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Let cruise workers off the death ships now!

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Dey’s ah very informative article written by Jack Heyman and Jan Norden (she bad like storm) in CounterPunch. Dis Magazine is published bi-monthly in the United States. De paper covers politics in a manner its editors describe as “muckraking with a radical attitude”. It has been described as Left-Wing! Folks who used to enjoy reading “Freedom” the newspaper that was published by Youlimo years ago, would get Nostalgia reading this Magazine.

CounterPunch is bitingly hot this month in an Article published on April 28th entitled: “Let Cruise Workers Off the Death Ships Now!” The sub-heading states: “Crews Held Hostage as Virus Rages – Unionize Seafaring Workers.” The article painfully touches right home in SVG where our stranded Seafaring Citizens, our beloved brothers and sisters, who find dem-selves literally blocked from re-entering dey homeland. Expressing Solidarity with the Trapped Seamen de writers state: “We Demand Testing, Treatment, Housing, Union-Scale Wages and the Right to Repatriation!” Dis is how dey described the physical condition on one of these ships: “With up to 3,000 passengers and over 1,000 crew members crammed together in tight spaces, social distancing is impossible. The densely packed vessels act as incubators, greatly accelerating the transmission of COVID-19, turning these party ships into death ships.”

Dis damning article makes ah startling disclosure that “the major cruise lines and their ships all have non-U.S. registries (Carnival in Panama, Royal Caribbean in Liberia, Norwegian in Bermuda). This is typical for the entire shipping industry. Today most of the world’s trade is carried on such ‘Flag of Convenience’ bottoms, using highly exploited workers from poor semi-colonial countries.”

It continues: “clustered off Southern California there are 16 cruise liners, apparently awaiting chartered airplanes or vessels to take crews to their countries. By locking them on these ships the U.S. government, and Democratic and Republican politicians, are imposing a death sentence on many of these crew members.”

Lie-Za read the whole article and says she does not know what de agreements between our Seafaring Citizens and de Cruise Ship companies state, but she did hear ah statement by de minister in Par-liar-mint, dat de Cruise Ship had agreed to charter ah flight to bring our Citizens home, and already at least one hotel will be made available to house de Seafaring Citizens? Dat she said, would be excellent, but way happen to dat agreement.

“First things are always first,” she said. “Let Cruise Workers off the Death Ships Now!” She lifted her hands up to de Heavens and said: “Lard have mercy, watch how we treating our Citizens. What happen to all de talk about Citizenship being de highest office in de land. Dem brothers and sisters who stranded on de high seas not Citizens too?

Bring our stranded Seamen home. Right now dey’s no need to get bogged down on legalities as to who must pay de cost of the Hell’t Care of our Vincent-shun Citizens. Leave all de legal and pull-it-tek-all ‘Ole talk’ foh later in de Courts and at de Polls.

MORE LOVE TO OUR POLICE AND NURSES

Last Sunday ah young man who just came back from de US, allegedly tripped and before proper medical help could reach him, ah Police Sergeant was fatally shot and another officer wounded. De Youth was also fatally shot. Dis is really unfortunate! Lots are question are there to be answered. Like where was de family members, wid so many near-bars in dat community, way was everybody. Our police are not trained to handle de mentally ill, especially if dey are violent and armed. Ah overs dat dey’s usually ah run-around when yuh phone Mental Hell’t to report ah Mental Case; dey telling yuh to call de Police. Dat has to be corrected.

Nurses and Police are special Citizens, it takes thousands of dollars to produce ah Nurse and ah Cop. Ah Nurse attends Nursing School foh three years, must pass ah final exams to Graduate and appointed as ah fully qualified Nurse to work at our Hospitals, and administer proper Hellt’ Care.

Ah Police on de other hand, spends less time in training, six months. Then S/he must pass an Exam; there is an official Passing Out Parade and we have another Cop on de beat. S/he works wid and endears him/herself on de hearts of de people in de community where s/he is placed. Yes we have Good Cops and ah few Bad Cops. But ah police is there to protect us, he carries ah gun to protect himself, some Police get carried away and may act differently. Whatever, we must support, cooperate and show love to our Police and double dat love to our Nurses. 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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