Let me commend and congratulate you, Mr Editor, and the entire staff of your website Caribbeannewsnow.com for affording me the opportunity to express myself on your site. Your website is a beacon of hope to the people of the Caribbean and is a forum in which they can express their views.
Many Caribbean governments have tried to censor and manipulate the media in their quest to stop the free flow of information. Some governments have even passed draconian laws with stiff jail terms and fines in an effort to shackle their people. The electronic crimes bill passed in Grenada come to mind immediately.
Caribbean News Now is doing an excellent job in educating the people of the Caribbean and I urge you to continue to play such a very critical role. Thank you.
I would now like to write on the above topic: the Fox, the Rabbit and the Leopard.
2013 was one filled with anticipations, contradictions, conflict, hope, deceit and hypocrisy. It was a very eventful year. A year in which the leader of the country informed the people of Grenada that the country can't afford to pay its debts and would be engaging the IMF through a structural adjustment program. It was supposed to be the year of inclusiveness and national unity; however, with all the other contradictions it turned out to be a year when over 3,000 public workers were victimised, discriminated and dismissed. This is the land called Grenada. The land of conflict and confrontation.
2013 began with the country in political limbo following the infighting in the NDC. The then Prime Minister Tilman Thomas announced February 19th as the date for general elections. The NNP went on to win all the seats in parliament for a second time, creating history in the Commonwealth. It was as a result of these events and the consequences thereof that an alliance or marriage of convenience was forged between the Fox, the Rabbit and the Leopard.
Having been expelled from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Rabbit and the Leopard committed themselves to assist the Fox in what they referred to as 'project Grenada'. In the animal kingdom, the relationship between the Fox and the Rabbit is one of predator and prey. The Fox kills the Rabbit for its food. A similar relationship exists between the Leopard and the Rabbit. The relationship however between the Fox and Leopard is one of competition, since they both compete for the same prey.
In the Grenadian political scenario, while the Fox and Leopard seem to defy nature and have forged a relationship of apparent co-operation for their own self interest, in the real sense it is well known that this relationship is one of competition. They both aspire to be prime minister of the country. One has been the longest serving leader while the other is patiently waiting for his turn. The turn of the Leopard depends on the continued aspiration and endorsement of the Fox and hence the reasons for the co-operation If the fruits of this co-operation take too long then either the Fox or the Leopard become extinct.
A Fox is a very cunning animal. When the Fox can't get the grapes, he says it is sour. The Fox has the grapes now and so it is sweet. Time will tell how long the Fox will want to keep the grapes away from both the Leopard and Rabbit. Both the Leopard and the Rabbit has been enticed by foreign trips and positions of status by the Fox in an effort to keep the relationship symbiotic. The Rabbit even had the privilege to visit South Africa to attend the funeral of the greatest international icon, Nelson Mandela. A man who fought for the liberation of black people in South Africa and poor people worldwide. A man of honesty and truth. A man who fought for general political unification of all his people.
The Fox is clever and for the past ten months he has given the Rabbit bits of 'carrots' for his allegiance and loyalty. The Rabbit is happy to receive the bits of 'carrots' but history would have reminded us that, although the Rabbit may be a prey of the Fox, this particular buck Rabbit is not to be trusted. He is intelligent and controls the most powerful trade union organisation in the country. Br'er Rabbit can 'shut down' the entire animal kingdom with the swipe of a pen. He controls all the essential services for the survival of the kingdom, including water, telecoms and transport. The Fox therefore has to be very meticulous and careful in his deliberations with Br'er Rabbit. He has to use all his manipulative and intellectual skills to control Br'er Rabbit.
A Leopard never changes its spots. The Leopard was involved in the demise of two governments that he has been a senior member of, the PRG and the NDC.
To catch the leopard, Anansi (Fox) dug a deep hole in the ground. When the leopard fell in the hole Anansi (Fox) offered to help him out with his webs. Once the leopard was out of the hole he was bound in Anansi's webs and was carried away. Very interesting. Is the Leopard stuck in the Fox's paws? Only time will tell. It should be noted though that the Leopard is the only other predator besides man that kills for sport. The Fox has to be ever vigilant.
