Speak the truth about the Manley era
I refer to a letter of August 29, "In Manley's time". Here is a classic case of the coal stove pot cursing the electric kettle. I wondered who could have criticised Delano Seiveright in such a manner, then I realised it was none other than Wayne Campbell, PNP councillor/caretaker for the Castleton Division. So I realised why I found the article a bit shortsighted and pedestrian
Manley did indeed set the stage for many changes which Jamaicans were not ready for. All were not enamoured with Fidel Castro's influence. The many loans that went into social programmes that brought no returns had a serious effect on the economy. This forced many Jamaicans to flee the country on one of the five flights a day suggested by Manley - which added to the economy falling even deeper.
As a young boy growing up in St James, I recall going to "bird bush" and seeing Cuban soldiers in the hills overlooking the town. One morning we were in Montpelier where I saw four trucks unloading goods - from soap to canned fish - at the Cuban soldiers' camp. These were items not on the supermarket shelves.
Some of Jamaica's assets were sold to foreign entities and a levy was placed on bauxite companies. A destabilisation campaign followed.
Many jobs were lost as factories and other businesses were closed down. Foreign inflows plummeted because some in the West lost confidence in Manley due to his relationship with Cuba. Crime began to increase, and a number of Jamaicans migrated
On the subject of freedom of speech, Mr Campbell, let me remind you that the only time in our history of Independence that freedom of speech was taken away from the Jamaicans was under Michael Manley, with the state of emergency. Recall Babsy Grange, Pearnel Charles and others. So don't write as if you're a holy man.Tell us the whole truth - and nothing else.