Economic terrorism?

by Cecil E. W. Wade

Genevieve E. A. Richards, in her article, “Disappointed in the Prime Minister,” published in The Daily Observer of Friday March 20, 2015, said: “I would like to remind the Prime Minister and his Government that they are government of and for all people of the State of Antigua and Barbuda, politics aside.” She is so right. This is why Prime Minister Gaston Browne and his Government cannot allow a few people like Calypso Khublai and Trevor Walker and others; to derail the plans to advance the economic condition in Antigua and Barbuda. They have to safeguard the benefits for all the people. “Is this what we have come to, and are we not allowed to express dissenting opinion? Is democracy dead? Is freedom of speech and thought extinct? Are we going backwards or forwards?” She asks.

Democracy is still very much alive, that is why the Prime Minister has his democratic right to express himself just like any other citizen, giving his dissenting opinion in response to the economic blockades being set up by a couple of diminutives with gigantic egos. To answer her question, if we are going backwards: we are going back, so to speak, because we are repeating occasions where obstacles had been previously placed in the path of development in Barbuda and Old Road. It is déjà vu.

I find Ms Richards’ words so encouraging. The only problem is that they are directed toward the wrong people. She is criticising PM Gaston Browne for doing exactly what she suggests he should do! And “economic terrorists” is a mild term compared to those which have been used by former PM Spencer and his cabinet colleagues when they refer to MP Molwyn Joseph, Ambassador Lionel Max Hurst and other officials. It is common knowledge that adverse economic conditions are the major casual factors in migration: people leave places where there are limited opportunities for other places where there are plenty. They gravitate to places where they can improve their social, economic and political circumstance.

Barbuda people were tillers of the soil, the carriers of water and the hewers of wood, on an island owned and leased by Colonials to their kin, for hundreds of years at the rate of “one fat sheep per year, if demanded.” In the nineteenth century Barbuda had a population of about 500 people. Today, hundreds of years after, the resident population amounts less than 2,000. I believe that Barbudans living outside the State would be several times that amount. And more will likely be pulled away if opportunities present themselves; but not so for the chosen few who are owners of wealth and power in Barbuda. They are demi-gods whose only significance is determined by their fellowmen’s insignificance.

There is no doubt that Barbuda has the potential to participate in the economic bonanza being positioned for the State. Many living overseas, with training in special areas will be able to return home and contribute enormously to its development, and attain a higher standard of living than the one that they can only dream of accomplishing in a foreign land. The investments being pursued for Barbuda will invigorate the economy of the Nation; and transform it socially, economically and politically.

Once the abundant employment opportunities and the resulting financial gain begins, it will serve as inducement for Antiguan and Barbudan nationals to return to their home land from which they had departed on account of hard economic times, to sojourn in countries where life was sometimes uncertain but always perilous. Barbudans would no longer be considered an impoverished, alienated and politically abandoned group. They will be able to redefine themselves as to how they wish to relate to the rest of the regional people who had not experienced comparable improvement in their social, economic and political circumstances.

There will be no more, “Hey bro, look a moon-light pan tick.” Barbuda will be very far advanced. Barbudans, THINK ABOUT IT!

PM PILOTS NEW BANKING ACT

One thought on “Economic terrorism?

  1. Winston Winston

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    Words matter just as leadership matters! Let us all try to choose our words carefully! And think about this, “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

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