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How can we develop a national unity administration?


I remember speaking with a Cuban ambassador about Cuban assistance to SVG.

“It is true,” said the diplomat, “that Ralph and Fidel are very close friends, but the policy of the Cuban government towards St Vincent and the Grenadines will not change if Mr Eustace became Prime Minister. Personal relationships and party connections aside, government to government agreements are firm and solemn commitments. Cuba’s support for the Argyle airport is a matter of policy.”{{more}}

That statement could just as easily have come from the ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan. Who is in charge of the administration does not matter when it comes to policy. Cuba or Taiwan are open to SVG as a nation. Can we also see ourselves as a nation?

To put it simply, just as how Dr Gonsalves has been able to access immediate and continuing Cuban medical attention for his recent ailment, should we not also have seen such immediate medical help sought and provided for Mr Daniel Cummings MP, as a matter of policy, when he had his back injury in a parliamentary fracas? In like manner, would it be a nation building initiative to include in the Ebola Summit delegation to Cuba, a medical professional named by the Opposition or the Medical Association? 35 years after our 1979 independence constitution, and in our situation of “tribalist” politics, should we not make our own national path away from “Westminster” political idolization, worshipping a civil war political system that brings out cannibal behaviour in us? We must surely learn the nobler lessons from a problem riddled Constitutional Reform project that had an arbitrary party veto built into it. We must deliberately design steps to build our nation in a way that nourishes a culture of justice, dignity and spiritual and material well-being.


Mr Herbert Samuel has written a careful note on two aspects of the Argyle international airport: the economics, and the management of the project. He gave them both a failing grade. Dr Rudy Matthias, the chief executive officer of the airport company, in his reply, seems to dismiss Mr Samuel as a professional, and condemns his lack of information. At the same time, he does nothing to ease my discomfort about the failure of the runway to pass its first compaction test many months into its construction, nor does he come clean about the “creative” financing, as at least a disastrous illusion. The worrying thing for me, though, is this: Can we, as a nation and people, allow the airport adventure to wind its way ahead or downhill under the undiluted control of the present ULP leadership, or under the prospective NDP leadership? Do we not read the signs that this national venture needs more than a political party, at the helm if it is to help build this nation?

I am thinking out loud that at this point in our development, responsible political power in SVG should be entrusted to the care of a body larger than a victorious political party. A real nation will not emerge from this present civil war democracy which creates tribal tyrants, their henchmen and henchwomen and their victims. You know as I read and liked the article by Herbert Samuel, I recalled a comment that Karl Marx made after he had read and liked a paper by a critical thinker, Feuerbach: “Philosophers are able to expose and analyse reality for us,” Marx wrote, “Our task, is to make the changes.” Administering social power calls us as citizens to go beyond a vote every1,900 days in an election, and putting a strongman in charge of our livelihoods and unity. How can we learn to move power into a social and political structure that we can call a national government, a national unity administration? That is our challenge today.