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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

In Dependence 2005

So the independence celebrations are over. But what did we really celebrate?

According to the Oxford Dictionary independence is defined as being 1 free from outside control or influence, 2 (of a country) self governing, 3 not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence." With that is mind let's examine where we are as a nation 43 years after gaining independence from Britain.

Let us consider the first two definitions. To what extents are we free from outside control or self-governing if we readily give in to the demands of other countries, for example the great United States? Their policies dictate our policies, even their human rights group determine our laws where the punishment of criminals are concerned. We cannot voice our disapproval of their actions without the threat of being cut off from their handouts list. We still rely on the privy council of our former colonizer to make the final decisionsns on our courcaseses. Thereforere, we are definitelyly not free from outside control.

Are we really not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence? Just recently Jamaica has been lobbying to stop the European Union's decision regarding the import of bananas from our region, if the EU cuts the preferential treatment that we now enjoy we are in grave danger of a collapsing economy. Tourism, our second major source of foreign currency is highly dependent on the situations facing the countries that supply our visitors. A perfect example of this is the high fall off of tourists arriving in the island immediately after the nine-eleven attacks on the US, which I may add is the one of our largest tourist markets. The arrival of other players in the tourism market will also weaken our economy, as we will now have to share the market with these newcomers.

A truly independent country is one that can sustain itself. To date Jamaica has not achieved this milestone. We currently rely on grants, loans and various aids from other countries. We do not really produce much for our own consumption much more for export. If Jamaica continues like this we will never be independent.

What did we really celebrate? True independence or just an illusion of what we had hoped to accomplish? Did we celebrate independence or in dependence?

3 commented:

Definitely some points to reflect on. There is a lot that can be done better and that needs to be thought about where Jamaica is concerned.

However there are also a few things we have done right and sacrifices made by our ancestors to give us a few of the freedoms we enjoy today.

I think of indepenence as maybe a day to both reflect on the few good things in place and what needs to be done to truly be able to think of ourselves as an independent state.

If you look at it like that which country is really independent? Everybody depends on others for something.

Even the great America depends on other countries for resources. That is a reason they are in iraq right now. Tryin to stablize that country.
So they may continue to become major suppliers.