A PM to visit to Jamaica, former British colony

Escaping Lord Ashcroft may have solved one problem. But the UK Prime Minister David Cameron is on a visit Jamaica. And Jamaican officialdom and others are not entirely tickled pink, with the days of sending in some troops to pacify the natives now difficult to resurrect. With The Guardian doing its part, how is the coverage in alternative media?

As RT tells it, Imperial legacy: Jamaica demands slavery reparations from Britain. Some excerpts,

Prime Minister David Cameron has been reminded of his family’s links to slavery as he faces calls for Britain to pay Jamaica millions of pounds in reparations ahead of his first official visit to Kingston on Tuesday.

Academics and politicians in Jamaica have demanded the PM issue an apology for the hundreds of years during which Britain enslaved and “extracted wealth” from the island’s people.

[snip]

Buckles [sic – Sir Hilary Beckles] wrote that while Jamaica fueled Britain’s economic growth at a crucial time in its history, helping it to “become great.” He called on the UK to reciprocate as part of an effort in “cleaning up this monumental mess of Empire.

We ask not for handouts or any such acts of indecent submission. We merely ask that you acknowledge responsibility for your share of this situation and move to contribute in a joint program of rehabilitation and renewal,” he added.

(An Indian MP had also called for British reparations to India to the tune of trillionsUS$)

As TeleSUR sees it, UK’s Cameron Urged to Talk Slavery Reparations in Jamaica Again, we are reminded,

A prominent Jamaican academic called on the United Kingdom to pay slavery reparations Monday, ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to the island nation. Cameron should use his visit to Jamaica to open talks on making amends for the U.K.’s colonial history, according to Caricom Reparations Commission Chairperson Sir Hilary Beckles.

[snip]

And a priceless comment from the UK PM,

“I don’t actually think that one generation can meaningfully apologize for something that a previous generation did,” he said in 2007.

[snip]

Jamaica became one of the centers of the international slave trade in the 17th Century, with the British relying heavily on slave labor to develop the island’s sugar industry. By the time the slave trade was abolished in the early 19th Century, slaves in Jamaica outnumbered free settlers by close to 20 to one, and many plantations were rife with abuses.

As we continue the coverage of alternative media, from Common Dreams, Jamaica Demands Reparations for Britain’s ‘Haunting’ Legacy of Slavery Again excerpts,

“You owe it to us as you return here to communicate a commitment to reparatory justice that will enable your nation to play its part in cleaning up this monumental mess of Empire,” the letter states.

Those legacies continue to “haunt our best efforts at sustainable economic development and the psychological and cultural rehabilitation of our people from the ravishes of the crimes against humanity,” the letter continues.

Beckles made the case that Cameron has directly profited from the transatlantic slave trade via his cousin six times removed Sir James Duff, who inherited a Jamaican sugar plantation in 1785.

Jamaica as member of PetroCaribe has benefited from preferential terms for its imports of petroleum from Venezuela during its economic crises. The UK has had precious little to offer the country – aside wealth extraction and loads of platitudes, and funds to construct a prison there for his Jamaican deportees convicted of crimes in the UK.

That said, other ‘wealth extraction’ will continue in the Middle East, where little effort is required other than sales of arms and minimal investment of time in personal contacts. So Jamaica can huff and puff?

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