Jamaica

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Overview
<p> Jamaica occupies a mountainous island in the Caribbean that has become a popular destination for tourists all over the world. Originally settled by the Arawak people of South America, the island nation was subsequently colonized by Christopher Columbus and Spain, in 1510, then by the British, in 1670. During the Spanish reign, the Arawak people were all but eradicated by disease, slavery and war.&nbsp;Though sugar production came to be the country&rsquo;s most successful export, regional conflicts led the British to outlaw slavery in 1834. Jamaica gained protection from pirates, when it allowed them to make the country a base of operations. In 1962, Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain. Although political power has see-sawed since that time, the country&rsquo;s recent leaders have taken steps to strengthen ties with the US and increase privatization. Due to the high levels of drugs, violence and gang activity, especially in the capital of Kingston, many choose to emigrate from Jamaica each year, moving to the US or Canada to make a new life.</p>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: A mountainous island in the Caribbean 90 miles south of Cuba, Jamaica is green and lush but with a surprisingly mild and temperate climate.&nbsp;Bright-colored birds, coral beaches, and over 200 kinds of orchids are some of Jamaica&rsquo;s attractions.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 2.8 million</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Church of God 24%, Seventh-day Adventist 11%, Pentecostal 10%, Baptist 7%, Anglican 4%, Catholic 2%, United Church 2%, Methodist 2%, Jehovah&rsquo;s Witnesses 2%, Moravian 1%, Brethren 1%, Spiritist (Rastafarian) 10%, non-religious 3%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other 2.6%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Jamaican Creole English 98.2%, English (official).</div>
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History
<p> The Arawakan-speaking Taino people of South America originally settled the island of Jamaica between 4000 and 1000 BC. When explorer Christopher Columbus first arrived in 1494, claiming Jamaica for Spain, the Arawak had established more than 200 villages.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Spanish occupation began in 1510 and extended until 1655, when the British seized the island. Although remnants of the population survived into British occupation,&nbsp;the Arawak people were largely exterminated by disease, slavery and war during the Spanish reign. In 1517, Spain began bringing &nbsp;slaves from Jamaica to be sold in the United States.. This practice continued legally under both colonizers until the British outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and in black markets until Britain&rsquo;s 1834 full ban on slavery in Jamaica.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Originally lured by its rich natural resources, including sugar, Great Britain gained possession of Jamaica in 1670. Sugar plantations sprang up all over, and Spanish Town became a base of operations for many pirates, including Captain Henry Morgan, who protected the island in return for being allowed to make it their base. .</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As sugar exports increased, more Jamaicans were forced into slavery. Other slaves were brought from Africa as a result of the Atlantic slave trade, creating much racial tension on the island. The British outlawed slavery on August 1, 1834, after a series of slave uprisings, beginning the process of reducing its presence in Jamaica.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1866 the Jamaican legislature renounced its powers, and the country became a crown colony, resulting in the emergence of a middle class of low-level public officials and police officers whose social and political advancement was blocked by the colonial authorities for the decades that followed.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1872 the capital was moved from Spanish Town to Kingston.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> During the 1930s the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression"><font color="#0000ff">Great Depression</font></a> had a serious impact both on the Jamaica&rsquo;s emergent middle class and working class. In the spring of 1938 sugar and dock workers around the island <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indian_labour_unrest_of_1934%E2%80%931939"><font color="#0000ff">rose in revolt</font></a>, leading eventually to the emergence of an organized labor movement and a competitive party system.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In the late 1930s, Jamaica began to gain a degree of local political control. In 1944, the country held its first election, and in 1958, Jamaica joined nine other UK territories in the West Indies Federation. However, voters rejected this membership in 1961, and the country withdrew from the federation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On August 6, 1962, Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain, but it remained a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. <span>Alexander Bustamante of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was the country&rsquo;s first prime minister. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since that time, the People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) and the JLP have tended to swap power every few years. Michael Manley (PNP) became the country&rsquo;s prime minister in 1972 and began to introduce socialist policies as well as improved relations with Cuba. However, an increased level of political violence led to his defeat in 1980. The JLP&rsquo;s Edward Seaga then reversed many of Manley&rsquo;s policies, strengthening ties with the United States and introducing privatization.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Manley and the PNP returned to power with his reinstatement as prime minister in 1989, and the Party kept control through the 1993 and 1998 elections. In 1992, however, Manley resigned due to health reasons. Percival Patterson then assumed leadership of the PNP until he was replaced by the country&rsquo;s first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, in February 2006. The JPL again took back&nbsp;leadership with the September 2007 election of&nbsp;the current prime minister, Bruce Golding.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Due to high levels of drugs, violence and gang activity, many Jamaicans emigrate to other countries.&nbsp;The UK restricted emigration in 1967, leading many to head to the US or Canada. <span>New York, Miami, Chicago, and Hartford, Conn., are among the US cities with a significant Jamaican population. Remittances from the expatriate communities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, estimated at up to $1.6 billion per year, make increasingly significant contributions to Jamaica&rsquo;s economy.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.discoverjamaica.com/gleaner/discover/geography/"><font color="#0000ff">Geography &amp; History of Jamaica</font></a> (Gleaner)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.discoverjamaica.com/govpol.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Government and Politics of Jamaica</font></a> (Discover Jamaica)</div> <div> <a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cxtoc.html"><font color="#0000ff">Library of Congress Country Study: Commonwealth of Caribbean Islands</font></a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jamaica"><font color="#0000ff">History of Jamaica</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div>
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Jamaica's Newspapers
<p> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/jamaica.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica&rsquo;s Newspapers</font></a></p> <div> <a href="http://www.csmebiz.com/"><font color="#0000ff">The Kingston Chronicle , Ltd.</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica Daily Gleaner</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaicanewsbulletin.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica News Bulletin</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/"><font color="#0000ff">The Jamaica Observer</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaica-star.com/thestar/20100504/"><font color="#0000ff">The Jamaica Star</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://mandevilleweekly.com/Mandeville%20Weekly%20new/"><font color="#0000ff">Mandeville Weekly</font></a></div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Jamaica
<p> Historically, the United States&rsquo; most important involvement with Jamaica was the slave trade. The US Peace Corps has operated in Jamaica since 1962. In the years since then, more than 3,300 US volunteers have served in the country.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided assistance to Jamaica since the country gained its independence in 1962. The agency has worked to reduce population growth, attain higher standards for overall health, and diversify Jamaica&rsquo;s exports, with the goal of promoting sustainable economic growth. This has included the 2007 creation of the Sustainable Clusters Project. Through the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), the Sustainable Clusters Project. According to USAID, A cluster includes all the related and supporting industries involved in the production and delivery of a specific product or service.&rdquo; Additionally, USAID has been engaged with trying to help Jamaica protect its environment and natural resources, and effectively implement family planning.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Former Prime Minister Percival Patterson established warm relations with the US by visiting Washington, DC several times during his long term of office.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> During the early 2000s, allegations of corruption and links to the drug trade during Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide&#39;s second term made for a rocky relationship with the US. After an uprising against President Aristide in 2004, US forces were deployed to Haiti to airlift him out of the country. After spending two weeks in the Central African Republic, Aristride and his family were allowed temporary residence in Jamaica and returned to the Caribbean. The Aristides stayed for several months, straining US&ndash;Jamaican relations, as US officials demanded Aristride be expelled from the hemisphere.</div> <div> .</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica%E2%80%93United_States_relations"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica-United States Relations</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.jis.gov.jm/foreign_affairs/html/20060414T190000-0500_8561_JIS_SENATOR_HYLTON_DISCUSSES_BI_LATERAL_ISSUES_WITH_U_S__SECRETARY_OF_STATE_.asp"><font color="#0000ff">Senator Hylton Discusses Bi-Lateral Issues with US Secretary of State</font></a> (Jamaica Information Service)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2004-03-15-aristide_x.htm?csp=24"><font color="#0000ff">Haiti, US criticize Jamaica over Aristide&rsquo;s return</font></a> (Associated Press)</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Jamaica
