National Geographic : 1985 Jan
These days Seaga also believes the surviv al of Jamaica was threatened by events on the Caribbean island nation of Grenada. * He holds the view that both the Maurice Bishop government and the group that exe cuted Bishop in October 1983 represented different stages of a Soviet-Cuban plan to subvert the Caribbean. "It would have reached Jamaica," he told me last February, explaining why Jamaica joined the U. S. in ousting Grenada's new military leadership. Michael Manley accused Seaga of joining a "neocolonialist" plot and believes that four years ago his PNP government suffered a similar, if less violent, fate. Manley believes his government was sab otaged. In his view Jamaica's middle and upper classes worked hand in hand with a hostile United States to undermine needed reform. "Change provokes intense reaction in this society," he said ruefully. The PNP and JLP have traditionally wrangled and worked together within a parliamentary system inherited from Great Britain. But there is only one party in Parlia ment today. In November 1983 Manley's PNP accused Seaga of deceit in reporting Jamaica's financial condition while nego tiating with the International Monetary Fund, and called for his resignation as finance minister (Seaga is also minister of culture). Seaga promptly set a date for new national elections, which were held Decem ber 15, 1983. The PNP boycotted the vote, and Seaga won handily. So, for the first time, Jamaica has no loyal opposition. The PNP says it could not participate because promised elec toral reforms-issuance of new voter identi ty cards and an updating of voter rolls to include an estimated 150,000 young people who have become eligible to vote since 1980-were not completed. *Free-lance writer Charles E. Cobb, Jr., also contributed "Marking Time in Grenada" in the November 1984 issue.