Jamaica, long known for being the land of Wood & Water, paradise getaway in the Caribbean, a country of some of the warmest weather and even warmer people has been on a significant decline for a while. However, when news of garrison leader Christopher “Dudus” Coke tore across the news wires because he was wanted for extradition by the US authorities, it seems that the Jamaican brand faced the apex of this decline. With claims and rhetoric of gross ineptitude, collusion, and complicity with gangs/garrison districts & the Jamaican government, this is the last thing that needed to top the headlines for the island nation. Now with the extradition of Chris Coke completed, I definitely wonder what he will say to US authorities and subsequently a global audience about what has been known in Jamaica for a long time. I can only imagine that the media is ready for the juicy details of scandal if indulged.
Throughout history, the countries that are able to respond with resilience – by changing for the better – to embarrassment, degradation, and global scorn have done well for themselves, all else equal. As a native Jamaican, I can only pray and wish the same to happen for my people who have the skills and genuine heart to overcome anything. There are so many examples of this in our short 48 year official history as an independent nation. I say if anyone can do it, we can and we must. It’s going to be extremely difficult because the odds are stacked against us grossly: crime, negative GDP, widespread corruption, eroding infrastructure, difficult investment climate, trade deficits everywhere, global competition, lack of economic opportunities, a growing successful diaspora away from home shores, and general mood of pessimism rising (just to name a few).
Is Jamaica’s status: Paradise Lost? I have hope, but it’s really rough right now.
I read a post by a Jam Blogger that I’ve followed for years and she has a very interesting take on the proceedings in Tivoli and how it relates to dancehall – Read It Here – It’s Called Dancing For the Devil