Over the past few years, many Jamaicans have been sounding the alarm about the possibility of us unwittingly becoming re-colonised. These persons, whose cries have reached a crescendo, warn us that the trading partner in question is a brute, a behemoth and has a growing list of nations in which it has seized strategic assets. We are warned by these same people that this trading partner must be watched closely as it has nefarious ways of gathering information. All in all, people have been very wary and sceptical as it relates to doing business with and deepening ties with the PRC for fear of re-colonisation, but their fears are unwarranted as this country remains a colony in chains.
A colony? But we got independence (at least formally) in 1962 so a colony belonging to who? We are a colony of the US, make no bones about it, one only must look at how our governments act in order to see that we are a colony of the empire to the north.
At first read, it looks a bit out there and over the top, but when one digs just a bit beneath the surface one sees very clearly that Jamaica is nothing more than a glorified Puerto Rico (if that). For it is true we have a PM, an FM a MOF and an MICT but it is also true that none of them takes any actions in the realm of foreign policy without the strict approval of the US even if it to our detriment.
One doesn’t have to look far or long to stumble upon these facts. Does anyone, for example, remember the fact that the Chinese were poised to take over the port some decade ago? Does anyone recall why the deal was cancelled at the 11th hour? I do, it was terminated because the US Secretary of State called, read the riot act and made it known that the US did not like it and that US national security trumped Jamaica’s financial well being (that was around the time of the global financial meltdown). Like the colony we are we accepted orders, and two twos a deal was made with a French company for less money.
The same colonised mentality seeps through when it comes to the symbiote scandal and how we have dealt with it. Now it is entirely possible that the head of the company in question may be guilty of breaking the law both at home and abroad, but the question is when has this ever stopped any Jamaican business or business person? Hand on heart, how many of us know or have heard stories of high-profile businessmen who have gotten their start (and start-up capital) from breaking the law both at home and abroad? Are morals really in play here when we all have heard tales of young entrepreneurs selling goods that they never had (see fraud) who have made it big and good?
I don’t think so, I honestly think it has more to do with the fact that this company gets its technology from the PRC and not the US or her allies. We get glimmers of this when we hear individuals show worry about Chinese spy technology. It is true that the Chinese spy through technology, but so does literally every big country. I don’t see people saying don’t do deals with Germany or the UK or Canada or even the US (with its NSA) even though they do the same thing and I didn’t see the US or the locals bawling about colonisation putting up such a fight in the early ’00s when a person from Europe came to set up telecommunications shop.
This colonised mentality is so deep-rooted, and the rot has set in such a way that we don’t even pretend to be polite to those who have helped us and been our age-old friends or stand for principles we have long held (all while living with the realities of neo-colonialism). The two most blatant and repugnant ones are our actions regarding Palestine-Israel and our actions regarding Venezuela.
How else can one explain us, Jamaica essentially okaying the settler-colonial process which Israel has been doing? That is what the abstention vote in the UN was. It was us saying we wash our hands of the issue and walk away (interesting since we are majority Christian and that is the holy land, shades of Pontius Pilate). How can that be squared with our long-held position on the colonial question, one which saw us align ourselves with the ANC, ZANU and ZAPU (all of which were listed terror organisations)? How does one square the peg of us, Jamaica, doing deals with a nation (Israel) whose express policy is apartheid and who has no second thoughts when it comes to murdering unarmed protesters? It can’t unless one accepts the fact that we but an appendage of a much larger empire.
Same with the treatment of Venezuela, a nation which we (during British colonialism) aided in its fight for independence, have been doing cultural exchanges with for some 50 years. We have just decided that we will not recognize their government as legitimate, in spite of the many elections (even the most recent one) where observers said it was ok. We decided to spit in the face of the nation which for over a decade has been giving us (and our regional brethren) preferential treatment when it comes to the volatile oil market. We have seen it fit to co-sign a call for a coup against a government whose only crime is to want to see its people empowered and educated (a fate which we befell mind you). One can only explain this (as well as the seizure of Venezuelan assets in Petro jam) by reasoning that the colonial master, the empire up north demanded it and we the humble colony readily delivered.
I’m not sure why we are worried about supposed Chinese colonisation (something I which I don’t think will ever happen for a number of reasons). We are firmly a US colony and have been since at least ’62 (with a brief interlude during 72-80) and the recent actions just highlight that to a gross and exaggerated extent. True, this government is acting with less shame than others, but all have been complicit (note it was the PNP MP who was at the head of the most recent anti-china political witch-hunt).What is this all about? I’m not a betting man, but I wager that when Petro jam is sold it goes to one of the colonial masters favoured companies and at a pittance (because there is no way in hell, they would allow China to bid for it).
We need to get out of this colonised mentality and realise things for what they are. The US, UK etc have no love for us and to make matters worse are not even interested in the slightest in leaving a positive lasting mark on this nation. This is something I think we should have picked up on ever since the British gave us to the US during WW2 then buggered off quickly in 1962.
In the brief time we have done business with the PRC and with Venezuela post-Bolivarian Revolution we have seen actual real tangible results. We have roads, schools, medical centres, cheap oil and a massive uptick in regard to cultural exchanges. A base and crass question must then be asked, what have we received from the former? Guns, drugs, the propping up of inept leaders, the dismantling of a government and poverty brought on by crippling debt. I say again the persons who are worried about re-colonisation are barking up the wrong tree. Either that or what they actually mean (but might be afraid to say) is that it is better to be a colony and know where your food is than be independent and ask if it is bills or food.
I do not think like that and I don’t think the majority of us in Jamaica or the world for that matter think like that. What we need though is courage, courage to stand up and be counted, to stand up and say “I will take the high road even if it means taking a hit for it”. Standing up for the downtrodden and nations whose independence is at risk, is in my opinion worth being in the empires bad books, will we finally act in an independent manner and accept that we will have to take the hits which come with it or will we continue in our status of a forever colony?