Commentary • Number 935 • Friday, September 28, 2012

104 Square Miles, but is it ours?
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During a conversation a few years back one man, looking up at the lush plains and hillsides in St. Kitts, said “Boy, look at that nuh, land as far as the eye can see. We really blessed.” A second man looked at him in shock and replied, “So wait, you think that is ours? That done sell to all kinda white man, the people just ain know.”

This led to a heated argument in the group, one saying Poppa Bradshaw took the land back from the white man and gave it to the people so it had to be ours; a next said Kennedy Simmonds paid for it, but asked if he paid for all of it; a next argued that it was mainly locals who had bought up the former sugar lands.

An older gentleman watching the verbal fracas eventually spoke up. “Fellas, with all those big developments we hear bout on the news, 500 acres to this one, 100 acres to that one 2500 acres to the other one. How much you all think is left?” The argument abated and the chatter turned to who was older than whom.

What do we have in St. Kitts and Nevis besides our land? Sugar City doesn’t even have sugar anymore. Land is not renewable, when it is used up, that’s it, it’s gone, the islands won’t miraculously grow a few more square miles.

The Prime Minister in his vast wisdom plans to sell off 1200 acres, in other words 1.86 square miles, 52,272,000 square feet, 2.7% of St. Kitts. Nevis will not fare any better; 200 acres or 8712000 square feet will also be sold to cover government debt.

The government says better cannot be done, we owe the National Bank hundreds of millions of dollars that belongs to the depositors so the land is all we have to pay it back with because the government has no money to pay its debt.

But it’s amazing what the government DOES have money to do. The Prime Minister spent two weeks in London taking in the Olympics, and he didn’t travel alone. He has taken the mother of his children and Delano Bart to New York even though his Foreign Minister Sam Condor made the trip to speak on our behalf. This is in addition to his frequent trips to Dubai and Taiwan with large entourages. Premier Parry is also living the life on the tax payers’ dime. His entourage on a multi-state trip to the US included an employee of the Department of Fisheries. Was he talking with cruise line officials too? Telling them about what, fish?

Where is the tightening of the government belt when it comes to gallivanting all over the place with their friends and koompie in tow?

Now our precious lands will be sold to dubious foreigners seeking citizenship and St. Kitts-Nevis passports. A lot of shady deals will be made because there is much more in this murky mortar than the rotten pestle. Many will profit while the average citizen will suffer.

To quote a former politician, soon Kittitians and Nevisians will have to pay the ‘white man’ a fee to walk on the streets of Basseterre and Charlestown.