The Jamaican government in recent weeks has come under pressure from her erstwhile ally the US, when it released a revised travel advisory downgrading Jamaica’s status.

The reasons given will not be new to citizens, poor security, a shoddy justice system, poor infrastructure, and poor medical facilities are after all the everyday norm for those of us who call JamRock home. This though is also not news for the tourists who wish to vacation in Jamaica, the majority of which are repeat visitors who have come during the bad times and the good.

If we look at it from that angle, the outrage and confusion by the political class and business class is understandable. Nothing has changed, in fact, if we are to believe the numbers, things are actually getting better, so why the issuance of this directive to all US travellers?

In order to get an answer, I think it is important to see who was also included in this list. Other Caribbean nations included the Bahamas, whose PM has also responded with a mixture of confusion about why they have been included along with pleas to the media to not report on crime.

The Bahamas and Jamaica are the 2 Caribbean countries which have slavishly lined up behind and accepted a role in an armed intervention in Haiti led by Kenya at the behest of the US, Canada, and France. With Kenya leading the mission we cannot move until Kenya is prepared to do so, however, Kenya has hit a bit of a problem.

Kenyan courts have ruled that such a move to send Kenyan police officers to Haiti would be illegal as there is no reciprocal agreement between the 2 nations. That is currently being challenged by the Kenyan president who is seeking such an agreement with Haiti, however, Kenya faces serious internal opposition to sending police officers to Haiti.

A big reason behind the opposition to sending police to Haiti is because Kenya faces serious and continuous threats by Al-Shabab terrorists from Somalia and with the Kenyan police unable to stem attacks, or even control territory, they question both how they can quell Haiti and why they would want to do that before providing security at home.

With Kenya showing uncertainty and hesitancy at the moment to send armed forces, the US is using this moment to remind its “allies” that agreed to partake that they should not think about getting cold feet and should ready themselves for action.

This is the kind of friendship, which is really a relationship between an abused spouse and their abuser, it is just one more reason why we should want nothing to do with the US, a country which views bullying and threats as the best way to get its agenda across.

However, there is a bigger reason why we should not want to intervene in Haiti in the manner that the US and her allies have been calling for and that is because the Haitian people have continually protested against it.

Who is calling for this intervention? It is not the Haitian people who have been and continue to be denied their right to elect their president.  There is no president, only an interim prime minister who has no power to call for a reciprocal agreement with Kenya.

This interim prime minister, was himself installed by a president whom the people and courts deemed had overstayed his term yet refused to call for election – a move which led to the people demanding elections.

The interim PM assumed these awesome powers when a power vacuum was created following the assassination of the former president, an action which he has been rumoured to have some foreknowledge of to put it politely and which has seen members of his government fingered for involvement in the murder.

Is the Jamaican government getting cold feet on the idea of sending armed forces to quell the Black Jacobins? Is it that we are slowly awakening to the reality that with our limited resources and ill will that will be radiated towards us by Haitians, that this venture is not worth it, and is that the reason behind the directive issued by the US?

It makes a hell of a lot more sense than the reasons given since the situation now deemed an issue has been the same all my 34 years on this earth. In a desperate need to put a black face on a project they want to see fulfilled but cannot engage in personally the US is ramping up the pressure on the minstrels and house slaves who signed the devil’s pact and wants to ensure they remember what they are supposed to do and the consequences of not following through.

The people of Kenya are holding up their end of the bargain, they are putting wrenches in the cogs through the means available to them. Will the opposition, the party which talks a talk of solidarity and anti-imperialism follow suit and challenge any move by the government? Will the people who decry the lack of security in Jamaica demand that we sort our own issues before invading somewhere? Will the government which is hosting peace talks between the wring parties insist that the people of Haiti’s voice be heard and that the oligarchs who run the gangs and own the politicians be locked up as a first step towards peace and a stable democracy?

I don’t like it but we can train their police officers – we do allege after all that our crime plan is super effective so why not use it there? We can monitor their elections and assist in building mechanisms to ensure transparency and the stable transition of power in Haiti again through our much-vaunted ECJ and EOJ. We can assist in a land reform process to break the back of one of the biggest issues bedevilling Haiti thereby empowering the people. We can do all of that before invading them on behalf of imperialists, gun runners and drug pushers.

Nothing happens in diplomacy and international relations for no reason. We can rest assured that this is a power play by the US, for what reason we can only speculate as I am, but this type of pressure, living with the sword of Damocles hanging precariously over one’s head is what we get when we choose to side with the hegemon.

We live in a world vastly different from the one that saw our leaders agree to this boondoggle. The West, which is backing this venture has been shown to be even weaker than most thought following their inability to force a victory in the Russo-Ukraine war and the closure of the Suez Canal to their ships as a result of their backing of Israeli genocide in Palestine.

The Global South, what was once termed the third world, is finding its footing and through organisations like BRICS, ALBA, and CELAC, is shaping a world which is not dictated by the old colonial powers. We need to show some backbone and stand with this growing alliance, oppose intervention in Haiti and demand that the people are empowered as opposed to the oligarchs and politicians who have only acted as compradors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *