The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has expressed deep concern about what it regards as an unnecessary appointment following the government’s decision to name Hippolyte Eustace Vitalis as Saint Lucia’s non-resident ambassador to PetroCaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA).
Speaking on behalf of the LPM, Therold Prudent, party leader, said there is no reasonable justification for Vitalis’ elevation.
“While we continue to have serious reservations about the merits of Saint Lucia joining ALBA, and the government may have been right in considering alternate sources of cooperation and funding to help stabilise the economy, there is no reasonable justification for Vitalis’ elevation to the rank of non-resident ambassador,” Prudent said.
“A simple coordinator position from the existing staff at the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Energy or Foreign Affairs would have sufficed. Moreover, since Venezuela is the principal financier of PetroCaribe and ALBA, much of the work involved could have been done through direct collaboration between the selected ministry and the Venezuelan embassy in Saint Lucia.”
He said the prime minister “cannot continue to inflate the public purse by building additional layers of bureaucracy, that enable only a select few to live comfortably, while the vast number of Saint Lucians remain on economic life support”.
The LPM called on Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony to show greater sensitivity, understanding and compassion for Saint Lucia’s struggling economy, and the more than 23,000 persons currently unemployed in the country, by immediately revoking Vitalis’ appointment.
“Common sense should have dictated to Anthony that paying an exorbitant salary to one individual in anticipation of an arrangement that is yet to deliver a single drop of oil to Saint Lucia makes absolutely no economic sense at all,” Prudent said.