By Denys Springer
The question supporters of the prime minister of Saint Lucia are asking is how long it will take to call general elections. The mandate of the government expires on July 11, 2021. I do hope that it won’t be long because many are wounded by the virus and in a sense, double-dealing whether at the Victoria Hospital (VH) or their homes.
Therefore, how long? I hope not long because, I hear wise words echoing in my mind and it is coming from Martin Luther when he asked: “How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it. I come to tell you that regardless how difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour it will not be long because even taking the three months upon the five years it won’t be long because truth crushed to earth will rise again”, he added. “No lie can live forever”.
I listened to the address to the nation by the prime minister early February, I thought that it was simply grotesque and insulting with a false history of what has been done by the government to mitigate COVID-19. What was even more horrendous in the rigmarole and blatant crap that was put-out not only by the prime minister but his supporters and commercial associates; some of whom I once thought had some intelligence, alas not, telling us that since July 2020 some 40, 000 tourist have come to Saint Lucia and only 53 was found to have had the virus or were positive. I was simply dumbstruck and speechless.
I immediately ask myself if this was the perniciousness that seems to prevail and immediately brought me back to my school years studying European history, when many who knew what was going on at Hitler’s concentration camp or the brutal treatment at present of the Muslims in Tianjing in China’s concentration camps – pretended that this is not so. Another example is the well-known secret of hotels that have and had COVID-19 cases, both staff and guest, yet they were told to keep their mouths shut.
If this is the truth then this government and the medical authorities simply have no credibility. I, therefore, believe sincerely that if we are to have a state of emergency then our borders should be closed for at least two to three weeks to bring down the numbers.
I ask the prime minister once again, how long? Not long, because it is written, ‘you shall reap what you have sow’. Road works and other projects will not save you. Therefore, I long for that day, because that will be the day when all good men and women of Saint Lucia, whether black or white, mulatto or colour will be guaranteed their unalienable rights of life even with a deadly virus called COVID-19. It will be that day when liberty and the pursuit of happiness will once again return to this pristine land.
Once again, I asked where is the lockbox money from the AirPort and the Citizenship by Investment (CIP) revenue. The government seemingly continues to give bad cheques returned marked insufficient funds alluding that they have squandered or hid what was there. How can we accept the lie that the country is broke when the government continues to waste money as if it was confetti on road works instead of putting it in the health service, more so, when vaccines will become available or have the equipment needed to fight this virus.
Is it being saved to fight an election that is beyond their grasp and looking to buy votes at any price?
What astonishes me is that every country has found a stimulus package for their people and they have not called a state of emergency in the manner in which we continue to do. This government owes its people a hand up to help themselves and their family. I can hear the voice of vendors who cannot sell their bananas, fruits and vegetables. Nothing has been given to them to help them out of their plight. There is no doubt in my mind that there are dark and desolate feeling by many Saint Lucians who feel that they need to be lifted from the quicksand of poverty and to make justice a reality for all Saint Lucian and their children.
I say to this government to act quickly because it would be fatal to overlook the urgency of what is unfolding before their very eyes. What astounds me is that they fail to see the discontent that is simmering throughout the country. A rude awakening awaits them if they refuse to act fairly and transparently. This is not about party but country, regardless of the colour red or yellow, class or creed. We are beginning to see the bitterness and hatred emanating between young and old.
People who have conducted themselves on the high plane of dignity and discipline cannot continue, if this government does not ameliorate the situation on a level playing field. For many, there is no turning back because the people according to Martin Luther King Jr will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”. Many are trying to come to terms with the severe trials and tribulations they have had to endure but the government of Saint Lucia refuse to see.
In concluding like Martin Luther King Jr – I to “have a dream that [one day in Saint Lucia] every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight … and all flesh shall see it together”. This is my hope and dream for this pristine land of ours. This is the faith I live by. “Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing, the land where my father’s died” struggling to be free so that future generations will be free with the strength to fight COVID-19 that has overwhelmed us, aided and abetted by the stupidity of careless government.
I am convinced that we will overcome because we have a responsibility that is enshrined in our citizenship, and a sense of normalcy will return to this beautiful island we call the Helen of the West Indies.
Related: Part 1