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COMMENTARY: St. Lucia needs a renaissance – Part 2

By Melanius Alphonse

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Alphonse

The art of the bluff and polarization in Saint Lucia

Logic suggests that we have not had any historical examples to review lowering standards, the spectacle of dysfunction and open warfare to blame for historic political and economic imbalances in which ad hoc and irrational dealings threaten the interest of everyone in Saint Lucia.

Since coming into office in June 2016, the government has consistently shed light on the country’s debt, yet is unable to recognise Desert Star Holdings (DSH) “Pearl of the Caribbean”, described in glowing terms, actually carries extreme financial risk and probable economic collapse akin to the glossy expenditure and revenues estimates for 2017/18.

The Invest St Lucia business proposal assessment reads, “From the financials presented, the developers’ viability and their profit is clear, however the ongoing viability of the project has not been highlighted.”

“Also, DSH has informed that the minimum number of CIP funding required before initiating the project would be 90% of the project cost, this further illustrates that this project is solely reliant on CIP. This is a high threshold to meet, which has not been substantiated through details on their sales and marketing strategy.”

Here’s what this tells us. ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’ is not the economic revolution that will take mankind into economic and social salvation.

It is simply a prestige project with abstract concepts that pose economic adversity, security challenges and environmental re-orientation spanning ’99 years for the consideration of US$1 per acre’.

When the government of Saint Lucia refuses to acknowledge, for obvious reasons, any part of the well publicised DSH agreement, although now a document tabled in the House of Assembly, this gives the impression that there is something to hide, something that will paralyze Saint Lucia more than it is already and very possibly become a client state of China.

What many Saint Lucians fear is tightening the grip of exclusion that has begun to emerge in agreements, cabinet conclusions, inclusive of No.530 of 2017, and marketing concepts that share a brand of numeric fantasy.

Thus, powered by expectations, there is an influx of start-up “zombie companies”, padding risk bordering on “malfeasance”.

These pose a threat in the shape of both a severe debt trap and potential cultural rivalry that may soon evolve into extremism. Monitoring this requires knowledge of history, inclusive of appropriate corrective measures. Devoid of such, the country will be caught behind the curve and the people left wondering – what happened, how did we get there?

International politics and foreign relations are changing rapidly. China’s Caribbean interest is a strategic demonstration of economic power, inserting greater influence on matters of sovereignty, security and development interests, while looking to Europe and Asia for markets of the future. In turn, Europe is looking to build, leaning on China.

This is a landmark moment. But ‘America First’ is leaning towards a policy shift to employ Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to fend off China’s demands, and allow investigation into China’s trade practices, raise tariffs on imports from China or impose other sanctions.

Meanwhile, a meeting of trade ministers from China, Brazil, Russia and India recently concluded, agreeing to promote international cooperation and oppose “trade and investment protectionism”.

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.

The government of Saint Lucia must employ a smart and deep-seated perspective to unclog its thinking along the lines of an Economic Development Council (EDC) to help restore faith where strange math and the abandonment of data and facts are deemed extraneous.

And at the other end of the spectrum, bridge the gap to put forward legislation, offer solutions and guidance on development ideas and plans to achievable goals for economic intensification.

This illustrates the need for a robust economic development program; an interactive foreign policy, trade, monetary, financial, economic, health care and institutional remodelling of systems, with deeper engagement with the people and mitigating future risk.

With great power comes great responsibility. Character, ethics and intelligence are important. It is time to face looming questions on the future direction of Saint Lucia in order to avert the permanent low ebb.

Part 1: Intelligence and the modern triangle
Part 3: Saint Lucia’s foreign policy dilemma (coming up)

(7)(2)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

9 comments

  1. Increasingly, the comments of [email protected] are reading more like rants, increasingly disjointed in their presentation and structure of logic.

    And he gets paid for this? How do the rest of us become passengers on that train, LOL?

    It's sadly unfortunate. it really is. And it is disappointing. Again.

    To his creit, he writes with a very obvious passion for our nation and its path forward.

    Perhaps Melanious should take a break from the obvious comforts of life in Toronto and come down here and get involved in our democratic process, speak with people across the socio-economic spectrum, listen in an active manner to what they have to say, and walk his talk, the true sign of a fully engaged , true citizen of St. Lucia.

    God Bless.

    (26)(2)
  2. Increasingly, the comments of [email protected] are reading more like rants, increasingly disjointed in their presentation and structure of logic.

    And he gets paid for this? How do the rest of us become passengers on that train, LOL?

    It's sadly unfortunate. it really is. And it is disappointing. Again.

    To his creit, he writes with a very obvious passion for our nation and its path forward.

