Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today.  Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


'Life and Debt': The Devastation of Globalization On the Caribbean Island of Jamaica

Default content image
Media Options

Caribbean leaders and trade officials are attempting to stand up to world economic institutions in the face of a globalizing world.

On Tuesday, the 14-member Caribbean Community gathered for its annual summit with plans to integrate into a European-style common market and economy.

Meanwhile, Caribbean trade ministers met recently with senior WTO officials and lobbied for the creation of a special grouping of smaller economies to more effectively address their concerns.

The meeting came in advance of November’s World Trade Organization meeting in Qatar; it is not yet clear whether the Caribbean will support the new round of trade talks. The region’s delegates vehemently opposed a new round at the last WTO ministerial in Seattle.

Their opposition is not surprising. They were hard hit recently, when the WTO ruled against the Caribbean on behalf of the United States and Chiquita banana. The WTO said that the former European colonial powers, who had given preferential treatment to their former colonies in buying bananas, can no longer do so. And that’s only one example.

After the 1973 oil crisis, Caribbean countries were forced to adopt “structural adjustment programs,” backed by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF dismantled local industries, opened up borders to foreign imports, and lent countries millions of dollars at extremely high interest rates. The result: the devastation of local economies, massive social upheaval, and soaring debt.

Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at one Caribbean country’s struggle with globalization: Jamaica. After 5 years of work, independent film-maker Stephanie Black has just released 'Life and Debt,' a documentary on Jamaica and the IMF.

The film opens with news footage from protests against economic upheaval on April 20, 1999.


  • Cuts from 'Life and Debt'
  • Interview with Stephanie Black, producer and director of 'Life and Debt'

Related links:

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 18, 2018Intercept Report Reveals Senate Ignored Federal Court Employees Willing to Testify Against Kavanaugh
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop