Bob Marley and Michael Manley of the PNP (People’s National Party)

Bob Marley and Michael Manley of the PNP (People’s National Party)

Michael Manley of the PNP (People’s National Party), provides important insight into the political climate of Jamaica: during the 1970‘s and early 1980‘s, the nation’s problems, and attempts by the government to rectify them.

After Michael Manley replaced his father in 1969 and defeated the JLP (Jamaica Labor Party) there were great changes made to domestic and foreign policy.

Manley and his party were concerned with establishing a framework for society, which would allow Jamaicans to free themselves from the psychology of dependence, the damaging legacy of colonialism, and slavery. (Floyd, 1979)

The decade of the 1970's found Jamaica struggling for a way out of poverty, economic dependence, joblessness, racism and as a result she became caught as a pawn in the Cold War.

Michael Manley's People's Socialist National Party (PNP), represented the have-nots fighting to hold ground against Edward Seaga's conservative Jamaican Labor Party (JLP), representing the haves.

In the 1976 election, the PNP campaigned against oppression, imperialism, and capitalism, strong attempts were made to include the urban poor, blue-collar workers, youth, and the unemployed and underemployed in politics.

Bob Marley and CIA

Philip Agee, former CIA officer (as interviewed in the DVD Marley documentary, "Rebel Music") confirms that the CIA was supplying guns and anti-PNP propaganda to the conservative JLP. (Some Jamaican's began calling Seaga "CIAga.")

In this interview Agee states, "The CIA would look upon the radical political content of reggae as dangerous because it would help to create a consciousness among the poor people, the great majority of Jamaicans."

Attempt Assassination of Bob Marley?

In 1976 Marley was approached and agreed to play a concert entitled ‘Smile Jamaica’ which had been organized by the Government of Jamaica, in order to quell much of the violence taking place in the country particularly between rival political bandits who lived in areas controlled by political parties who would exchange food and homes for political allegiance.

Three days before the intended concert Bob Marley along with manager, wife and others were injured, whether this was an attempted assassination of Bob Marley or just a warning there is still no verdict, tensions ran high as everyone including the PNP administration wondered if he would go through with the concert. Via walkie- talkies and despite Rita’s reservations Bob gave his reassurance to play at the concert, and once again used his music to show defiance.

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