<p> &nbsp;</p> <div> <b>Politics and Public Service</b></div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Colin Powell</b> (April 5, 1937) is a statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State (2001&ndash;2005), and the first African-American to be appointed to that position. Powell was raised in New York City by Jamaican immigrants.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>David Paterson</b> (May 20, 1954) is the 55th and current Governor of New York. His father is Afro-Jamaican, making him the first governor of New York of African-American heritage, and he is also the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Kamala Harris</b> (October 20, 1964) is the current District Attorney of San Francisco and a candidate for Attorney General in the 2010 California State Elections. Her father is Jamaican-American.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Sports</b></div> <div> <b>Benjamin &quot;Ben&quot; Gordon (</b>April 4, 1983) currently plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Detroit Pistons. He was born in the United Kingdom to Jamaican parents. In 2905, he became&nbsp;the only player to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award as a rookie.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> I<b>nger Miller</b> (June 12, 1972) is a track and field sprint athlete who earned a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics as a member of USA&rsquo;s 4 x 100 meters relay team. Her father is Lennox Miller, an Olympic champion runner from Jamaica.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Patrick Ewing</b> (August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-born, Hall of Fame basketball player. He played for most of his NBA career with the New York Knicks, and won Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the 1984 and 1992 US Men&#39;s National Basketball teams. Ewing is currently an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Sanya Richards-Ross</b> (February 26, 1985) is a Jamaican-born track and field athlete for the United States, and won two Olympic gold medals in the 4 x 400 meters relay in 2004 and 2008. She also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in the individual 400meters.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Entertainment</b></div> <div> <b>Christopher Wallace aka &ldquo;The Notorious B.I.G.&rdquo; </b>(May 21, 1972- March 9, 1997) was an American rapper born to Jamaican immigrants and raised in Brooklyn.&nbsp;Commonly referred to as &ldquo;Biggie Smalls&rdquo;, he was a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene during the 1990s and became infamous following the drive-by shooting that led to his death.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Grace Jones</b> (May 19, 1948) is a Jamaican-born singer, model, and actress. Jones move with her family to Syracuse, New York, when she was 17 years old. She started her career as a model in New York and Paris and grew in popularity after releasing a slew of disco albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Harry Belafonte Jr. (March 1, 1927) </b>is an American musician, actor, and social activist known as the &ldquo;King of Calypso&rdquo; for his role in popularizing Caribbean-style music internationally during the 1950s. His father was Jamaican and served in the Royal Navy for the UK.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Sean Paul (</b>January 9, 1973) is a Jamaican-born reggae artist and rapper who was raised in the United States and achieved success with the musical hits &ldquo;Gimme the Light,&rdquo; &ldquo;Get Busy,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Temperature.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Trevor Smith Jr. aka &ldquo;Busta Rhymes&rdquo;</b> (May 20, 1972) is a Jamaican-American rapper, songwriter, and actor who has released 8 major studio albums and been featured in movies such as <i>Halloween : Resurrection </i>(2002) and <i>The Boondocks</i> (2007).</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Tyson Beckford</b> (December 19, 1970) was born to parents of Jamaican heritage, and is an American model and actor best known for his work as a model for designer Ralph Lauren.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Other</b></div> <div> <b>Malcolm Gladwell</b> (September 3, 1963) is a writer for the New Yorker and best-selling author of <i>The Tipping Point </i>(2000), <i>Blink </i>(2005), <i>Outliers</i> (2008), and <i>What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures</i> (2009). Gladwell has cited his Jamaican-born mother as his role model as a writer.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Louis Farrakhan</b> (born <b>Louis Eugene Walcott</b>; May 11, 1933) is the National Representative of the Nation of Islam, and an advocate for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people"><font color="#0000ff">black</font></a> nationalist interests. Farrakhan has been both widely praised and criticized for his often-controversial political views.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In April 2001, Prime Minister Percival Patterson and other Caribbean leaders met with President George W. Bush during the Summit of the Americas in Quebec, Canada.&nbsp;A &ldquo;Third Border Initiative&rdquo; was launched to strengthen economic development in the Caribbean nations.&nbsp;In 2007, Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller attended the &ldquo;Conference on the Caribbean&mdash;A 20/20 Vision&rdquo; in Washington.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since Jamaica is a major transit point for cocaine and a key source of marijuana, the two governments have worked together to reduce the flow of drugs. During 2006, the government of Jamaica seized narcotics destined for the United States, arrested key traffickers and criminal gang leaders, and dismantled their organizations. In that same year, Jamaican seizures increased by more than 200%. Operation Kingfish is a multinational task force (Jamaica, US, United Kingdom, and Canada) for coordinating investigations leading to the arrest of major criminals. From its October 2004 inception through December 2006, <a href="http://www.jcf.gov.jm/OperationKingsfish/tabid/435/Default.aspx"><font color="#0000ff">Operation Kingfish</font></a> launched 1,378 operations resulting in the seizure of 56 vehicles, 57 boats, one aircraft, 206 firearms, and two containers carrying drugs.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website, the 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the US State Department suggested that <span>Operation Kingfish narrow its focus to increase its success rate by targeting high- level criminals who command and control gangs in Jamaica. The report also noted that despite gains made by Operation Kingfish, Jamaica remained a major source of the marijuana entering the US.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Peace Corps continues its work on the following projects: Youth-at-Risk, which includes adolescent reproductive health, HIV/AIDS education, and the needs of marginalized males; water sanitation, which includes rural waste water solutions and municipal waste water treatment; and environmental education, which helps address low levels of awareness and strengthens environmental non-governmental organizations. The Peace Corps in Jamaica consists of about 70 volunteers who work in every parish on the island, including some inner-city communities in Kingston.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> USAID continues to provide assistance to Jamaica in five categories: economic growth, rural development, health, democracy and governance, and education. The country received $12,087,000 in 2008 and an estimated $10,564,000 in 2009 for these programs.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> According to the 2000 US census,736,513 Americans identified themselves as being of Jamaican ancestry. They live mainly in the Northeast but have also established large communities in the South. They represent the largest group of immigrants from the English speaking Caribbean.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As many as 10,000 American citizens currently reside in Jamaica.&nbsp;</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2006,1.2 million Americans visited Jamaica, 12.5% more than in 2005.&nbsp;More Americans have been visiting Jamaica every year since 2002, when 925,629 Americans traveled to the Caribbean nation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 204,912 Jamaicans visited the US. More Jamaicans have been traveling to America every year since 2003, when 159,484 came to the US.</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> The United States is Jamaica&rsquo;s most important trading partner, accounting for 40% of the island nation&rsquo;s total trade. In 2009 US-Jamaica trade in goods was approximately $2 billion.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Jamaica&rsquo;s government continues to seek American investment and supports efforts to create a Free Trade Area of the Americans (FTAA). Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partner Act (CBTPA), Jamaica receives development assistance. More than 80 US firms have operations in Jamaica, and total US investment is estimated at more than $3 billion. The US Embassy in Jamaica contains the US and Foreign Commercial Service, which assists US businesses seeking opportunities in Jamaica, and the American Chamber of Commerce has offices in Kingston to help US companies already in business.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2009, US imports from Jamaica totaled $<span>465 million.In 2009, US imports from Jamaica were dominated by coal and related fuels at $156.8 million. Also significant were bauxite and aluminum imports, totaling $73.2 million; industrial inorganic chemicals at $62.3 million; and wine and related products at $33.4 million. Between 2005 and 2008, US imports from Jamaica grew from $375.6 million to $728.7 million, and then decreased to $465.1 million in 2009.</span></div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2009, US exports to Jamaica were dominated by <span>fuel oil at $161.4 million, a significant decrease from the $643.7 million total in 2008. Other important exports were wheat at $52 million, corn at $46 million, miscellaneous household goods at $39 million, pharmaceutical preparations at $38.1 million, and miscellaneous chemicals at $27 million. Overall, US exports to Jamaica decreased from $2.6 billion in 2008 to $1.5 billion in 2009.</span></div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> Jamaica received $10.5 million in aid from the US in 2009. The largest recipient programs were Peace and Security operations ($3.3 million), Education ($2 million), Development Assistance ($2.5 million), Child Survival and Health ($1.5 million), and Agriculture ($1.5 million).&nbsp;The 2010 budget is estimated at $10.3 million, and the budget request for 2011 is $13.1 million.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c2410.html"><font color="#0000ff">Imports from Jamaica</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c2410.html"><font color="#0000ff">Exports to Jamaica</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amchamjamaica.org/"><font color="#0000ff">American Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.buyusa.gov/caribbean/en/doing_business_in_jamaica.html"><font color="#0000ff">Doing Business in Jamaica</font></a> (BUYUSA.gov)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2410.html"><font color="#0000ff">Trade in Goods (Imports, Exports and Trade Balance) with Jamaica</font></a> (US Bureau of the Census)</div> <div> <a href="http://jamaica.usaid.gov/en/Index.aspx"><font color="#0000ff">USAID: Jamaica</font></a> (USAID)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/137937.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations (pages 720-724)</font></a> (pdf)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>U.S. <span>Extradition Demand Leads to More than 70 Dead in Jamaica</span></b></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span>Security forces in Jamaica spent most of this week shooting up a working-class neighborhood in an attempt to capture drug lord Christopher &ldquo;Dudus&rdquo; Coke, wanted in the United States on gun and narcotics charges. Acting on a longstanding extradition request from the U.S., Jamaican police and military stormed Coke&rsquo;s stronghold of Tivoli Gardens, and in the process killed 67 civilians; four other fatalities were security personnel. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span>The effort to seize Coke began on Sunday, when gunmen loyal to him prevented police from entering the neighborhood. Several days of fighting ensued, with numerous allegations of police randomly shooting civilians without cause. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The U.S. waited nine months for Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding to take action against Coke. Golding&rsquo;s Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has had close ties with Coke and his father, Lester Lloyd &ldquo;Jim Brown&rdquo; Coke, who used his posse to support JLP candidates while building his drugs and gun-running operation. Golding reportedly wanted to avoid going after Coke, and hired lobbyists in Washington, DC, to convince U.S. officials to drop the extradition request.</div> <div> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/world/americas/28jamaica.html"><font color="#0000ff">Gang Leader Still Eludes Police as Death Toll in Jamaica Rises</font></a> (by Kareem Fahim, New York Times)</div> <div> <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/latin_america/10173302.stm"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica Violence &#39;Linked to US Drug Market&#39;</font></a> (by Jon Silverman, BBC News)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/26/jamaicas_coke_rebellion"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica&#39;s Coke Rebellion</font></a> (by Ilan Greenberg, Foreign Policy)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.americanthinker.com/Christopher%20Coke%20Indictment.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">United States v. Christopher Michael Coke</font></a> (U.S. District Court, Southern New York) (pdf)</div>
