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It is the belief among many Jamaicans that the country is being sold out to foreigners at a very fast pace akin to a fire sale in progress. This conviction has been intensified by the latest news that the world-famous Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica's top signature attraction, is up for divestment.

Tourism is perhaps the lone star of the Jamaican economy under this Bruce Golding administration. But what is becoming increasingly apparent is that local entrepreneurs are not being given an opportunity to get their piece of the pie. The Falmouth Cruise Ship Port is one such example where despite many promises, it is more than obvious that there is very little room for the small fish and that it is the big fish that stands to benefit most from this major tourism development.

Despite a lot of "sweet talk" and persuasive arguments coming from government and quasi-government agencies, the harsh reality is that apart from a few token business operators, the bulk of the tourism pie has been reserved for those who are "genetically linked" or whose money power cannot be ignored, especially in a pre-election year. The demographics therefore indicate that black Jamaicans for the most part are expected to remain at the lower end of the tourism ladder, thus making them almost "economically enslaved" with no sign of liberation in sight.

Based on the revelations so far at the Finsac Commission of Enquiry, the previous PNP government's high interest rates policy saw to the destruction of many indigenous businesses (most of them owned and operated by black Jamaicans). Among the victims were a number of hoteliers and other entrepreneurs in tourism-related businesses who saw their efforts at economic empowerment blown to bits by a foolish, unconscionable and impractical high interest rate regime. To me, this can best be described as "economic genocide"! And I make no apologies for saying this.

You see, there is still a widespread perception in Jamaica that black people do not know how to run businesses successfully. To some extent, this may be true as there is a tendency for successful black business owners to show off. They must at all times drive the latest model top-of-the-line motor vehicle, they must have and maintain several sweethearts, they often plough very little back into their businesses, have no proper succession planning in place and tend to overexpose themselves as a result of their ostentatious lifestyles.

Notwithstanding that so-called "cultural tendency", there are many hard-working, enterprising Jamaicans who just need the necessary "backative" and opportunities to create their own prosperity. Regrettably, there is no meaningful venture capital programme in this country that is yet to achieve economic independence on the eve of our attainment of political independence. A most sorry state of affairs.

Both the Finsac and Manatt/Dudus commissions of enquiry are giving the nation a golden (or is it Golding?) opportunity to change course genuinely for the better. In the case of Finsac, this resulted from mismanagement of the country's fiscal affairs for which the PNP must take blame, while on the other hand, the JLP must accept responsibility for incompetent, corrupt and disingenuous ways in which it dealt with the extradition of Christopher "Dudus" Coke.

One of the frightening and most nauseating attitudes being taken by party hacks is the pointing of fingers and the justification of one act as against another, so Labourites point to Trafigura while Comrades point to the Dudus/Manatt fiasco. Frankly, it is time for both parties to cry "cree" because in the final analysis, neither of them is winning in this puerile propaganda war of words. What is even more disappointing is that neither the JLP's G2K nor the PNP's Youth Organisation has sought to take the moral high ground. Instead, they have sought to perpetuate the narrow, tribal and self-serving stance of political one-upmanship.

The alleged divestment exercise surrounding the Dunn's River Falls brings into sharp focus the point that our politicians are interested only in two things, mainly self-aggrandisement and self-preservation. At the rate of how things are going, Jamaicans will own very little of Jamaica. Already, we see where the day may well come when a Jamaican will not have access to a good beach. Are ordinary Jamaicans expected to buy into the well-worn, hypocritical slogan about tourism being everybody's business?

Why is it that successive governments have failed so far to truly empower small, medium and micro business enterprises? Why have our political leaders failed so far to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that is in so many of us? Why do state policies continue to marginalise the majority of the Jamaican population who are poor but willing to make an honest and decent living, if given the chance. Contrary to the popular view, Jamaicans for the most part are not lazy and worthless. It is the system that has condemned so many of our people to a life of persistent poverty, mendicancy and subservience. In this vein, one must ask why is that there are not enough public corporations into which Jamaicans can buy shares. Must everything go to those who already have too much?

