Letters to the Editor

56 years later, what is there to celebrate?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica gained Independence in 1962. This act meant that Jamaica stepped away from its colonial rulers and now had to stand on its own. The country now had its own autonomy to rule and guide its people. Accompanying this was a national anthem, pledge, and other accoutrement that were characteristic of an independent country. These were all used as symbols of pride.

After 56 years, these questions are being asked: What really is there to celebrate? Are we really independent or is that independence just on paper? Or, in what context is Jamaica independent?

Many may argue that, as a small country, we do not have any real control over our own economic growth and that Jamaica is still heavily dependent on international donors and loan agencies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to build and sustain the economy. And so after 56 years we are still struggling with a huge debt burden, spike in crime, corruption and our people still trapped in a colonial state of mind.

While all this might be true, there is a lot to celebrate after 56 years of Independence, among our achievements are icons such as the great Bob Marley and reggae music, our national heroes, Usain Bolt, and the spirit of our people.

I agree that the sliding dollar continues to push the price of gas and the cost of living up, and thus leaves us cornered, financially stressed, confused, and battling fatigue. The high inflation and unemployment rates continue to be a challenge and plunge us further and deeper into poverty. But, despite all that, and the many questions being asked about Independence, we still have life and we are still here and in our right minds. We should really give thanks and hope that in another 56 years or less these questions will be answered and Jamaica will be in a better state, and that it will become the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.

Through it all we still stand tall, strong and proud, and that is what has kept us as a people and as a nation.

Nickoy Brown


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