This Conspiracy Theory is Pretty Wild, But…

A friend sent me an article circulating on the web that warns the United States is planning to invade Jamaica and capture the island’s oil. The author claims the row over Dudus is just a pretext to send troops to the island.

www.negrilstories.ca/index.php?pr=Dudus_and_Oil

I know, it’s a pretty wild notion. But the article is so well researched and so convincingly argued that I am reluctant to dismiss it out of hand.

Yes, I know, what oil?

The only oil I’ve ever known to come from Jamaica is that stuff Aunt Helen used to make me drink back in Guy’s Hill. I can still taste it, a viscous concoction from castor beans. And, of course, coconut oil (which conjures up memories of fry fish and bammy, mmmmm… But my old brain is wondering.)

Over the years, the Jamaican powers-that-be have searched and searched for oil in a desperate attempt to solve the country’s persistent cash-flow problem. But no one has ever found anything worth drilling for.

That was before the deep-water drilling craze. With new technology, the drillers have access to undreamed of riches miles under the sea. And Cuba has reportedly discovered enormous offshore oil deposits. In fact, I read on the web that the Russians are helping the Cubans exploit the discovery.

I learned in school that Jamaica and Cuba (and the other Caribbean islands) were peaks of the same mountain range that sank into the sea and (over the eons) partially popped up again. As a child I used to marvel over fossilized sea shells I found in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

When my family lived in the foothills above Hope Bay, I could sometimes see Cuba’s coast from our veranda – that’s how close the islands are.

So it’s not unreasonable to suppose that if Cuba has lots of offshore oil, Jamaica would have some, too.

Of course, I realize that U.S. authorities are justifiably peeved at Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding. I don’t think anyone disputes the allegation that Christopher “Dudus” Coke is a gun runner and drug dealer. His “posse” was one of the most violent in America’s history.

Golding’s reluctance to extradite the “don” to face trial in America is, from what I know, indefensible. And the ensuing violence that engulfed the slums of Kingston when Golding finally yielded to U.S. pressure is a shocking testament to Jamaica’s unholy alliance between the dons and the politicians.

But the fact that presumably informed people could entertain the thought of an American conspiracy to invade Jamaica is illuminating.

This line of thinking would not even be possible were it not for America’s sad history of using military power and subversive operations to enrich the big corporations. The United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana) springs to mind. And I’m sure you can come up with numerous other examples, especially in Latin America.

You might think that America has evolved beyond this kind of economic colonialism, but the evidence points to even more oppressive policies being pursued by the global corporations that have become all-powerful in Washington.

The horror of the unstoppable oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico might be a harbinger of things to come. As the corporations become more powerful, their greed becomes more naked. And they can be expected to engage in even more reckless and arrogant behavior as technology extends their reach and the stakes get ever higher.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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