186. Memorandum From Richard Feinberg of the Policy Planning Staff to Robert Pastor of the National Security Council Staff1


  • Jamaica’s Manley : Comments

Rather than focus on Manley’s supposed psychological needs, more attention should be paid to historical facts.

—In his dealings with the bauxite companies, despite tensions, Manley has acted in a responsible, businesslike manner, and the companies have generally been satisfied with the nationalization agreement. Since dealings with the bauxite companies are, by far, Jamaica’s most important “north-south” issue, Manley’s behavior is suggestive of how he might approach serious negotiations on other issues that have advanced beyond the rhetorical stage.

—Amongst Third World spokesmen, Manley is relatively serious and is certainly less hostile than Algeria, Cuba, etc. We should recognize this relative willingness to dialogue and take advantage of it.

[Page 464]

—Despite being well into his second term, Manley has shown no indications that he intends to socialize the Jamaican economy. The Jamaican state continues to account for a relatively small percentage of GDP, compared to other LDCs.

Manley has, in fact, been cautious in his approach to Cuba. The level of economic and other exchanges remain modest, especially considering the pro-Fidel sentiment in the PNP.

Manley’s extensive writings reveal him to be a social democratic in the Webbian tradition. His writings emphasize traditional liberal concepts much more than one expects from an LDC leader.

Manley is not the reverse anti-North racist implied in the INR memo.2 His mother was British and I am unaware that he suffers from maternal hate. Rather, he probably harbors the mixed feelings toward the Anglo-Saxons that one expects among the ex-colonized. We ought to be able to deal with such emotions in a mature manner that is sensitive to history.

Manley probably does consider himself to be a born leader, which is not surprising considering that his father was Prime Minister. But the accusations of dictatorial intentions are without supporting evidence, and are con tradicted by his actual experience in power. Elections and all the democratic paraphernalia remain as much a part of the Jamaican political scene as when Manley took office. During the last parliamentary elections, the opposition fully exercised their political freedoms.

—With reference to Manley’s concern about the CIA, it can at least be said that the evident hostility of the US Embassy toward Manley during the previous Administration3 probably contributed to an atmosphere of mutual distrust.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 25, Jamaica, 1–7/78. Confidential.
  2. See Document 185.
  3. Reference is presumably to the previous Ambassador, Sumner Gerard, who was very critical of Manley.
  4. At the bottom of the page, Pastor wrote, “Should ask CIA to substantiate its allegations & also ask whether CIA has ever done anything to make it [Jamaica] suspicious.”