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Human Rights
<p> The State Department reports that while Jamaica&rsquo;s government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, there were serious problems in some areas, including: &ldquo;unlawful killings committed by members of the security forces, abuse of detainees and prisoners by police and prison guards, poor prison and jail conditions, impunity for police who committed crimes, an overburdened judicial system and frequent lengthy delays in trials, violence and discrimination against women, trafficking in persons, and violence against person based on their suspected or known sexual orientation.&rdquo;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> While some security forces committed unlawful or unwarranted killings, some well-armed gangs that trafficked in narcotics and guns controlled many inner-city communities. The gangs often were better equipped than the police force and conducted coordinated ambushes of joint security patrols.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Reports of physical abuse of prisoners by guards continued, despite efforts by the government to remove abusive guards and improve procedures.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Prison conditions remained poor, primarily due to overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions. Medical care also was poor, primarily a result of having only three full-time doctors, one full-time nurse, and one psychiatrist to cover 12 facilities (eight adult, four juvenile) with almost 5,000 inmates across the island.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were reports of arbitrary arrest during 2007, including during the brief period of a state of emergency declared in August 2007 by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, during which the right of habeas corpus was automatically suspended.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The judicial system was overburdened and operated with inadequate resources. Most judges were appointed after serving in the state prosecutor&rsquo;s office, and it was very difficult for a private attorney or one who specialized in defense to be appointed as a judge. Human rights groups stated that this made the independence of the judiciary very fragile.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The judiciary&rsquo;s lack of sufficient staff and resources hindered due process. Trials in many cases were delayed for years, and other cases were dismissed because files could not be located or had been destroyed.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There was a general lack of confidence in the police&rsquo;s witness protection program, which led to the dismissal of a number of cases involving killings. Some criminal trials were dismissed because witnesses failed to come forward as a result of threats and intimidation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Somelocal media professionals expressed concern that the country&rsquo;s libel laws limited their freedom of expression. Specifically, news outlets reported the need to self-censor investigative reports because of the potential for courts to award high damages in cases of defamation. The Press Association of Jamaica and the Media Association of Jamaica continued to advocate changes in the libel laws, which they stated had a &ldquo;chilling effect&rdquo; on the media&rsquo;s ability to report effectively, especially on political issues.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Members of the Rastafarian community complained that law enforcement officials unfairly targeted them. However, it was not clear whether such complaints reflected discrimination on the basis of religious belief or were due to the group&rsquo;s illegal use of marijuana as part of Rastafarian religious practice.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In recent elections, voters living in &ldquo;garrison communities,&rdquo; inner-city areas dominated by one of the two major political parties, often faced substantial influence and pressure from politically connected gangs and young men hired by political parties. These factors impeded the free exercise of their right to vote.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According tothe World Bank&rsquo;s worldwide governance indicators, government corruption was a serious problem. There was a widespread public perception of corruption in the executive and legislative branches of government. .</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the law accords women full legal equality, including equal pay for equal work, in practice women suffered from discrimination in the workplace and often earned less than their male counterparts.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the 2009 Sexual Offenses Act criminalizes spousal rape social and cultural traditions perpetuated violence against women, including spousal abuse. Violence against women was widespread, but many women were reluctant to acknowledge or report abusive behavior, leading to wide variations in estimates of its extent. There was a general reluctance by the police to become involved in domestic issues, which led to cases not being pursued vigorously when reported.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There is no legislationthat addresses sexual harassment, and it was a problem.Therewere reports of sexual harassment of women by the police, but some observers believed that women often did not report such incidents because there was no legal remedy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There was no societal pattern of abuse of children; however, there were numerous reports of rape and incest, particularly in inner cities. NGOs reported that inner-city gang leaders and sometimes even fathers initiated sex with young girls as a &ldquo;right.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The country was a source for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. According to a 2005 exploratory assessment, some trafficking occurred in the country, primarily for sexual exploitation. The report also stated there may be trafficking, including that of children, within the country for domestic servitude and forced labor. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that several hundred minors were involved in the country&rsquo;s sex trade.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Child prostitution is also a problem, especially in tourist areas. In July 2009, Parliament approved a child pornography bill, criminalizing commercial sexual exploitation of children. The law applies to the production, possession, importation, exportation, and distribution of child pornography and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years&#39; imprisonment and a fine of J$500,000 ($5,600).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continued to report human rights abuses, including police harassment, arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals. Police often did not investigate such incidents. J-FLAG members also reported death threats, as well as threats to burn down its offices.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Homosexual men were hesitant to report incidents against them because of fear for their physical well-being. Human rights NGOs and government entities agreed that brutality against homosexuals, by police and by private citizens, was widespread in the community.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> No laws protect persons living with HIV/AIDS from discrimination. Human rights NGOs reported severe stigma and discrimination against this group. Although health care facilities were prepared to handle patients with HIV/AIDS, health care workers often neglected such patients.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136118.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US State Department</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/americas/jamaica"><font color="#0000ff">Human Rights Watch</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/americas/caribbean/jamaica"><font color="#0000ff">Amnesty International</font></a></div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Note: Embassy Kingston was established Aug 16, 1962, with Irving G. Cheslaw as Charg&eacute; d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William C. Doherty</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 23, 1962</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 26, 1962</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 25, 1964</div> <div> Note: An earlier nomination of Sep 29, 1962, was not confirmed by the Senate. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Mar 12, 1963.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Wilson T.M. Beale, Jr.</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 1, 1965</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 13, 1965</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 22, 1967</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Walter N. Tobriner</div> <div> Appointment: Nov 7, 1967</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 11, 1967</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 21, 1969</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Vincent de Roulet</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 19, 1969</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 23, 1969</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 18, 1973</div> <div> Note: The Government of Jamaica declared Ambassador de Roulet persona non grata, Jul 20, 1973, and he did not return to his post.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Sumner Gerard</div> <div> Appointment: Mar 22, 1974</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 4, 1974</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 15, 1977</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Frederick Irving</div> <div> Appointment: May 26, 1977</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1977</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 22, 1978</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Loren E. Lawrence</div> <div> Appointment: Mar 23, 1979</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 12, 1979</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 9, 1982</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Alexander Hewitt</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 30, 1982</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 1, 1982</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 14, 1985</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Michael Sotirhos</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 28, 1985</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 12, 1985</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 7, 1989</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Glen A. Holden</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 10, 1989</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 21, 1989</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 1, 1993</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Note: Lacy A. Wright, Jr., served as Charg&eacute; d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim, Mar 1993&ndash;Nov 1994.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Shirley Anita Chisholm</div> <div> Note: Nomination withdrawn Oct 13, 1993.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Jerome Gary Cooper</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 5, 1994</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1994</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 27, 1997</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Stanley Louis McLelland</div> <div> Appointment: Nov 12, 1997</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 6, 1998</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 1, 2001</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Sue McCourt Cobb</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 3, 2001</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 12, 2001</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 1, 2005</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Jamaica's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Marks, Audrey