    Perhaps Melanious should take a break from the obvious comforts of life in Toronto and come down here and get involved in our democratic process, speak with people across the socio-economic spectrum, listen in an active manner to what they have to say, and walk his talk, the true sign of a fully engaged , true citizen of St. Lucia.

    God Bless.

    (5)(1)
  3. Idk if st lucians r stupid ir jus blatently relient on a government waiting to get a contract but don't seem to see both the economic, ecological or social reprocussions of this project..hmm i'm waiting to c wat happens jus hoping my children never hv to live here in this country under a government like this one

    (0)(0)
    • What you fail to understand is that despite Caribbean Islands having their so called independence they are still a colony of the Western world under the guise of "Commonwealth Islands" which really boils down to colonisation. All Caribbean Islands were allowed independence to govern and fiscally maintain and look after their own economic affairs. However, the Western world knew that they would still be relied on to subsidise the island in one way or another and this has been and is the absolute scenario throughout the Caribbean. Barbados was the English cherry which is why so much has been invested in, particularly, tourism and ensuring their mansion villas and landed properties are kept pristine and elusive including making claims to nearby beaches as if they own the beach! In the latter years, the Western world are strategically looking to islands like St Lucia (Haiti too) and the like and giving financial assistance with their own agenda in mind and the islands are more or less compelled to take the financial aid out of necessity and so obligated to China/England/US/Tawain whosoever it may be from time to time. Typically in this world, most of the time, it really is "quid pro quo" meaning something given in exchange for .... So the St Lucia government are in the same situation as other commonwealth islands and I'm sure PM Chastnet knows this as well. He is doing a fine job and Luciano need to stop being ignorant and try to understand politics better ... The main thing Kenny did in his innings was to line his and fellow ministers pockets with a lot of the money that was given as financial assistance to improve the island, eg St Jude hospital was never rebuilt in the 9 years Kenny was in term despite him having received the aid from Taiwan which did not go unnoticed by them either. How embarrassing for St Lucia! However, recently Chadtnet has pledged to a financial donor that he will ensure that St Jude is built expediently and that the money is well spent on the build unlike his predecessor! It's too easy to say "oh what has the PM done since taking office etc" and you must understand the fact that Chastnet inherited all the damage (and corruption too) which Kenny has done to St Lucia during his office 10 years! And so there is no magic wand that can rectify the situation other to take on year at a time and so far Chaste is doing a fine job trying to maintain stability in St Lucia!

      (17)(0)
  4. A well-articulated article. All the points you put forward are valid. This is proof once again that power is too centralized in Saint Lucia. The PM has too much power.

    (0)(1)
    • What you fail to understand is that despite Caribbean Islands having their so called independence they are still a colony of the Western world under the guise of "Commonwealth Islands" which really boils down to colonisation. All Caribbean Islands were allowed independence to govern and fiscally maintain and look after their own economic affairs. However, the Western world knew that they would still be relied on to subsidise the island in one way or another and this has been and is the absolute scenario throughout the Caribbean. Barbados was the English cherry which is why so much has been invested in, particularly, tourism and ensuring their mansion villas and landed properties are kept pristine and exclusive including making claims to nearby beaches as if they own the beach! In the latter years, the Western world are strategically looking to islands like St Lucia (Haiti too) and the like and giving financial assistance with their own agenda in mind and the islands are more or less compelled to take the financial aid out of necessity and so obligated to China/England/US/Tawain whosoever it may be from time to time. Typically in this world, most of the time, it really is "quid pro quo" meaning something given in exchange for something .... So the St Lucian government are in the same situation as other commonwealth islands and I'm sure PM Chastnet knows this as well. He is doing a fine job and Lucians need to stop being ignorant and try to understand politics better ... The main thing Kenny did in his innings was to line his and fellow ministers pockets with a lot of the money that was given as financial assistance to improve the island, eg St Jude hospital was never rebuilt in the 10 years Kenny was in term despite him having received the aid from Taiwan which did not go unnoticed by them either. How embarrassing for St Lucia! However, recently Chadtnet has pledged to a financial donor that he will ensure that St Jude is built expediently and that the money is well spent on the build unlike his predecessor! It's too easy to say "oh what has the PM done since taking office etc" and you must understand the fact that Chastnet inherited all the damage (and corruption too) which Kenny has done to St Lucia during his office of 10 years! And so there is no magic wand that can rectify the situation other to take on year at a time and so far Chastnet is doing a fine job trying to maintain stability in St Lucia!

      (0)(0)
  5. st. lucia already had a revolution, alphi. it happened last june. the dead beats were removed by the people. the renaissance is happening now

    (10)(1)
  6. WELL SAID

    (0)(4)
  7. Snore ZZZ

    (4)(0)

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