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‘E look good but lard ah fraid

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Sir Ronald Saunders’ article entitled “Time to care again for Caricom” in last week Searchlight is food foh we to tek time chew, swallow and die-gist. When we talking Carry-beyond polly-ticks, Sir Ronald is no “just come”, ah former Antigua High Commissioner to de UK with responsibilities for negotiations in Finance and Trade matters wid de IMF, WTO and OECD; he also held diplomatic posts in Germany and France and so on and so fourth.{{more}} So Sir Ronald knows way going on, his views are not John-dis. He is ah Carry-beyond man to de core and feels dat our leaders, some ah dem, who have been bouncing hey-dey and every-wey, acting pon dey own, looking foh individual short term economic benefits, are in effect weakening Carry-Come as de region’s instrument of development. Sir Ronald couldn’t be referring to our P.M. not if he ever heard him talk bout “ Our Caribbean Civil-lies-I-say-shun” and “ de home-grown lyrics of the Caribbean”. But Saunders was referring to ALBA, and yuh know dat in SVG, when yuh touch dat topic is like ah Dentist drilling ah rotten teeth and de drill touch de nerve. ALBA and de Airport is like pull-it-tek-all life and death issue foh Gonsalves and de ULP. De Awe-position Leader come-plain dat he is yet to see de proposed ALBA document dat SVG will sign or has signed, as well as an agreement between SVG and any ah de donor countries committed to de construction ah de Airport.

At home, we in “Learned Helplessness” have not had much in de form ah open discussion on ALBA, its implications, be dey Good, Bad or In-de-front. So foh us it was like: “Tah-dah-darr… Surprise” when de media in de region had it spreading all over, dat SVG had finally decided to join ALBA and became its ninth member, only to have it confirmed by de PM himself at ah press conference when he returned from de Some-myth.

Is unfortunate or is it disrespect dat more info on ALBA was not circulated, because ALBA got much to offer foh Free, maybe too much, not forgetting way ole people say: “Nothing is Free, everyting got ah price to pay”! ALBA as we all know, is de brain child ah President Chavez of Venezuela. De man wid an impassionate obsession to destroy Capital-is-him and its first cousin Imperial-is-him, de USA. Is like Chavez gets more night- maze dan sleep over those two Is-him. So he came up wid ALBA as his alternative to replace de failed FTAA, de Global Capitalist model. One of de main objective ah dis pull-it-tek-all instrument foh social and pull-it-tek-all development, is an attempt at regional economic integration that is based on a vision foh Social Welfare (food, public health and education) and mutual economic aid.

ALBA seems to be wuking so far. Cuba got some 20,000 medical staff plus thousand ah Cuban teachers in Venezuela, in exchange Venezuela supplies medical resources and petroleum, just under one hundred thousand barrels ah oil ah day is produced by Venezuelan state owned petrol operating plant in Cuba. Mr. Ortiga of Nicaragua is happy, his debt of US $31 million to Venezuela was written off, he already has lots ah projects foh placing thousand ah street kids in homes. Our Carry-Come near-bah, Do-monica is doing well also, dey getting International Airport and dey’s to be oil refinery owned by Venezuela in exchange foh de lickle island off Do-Monica. SVG will get de International Airport, maybe we could give ah island too, de lickle rock Black Rock off de ole Airport. ALBA will be having ah new currency “SUCRE” dat is sweet stuff, and by 2010 we’ll have an electronic currency. Will we accept de US dollar? And way does de EC dollar fit in de stream ah tings? Lots ah implication.

Basically ALBA is Social-is-Him replacing Capital-is-Him wid Venezuela’s Chavez financing every-ting. Ah reminder dat Social-is-Him wuks best foh de poor, all basic services is Free! Every ting is Free except “Freedom” itself! De US will no longer call shots, or be de big stick god-father, we will all look to de south, to Mr Chavez, Chavez-is-him!

Some time ago ah commented on Chavez’s call foh ah Military Dimension among member states of ALBA foh when de Imperialist, de USA attacks. In Sir Ronald own words, he warns us dat de last ting dat small island states like we need, is to become embroiled in de poly-ticks of military-is-him, especially when de battle is not ours. My pressing concern is de clause in de ALBA document dat speaks about Ideological Space. Are we getting ah new Ideology, who will be in charge, de Military dat Chavez is calling fah to defend ourselves against Imperial-is-him? Lately Venezuela has been getting some negative marks wid regard to press freedom, freedom of speech and de use or is it ab-use ah de Military in dat country. Lard yuh know we need de Airport, but Ah Fraid foh de price we might have to Pay.

Lie-Za is not too prim prom wid de subject of ALBA, she asked me to explain dis new ting Albert dat de P.M. sign-up in Venezuela. When ah finished going thru de pro’s and de con’s, ah ask her if she overs everyting, and if she want ah lickle piece ah Albert. She went quiet foh ah while den she say “ ah done hear way he sound like, ah cent way he smell like and ah see way he look like… Imperial-is-him all over, but in ah different language. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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