Was Bob Marley on the CIA payroll?

Bob Marley and Michael Manley
Bob Marley and Michael Manley

We recently came across a supposedly interview of Bob Marley that would cause anyone to question where the “Rasta’s” loyalty was. We use the term “supposedly” because it is difficult to fathom that Bob would have taken such a stance in 1978 which was the year the interview took place.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Interviewer: “Do you think Manley will be overthrown?”

Marley: “I don’t know, mon.”

Interviewer: “If something happened to Manley, what do you think would happen to Jamaica?”

Marley: “ANYTHING that happen, it have to be better!”

The Manley being referred to is of course Michael Manley the then prime minister of Jamaica. Manley was a socialist, a friend of Fidel Castro and Cuba but most of all a staunch proponent of African progress, especially Africans in Jamaica.

In 1978 the CIA were working hard on destabilizing Jamaica and overthrowing Manley’s socialist government.

Although Rastas are not into politics, it was a known fact that Bob was closer to Michael Manley and the People’s National Party (PNP) than he was to Edward Seaga and the Jamaican Labor Party (JLP). So for Bob Marley to say that anything has to be better than Michael Manley is very strange. Either the CIA paid him to say that or they threatened him to say that. We would like to assume it is the latter, at least if we think Bob was being honest when he said, “Rasta don’t work for no CIA”. Or maybe the interview is made up and did not really happen. Why would a Rasta be against a man like Manley who was doing everything for the advancement of Black people?

If Bob did say anything would be better than Michael Manley, we would have to question is loyalty, his stance on justice and equality and most of all his sanity.

Up until today, most Jamaicans will tell you that Michael Manley is the greatest leader Jamaica ever had, it is a fact that is difficult to deny. So could the man that sung “Black man redemption” and “Am a Black survivor” really say that anything would be better than Michael Manley at a time when he knew the CIA was working hard on destabilizing the island?

To understand what Michael Manley mean to Jamaica and the role the CIA played in derailing his plans, read: Jamaica’s downfall and the role the CIA played in it.

We don’t know and probably won’t know if Bob was working for the CIA but based on the behavior of the Marleys today, we know that if the price is right, they are always willing.

Disclaimer: 18 Karat Reggae cannot confirm if Bob Marley said those things, the excerpt was taken from: Bob Marley was critical of Cuba, Ethiopia and Russia

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