Br'er Rabbit and Leopard are working in unison to control the animal kingdom. While they may have lost some prestige and political power this combination is still very influential. Br'er Rabbit is responsible for ensuring that thousands of workers have a decent standard of living. He was able to lobby Fox to remove income tax on severance pay for his workers. He will soon lobby for a national transport school bus system and Fox will have to deliver. He is the person chosen by Fox to ensure that all the other poor animals have access to health care and health insurance. Br'er Rabbit is the spiritual and ideological leader for Leopard.
King Leopard has chosen to keep his profile uncharacteristically low. He is by nature a very charismatic individual; however, he may be suffering from guilt following his involvement in the demise of his own government for a second time. Being an excellent legal mind he has resorted to defending the folks who transgress against the law. A job he had before becoming a minister in the NDC administration of Tillman Thomas. A demotion by all standards; however, he is covertly laying a foundation with the support of Br'er Rabbit to emerge leader of the animal kingdom.
Fox has mentioned that he is in the twilight of his political career; however, as cunning as he is only time will tell whether he bows out gracefully or continues to keep Leopard and the people of Grenada in a state of uncertainly . His austerity measures through the structural adjustment program will determine his legacy. The grapes may once again become sour and acidic for Fox to swallow. The antidote may be in the hands of Br'er Rabbit and Leopard; however, all the other stakeholders have a role to play. Their continued support for the structural adjustment program implemented by Fox will determine if he continues to sit on the throne.
January 2014 marks the beginning of a very critical year for the people of Grenada. Will they comply with the new tax measures announced by Fox or will they refuse to pay? Can they afford to pay while at the same time maintain their standard of living? Fox, Br'er Rabbit and Leopard can withstand any shock since they have accumulated millions of dollars in assets over the years. The people are waiting to hear them declare their assets truthfully. Fox has called on the people to make sacrifices but what we do know is that Foxes and Leopards don't have any compassion and mercy for their prey. They pounce on them vociferously ensuring that their lifeless bodies make a good meal. They don't make sacrifices, instead they crucify others.
February 2014 the people of Grenada may see the emergence of a new political leader of the NDC. The February 2nd party convention will be a very important national event. Fox, Br'er Rabbit and Leopard are expecting to do all they can to influence the outcome of the convention. Their aim is to rule the kingdom unchallenged, not as a true democracy but rather a socialist dictatorial democracy. Our people won't allow this and so it will be interesting to see what the strategy of this triumvirate will be.
Fox seems to be running the kingdom like Br'er Anansi. Trying to trick and manipulate everybody, even Br'er Rabbit and Leopard. He should however recall the story of Br'er Rabbit and Tar Baby. If Tar Baby is elected political leader of the NDC he won't be having nightmares and many sleepless nights. Tar Baby will take all the blows thrown at him, dust himself off and like the great boxer Mohammad Ali throw some uppercuts like never before. He will be a very formidable opponent and with the adhesive nature of his tar be able to stick Fox, Br'er Rabbit and Leopard to their own cross. 2014 will be a very interesting year for Grenada and Grenadians. Fasten your seat belts. The best political battles in Grenada are yet to come and the people try to take back their country from an unholy alliance . God is about to cleanse his land.
Finally, let me on the behalf of the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique express my solidarity with the government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Dominica in their time of need. Their pain has been compounded by an act of nature. Our prayers go out to our fellow brothers and sisters and with God's help we know that they will prevail.
As a country we should learn from theirs and our own experiences from the lessons of Ivan and Emily. If we are to judge from the recent actions, attitude rantings and bickering of our own leaders we shall realise that they haven't learned much. They continue to divide the people for their own selfish political ends but their day of reckoning is fast approaching. Revelation 6:16 teaches us they will run to the rocks and mountains, saying fall on us ! Hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
The Foxes, Rabbits ,Leopard and Br'er Anansi of this era will have to submit themselves to the wrath of the Lamb. They can fool some people some of the time with their contradictions, deceit, deception and hypocrisy, but can never fool all of the people, all of the time. Be patient folks, have faith and courage and you shall inherit the earth. No pain is too much for you to overcome. We have fought white domination and we will continue to fight black domination in our own land. In unity comes strength.