Jamaica: Little Known Secret About
Edward Seaga (JLP)

July 16, 2001
by Corey Gilkes

Edward Seaga has had a long standing relationship with the U.S.A. government........

As early as 1979, Edward Seaga in conjunction with the United States government proposed the need for a Puerto Rico style relationship (and a mini-Marshall Plan) for the entire Caribbean and the USA. Thus the United States instituted the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) was signed into law by the United States government in August 1983, and came into force January 1984. The CBI is a political model (based on the Puerto Rican model) and is comprised of economic arrangements between the USA and certain Caribbean and Central American counties. Seaga and others promoted the Caribbean Basin Initiative as a trade agreement that would stimulate business in the Caribbean, open up competitive sources for U.S.A. importers, provide beneficiaries with greater security for duty-free access to the United States.


Mr. Edward Seaga worked diligently with the United States government to launch CBI. The real reasons for the U.S.A. instituting the Caribbean Basin Initiative were carefully calculated. Such reasons include:

**Concerns over the activities of Manley, Cuba (Castro), Grenada (Maurice Bishop), and Nicaragua. In the seventies and eighties, the United States concern heightened over the popularity of such countries as Cuba, Grenada, and Nicaragua in the Caribbean and Central America.

The U.S. was further upset over the support Cuba was providing to Africa. The United States had to isolate such nations. The offensive was the exclusion of countrie from participation in CBI (which offered market access and economic aid) that did not adhere to what the United States government considered to be good behavior in domestic and foreign policies.

**Control immagration from the Caribbean into the United States. The increasing number of what the United States considered "undocumented aliens" was of concern.

(Mr. Edward Seaga was one of the first dignitaries to meet with President Reagan and his administration, following Reagan's inaguration.)

Over the years, it has been proven that CBI was strategic. The United States and all its operatives did not consider the interest of the Caribbean. It was soley to serve the self-interest of the U.S.A. and tie Caribbean countries to the United States and not to each other. CBI has not worked to benefit the Caribbean economically. The implementation of NAFTA in 1994, further prove how fragile the CBI trade agreement was for the Caribbean.

The signing of H.R. 434 (CBI NAFTA-parity legislation) in 2000 by the United States government is seen as an attempt on the part of the Caribbean nations to secure bilateral trade with the U.S.A. This is open to discussion another time.

Seaga remains someone who is a close ally of the United States, knows the Jamaican culture inside out, is good at manipulating and inciting his constituents (just laying the ground work for upcoming elections).

Livi Gordon

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