The United States is Jamaica’s largest trading partner. If a U.S. president were displeased by events in Jamaica, he could easily and quickly obtain the Jamaicans’ cooperation, by vowing an embargo unless his conditions were met.
Gay sex is illegal in Jamaica, where police regularly beat and imprison men on the suspicion they are homosexual and then leave them to rot in jail, with scant recourse to a system of justice. Last year, the leading gay rights activist in Jamaica was murdered. Also in 2004, a Jamaican father found photos of nude men in his son’s schoolbag, went to the school, told other students to teach his son a lesson, and then looked on, smiling, while over a dozen youths beat the guy bloody senseless with wooden planks. The police pressed no charges, calling that a “family matter.”
Today, Lenford Harvey, a leading gay Jamaican AIDS activist, was murdered by men shouting anti-gay slogans. Is George W. Bush so busy spreading democracy that he can’t make a peep about this? Where is the ‘Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Jamaica,’ Mrs. Brenda LaGrange Johnson? The national bird of Jamaica is the Doctor Bird, but what they need is a Psychiatrist Bird.