Audrey Patrice Marks became Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States in May 2010.

 
Marks was born in St. Mary, Middlesex, Jamaica, and graduated from Marymount High School in Highgate. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, and, in 1991, her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Florida.
 
Marks worked for Air Jamaica while studying for her Bachelor’s degree. Following college, she launched and managed six businesses, including a real estate development firm, a transportation company, a venture capital operation, and a banana exporting farm.
 
In October 1997, Marks founded Paymaster (Jamaica) Limited, a consolidated bill payment agency, boasting more than 1.4 million customers and more than $40 billion in annual transactions.
 
In 2003, she became chairperson of the Tourism Product Development Company.
 
In May 2010, took over as Jamaica’s representative to the Organization of American States, and serves as Deputy Chairman of the Urban Development Corporation, Chairman of the Central Wastewater Treatment Company Limited, Director of the Board of RBTT Securities Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Trade and Invest, National Health Fund, and the University of the West Indies’ Mona School of Business. She is also the first female president of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica.
 
Marks and her husband, electrical engineering consultant Jassel Dunstan, have two daughters, Morgan and Madison.
                                                                                                -Danny Biederman
 
Audrey Marks’s Amazing Story (by Jean Lowrie-Chin, Jamaica Observer)
 

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Jamaica's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p> <a href="http://www.embassyofjamaica.org/home.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica&rsquo;s Embassy in the US</font></a></p>
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U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica

Moreno, Luis
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A career Foreign Service Officer who has spent the bulk of his career fighting the so-called “war on drugs” is set to be the next ambassador to the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, home to more than 29,000 Rastafarians, who regard the smoking of marijuana a holy sacrament. Nominated September 10, Luis G. Moreno would succeed Pamela Bridgewater, who started her tour in Kingston in October 2010. Since June 2011, Moreno has been deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain

 

Born circa 1955, Luis Moreno graduated from Staten Island Academy in 1973, going on to earn a BA in History at Fordham University in 1977 and an MA in Education at Kean College in 1981.

 

After joining the Foreign Service in 1983, Moreno served in the consular section and the Narcotics Assistance Unit at the embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, from spring 1984 to 1986, when he served as American citizens service chief at the embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. From 1987 to 1988, Moreno served as a staff assistant in the Latin American Affairs Bureau of the State Department.

 

Moreno spent the next five years as a drug warrior. From 1988 to 1990, Moreno served as deputy director of the Narcotics Affairs Section at the embassy in Lima, Peru, where he managed a coca eradication project. From 1990 to 1993, Moreno served as the Colombia desk officer for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Washington.

 

From 1993 to 1995, Moreno took a break from counter-narcotics to serve as refugee coordinator at the embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while thousands of “boat people” returned to the island, and as political-military officer after the United Nations intervention in 1994.

 

Intending to get back to drugs, in 1995 Moreno took an assignment at the embassy in Panama as narcotics director and law enforcement coordinator, but was detailed to serve as Kurdish refugee coordinator instead, supervising government efforts to resettle Kurdish refugees in the U.S.

 

From 1997 to 2001, Moreno served as narcotics affairs director at the embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, where he was one of the primary planners of “Plan Colombia,” an anti-drug effort that spent several billion dollars of U.S. aid to stop the flow of cocaine.

 

Back in Haiti, Moreno served as deputy chief of mission at the embassy, where he was the primary point of contact with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, from August 2001 to August 2004. On February 29, 2004, it was Moreno who accompanied Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the airport when he was forced out of office in a military coup.

 

Moreno served his first tour in Mexico, as consul general and principal officer at the consulate in Monterrey, from August 2004 to June 2007, and his first tour in the Middle East, as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, from August 2007 to May 2010. From May 2010 to June 2011, he served at the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, as political-military affairs minister counselor and as force strategic engagement cell director. 

 

Moreno speaks Spanish, French and some Haitian Creole.

-Matt Bewig

 

Official Biography

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica

Parnell, Isiah
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Isiah Parnell took over as U.S. chargé d’affaires in Jamaica in August 2009. Born in High Springs, Florida, Parnell was an “army brat” who attended high school in Germany. He earned B.A.  (1978) and M.A. (1980) degrees from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in Government and Economics; and an M.A. degree in Urban Planning/Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He served in the Army 1981-1984, after which he joined the Department of State. His eight Foreign Service postings brought him to Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Ghana. Between 2006 and 2008, Parnell was he Minister Counselor of Management Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

 
Married in 1984, Parnell and his wife, Tarnice Gordon Parnell, have four daughters.
 