Jamaicans have had enough of political patronage, corporate altruism and the "hold down tek whey" approach to governance. It was Bruce Golding who once said we were too blessed to be so stressed. Today, Jamaicans are stressed out. Since the JLP gained power, the national debt has risen 60 per cent, thousands of jobs have been lost and poverty has increased. All this is happening when the government is borrowing money at a much cheaper interest rate and is collecting more revenue from taxpayers. For most people, it is now a "hand to mouth" existence, even while millions of dollars are being wasted in constructing more highways and a plethora of white elephants. When will it dawn on our politicians that true progress cannot be judged by the pouring of concrete but by the uplifting of the people who must be at the centre of any effective development plan? Selling out Jamaica is not the answer, the people want a national vision that they can buy into. Enough said!


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Comment by Bombahdrop on March 29, 2011 at 4:07pm
@Colin Marks thank you for the wisdom sharing your information wow it was plenty of knowledge im full now lol but seriously i read all of what you read and i feel the same way but I still wonder what will it take for us to unite and take back what has been stolen from our people, do you believe it will ever happen any time soon?, The time is now, the times are very critical and the movement needs to happen NOW!!!! or should we jus sit around and keep watching the white man (british) whoever, keep robbing us blind,  I for one like many others im sure are wide awake and watching  while others sleep but i want to get involved with a movement with serious minded people to fight for our country and the people Im sick and tired of hearring people talk and sitting here watching whats said with no solutions I WANT AAAAAAAAACTION. who will make this stand, So many questions i have like HOW is it possible to turn black people away from GREEED, ENVY, &  HATE FOR THEMSELVES AND OTHERS. Blacks are so stuck in their ways it almost impossible to get thrue to them. They so angry about everything i dont see it, I want to see something big and positive happen im tired of waiting something has to give and people have to give up all the things that is not making it work ATTITUDES,VANITY,GREED,ENVY,RACISM THE LIST GOES ON.
Comment by JamRockLady on March 29, 2011 at 10:47am
@Colin Marks...thanks for sharing your words of wisdom, sticking to the topic and for "keeping it real". Much peace and blessings to you Nubian King. Jah bless.
Comment by JamRockLady on March 29, 2011 at 10:02am
Once again, let's continue to have a civilized exchange and focus on the topic at hand. Let's not loose sight on the "real" issue and point of this blog.  Come on black folks, we can do better than this. SMH.
Comment by One Love on March 29, 2011 at 7:08am
Just telling it like I see it on these blogs and who is talking trsah instead of conversation on how Jamaica can be helped.
Jamrocklady if you show the world who you are they will believe you. Your words is what sound like crazy hate and anger so I am just saying what I see.
I have no problem helping Jamaica but you guys must start then others will help.
All I am saying is who is contacting the jamaican government. There are so many Jamaicans outside the jamaica so where is the organizations. I don't see or hear of any. All I see is useless fights. On blogs on the streets etc.
Why not be a leader in a good way instead of showing hate.
Have you ever thought about getting help from the white people who love the people of jamaica?
I know a lot who's love is genuine and I am positive your early leaders made that possible. Not to mention the back in the days reggae artist and some current. Why not reach out to some artist.
Instead of hating why not get help from some white people?
How does hating is helping your people?
Comment by on March 29, 2011 at 6:22am
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Comment by on March 29, 2011 at 6:22am
No need for war amongst our fellow brothers and sisters. Healthy constructive dialogue to agree or disagree. One love
Comment by Bombahdrop on March 29, 2011 at 12:28am

we must wage our battle through constructive pragmatic solutions.

Comment by JamRockLady on March 28, 2011 at 11:03pm
@Bones...yes I agree, so let's continue to discuss this topic like mature adults and stop with the "hating" and "instigating" already. Calling up my name is NOT addressing the topic at hand.  We need to be directing our focus back to the topic of this blog and start formulating solutions instead of constantly "pointing fingers", "laying blame" and only highlighting problems. SMH.
Comment by Bones on March 28, 2011 at 10:56pm
miss jamrock i was mearly trying to let u guys know that it is ok to disagree-there is a thing called healthy dissagrement......two wrongs dont make a right-the point is if we as people cant have a online discusssion minus the feelings -how are we and how will we as a people solve anything-one love miss jamrock-blessed love sir miluvmilife........i believe  was addressing the topic at hand -onelove jahblessssssings
Comment by JamRockLady on March 28, 2011 at 10:49pm "internet scuffle" here (note who called who's name first)....just setting the record straight. I'm glad I'm on the minds of most but please lets stick to the topic at hand here. SMH.

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