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LIAT 456 gets huge welcome at Argyle International Airport

LIAT 456 gets huge welcome  at Argyle International Airport


Thousands of persons, decked in the signature red of the Unity Labour Party (ULP), flocked to the Argyle International Airport (AIA) on Sunday to witness the historic landing of a LIAT flight there.

When the ATR 72-600 plane, with 53 passengers on board, including Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves approached the airstrip,{{more}} a loud cheer erupted from the sea of red clad supporters.

The crowd went into a frenzy when the plane touched the tarmac at 4:45 p.m. and persons tried to bypass the area cordoned off by the police in a frantic effort to greet the Prime Minister.

The police managed to hold back the crowd until the plane came to a complete stop and when a tearful Gonsalves disembarked and moved inside the makeshift fencing, he was swarmed by a large group of his supporters.

The landing was followed by a rally, which heard from a number of speakers, including chief executive officer (CEO) of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) Dr Rudy Matthias; Prime Minister Gonsalves; the ULP’s South Windward candidate Frederick Stephenson; David Comissiong, a Barbadian lawyer and president of the People’s Empowerment Party; the ULP’s candidate for Marriaqua Jimmy Prince and the People’s National Party (Jamaica) member of parliament for East Rural St Andrew Damion Crawford.

Crawford, during his time at the podium, said that he was impressed by the massive crowd of people that had gathered at the AIA.

“I see red, I see red, I see red, it’s a tsunami; the NDP need some help,” shouted Crawford from the platform, much to the amusement of the crowd. He said that the crowd that had gathered at the AIA spoke of a clean sweep and he is certain that the ULP will be returned to power tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9, when the electorate goes to the polls.

Crawford, stationed in North Leeward, where he is campaigning with the ULP’s Carlos James, told the gathering, “we taking back North Leeward,” a seat held by the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) Roland “Patel” Matthews.

Speaking further, the Jamaican MP said that the AIA signifies this country’s second independence, as in 1979 the country obtained political independence, “and tonight you are getting economic independence, because when the plane land, this country tek off.”

He stressed that an international airport means a number of things, among them, straight flights to the country, employment and trade.

“In 79, you take down the Union Jack; now you taking down the poverty jack, the jobless jack, the hopeless jack with the vision of a man like Ralph Gonsalves,” said Crawford, who opined that the two campaigns happening are of love, but “one is a love for power and one is the power of love.”

“There is a set of people in yellow campaigning only with the love of power and there is a set of people in red campaigning with the power of love and the people in red is proving tonight that you cannot grow a country on ‘no’,” said Crawford, who shared that since he arrived in the country, all he has heard from the Opposition is, “no, no, no”.

“They say little plane couldn’t land; they say big plane couldn’t land and they land. Now they say ship cah land; well ship cah land, but you will get a good pier…” shouted Crawford.

He added that the argument that says that Gonsalves has stayed as prime minister of the country too long is a foolish argument.

“Once there is a war, a soldier must fight and so Ralph Gonsalves continues to fight, because like Bob Marley say, until the philosophy that holds one man superior and another inferior is finally and permanently eradicated, every day is war,” said Crawford.

“We nah talk about gun war, we nah talk about knife war, we nah talk about fists and stones, we talking about a democratic process that says I support you, because you support me and you support the ULP, because the ULP support you as a people,” he added.

The dreadlocked politician said that once there is privileged versus underprivileged, there will be a war because the privileged will fight to maintain privilege and the underprivileged will fight to attain privilege and therefore, “when I hear that 60 per cent of this country was sacrificed to un-education at the age of 12, the Education Revolution is proof that you are winning this one.”

Crawford stressed that the ULP’s YES and SET programmes and the Lives to Live programme are proof that the ULP is fighting to uplift the people of SVG and the sea of red clad supporters at the AIA proved that the party is doing good for Vincentians.