The leaks finally became a flood.
After the initial “drip-drip” of information, Wikileaks decided to release the entire database of cables when the file was (ironically) leaked onto the web. The US Embassy cables revealed in late 2010 “contain diplomatic analysis from world leaders, and the diplomats’ assessment of host countries and their officials.”
We have sifted through the rubble and will post a few cables that may be of concern to Jamaicans, but at the expense of being a party-pooper, we might as well let you know that there are no “blockbusters” within (at least, not yet). The cables do, however, give great insight into how US officials think of local players (politicians, public servants, business people, et al), and how readily our local politicians and public servants provide all sorts of information to US embassy officials.
We will redact names of ordinary citizens, particularly if their life may be endangered by revelation. However, there will be NO redaction of the names of politicians or any other public figures.
Some of these posts will be very short, some will be rather long, but all – in our estimation – are worth reading.
September 5, 2011 No Comments
Cable time: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 19:41 UTC
¶1. (C) Summary: On the morning of July 4, Drug Kingpin Norris “Dido” Nembhard and four co-conspirators lost their final appeal and were eligible for extradition. Following maneuvers by defense attorneys to delay the extradition long enough to mount what would likely have been an unsuccessful appeal to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom, they departed Jamaica on July 11. The inter-agency cooperation at post could not have been better: DEA, ICE, NAS, RSO and U.S. Marshals all deserve kudos. End Summary,
Background on Defendants
¶2. (C) The DEA Kingston Country Office (KCO) conducted a multi-national and multi-jurisdictional operation targeting Northern Colombia based and Jamaica based drug transportation organizations. The Jamaican targets of this operation centered on [Read more →]
September 27, 2011 No Comments
Time: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 20:19 UTC
¶1. (C) Lorna Golding, the wife of Prime Minister (PM) Bruce Golding, told Post’s Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Patricia Attkisson that she believes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is under the “pernicious influence” of U.S. Representative Charles Rangel regarding the contentious U.S. extradition request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke. In an often surreal and disjointed conversation, Mrs. Golding alleged that Congressman Rangel is a “sympathizer” of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) who is “manipulated” by PNP elements in the Jamaican diaspora in the U.S. and is “whispering in Secretary Clinton’s ear” in order to “downgrade” the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Government of Jamaica (GOJ). Mrs. Golding also blamed this cabal for the White House’s delay in naming a new ambassador and the GOJ’s difficulties in finalizing a Standby Agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although it appears unlikely that Mrs. Golding was delivering a message on behalf of the PM, Mrs. Golding’s rambling comments and penchant for sharing conspiracy theories with a key member of the U.S. Embassy community is consistent with a growing sense among many of indecisiveness and a lack of direction on the part of the PM and the JLP. End Summary and Analysis.
¶2. (C) The invitation to the PAO to meet for afternoon tea on December 11 at the PM’s residence had been unexpected; there were no other guests in attendance and no tea was actually served, although [Read more →]
September 26, 2011 No Comments
Greetings my brothers and sisters of Chock-Blocko.
Let me first state, I totally embrace the thought of having African roots, but not being able to pin point the exact locality of my ancestral ties has left me feeling a little confused. Hence never bothering to educate my Mamma Mention whenever she bellows “I AM AH JAMAICAN NOT AN AFRICAN!!”. Please comment if you think my mother is right or wrong and please explain why? Not sure about anywhere else in this world but here in Chocko-Blocko Africans control the Parking Warden “franchise” and they don’t ramp when it comes to impounding your car and imposing heavy duty fines on the general public. Today’s Blog is not about ‘Hate’, it’s more about getting ‘Even’. Therefore if anyone has ever received a parking fine from a insensitive African Warden this Blog is dedicated to you.
Enjoy! [Read more →]
September 23, 2011 No Comments
Time: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 20:13 UTC
Summary: In a recent conversation with the NAS Director, Jamaica’s former Minister of National Security and opposition People’s National Party (PNP) leader, Peter Phillips, agreed that there is danger that Jamaica could go the way of Haiti if the current government were to fail in its reform efforts and if Portia Simpson-Miller (Phillips’ rival in the PNP) were returned to power. Phillips continues to mull over whether to challenge Simpson-Miller for control of the PNP during its Party Congress in September. Phillips also encouraged the USG to continue to push the GOJ on Anti-corruption and police reform. In particular, he advised us to vocally support the current Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin. End Summary.
