Letter: We are All-IN for misery and despair in St Lucia

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Dear Sir:

Often times it is better not reading the news to preserve my sanity on what ministers of government in Saint Lucia say on matters they have oversight for, knowing that their knowledge base is absurd and the overall strategy is tainted with lies and deceit.

The latest blowback has to do with the vague explanations by minister with responsibility for finance, Senator Dr Ubaldus Raymond, and economic minister, Guy Joseph on the Hewanorra International Airport redevelopment project.

To be frank, I would have expected that there is a difference in thought process and underlying principles from Raymond with responsibility for finance, who supposedly has a PhD, (pothole degree): verses a bus driver Joseph, who happens to be a crooked minster for economic development, and well documented. It’s just a matter of time and effect!

If I use the measure of trust, conscience and altruism it is more difficult to differentiate one Saint Lucian politician from another, even for this time of year that’s suppose to be joyous and festive. But, ho ho ho, what I see are politicians playing politics with Santa Claus (an illusion) and the 43 percent illiterate people who are content living with the bare minimum, willing to accept what is given and afraid to take the bull by the horns demanding better.

To say that also explains two unprecedented similarities with Raymond and Joseph.

The first thing has to do with their out-of-their-depth handling important issues like finance and economics. Second, they are crooked elders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, in the teachings of the faith, their abnormal life and the political culture they carry out.

The danger of Raymond’s financial judgment doesn’t stop here. His ignorance is vivid in defending the decision of his government to borrow US$100 million for the Hewanorra International Airport redevelopment for the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) and to guarantee the loan.

Even for the sluggish mind Raymond is unprecedented. “Let me make it clear that this amount will not put any pressure on the existing debt servicing of the government. It is a guarantee that the government is taking on behalf of the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority. And while the loan will add to the debt stock, it will not add to the debt servicing.”

As far as public information is concern SLASPA is a statutory organ of the government, managed by a board of directors with government oversight. They control all ports of entry/exit by air and sea. As a dominant legal authority in lockstep with the state, they also enjoy privileged international and domestic access, and other preferential treatment that has already allocated US$35 per passenger to undertake the financing of borrowing US$100 million.

Raymond in his wisdom parrots “The number of visitors passing through HIA has doubled. An upgrade is also necessary to bring the airport in line with international standards”.

Two points of reference here: In other words, if Raymond’s pothole mind (PhD) is correct, then there is sufficient future revenue and collateral and SLASPA should not need a government guarantee. But strange as it is, something is missing on the need for taxpayers to guarantee the loan.

Second, what international standards is he talking about? The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has luckily not withdrawn direct international travel from Saint Lucia to US destinations, with the current health care crisis that’s unable to handle mass casualties.

So, is Raymond referring to passenger safety, airline regulations, homeland security protocols, airport services, amenities and travelers comfort?

If I were in his shoes, I would not highlight that aspect to draw more external scrutiny.

Additionally, it is Raymond’s pothole (PhD) rationale “that there was no need to go outside of Saint Lucia and give up the airport, its management, profitability and everything that belongs to HIA to an international agency to operate.” Okay! Fair enough!

Ho, ho, ho! A liar can never keep his story straight. Isn’t that a genuine masturbation on what the government is manufacturing with Health City Cayman and the handing over of the Owen King European Union (OKEU) hospital?

Has Raymond forgotten that his government campaigned against increasing the total debt of Saint Lucia that has now surpassed two billion dollars and handed foreign ownership of state assets to foreign control, while leaving burdensome taxes on the struggling people of Saint Lucia.

I gather the essential element of fraud guides the government of Saint Lucia, at the behest of the party they represent. Together, they have revealed how the party functions and the characters that makes up government: functional master – batters, taking matters in their own hands – literally.

It Raymond doesn’t understand, he should be guided that US$100 million loan is a monumental problem and a consequential debt for almost three generations, paying towards interest rates, and unknowns that will easily double over the life of the project.

The guarantee means, any shortfall in revenue from SLASPA will require government/ taxpayers to make up the difference and service the loan. No ifs and buts!

So to those who thought they were going to the polls in 2016 for relief, hope and change (CHIN CHIN, in our pockets), there’s no denying; we are All-IN for misery and despair.

Tori Fatal

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