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Jamaica’s election: Let them eat goat

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Out of ammo?

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Jamaica’s election

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A populist opposition challenges government austerity

IN THE heart of Montego Bay, his country’s tourist capital, on the night of February 7th Andrew Holness, the leader of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), was outlining his election plan to a throng of supporters when a burst of gunfire left three people dead. He and his supporters scurried for safety. Two days later, a bystander was killed and three were injured when a JLP motorcade drove through Flanker, a poor area of the town close to the airport.
The police were quick to blame the killings on feuding between local criminal gangs, rather than on party rivalries. “We asked specifically that no motorcade should come through Flanker,” said the chief of the local police. Nevertheless, the gunshots were an unpleasant echo of Jamaica’s 1980 election, when gang warfare linked to cold-war ideology and a crumbling economy pitted a Cuban-influenced People’s National Party (PNP) against a pro-American JLP.

The last whiffs …