Jamaica LANDS
Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism

Opinion Pieces

These are opinion pieces, written by members of the party. They may or may not reflect the official position of the party.

Travel Advisory - USA


This week, the US State Department updated its travel advisory for travel to Jamaica. It advised its citizens not to visit some parts of Kingston, Spanish Town and Montego Bay due to crime. In particular, it warns travellers about violent crimes, robberies and sexual assault. This puts Jamaica at level two of its scale. Jamaica Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith made clear that Jamaica has been at this level for some time, alongside the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

What the Foreign Minister did not say is as important. She did not take the opportunity to warn Jamaicans about the perils of travel to the United States. In fact, there is no travel advisory for Jamaicans travelling to the United States.

This discrepancy is no coincidence. The US State Department does not only serve a diplomatic function. It takes on the function of disseminating imperialist propaganda. The United States uses it State Department to deliver condemnations and judgements the world over, especially towards the most vulnerable nations. What the US forgets is that proportionality - tit-for-tat - is a fundamental diplomatic principle. So, it's right for Jamaicans to be warned about the dangers of the United States. It's high time we make a travel advisory for it:

Jamaicans travelling to the US should proceed to its major cities with caution. Homicide, assault, and robbery are common throughout the country, not to mention mass shootings.

Should Jamaicans travel to the United States, they are to assert their freedoms of movement. Undue and predatory detention, surveillance and deportation do occur and must be anticipated.

The highly segregated cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New York City and Boston have elevated levels of violence against non-white populations, black and indigenous especially.

Seeking nighttime emergency assistance, services, or mere presence at night in these and other segregated areas may result in assault or death at the hands of racists.

S. A. Smith