World Country Jamaica

About the world country Jamaica, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: An island in the central Caribbean, south of Cuba, west of Hispaniola. Size: 4,244 sq. mi. (10,991 sq. km.). Population: 2,313,000 (91% black and Afro-European, 3.4% East Indian and Afro-East Indian, 3.2% white).

Who Really Rules: Prime Minister Edward Seaga's Jamaica Labour party defeated Michael Manley and his ruling People's National party in the October, 1980, parliamentary elections. Under the leadership of Manley, Jamaica had imposed higher taxes and tight controls on the powerful American aluminum companies that mine bauxite on the island. The resulting decline in bauxite exports, rising oil import costs, and other factors hurt the Jamaican economy, so Manley turned to the International Monetary Fund and American banks for assistance. In the late 1970s Manley's government decided that IMF demands for domestic austerity were too strict, and refused to make a new agreement. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Britain, concerned about Manley's friendship with Fidel Castro as well as his economic nationalism, reduced their aid.

The resulting economic downturn was the primary factor in the 57%-to-43% right-wing election victory. Neither of the two major party leaders is black.

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