Monday, September 16, 2013

Clifton Campbell, a Jamaican Brigadista, Writer and Preacher

Cliffton Campbell's years as a student, brigadista, teacher and preacher inspired Badness: Psychology of Life, his first book.
Throughout the book, Campbell examines the pathways to crime in Jamaica. He links politics to crime and inner-city youth, and also looks at how poverty forces many young girls into prostitution.
He takes on the inequalities of the justice system, pointing out that social status determines the fate of defendants in the courts. Oftentimes, children of privilege are pardoned while heavy sentences are given to ghetto youth facing similar charges.
"This is no figment of my imagination, I lived these things," he said. Campbell began writing Badness immediately after the October 1980 general election. The self-described 'communionist' had been a political activist during the 1970s. He was among the first batch of 30-odd Jamaicans who went to Cuba in 1975 for the controversial Brigadista programme.
He said his 18 months in a Cuban training camp opened his eyes to Cold War espionage in the form of agents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which at the time was monitoring the close relationship between Jamaica and Cuba.
Campbell not only used his Cuban expedition to illustrate how Jamaican politicians exploited the country's youth, but gives an insight into the CIA's presence in the Caribbean.

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