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Sir Alfred DaCosta first discovered Bauxite in Lydford, St, Ann in 1942. (A street in Ocho Rios, DaCosta Dr.) was named in his honour). The Sir Alexander Bustamante led government wasted no time in getting the industry up and running. Alcan was established, followed shortly by Reynolds and Kaiser. On June 5, 1952, Reynolds had the first shipment of Bauxite leaving Jamaican shores, Kaiser and Alcan, a year later.
Revere was was constructed in 1967 in Maggotty, St. Elizabeth and opened in 1971. Alpart was built by Bustamante and shortly after, Jamaica was on top of the world becoming the leading Bauxite producing country.
In 1972, Michael Manley became Prime Minister on a ”Betta mus come” campaign. Unfortunately better did not come because in less than a year, dark clouds began appearing over the horizon as his Democratic Socialism policy saw investors scurrying to catch the last plane to Miami, taking the wealth with them.

By 1973, the state of the economy worsened as Jamaica was beginning to see a 25% decline in the economy. Manley was in serious trouble and he knew it. His popularity was on the decline… His foreign policy was no better.
In desperation he imposed a levy on bauxite that saw a decline in the industry as countries looked elsewhere for cheaper deposits. It was that time Australia overtook us and we fell from that lofty position that Bustamante had us in the 1960s…Jamaica was left behind !!!
Revere, encountered difficulties from the beginning, suffered most by the Manley levy and requested a one year tax break from the PNP government to address internal issues. The PNP refused… Revere was closed in 1975 resulting in hundreds in job losses.
In a bid to recapture the ”power and the glory” Michael Manley formed an alliance with Venezuela and Mexico in November, 1974 and a company called JAVEMEX (the first syllables in the name JAmaica, VEnezuela and MEXico) was created. The objective was to create a Bauxite company, just as Bustamante did.
Jamaica would supply Bauxite, Venezuela would supply the oil for energy and Mexico would construct a smeltering plant called Jalumex. Market was secured in Japan, Algeria and other countries. Jamaica’s contribution to this venture was a whopping 300 million dollars (a lot of money in the 1970s).
A major problem developed and it was with Michael Manley. He developed a relationship Cuba and began ”walking the mountain tops with Fidel Castro” and the Russians, bitter enemies of the number one trading partners, the USA and was taking Mexico down that destructive path. Mexico was in ”bad company” and was in danger of suffering similiar fate as Venezuela, Guyana and Jamaica today.
They were saved by their 1976 election which saw Mexico falling into the hands of a new government as Jose Luiz Portello was romped into power.
While Manley was in Jamaica boasting with his usual charismatic speech of ”what can happen when third world countries work together to get things done.” A phone call came from Mexico City informing him that Mexico will no longer participate in that joint venture.
The Vision of Manley became a nightmare as 300 million Jamaican dollars disappeared in the wind.
Portillo must have known the effects of Michael Manley’s Democratic Socialism by getting rid of him in such great haste.


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13 comments to this article

  1. Anonymous

    on May 11, 2016 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Good Morning
    Could you please disclose your source for this article? I would really appreciate it for future reference and so I could possibly read further into it.
    Thank you

  2. S .Stephenson

    on May 11, 2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

    F***g labourites aresomething else what was.Jamaica getting from the bauxite right now ,the open red mud chemical lakes that is all over Jamaica example hayes in clarendon ,who is going to clean all that shit up.

    • Anonymous

      on May 11, 2016 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Wait until the leakage hit the water table, if it hasn’t reached that stage. The mud lake was poorly constructed and is a danger to the people of Jamaica and clean drinking water. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

      They claim they are doing water quality testing on a regular basis, but only they know the results.

  3. Anonymous

    on May 11, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

    REST IN PEACE THE MOST HONOURABLE MICHAEL NORMAN MANLEY.I hope we will find a leader who truly love Jamaica like he did.

    • Skilla123

      on May 11, 2016 at 11:47 am - Reply

      The real boss,if Jamaica had one more Michael Manley ,we would be good.

  4. kgn13

    on May 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Dwrcl @ sender. A really dat u send come in to met. ….A who you a try program. It naw go work, try sing a sankie, tun u role and try find you raas way back home.

  5. dick r harde

    on May 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    di whole a unnu bloodklaat socialist can f**k off, go nyam shit and dead a bush…..when bloodklaat manley a f**k himself wid cuba and dat socialism shit…..when mi haffi join line a masters supermarket and hi-lo inna manor park fi buy two pound a bulgar rice…..when you couldnt even get sugar to bloodklaat except di raw sugar wid di bun bun still inna it or even di wet sugar every now and den…..not to mention every bloodklaat ting inna bed dung market married to raas… get one pound a saltfish yuh haffi 3 pair a draws to bloodklaat…..when tastee used to haffi lock dung after 1 o’clock cause dem never have no flour nor beef fi stay open til 5, a dem days deh di rumor start bout how tastee a use dogmeat inna dem patty cause dem couldnt get beef……inna di 70’s when hungry a bloodklaat lick uptown and downtown….. when not even pussy did a sell pon knutsform boulevard…..cause dem couldnt afford nor find di soap fi one juck, one wash…..when unnu think carbolic soap start mek??…..carbolic soap whe smell lakka jayze……so all a unnu whe a chat bout fadda of jamaica go suck unnu mumma….cause mi sure know say none a unnu never born yet or live deh when mi and di rest a ppl dem a suffer…

  6. PeaceNlove

    on May 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Manley made mistakes plain and simple.
    Having been to Cuba and seen the suffering of the people and the poverty I have to believe it was not the right move.

    • Met

      on May 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Anyone in Cuba malnourished ?

  7. kgn13

    on May 11, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Dick r hard. Go suck u madda back way and move u labourite bloodclath. A who u a try bad up. You smell like wet cedar to bloodclath. A never manley fault, that was to show u how desperate u labarite boss was fe power das him would a pay grace Kennedy fe meck De food stay a whaf and rotten. Pussy u boss starve out a country fe win a election.go splash up back inna u madda!

    • Met

      on May 11, 2016 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      13 madda nuh haffi come ina it man

  8. kgn13

    on May 12, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Met a him fuss run eheen pon it enuh, cause we deh yah a have a debate and him run come a huff and a puff like him /she a bad buck. Like a our fault meck dem money wah dem pm trick dem and promise dem caah reach yet.

  9. Candia-licious

    on May 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    The title should read how Portella robbed Jamaica of its hard earned cash, Jamaica never recovered from that hefty investment that failed as a result of them bailing out. We can now only imagine what JAVEMEX could have been.

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