Holness and China no closer to communism than Michael Manley and Cuba

Letters to the Editor

Holness and China no closer to communism than Michael Manley and Cuba

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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Dear Editor,

At no time was Jamaica threatened or in danger of communism. Michael Manley chose a path of democratic socialism, and his friendship and close association with Cuba and its leader Fidel Castro displeased the United States, similarly to Prime Minister Andrew Holness's close relationship with China.

A leading Democratic Party presidential contender Bernie Saunders, like Michael Manley, is also a democratic socialist. Perhaps people don't understand that democratic socialism means shared prosperity; it is not freeness or communism. Not too long ago England, under Gordon Brown, was a socialist country, and it wasn't exactly the end of the world, was it?

During the Manley Administration there was a lot of misinformation, propaganda, and fear-mongering all rolled into one. Cuba, China and Venezuela were all good to Jamaica.

Cuba was a good neighbour who helped Jamaica tremendously in supplying the country with countless nurses and doctors and other good deeds. China has invested billions of dollars in building up our country with advance road infrastructure and construction of buildings and cheap loans. And Venezuela came with its concessionary oil deal when global oil prices were going through the roof.

For those who like to disparage Michael Manley by saying that he ruined Jamaica's economy, they should remember that Edward Seaga's Government wasn't destabilised. As a matter of fact, he received massive financial aid from US President Ronald Reagan, who was touting him as a terrific and brilliant Caribbean leader, and who was the first to be invited to the White House, until he formed a one-party Government which embarrassed and angered the US president. A front-page article in a Sunday edition of the New York Times illustrates this. Such action was a direct threat to democracy.

Does Holness's closeness with China mean that he has communist intentions? Of course not! Just like Michael, he's trying to move the country's development along. After all, China is rich and is the second-largest economy in the world.

Besides, Jamaica has a long history with China. From when I was a little boy growing up in Kingston I remember clearly various Chinese businesses all over the place, with great Chinese businessmen such as the late, great boxing promoter Lucien Chen, music mogul Byron Lee, Lascelles Chin, Horace Chang, and a long list of other distinguished Chinese men. They're an integral part of the Jamaican landscape. Don't forget that Jamaica was one of the first countries to recognise the One China policy.

Jamaica is a western country with western values, that is not going anywhere. So the United States has nothing to worry about — democracy forever!

Noel Mitchell

Westchester, New York, USA


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