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EU Vacillating Jamaica Demonstrating

by Peter Polack

Recent developments in Jamaica suggest that country is awash in corruption, not to mention crime and human rights abuses.

It includes a prime minister who has not had his disputed asset declarations published for three years, six members of parliament and twenty-eight public officials under investigation for illicit enrichment and the recent resignation of the speaker of the House of Parliament in regard to allegations of a false asset declaration. 

That speaker’s position was then promptly taken by the prime minister’s wife.

Yes, from pillar to post.

All of this under the combined noses of the EU representatives for Jamaica and the wider Caribbean who are clearly asleep at the wheel. Perhaps Josep Borrell can cast his steely gaze towards the Caribbean after he is finished with Israel.

The EU has made a number of large contributions to Jamaica developing as a civil society one of the most recent being a grant of 30 million euros for digital transformation, climate change, human rights and citizen security.

In light of the above, those funds would have been better spent with that country’s Integrity Commission, which has become one of the few voices in the darkness. That institution is led by a beacon of hope, the widely respected and indefatigable former judge, Seymour Panton. 

The EU is not alone in this as the World Bank just gave the same amount for improvement to the island’s education system for students, not politicians.

Perhaps the EU and others should reconsider their spending policies, often applied in Africa and elsewhere, by pause or suspension of aid, grants and funding initiatives.

This error of judgment was compounded by the EU Ambassador to Jamaica Marianne Van Steen who declared that the EU had trust in the government of Jamaica.

This was a view not shared by some Jamaicans in the diaspora, many in EU countries, who have taken to demonstrating in front of Jamaican offices in the USA against corruption and crime.

The first of these was in Miami recently with more to follow across the United States.

Ignorance is bliss and hidden agendas compromise everything.

The Jamaican diaspora contributes nearly one third of the GDP of Jamaica by remittances to that country. A similar trend for many third world countries, often on the verge of becoming fourth world.

It is the frustration with corruption in the sitting government and crime that has driven many citizens of Jamaica to picket and critique lack of performance while EU representatives sing praises and put money in the collection plate.

A recent attempt for a major EU funding deal was scuppered by the Jamaican Christian lobby concerns on human rights clauses, read LGBTQ education and rights.

If the EU poses itself in the Caribbean as an enlightened patrician benefactor not completely dissimilar to previous colonial administrations then it should listen to the diaspora who are attempting change from the outside.

Who feels it, knows it.

Ask the Ukrainians who could urgently use prioritised funding as the Russian invaders creep towards EU borders.


Holness ‘concerned’ his income and assets declarations not certified | News | Jamaica Gleaner (

Chuck calls for Integrity Commission illicit enrichment reports | News | Jamaica Gleaner (

JCC: Dalrymple-Philibert’s resignation a seminal moment | Lead Stories | Jamaica Gleaner (

EU To Provide €30 Million In Support To Jamaica – Jamaica Information Service (

Organisers proud of ‘excellent’ diaspora protest turnout in Florida | Lead Stories | Jamaica Gleaner (

‘This is a country we can trust in’ – Jamaica Observer

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Peter Polack is the author of The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War: South Africa vs. Cuba in the Angolan Civil War (2013), Jamaica, The Land of Film (2017) and Guerrilla Warfare: Kings of Revolution (2018).He was a contributor to Encyclopedia of Warfare (2013) and his latest book entitled Soviet Spies Worldwide: Country by Country, 1940–1988 will be published by McFarland in 2024. 

EDITO’S NOTE: The views expressed here are the author, Peter Polack, and does not necessarily endorse the views/opinions of the owners/Editorial staff of


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