Isiah Parnell: a Life of Service to Country (by Barbara Ellington, The Gleaner)

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News
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Overview
<p> Jamaica occupies a mountainous island in the Caribbean that has become a popular destination for tourists all over the world. Originally settled by the Arawak people of South America, the island nation was subsequently colonized by Christopher Columbus and Spain, in 1510, then by the British, in 1670. During the Spanish reign, the Arawak people were all but eradicated by disease, slavery and war.&nbsp;Though sugar production came to be the country&rsquo;s most successful export, regional conflicts led the British to outlaw slavery in 1834. Jamaica gained protection from pirates, when it allowed them to make the country a base of operations. In 1962, Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain. Although political power has see-sawed since that time, the country&rsquo;s recent leaders have taken steps to strengthen ties with the US and increase privatization. Due to the high levels of drugs, violence and gang activity, especially in the capital of Kingston, many choose to emigrate from Jamaica each year, moving to the US or Canada to make a new life.</p>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: A mountainous island in the Caribbean 90 miles south of Cuba, Jamaica is green and lush but with a surprisingly mild and temperate climate.&nbsp;Bright-colored birds, coral beaches, and over 200 kinds of orchids are some of Jamaica&rsquo;s attractions.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 2.8 million</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Church of God 24%, Seventh-day Adventist 11%, Pentecostal 10%, Baptist 7%, Anglican 4%, Catholic 2%, United Church 2%, Methodist 2%, Jehovah&rsquo;s Witnesses 2%, Moravian 1%, Brethren 1%, Spiritist (Rastafarian) 10%, non-religious 3%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other 2.6%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Jamaican Creole English 98.2%, English (official).</div>
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History
<p> The Arawakan-speaking Taino people of South America originally settled the island of Jamaica between 4000 and 1000 BC. When explorer Christopher Columbus first arrived in 1494, claiming Jamaica for Spain, the Arawak had established more than 200 villages.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Spanish occupation began in 1510 and extended until 1655, when the British seized the island. Although remnants of the population survived into British occupation,&nbsp;the Arawak people were largely exterminated by disease, slavery and war during the Spanish reign. In 1517, Spain began bringing &nbsp;slaves from Jamaica to be sold in the United States.. This practice continued legally under both colonizers until the British outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and in black markets until Britain&rsquo;s 1834 full ban on slavery in Jamaica.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Originally lured by its rich natural resources, including sugar, Great Britain gained possession of Jamaica in 1670. Sugar plantations sprang up all over, and Spanish Town became a base of operations for many pirates, including Captain Henry Morgan, who protected the island in return for being allowed to make it their base. .</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As sugar exports increased, more Jamaicans were forced into slavery. Other slaves were brought from Africa as a result of the Atlantic slave trade, creating much racial tension on the island. The British outlawed slavery on August 1, 1834, after a series of slave uprisings, beginning the process of reducing its presence in Jamaica.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1866 the Jamaican legislature renounced its powers, and the country became a crown colony, resulting in the emergence of a middle class of low-level public officials and police officers whose social and political advancement was blocked by the colonial authorities for the decades that followed.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1872 the capital was moved from Spanish Town to Kingston.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> During the 1930s the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression"><font color="#0000ff">Great Depression</font></a> had a serious impact both on the Jamaica&rsquo;s emergent middle class and working class. In the spring of 1938 sugar and dock workers around the island <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indian_labour_unrest_of_1934%E2%80%931939"><font color="#0000ff">rose in revolt</font></a>, leading eventually to the emergence of an organized labor movement and a competitive party system.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In the late 1930s, Jamaica began to gain a degree of local political control. In 1944, the country held its first election, and in 1958, Jamaica joined nine other UK territories in the West Indies Federation. However, voters rejected this membership in 1961, and the country withdrew from the federation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On August 6, 1962, Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain, but it remained a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. <span>Alexander Bustamante of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was the country&rsquo;s first prime minister. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since that time, the People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) and the JLP have tended to swap power every few years. Michael Manley (PNP) became the country&rsquo;s prime minister in 1972 and began to introduce socialist policies as well as improved relations with Cuba. However, an increased level of political violence led to his defeat in 1980. The JLP&rsquo;s Edward Seaga then reversed many of Manley&rsquo;s policies, strengthening ties with the United States and introducing privatization.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Manley and the PNP returned to power with his reinstatement as prime minister in 1989, and the Party kept control through the 1993 and 1998 elections. In 1992, however, Manley resigned due to health reasons. Percival Patterson then assumed leadership of the PNP until he was replaced by the country&rsquo;s first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, in February 2006. The JPL again took back&nbsp;leadership with the September 2007 election of&nbsp;the current prime minister, Bruce Golding.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Due to high levels of drugs, violence and gang activity, many Jamaicans emigrate to other countries.&nbsp;The UK restricted emigration in 1967, leading many to head to the US or Canada. <span>New York, Miami, Chicago, and Hartford, Conn., are among the US cities with a significant Jamaican population. Remittances from the expatriate communities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, estimated at up to $1.6 billion per year, make increasingly significant contributions to Jamaica&rsquo;s economy.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.discoverjamaica.com/gleaner/discover/geography/"><font color="#0000ff">Geography &amp; History of Jamaica</font></a> (Gleaner)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.discoverjamaica.com/govpol.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Government and Politics of Jamaica</font></a> (Discover Jamaica)</div> <div> <a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cxtoc.html"><font color="#0000ff">Library of Congress Country Study: Commonwealth of Caribbean Islands</font></a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jamaica"><font color="#0000ff">History of Jamaica</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div>
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Jamaica's Newspapers
<p> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/jamaica.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica&rsquo;s Newspapers</font></a></p> <div> <a href="http://www.csmebiz.com/"><font color="#0000ff">The Kingston Chronicle , Ltd.</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica Daily Gleaner</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaicanewsbulletin.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica News Bulletin</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/"><font color="#0000ff">The Jamaica Observer</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.jamaica-star.com/thestar/20100504/"><font color="#0000ff">The Jamaica Star</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://mandevilleweekly.com/Mandeville%20Weekly%20new/"><font color="#0000ff">Mandeville Weekly</font></a></div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Jamaica
<p> Historically, the United States&rsquo; most important involvement with Jamaica was the slave trade. The US Peace Corps has operated in Jamaica since 1962. In the years since then, more than 3,300 US volunteers have served in the country.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided assistance to Jamaica since the country gained its independence in 1962. The agency has worked to reduce population growth, attain higher standards for overall health, and diversify Jamaica&rsquo;s exports, with the goal of promoting sustainable economic growth. This has included the 2007 creation of the Sustainable Clusters Project. Through the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), the Sustainable Clusters Project. According to USAID, A cluster includes all the related and supporting industries involved in the production and delivery of a specific product or service.&rdquo; Additionally, USAID has been engaged with trying to help Jamaica protect its environment and natural resources, and effectively implement family planning.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Former Prime Minister Percival Patterson established warm relations with the US by visiting Washington, DC several times during his long term of office.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> During the early 2000s, allegations of corruption and links to the drug trade during Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide&#39;s second term made for a rocky relationship with the US. After an uprising against President Aristide in 2004, US forces were deployed to Haiti to airlift him out of the country. After spending two weeks in the Central African Republic, Aristride and his family were allowed temporary residence in Jamaica and returned to the Caribbean. The Aristides stayed for several months, straining US&ndash;Jamaican relations, as US officials demanded Aristride be expelled from the hemisphere.</div> <div> .</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica%E2%80%93United_States_relations"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica-United States Relations</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.jis.gov.jm/foreign_affairs/html/20060414T190000-0500_8561_JIS_SENATOR_HYLTON_DISCUSSES_BI_LATERAL_ISSUES_WITH_U_S__SECRETARY_OF_STATE_.asp"><font color="#0000ff">Senator Hylton Discusses Bi-Lateral Issues with US Secretary of State</font></a> (Jamaica Information Service)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2004-03-15-aristide_x.htm?csp=24"><font color="#0000ff">Haiti, US criticize Jamaica over Aristide&rsquo;s return</font></a> (Associated Press)</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Jamaica
