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There will be no more letters to the editor

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Editor: Dr Gonsalves has been the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines since the year 2001. I never voted for the ULP, but I am a well-wisher of the party. When Dr Gonsalves became the Prime Minister in 2001, I thought he was our best choice. Why? I say this because some of the services he provided, Mr Eustace would have looked elsewhere.{{more}}

For those who think that I don’t support Dr Gonsalves as the Prime Minister, they are certainly wrong. I am a critical supporter, and I often offer helpful criticism. Many times I wrote articles about Dr Gonsalves I offered my opinion on his leadership, I commended him on many occasions because I give respect where it’s deserved. I often give helpful criticism, but I always maintain a high level of respect in my writing. My intention is good. Readers, you can remind yourself and look back at my previous articles written in the Searchlight newspapers. I never get personal, because I don’t know any personal information about Dr Gonsalves. When I write, I often try to keep my writing political, but I was unaware that Dr Gonsalves was upset about some of the articles.

On Tuesday, May 25, 2015, I saw Dr Gonsalves at the ET Joshua Airport at approximately 3:15 p.m. I called out to him and he came to where I was standing and a conversation began. The conversation became very heated and it was a bit confrontational. He said to me that he has to be very careful about what he says to me. I asked him why? He said that someone brought to his attention an article I wrote in the Searchlight newspaper, captioned “Breakfast with the Prime Minister.” It was very clear that Dr Gonsalves was upset with the caption. I tried to explain to him that the caption was placed to attract the interest of the readers. I braced myself because I was talking to the country’s Prime Minister and I have to give him the respect that comes with the office.

Dr Gonsalves was very upset; he described me as a stranger to the truth and an agent of misinformation. I felt very abused by the Prime Minister’s comments, because I considered him to be my friend; but if this is how a friend treats me, Lord have mercy! I was remarkably surprised by the comments made by Dr Gonsalves, and I felt very ashamed. To this day, I am still amazed by his behaviour towards me. My criticism of Dr Gonsalves is always political, but it was quite clear that he wanted no sort of criticism from me. Dr Gonsalves isn’t perfect and he must realize criticism is a must. This is the same person who said whenever you criticize him it must be constructive criticism and that is what I normally do; I give constructive criticism.

Madam Editor, this article that I am writing is my last article. You may ask why? Mainly because I felt really discouraged, abused and empty after Dr Gonsalves was finished talking with me at the airport. It was unexpected. I asked myself a few questions: Is democracy alive? Is our Prime Minister immune to criticism? What happened to freedom of speech? Where are we headed with this attitude?

Sometimes Vincentians will often come to me and ask if I’m worried about my writing. I often say no, but as of last Tuesday I think different. I want to thank this newspaper ‘Searchlight’ for giving me the opportunity to share my opinions and to express myself to all the readers. Thank you for your support; thanks to all the readers. According to Dr Gonsalves, I have no influence; he reminds me of Mrs Jennifer Eustace.

Kingsley DeFreitas

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