English Speaking Haiti
¶2. (C) On June 27, the NAS Director met with Jamaica’s former Minister of National Security, Peter Phillips, ostensibly to seek his advice on how the USG could best continue to support the current Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin. Phillips, who when he was Minister could be quite guarded, was in a relaxed and talkative mode and the NAS Director had the opportunity to speak with him about a broad range of topics including his views on the seeming inability of the Government of Jamaica to make headway against spiraling violent crime. In the conversation [Read more →]
September 22, 2011 No Comments
Time: Wed, 7 May 2008 20:32 UTC
¶1. (SBU) Summary: In early April, when the NAS Director was absent from Post, the Government of Jamaica removed the Director, Deputy Director, and key investigative staff from the Financial Investigative Division (FID). The reason given for the decision was that the “international community had lost confidence in the staff”. Neither the U.S., UK, nor Canada, Jamaica’s main partners, had expressed anything other than concern about some management issues. The new Director’s background is in taxation, and there are concerns about her relationship with a suspected corrupt police officer. For the moment, Canada will not work with her. The U.S. and UK law enforcement organizations are reserving judgement until she is vetted. End Summary
Oversight problems put Director and Deputy at risk.
¶2. (SBU) In September 2007, the police estimate that USD 200,000 went missing from the evidence vaults at FID [Read more →]
September 21, 2011 No Comments
Time: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 00:00 UTC
¶1. (C) In November and December 2005, two murders in Jamaica were labeled by some gay activists as homophobic hate crimes, although senior police contacts described the killings as resulting from common robberies. On November 30, 2005, a leading HIV/AIDS activist, Lenford “Steve” Harvey, was found shot to death in upper St. Andrew Parish. In late December, Nokia Cowen, was allegedly chased by a homophobic mob off a pier in Kingston Harbor and drowned. In the latter case, neither the JCF nor a local gay rights group that insists Cowen was the victim of a hate crime, can specify the date or details of his alleged murder. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the crime portfolio acknowledged that homophobia is widespread in Jamaica, while insisting that there is no evidence that these particular slayings are attributable to homophobia. In a separate case of homophobic violence, one well known suspect was acquitted. On January 19th, a court acquitted Buju Banton, a popular dance hall musician, who was accused of beating six men in June 2004 while shouting homophobic insults.
(SBU) Since November 2005, the murder of a prominent gay activist [Read more →]
September 20, 2011 No Comments
Candice Stewart – Yaadinfo Contributor
I went on a public bus today. I went on a public JUTC bus like I have been doing for many years now. The JUTC aka “Chi – Chi” bus is a fleet of buses that travels throughout the Kingston Metropolitan Area and parts of St. Catherine. In any event, this piece of written work is to highlight to my readers how Jamaicans “stay bad” and “doh av ntn good bout dem” while travelling on the bus.
The experience of the “Chi-Chi bus” ranges from an over crowded bus, to the stench of passengers that either passed gas like Uncle Chester in Vastaman or their deodorant was worn out for the day, bawling babies, passengers discussing their business and other people’s business, to the chosen few who preach the gospel on the bus.
September 16, 2011 No Comments
[Editor's Note: The following are excerpts from a cable sent by the US Embassy to its State Department providing details on the 2006 race for the PNP presidency. The cable highlights the classism and racism still very much in existence in Jamaica, and evident in the vitriol that was used to assail Mrs. Simpson-Miller. While concerns over her candidacy may have been reasonable, one can't help but question the manner in which her opponents chose to voice these concerns - denigrating and demeaning the candidate, ultimately to their own detriment.]
Time: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 20:57 UTC
Portia Simpson Miller: Presumptive Next Prime Minister [Read more →]
September 14, 2011 No Comments
Time: Thu, 12 May 2005 00:00 UTC
¶1. (C) Summary: In seperate incidents, between 9:00 p.m. on May 3 and 7:00 a.m. on May 4, three Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) officers and one private security guard were murdered while another JCF officer was injured in Kingston. Two of the alleged gunmen were shot and killed in one incident and the weapon recovered at that scene has been linked to the 14 month old murder of another JCF officer. The perpetrators for all of the shootings have been linked to the notorious Tivoli Gardens area “Shower Posse”. Although there is an ongoing investigation, no suspects have been
apprehended and another “committee” is being created to look into the crime problem. End Summary.
¶2. (U) At approximately 9:30 p.m. on May 3, in front of the Canadian High Commission in Kingston, two gunmen on a motorcycle [Read more →]
September 13, 2011 No Comments
[Editor's Note: While I am not so naïve as to believe that our politicians are squeaky clean, I believe the questions must be asked:
- Why would a public servant, particularly a deputy leader of a party, make and maintain "underworld contacts"?
- Why, if you have knowledge of their criminal acts and history, was information not given to the police for their arrest?
- Why would you sit idly by and allow the gangs to "deal with unruly elements themselves"? What then is the purpose of the police force and our justice system?
- Based on your own pronouncements, why should we (or you, for that matter) be surprised when YOUR visa is revoked???]
Time: Wed, 25 May 2005 00:00 UTC
¶1. (U) Visiting WHA/CAR Office Director Brian Nichols, accompanied by poloff, met on May 10 with James Robertson, Deputy Leader of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and Member of Parliament for Western St. Thomas. Robertson offered his views on the recent spate of police killings in Kingston, JLP leader Bruce Golding’s first month as Leader of the Opposition, and the party’s priorities for Jamaica’s future.
Violence in West Kingston
September 13, 2011 No Comments