<p> &nbsp;</p> <div> <b>Politics and Public Service</b></div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Colin Powell</b> (April 5, 1937) is a statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State (2001&ndash;2005), and the first African-American to be appointed to that position. Powell was raised in New York City by Jamaican immigrants.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>David Paterson</b> (May 20, 1954) is the 55th and current Governor of New York. His father is Afro-Jamaican, making him the first governor of New York of African-American heritage, and he is also the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Kamala Harris</b> (October 20, 1964) is the current District Attorney of San Francisco and a candidate for Attorney General in the 2010 California State Elections. Her father is Jamaican-American.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Sports</b></div> <div> <b>Benjamin &quot;Ben&quot; Gordon (</b>April 4, 1983) currently plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Detroit Pistons. He was born in the United Kingdom to Jamaican parents. In 2905, he became&nbsp;the only player to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award as a rookie.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> I<b>nger Miller</b> (June 12, 1972) is a track and field sprint athlete who earned a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics as a member of USA&rsquo;s 4 x 100 meters relay team. Her father is Lennox Miller, an Olympic champion runner from Jamaica.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Patrick Ewing</b> (August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-born, Hall of Fame basketball player. He played for most of his NBA career with the New York Knicks, and won Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the 1984 and 1992 US Men&#39;s National Basketball teams. Ewing is currently an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Sanya Richards-Ross</b> (February 26, 1985) is a Jamaican-born track and field athlete for the United States, and won two Olympic gold medals in the 4 x 400 meters relay in 2004 and 2008. She also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in the individual 400meters.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Entertainment</b></div> <div> <b>Christopher Wallace aka &ldquo;The Notorious B.I.G.&rdquo; </b>(May 21, 1972- March 9, 1997) was an American rapper born to Jamaican immigrants and raised in Brooklyn.&nbsp;Commonly referred to as &ldquo;Biggie Smalls&rdquo;, he was a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene during the 1990s and became infamous following the drive-by shooting that led to his death.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Grace Jones</b> (May 19, 1948) is a Jamaican-born singer, model, and actress. Jones move with her family to Syracuse, New York, when she was 17 years old. She started her career as a model in New York and Paris and grew in popularity after releasing a slew of disco albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Harry Belafonte Jr. (March 1, 1927) </b>is an American musician, actor, and social activist known as the &ldquo;King of Calypso&rdquo; for his role in popularizing Caribbean-style music internationally during the 1950s. His father was Jamaican and served in the Royal Navy for the UK.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Sean Paul (</b>January 9, 1973) is a Jamaican-born reggae artist and rapper who was raised in the United States and achieved success with the musical hits &ldquo;Gimme the Light,&rdquo; &ldquo;Get Busy,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Temperature.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Trevor Smith Jr. aka &ldquo;Busta Rhymes&rdquo;</b> (May 20, 1972) is a Jamaican-American rapper, songwriter, and actor who has released 8 major studio albums and been featured in movies such as <i>Halloween : Resurrection </i>(2002) and <i>The Boondocks</i> (2007).</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Tyson Beckford</b> (December 19, 1970) was born to parents of Jamaican heritage, and is an American model and actor best known for his work as a model for designer Ralph Lauren.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Other</b></div> <div> <b>Malcolm Gladwell</b> (September 3, 1963) is a writer for the New Yorker and best-selling author of <i>The Tipping Point </i>(2000), <i>Blink </i>(2005), <i>Outliers</i> (2008), and <i>What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures</i> (2009). Gladwell has cited his Jamaican-born mother as his role model as a writer.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Louis Farrakhan</b> (born <b>Louis Eugene Walcott</b>; May 11, 1933) is the National Representative of the Nation of Islam, and an advocate for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people"><font color="#0000ff">black</font></a> nationalist interests. Farrakhan has been both widely praised and criticized for his often-controversial political views.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In April 2001, Prime Minister Percival Patterson and other Caribbean leaders met with President George W. Bush during the Summit of the Americas in Quebec, Canada.&nbsp;A &ldquo;Third Border Initiative&rdquo; was launched to strengthen economic development in the Caribbean nations.&nbsp;In 2007, Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller attended the &ldquo;Conference on the Caribbean&mdash;A 20/20 Vision&rdquo; in Washington.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since Jamaica is a major transit point for cocaine and a key source of marijuana, the two governments have worked together to reduce the flow of drugs. During 2006, the government of Jamaica seized narcotics destined for the United States, arrested key traffickers and criminal gang leaders, and dismantled their organizations. In that same year, Jamaican seizures increased by more than 200%. Operation Kingfish is a multinational task force (Jamaica, US, United Kingdom, and Canada) for coordinating investigations leading to the arrest of major criminals. From its October 2004 inception through December 2006, <a href="http://www.jcf.gov.jm/OperationKingsfish/tabid/435/Default.aspx"><font color="#0000ff">Operation Kingfish</font></a> launched 1,378 operations resulting in the seizure of 56 vehicles, 57 boats, one aircraft, 206 firearms, and two containers carrying drugs.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website, the 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the US State Department suggested that <span>Operation Kingfish narrow its focus to increase its success rate by targeting high- level criminals who command and control gangs in Jamaica. The report also noted that despite gains made by Operation Kingfish, Jamaica remained a major source of the marijuana entering the US.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Peace Corps continues its work on the following projects: Youth-at-Risk, which includes adolescent reproductive health, HIV/AIDS education, and the needs of marginalized males; water sanitation, which includes rural waste water solutions and municipal waste water treatment; and environmental education, which helps address low levels of awareness and strengthens environmental non-governmental organizations. The Peace Corps in Jamaica consists of about 70 volunteers who work in every parish on the island, including some inner-city communities in Kingston.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> USAID continues to provide assistance to Jamaica in five categories: economic growth, rural development, health, democracy and governance, and education. The country received $12,087,000 in 2008 and an estimated $10,564,000 in 2009 for these programs.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> According to the 2000 US census,736,513 Americans identified themselves as being of Jamaican ancestry. They live mainly in the Northeast but have also established large communities in the South. They represent the largest group of immigrants from the English speaking Caribbean.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As many as 10,000 American citizens currently reside in Jamaica.&nbsp;</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2006,1.2 million Americans visited Jamaica, 12.5% more than in 2005.&nbsp;More Americans have been visiting Jamaica every year since 2002, when 925,629 Americans traveled to the Caribbean nation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 204,912 Jamaicans visited the US. More Jamaicans have been traveling to America every year since 2003, when 159,484 came to the US.</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> The United States is Jamaica&rsquo;s most important trading partner, accounting for 40% of the island nation&rsquo;s total trade. In 2009 US-Jamaica trade in goods was approximately $2 billion.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Jamaica&rsquo;s government continues to seek American investment and supports efforts to create a Free Trade Area of the Americans (FTAA). Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partner Act (CBTPA), Jamaica receives development assistance. More than 80 US firms have operations in Jamaica, and total US investment is estimated at more than $3 billion. The US Embassy in Jamaica contains the US and Foreign Commercial Service, which assists US businesses seeking opportunities in Jamaica, and the American Chamber of Commerce has offices in Kingston to help US companies already in business.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2009, US imports from Jamaica totaled $<span>465 million.In 2009, US imports from Jamaica were dominated by coal and related fuels at $156.8 million. Also significant were bauxite and aluminum imports, totaling $73.2 million; industrial inorganic chemicals at $62.3 million; and wine and related products at $33.4 million. Between 2005 and 2008, US imports from Jamaica grew from $375.6 million to $728.7 million, and then decreased to $465.1 million in 2009.</span></div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2009, US exports to Jamaica were dominated by <span>fuel oil at $161.4 million, a significant decrease from the $643.7 million total in 2008. Other important exports were wheat at $52 million, corn at $46 million, miscellaneous household goods at $39 million, pharmaceutical preparations at $38.1 million, and miscellaneous chemicals at $27 million. Overall, US exports to Jamaica decreased from $2.6 billion in 2008 to $1.5 billion in 2009.</span></div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> Jamaica received $10.5 million in aid from the US in 2009. The largest recipient programs were Peace and Security operations ($3.3 million), Education ($2 million), Development Assistance ($2.5 million), Child Survival and Health ($1.5 million), and Agriculture ($1.5 million).&nbsp;The 2010 budget is estimated at $10.3 million, and the budget request for 2011 is $13.1 million.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c2410.html"><font color="#0000ff">Imports from Jamaica</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c2410.html"><font color="#0000ff">Exports to Jamaica</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amchamjamaica.org/"><font color="#0000ff">American Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.buyusa.gov/caribbean/en/doing_business_in_jamaica.html"><font color="#0000ff">Doing Business in Jamaica</font></a> (BUYUSA.gov)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2410.html"><font color="#0000ff">Trade in Goods (Imports, Exports and Trade Balance) with Jamaica</font></a> (US Bureau of the Census)</div> <div> <a href="http://jamaica.usaid.gov/en/Index.aspx"><font color="#0000ff">USAID: Jamaica</font></a> (USAID)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/137937.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations (pages 720-724)</font></a> (pdf)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>U.S. <span>Extradition Demand Leads to More than 70 Dead in Jamaica</span></b></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span>Security forces in Jamaica spent most of this week shooting up a working-class neighborhood in an attempt to capture drug lord Christopher &ldquo;Dudus&rdquo; Coke, wanted in the United States on gun and narcotics charges. Acting on a longstanding extradition request from the U.S., Jamaican police and military stormed Coke&rsquo;s stronghold of Tivoli Gardens, and in the process killed 67 civilians; four other fatalities were security personnel. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span>The effort to seize Coke began on Sunday, when gunmen loyal to him prevented police from entering the neighborhood. Several days of fighting ensued, with numerous allegations of police randomly shooting civilians without cause. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The U.S. waited nine months for Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding to take action against Coke. Golding&rsquo;s Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has had close ties with Coke and his father, Lester Lloyd &ldquo;Jim Brown&rdquo; Coke, who used his posse to support JLP candidates while building his drugs and gun-running operation. Golding reportedly wanted to avoid going after Coke, and hired lobbyists in Washington, DC, to convince U.S. officials to drop the extradition request.</div> <div> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/world/americas/28jamaica.html"><font color="#0000ff">Gang Leader Still Eludes Police as Death Toll in Jamaica Rises</font></a> (by Kareem Fahim, New York Times)</div> <div> <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/latin_america/10173302.stm"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica Violence &#39;Linked to US Drug Market&#39;</font></a> (by Jon Silverman, BBC News)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/26/jamaicas_coke_rebellion"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica&#39;s Coke Rebellion</font></a> (by Ilan Greenberg, Foreign Policy)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.americanthinker.com/Christopher%20Coke%20Indictment.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">United States v. Christopher Michael Coke</font></a> (U.S. District Court, Southern New York) (pdf)</div>
