area in as many ways as we
possibly can, both in beauty and civically.
We, too long, have lived next door to each other, yet,
in reality the distance between some of our homes is
May I quote my favorite Bible verse: "Behold how
good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together A
If you won't join us, we welcome your prayers
Fear Reagan Shift
(Continued from Page 14)
support was justified only through a vague
concept of out-maneuvorihg the Soviets.
Sadly, this approach may become stan
dard now through sympathy from President
Reagan, and many policymakers fear that
U.S. interests on the continent will be
jeopardized. It is conventional wisdom in
foreign policy circles that Reagan will only
hazily grasp America's legitimate interests in ;
supporting African liberation movements,
because he views political events on the con
tinent through the prism of a global test of
wills with the Russians.
This doctrinaire outlook could be softened
somewhat since the President-elect is ex
pected to rely heaviiy on advisors, some of
whom have shwon a sophisticated
understanding of African events.
; George Bush, the Vice President-elect and
former UN Ambassador, told Africa Report
magazine during the campaign that U.S. in
difference to Zambia and other front line
states opposing South Africa leaves them lit
tle alternative but to seek Soviet assistance.
"And Chester Crocker, who enjoys a
leading role among Reagan foreign policy
advisers as head of the African Studies at
Georgetown University's Center for
Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),
shows an equal sensitivity for the subtleties
of African politics. CSIS's 1979 study, Im
plications of Soviet and Cuban Activities in
Africa warned, "To eschew dealings with (
important political actors in Africa because '
of presumed hostility toward the U.S. may
be shortsighted. Even African states that
profess Marxism-Leninism may have certain;
foreign policy and security needs compatible
with U.S. interests."
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up Vice Chancellor Arthur
Some seventeen of the
protesters who tried to
press on to State House
were arrested and later
allegedly flogged at
Pademba Road Prison.
They were to face trial on
a variety of charges
possession), but Stevens
ordered their immediate
release, sparing them from
teacher strike comes as the
latest in a series of student
' protests over the past
year. Early in 1980, Njala
University College was up
in arms about "appalling
and degrading condi
tions" at the campus, in
cluding shortages of water
and power. Later,
students throughout the
country took to the streets
in rebellion against in
creases in the price of
gasoline and the resulting
higher taxi fares.
Next came a wave a
demonstrations over ex
travagant government ex
penditures on the
Organization of African
Unity Summit, held in
Freetown in July.
Although the OAU
meeting went smoothly
for Stevens, the at
mosphere remains highly
charged. In mid-October,,
for example, protesters
burned two Mercedes
limousines and one police
car in a caravan taking the
Mayor of Freetown and
other VIPs on a tour of
the Fourah Bay campus.
Ever since then, police
have maintained a small
encampment at the foot of
Mount Aureol, on which
the college is located.
This ongoing dispute
partly concerns academic
life at the national univer
sity. One campus, Fourah
Bay College, has long
been regarded as one of
the continent's great
"Athens of West Africa"
by reputation. The
government, however, has
cut the school's budget in
recent years, causing an
exodus of faculty, a
decline in the quality of
research facilities, and
deteriorating living condi
tions for students.
The cutbacks have a
political dimension as
well. Critics see in govern
ment policy a long-term
plan to neutralize Fourah
Bay as a center for
political discussion. Some
of the most influential
professors have been wisk
ed off to their diplomatic
or other higher-paying
government posts, and a
reduction in financing for
graduate studies in the
social sciences has
diminished the school's
importance as a center of
critical thought. As a sym
bol of these tight govern
ment reins, President
Stevens himself holds the
office of University
The backlash against
these policies should at
this point be clear to the
Sierra Leone leadership,
which only two years ago
abolished the opposition
party and created a single
party state. That move
was followed by the pass
ing of the Press Bill which,
if enforced, could lead to
the suppression of the one
newspaper left in the
country, The Tablet.
President Stevens is
now faced with tough
decisions about how to
handle the dissenters in
Sierra Leone society.
Stevens has shown himself
to be an astute political
operator, but the current
turbulence, as New
African commented, may
be his "supreme test."
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