Thursday, June 20, 2024
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HomeNewsCaribbean NewsRegaining my voice

Regaining my voice

By Cyril Saltibus

It took me a while to pen my disgust how the “Govma of Allen” has treated the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT). During my tenure as president of the Museums Association of the Caribbean, secretary of SLNT, member of the Saint Lucia Archeological Historical Society, and UNESCO memories of the World sub-committee, I have never felt so insulted and terrified of the threat to our Caribbean heritage as I feel today.

I once referred to Allen Chastanet as an individual who ostensibly “incites violence”. On that occasion, I was taken to task by my colleges who said “I shouldn’t say so about the man”. Today, I would like to repeat my thoughts about Chastanet and to re-emphasize that the present holder of the office of the prime minister of Saint Lucia is and continues to ostensibly “incite violence” in the country.

When we are held too long against that wall of injustice, we will revolt.

The question remains: Have we as Saint Lucian lost the will to fight for what is right, for what is ours, for our livelihood, for freedom, and justice? Do we have to yield to the repeated ignorant and denigrated statements by incumbent leaders who have long forgotten the need to serve Saint Lucians? It is quite sad when the minister for health and wellness, Marry Isaac, admonishes Saint Lucians to be passive, suggesting the revolution died with George Odlum when she was recently an assertive trade union activist.

Oh, how the tables have turned. But then again what should we expect from Isaac when the man at the helm of the government constantly insults and stampedes over Saint Lucians and things intrinsically Saint Lucian. Must we repeatedly endure being referred to with derogatory slurs of “jackasses”, “mendicants”, “beggars” or even bear the insinuation that our hard-working single mothers are responsible for the criminality on the island?

What is responsible for the criminality on the island is the misplaced priorities and nepotism by the incumbent. Critical sources of support for the vulnerable have been leached or eradicated by this inept government. At the heart of this cancerous government is a prime minister that does not understand Saint Lucians. One who does not speak our native language nor associate with our culture and way of life. We cannot allow hurricane Allen to ravage away our lands and limited resources and give to his friend, family, and foreigners (FFF).

Should we allow this manner of autocratic leadership to proceed under the disguise of democracy?

I am saddened of who we, as Saint Lucians have become, myself included. We are afraid to stand-up, afraid to speak up. We remain silent when our brothers and sisters are treated as aliens in our country.

  • Chastanet was caught on camera ostensibly “practicing witchcraft” – we remain silent;
  • Chastanet has been repeatedly caught giving our land and resources for next to nothing – we kept silent;
  • Chastanet has put generations to come under debt – we are silent;
  • Chastanet continues to treat the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) as his piggy bank – we remain silent;
  • Chastanet breaks the law by riding on a motorbike without using a helmet and not using a face mask or adhering to social distance protocols – we remain silent;
  • Chastanet continues to “tell untruths”, some of us are not even aware what truth is anymore.

He has now earned the reputation of being the worst occupant of the office of prime minister in Saint Lucia by virtue of his wastage, lavish spending, and poor decision making. The Chastanet-led administration has gained a dismal reputation that a regional prime minister referred to him as a “not so smart prime minister.”

Conscience is described as the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience. Slavery has been described as a tragedy and the effects can be seen and felt 450 years later. Despite this, Saint Lucia’s prime minister makes light of this carnage his ancestors inflicted on black people by suggesting that “even colonialism had a conscience.” The actions of slavery were unconscionable, and these “devils” had no conscience.

The Massa authoritarianism can be seen in plantation-style command all over Chas’ Cabinet subjects. He is unilateral for the most part in his decision making. He declared that he listens to no one: hmmm…not even good sense. It’s remarkable how the once vocal Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, Stephenson King, and Lenard Montoute have suddenly lost their voice and the desire to advocate for what’s right.

Based on the trend of this government’s callus and questionable practices and corrupt associations, it will surprise no one if these habits bleed to the election process of the incumbent. We might bear witness to a United Workers Party (UWP) election process far more sinister than that of 2016. My people, we have to stay alert and don’t be fooled by the money they will use to beguile and steal your vote. Remember the last four hard years. Believe not the deception that is preached but the actions that we had to live through in the last four years. Remember all they took from you and the disrespect they channeled your way. Giving them another five years is tantamount to self-hate and all things Saint Lucian will fade away and become a corrupt state-owned by foreigners.

I am convinced that our youth have an understanding of right and wrong, to know when leaders lie because the facts are available. The notion that both political parties are the same is incorrect. The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) differs tremendously on its mission and how the business of Saint Lucia should be conducted. Blurring and equating the operations and conduct is erroneous. This “new tag” line is a lie peddled by the operatives of the incumbent, part of the general propaganda they spew shamelessly. We need to read and understand the political history of our country.