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Human Rights
<p> The State Department reports that while Jamaica&rsquo;s government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, there were serious problems in some areas, including: &ldquo;unlawful killings committed by members of the security forces, abuse of detainees and prisoners by police and prison guards, poor prison and jail conditions, impunity for police who committed crimes, an overburdened judicial system and frequent lengthy delays in trials, violence and discrimination against women, trafficking in persons, and violence against person based on their suspected or known sexual orientation.&rdquo;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> While some security forces committed unlawful or unwarranted killings, some well-armed gangs that trafficked in narcotics and guns controlled many inner-city communities. The gangs often were better equipped than the police force and conducted coordinated ambushes of joint security patrols.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Reports of physical abuse of prisoners by guards continued, despite efforts by the government to remove abusive guards and improve procedures.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Prison conditions remained poor, primarily due to overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions. Medical care also was poor, primarily a result of having only three full-time doctors, one full-time nurse, and one psychiatrist to cover 12 facilities (eight adult, four juvenile) with almost 5,000 inmates across the island.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were reports of arbitrary arrest during 2007, including during the brief period of a state of emergency declared in August 2007 by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, during which the right of habeas corpus was automatically suspended.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The judicial system was overburdened and operated with inadequate resources. Most judges were appointed after serving in the state prosecutor&rsquo;s office, and it was very difficult for a private attorney or one who specialized in defense to be appointed as a judge. Human rights groups stated that this made the independence of the judiciary very fragile.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The judiciary&rsquo;s lack of sufficient staff and resources hindered due process. Trials in many cases were delayed for years, and other cases were dismissed because files could not be located or had been destroyed.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There was a general lack of confidence in the police&rsquo;s witness protection program, which led to the dismissal of a number of cases involving killings. Some criminal trials were dismissed because witnesses failed to come forward as a result of threats and intimidation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Somelocal media professionals expressed concern that the country&rsquo;s libel laws limited their freedom of expression. Specifically, news outlets reported the need to self-censor investigative reports because of the potential for courts to award high damages in cases of defamation. The Press Association of Jamaica and the Media Association of Jamaica continued to advocate changes in the libel laws, which they stated had a &ldquo;chilling effect&rdquo; on the media&rsquo;s ability to report effectively, especially on political issues.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Members of the Rastafarian community complained that law enforcement officials unfairly targeted them. However, it was not clear whether such complaints reflected discrimination on the basis of religious belief or were due to the group&rsquo;s illegal use of marijuana as part of Rastafarian religious practice.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In recent elections, voters living in &ldquo;garrison communities,&rdquo; inner-city areas dominated by one of the two major political parties, often faced substantial influence and pressure from politically connected gangs and young men hired by political parties. These factors impeded the free exercise of their right to vote.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According tothe World Bank&rsquo;s worldwide governance indicators, government corruption was a serious problem. There was a widespread public perception of corruption in the executive and legislative branches of government. .</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the law accords women full legal equality, including equal pay for equal work, in practice women suffered from discrimination in the workplace and often earned less than their male counterparts.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the 2009 Sexual Offenses Act criminalizes spousal rape social and cultural traditions perpetuated violence against women, including spousal abuse. Violence against women was widespread, but many women were reluctant to acknowledge or report abusive behavior, leading to wide variations in estimates of its extent. There was a general reluctance by the police to become involved in domestic issues, which led to cases not being pursued vigorously when reported.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There is no legislationthat addresses sexual harassment, and it was a problem.Therewere reports of sexual harassment of women by the police, but some observers believed that women often did not report such incidents because there was no legal remedy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There was no societal pattern of abuse of children; however, there were numerous reports of rape and incest, particularly in inner cities. NGOs reported that inner-city gang leaders and sometimes even fathers initiated sex with young girls as a &ldquo;right.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The country was a source for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. According to a 2005 exploratory assessment, some trafficking occurred in the country, primarily for sexual exploitation. The report also stated there may be trafficking, including that of children, within the country for domestic servitude and forced labor. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that several hundred minors were involved in the country&rsquo;s sex trade.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Child prostitution is also a problem, especially in tourist areas. In July 2009, Parliament approved a child pornography bill, criminalizing commercial sexual exploitation of children. The law applies to the production, possession, importation, exportation, and distribution of child pornography and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years&#39; imprisonment and a fine of J$500,000 ($5,600).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continued to report human rights abuses, including police harassment, arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals. Police often did not investigate such incidents. J-FLAG members also reported death threats, as well as threats to burn down its offices.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Homosexual men were hesitant to report incidents against them because of fear for their physical well-being. Human rights NGOs and government entities agreed that brutality against homosexuals, by police and by private citizens, was widespread in the community.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> No laws protect persons living with HIV/AIDS from discrimination. Human rights NGOs reported severe stigma and discrimination against this group. Although health care facilities were prepared to handle patients with HIV/AIDS, health care workers often neglected such patients.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136118.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US State Department</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/americas/jamaica"><font color="#0000ff">Human Rights Watch</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/americas/caribbean/jamaica"><font color="#0000ff">Amnesty International</font></a></div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Note: Embassy Kingston was established Aug 16, 1962, with Irving G. Cheslaw as Charg&eacute; d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William C. Doherty</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 23, 1962</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 26, 1962</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 25, 1964</div> <div> Note: An earlier nomination of Sep 29, 1962, was not confirmed by the Senate. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Mar 12, 1963.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Wilson T.M. Beale, Jr.</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 1, 1965</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 13, 1965</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 22, 1967</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Walter N. Tobriner</div> <div> Appointment: Nov 7, 1967</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 11, 1967</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 21, 1969</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Vincent de Roulet</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 19, 1969</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 23, 1969</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 18, 1973</div> <div> Note: The Government of Jamaica declared Ambassador de Roulet persona non grata, Jul 20, 1973, and he did not return to his post.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Sumner Gerard</div> <div> Appointment: Mar 22, 1974</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 4, 1974</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 15, 1977</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Frederick Irving</div> <div> Appointment: May 26, 1977</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1977</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 22, 1978</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Loren E. Lawrence</div> <div> Appointment: Mar 23, 1979</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 12, 1979</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 9, 1982</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Alexander Hewitt</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 30, 1982</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 1, 1982</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 14, 1985</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Michael Sotirhos</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 28, 1985</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 12, 1985</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 7, 1989</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Glen A. Holden</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 10, 1989</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 21, 1989</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 1, 1993</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Note: Lacy A. Wright, Jr., served as Charg&eacute; d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim, Mar 1993&ndash;Nov 1994.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Shirley Anita Chisholm</div> <div> Note: Nomination withdrawn Oct 13, 1993.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Jerome Gary Cooper</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 5, 1994</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1994</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 27, 1997</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Stanley Louis McLelland</div> <div> Appointment: Nov 12, 1997</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 6, 1998</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 1, 2001</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Sue McCourt Cobb</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 3, 2001</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 12, 2001</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 1, 2005</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Jamaica's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Marks, Audrey

