NID: SPECIAL ANALYSIS: JAMAICA: SHORT-TERM PROSPECTS

Created: 8/25/1980

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SPECIAL ANALYSIS

JAMAICA: Short-Term Prospect*

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The Dally today prints the key Judgmentseaent Speoial national Intelligence Estimate, "Short-tern Prospects for Jamaica.'

A^ute political and economic tensions will persist in Jamaica over the next year or two no matter what the outcome of the pending showdown involving Prime Minister Manley, the radical pro-Cuban minority he has placed in power, and the island's moderate majority centered around opposition leader Seaga.

Seaga's Jamaica Labor Party is strongly favored to win the parliamentary election likely to be held by early October. The Party has strong support among organized labor, small farmers, the professional and business classes* and the security forces, all of whom desire to end the national crisis they blame on Manley's rule.

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TheManley's acquiescence if notampaign of political violence and vicious anti-US propaganda to avoid electoral defeat.

The radicals' course of action probably hingea on the extent to which their present campaign of violence and propaganda can demoralize and intimidate the ill-equipped security forces as well as civilian supporters of the Labor Party. High tension and uncertainty;are likely to prevail throughout the preelection andpostelection period. Further incidents of violence involving US citizens could occur. We estimate that the Labor Party will retain its electoral advantage and that, in the end, the radicals will probably give way. H

In our view, therepercent chance the radicals willetermined drive to retain power,oup or the blatant abuseither before or immediately after the elections. We estimate that with their current resources, the radicals would have only an outside chance of1in such an effort. Their prospects will remain limited unless they receive substantial external assistance.

Labor Party supporters and the bulk of the security forces would resist any radical effort to retain power illegally, almost certainlyeriod of large-scale and widespread violence. They would probably solicit US BBjBjjsJftaaasiBtaiicQ, and charge major Cuban lnvolvement^ioiaaTter what the actual level, if the antiradical forces thought they were losing, their pleas for aid would become urgent and public. |

One estimate that Seaga and the Labor Party will probably attain control of the government over the next sixercentthrough elections or by prevailingorceful

A Labor Party government would hold some promise of restoring political peace and reviving Jamaica's economy by bolstering the confidence of local and iorsign But the obstacles would be imposing. Residual

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violence from any ahowdown with the radicalaadical program of agitation and subversion would give pause to investors,

Thia would exacerbate the natural tensionabor Partyeconomic austerity required to lay the foundation for recovery versus popular expectations for immediate relief from severely depressed living uick infusion of large-scale outside economic assistance, Seaga'a popularity would decline sharply. Renewed disorders would work to the benefit of the radical opposition. Tha chances tor sustained political peace and economicfair under the best ofbe minimal,

If the radicals retain or renew their hold on power, they willo undermine the parliamentary system and cement Jamaica's ties with Cuba, the USSR, and perhaps radical oil-rich states. The radicals' quest forchanges would be made easier by demoralisation of the moderates and their accelerated emigration. Manley might seek to introduce greater policy balance, but we doubt that he could regain his old influence over his party or restore the confidence of Jamaica's moderates.

Entrenchment of the radicala in Jamaica wouldleftists throughout the eastern Caribbean and embolden Cuba to speed its timetable for advancing ita influence in the region. The need for Western economic ties would probably moderate radical tendencies over time, but US prestige and influence would be difficult to restore to current levels.

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