By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.
The ongoing debacle related to the real-life Pirate of the Caribbean demonstrates how important it is for politicians to show wisdom in selecting and giving the green light to investors. The debacle gives every voter in Antigua and Barbuda a clear and precise reason why they should choose the UPP on March 12th.
As I looked on over the years, it was clear to me that there was every reason to turn on the red light when it came to this Pirate. It was not only clear to me, I was willing to write about it every chance I got. When you search this Blog site for the many references to the word “Pirate” you will see what I mean.
But, those who were in a position to turn on the red light… failed to do so… Instead they gave him the green light in return for his gold… Ill-gotten gold as it turns out!
On this site, I have also spotlighted the many reasons why we should not have been dealing with him. Why could they not see?
And then there were the many ordinary Antiguans who, for a few pieces of silver, were willing to turn a blind eye and, in some cases, willing to sell their hard earned reputations! Now their names are sullied! Many are still respected for their great deeds prior to their association with the Pirate, but this added chapter in their biography is one they could have done without!
And they are not alone, as other greats from around the region and the world were sucked up in the Pirate’s gloss… a gloss which is at least now severely tarnished!
The UPP and its leadership seemed to have tried to work things out with the Pirate. But… as we know him… it was his way… or the highway. The highway of course being the way of highway bandits… as he was…. and has proven to be.
When Baldwin Spencer finally decided that enough was enough, the Pirate had already turned to the other side promising them millions of dollars to ensure their win.
Now, I am not certain that this was courage on the part of the UPP leadership, or that there were too many irreconcilable differences between them and the Pirate.
Whatever the case, there was a severing and a rending of the relationship – at least a ripping apart and from the Chief Servant and his closest allies within the Party. In this, Mr. Spencer showed leadership. He showed what I have always known of him… that he is an upstanding individual and a man of the people. Torn he might have been because of the possibilities of what the Pirates dollars could do to transform Rural West… but firm he remained on the principle issue: Antigua was not for sale.
It is sad that the leaders of the red tide never had that sentiment… for them… Antigua was for sale to the highest bidder. This sentiment they proved year after year… Robert Vescoe, Dato Tan, The South African Arms Deal, The Airport Scam… and many more… And these are the ones we know about!
Additionally, the Pirate has admitted that he gave several of their ministers in excess of US$100,000 prior to the last election to “help the Antiguan people”. The Antiguan people never saw any of that money. It went into the Swiss, US, Bahamaian, Bermudian, and Asian bank accounts of the corrupt lot of them. And if the Pirate admitted to give them that amount… you can imagine what he gave them that we won’t mention. Some of them took that money to build tens of houses which they now rent. These are men who did not have a red cent to begin with. Now they are well heeled and strut about as they money class… with moneys from the Pirate’s ill gotten treasure propping them up.
These people are the alternatives to the UPP. They gave away Antigua to the Pirate for pennies on the dollar and stuffed their own pockets in return. Now they want us to return them to power!
If Antiguans wanted another reason to re-elect UPP… this financial debacle – a debacle of global proportions – a debacle which has brought disgrace to Antigua and further sullied our name… this debacle – is just another reason to uplift the UPP on March 12.
The choice is clear… vote UPP on March 12!