Recent actions by the UWP reinforces that they aim to pursue the betterment of Allen’s family, his select group of friends, and his “unimpressive leeching foreigners”. If my statement is unfair to the incumbent, I would appreciate an average Saint Lucian who has benefited from the policies of the present government to come forth to share that he/she is not part of the three “F”s. I am almost convenience no one will. But, if I pose the reverse, those who have been insulted or affected by these policies, many will come forth. Be honest with yourself Saint Lucians and do right by country at the polls. We all deserve better leadership.

I have tried very hard to adopt a respectful posture to the holder of the office of prime minister. But Chastanet continues to “tell untruths” and disrespect the citizens of Saint Lucia. The stories from my European history lessons are now replaying on our “free land”. This is absolute nonsense. I will not stand for the re-enslavement of Saint Lucia. This amount to being a poor role model for the youth. Saint Lucians, at some point – caution becomes cowardice. Saint Lucians, be on the right side of history and fight for your patrimony. Don’t be fooled by colour, accents, and money. Days for chicken and rum are done.

“Lie, deny and defy” are the three rules of divide and conquer. Sounds familiar? Too many times: Desert Star Holdings (DSH) agreement, the Soufriere square and bus terminal, Owen King European Union (OKEU) and St Jude hospitals, WiPay, National Trust subvention, Fisheries, Her Majesty Gaol, Radio Saint Lucia and Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) redevelopment project are just the tip of the iceberg, with regards to this government.

Are we ready to admit and discuss “colour“ and the white god subconscious issue that is partly responsible for the issues that surround us? Hmmm… too taboo? If one is objective, Chastanet has gotten away with far more than any former prime minister would or could get away with. What is the reason for that?

So, enough with that. We the descendants of hard-working, smart, and resilient Africans, let us not cower any longer.

Cyril Saltibus

I joined the Saint Lucia Labour Party while attending Secondary School. This party has proven itself to develop, education, and consult with Saint Lucians. Its mandate is to put people first and improve livelihood

Mario Mitchel and other labour stalwarts made several strides to showcase and uplift the youth of our country. The ever-passionate, former prime minister Kenny D Anthony worked hard to educate and empower Saint Lucians; and bring about comfort to the underprivileged. Creative programs like NICE, STEP, PROUD were meant to be temporary, to bridge employment gaps. These programs elevated the unemployed by creating job placements for Saint Lucian businesses, not foreigners like OJO Labs.

The list of SLP’s achievements is documented when you visit and interview various communities that were ignored for many years. To continue the process of Bread, Freedom, and Justice for all – I draw your attention to the compassionate caring and impressive economist and leader Philip J Pierre.

His record as a minister in the various ministries he served is impeccable and well documented. If you only interact with our Caribbean counterparts about the trustworthiness and brilliance of Pierre, you will have a better understanding, why the delegates of our honorable Labour Party have unanimously voted him as our esteemed political leader. He is a leader who believes in the development of Saint Lucians and Saint Lucia. Pierre is the leader, and we continue to trust him.

As we get closer to polling day in Saint Lucia, please keep your eyes open for the deceptive tricks of the yellow party. And most importantly – listen to your constituency labour party representatives, to have a better understanding of the challenges (FFF’s) we are now faced with; and how we intend to fix and bring stability to our beloved country, Saint Lucia.

Be the change that you want to see, therefore, we can breathe again.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Great piece Cyril. Piety we tend to keep silent until our Bread, Freedom and Justice seems threatened.

    Just before the last general election I warned Saint Lucians’ of the dangers of electing Chastanet as prime minister of Saint Lucia.
    I was called a “Racist” by friends and fore who were bent on pleasing or not offending the “White man “…

    The evidence is now clear. The SLP candidates and supporting team must ensure that all our known supporters are registered and our Election Day Machinery is well oiled.

    One love.

  2. Excellent piece my brother. We must be vigilant and as we approach the elections date, all devious forms will be used to silence persons they perceive are not their supporters. Remember how they targeted media personalities like Miguel, Rouhani, Janeka, “Yardie” and recently Chris Hunte. They also attacked the religious – the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church immediately comes to mind.

    Rumors have it their Cambridge Analytica-typed advisors are already in action, to deceive the youth and the unsuspecting citizens through all forms of messaging via social media. I’m very disappointed in the situation where Hermangild Francis is now undermining the office of the chief medical officer, by suggesting that she was the one who recommended the four months state of emergency (SOE).

    Will the CMO defend or confirm the scientific rationale for a four-month SOE? Sadly, I’ve heard reputable medical professionals question that decision. Was the four-month SOE demanded and determined by the prime minister of Saint Lucia?

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