Audrey Patrice Marks became Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States in May 2010.

 
Marks was born in St. Mary, Middlesex, Jamaica, and graduated from Marymount High School in Highgate. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, and, in 1991, her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Florida.
 
Marks worked for Air Jamaica while studying for her Bachelor’s degree. Following college, she launched and managed six businesses, including a real estate development firm, a transportation company, a venture capital operation, and a banana exporting farm.
 
In October 1997, Marks founded Paymaster (Jamaica) Limited, a consolidated bill payment agency, boasting more than 1.4 million customers and more than $40 billion in annual transactions.
 
In 2003, she became chairperson of the Tourism Product Development Company.
 
In May 2010, took over as Jamaica’s representative to the Organization of American States, and serves as Deputy Chairman of the Urban Development Corporation, Chairman of the Central Wastewater Treatment Company Limited, Director of the Board of RBTT Securities Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Trade and Invest, National Health Fund, and the University of the West Indies’ Mona School of Business. She is also the first female president of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica.
 
Marks and her husband, electrical engineering consultant Jassel Dunstan, have two daughters, Morgan and Madison.
                                                                                                -Danny Biederman
 
Audrey Marks’s Amazing Story (by Jean Lowrie-Chin, Jamaica Observer)
 

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Jamaica's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p> <a href="http://www.embassyofjamaica.org/home.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Jamaica&rsquo;s Embassy in the US</font></a></p>
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U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica

Moreno, Luis
ambassador-image

A career Foreign Service Officer who has spent the bulk of his career fighting the so-called “war on drugs” is set to be the next ambassador to the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, home to more than 29,000 Rastafarians, who regard the smoking of marijuana a holy sacrament. Nominated September 10, Luis G. Moreno would succeed Pamela Bridgewater, who started her tour in Kingston in October 2010. Since June 2011, Moreno has been deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain

 

Born circa 1955, Luis Moreno graduated from Staten Island Academy in 1973, going on to earn a BA in History at Fordham University in 1977 and an MA in Education at Kean College in 1981.

 

After joining the Foreign Service in 1983, Moreno served in the consular section and the Narcotics Assistance Unit at the embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, from spring 1984 to 1986, when he served as American citizens service chief at the embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. From 1987 to 1988, Moreno served as a staff assistant in the Latin American Affairs Bureau of the State Department.

 

Moreno spent the next five years as a drug warrior. From 1988 to 1990, Moreno served as deputy director of the Narcotics Affairs Section at the embassy in Lima, Peru, where he managed a coca eradication project. From 1990 to 1993, Moreno served as the Colombia desk officer for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Washington.

 

From 1993 to 1995, Moreno took a break from counter-narcotics to serve as refugee coordinator at the embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while thousands of “boat people” returned to the island, and as political-military officer after the United Nations intervention in 1994.

 

Intending to get back to drugs, in 1995 Moreno took an assignment at the embassy in Panama as narcotics director and law enforcement coordinator, but was detailed to serve as Kurdish refugee coordinator instead, supervising government efforts to resettle Kurdish refugees in the U.S.

 

From 1997 to 2001, Moreno served as narcotics affairs director at the embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, where he was one of the primary planners of “Plan Colombia,” an anti-drug effort that spent several billion dollars of U.S. aid to stop the flow of cocaine.

 

Back in Haiti, Moreno served as deputy chief of mission at the embassy, where he was the primary point of contact with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, from August 2001 to August 2004. On February 29, 2004, it was Moreno who accompanied Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the airport when he was forced out of office in a military coup.

 

Moreno served his first tour in Mexico, as consul general and principal officer at the consulate in Monterrey, from August 2004 to June 2007, and his first tour in the Middle East, as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, from August 2007 to May 2010. From May 2010 to June 2011, he served at the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, as political-military affairs minister counselor and as force strategic engagement cell director. 

 

Moreno speaks Spanish, French and some Haitian Creole.

-Matt Bewig

 

Official Biography

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica

Parnell, Isiah
ambassador-image

Isiah Parnell took over as U.S. chargé d’affaires in Jamaica in August 2009. Born in High Springs, Florida, Parnell was an “army brat” who attended high school in Germany. He earned B.A.  (1978) and M.A. (1980) degrees from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in Government and Economics; and an M.A. degree in Urban Planning/Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He served in the Army 1981-1984, after which he joined the Department of State. His eight Foreign Service postings brought him to Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Ghana. Between 2006 and 2008, Parnell was he Minister Counselor of Management Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

 
Married in 1984, Parnell and his wife, Tarnice Gordon Parnell, have four daughters.
 
Isiah Parnell: a Life of Service to Country (by Barbara Ellington, The Gleaner)

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