OECS and Caricom My Foot! Clinton Swanston

I’ve watched with dismay as the OECS and CARICOM sit idly by as peril and crisis looms over St. Kitts and Nevis. The OECS, as stated by its chairman Baldwin Spencer, have indicated it do not intend to get involved in the internal matters of our federation. St. Kitts and Nevis, however, celebrates 30 years of independence in less than 2 months. Oh! What hypocrisy! What a burning shame! What a disgrace! More than seven months have passed since a majority of 6 elected members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Federal parliament filed a Motion of No Confidence in the Dr. Denzil Douglas led government. As of today the motion has not even been put on the order paper. No sign of it being heard either, as the speaker of the National Assembly who seems no more valuable than a puppet to the Prime Minister, is adamant that he will not put the MONC on the order paper. He indicates that the matter is in court and therefore sub judice. However, every right thinking citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis knows that excuse is a non starter. The opposition 6 has since then withdrawn the motion from the court, yet still, the speaker, Mr. Curtis Martin wants the matter to continue and be heard despite him stating that no court can tell him what to do. Action certainly speaks louder than words. Delaying tactics are alive and well as PM Douglas tries everything possible to hold on to power by the skin of his teeth. Residents of our federation know very well how the rest of the story goes. Meanwhile, another MONC have been filed as that which was submitted on December 11, 2012 has been withdrawn from court proceedings. Legal struggles continue as St. Kitts and Nevis cries out for help. Our Prime Minister has publicly boasted that he is ‘tenman in one”, “he bad since he born”, “nobady can stop Douglas” and ‘there will be a revolution” if PAM wins. Numerous other callous and gruesome statements within the same category have been made as Dr. Denzil Douglas, a labeled galloping dictator, threatens to do anything to hold on to power. Relationships with those in cohorts with dictatorial rule are evident. Former supervisor of elections resigned in disgrace after the court of justice and the appeal court stated Mr. Benjamin’s conduct was “evidence of reckless indifference as to whether he was breaking the law and causing injury”. A hefty fine was also levied against him. One listens to the selected few in parliament, the top cop and others around the regime knowing perfectly well what is taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis. What is truly disconcerting is the fact that the six elected parliamentarians, Honorables Sam Condor, Dr. Timothy Harris, Vance Amory, Mark Brantley, Eugene Hamilton and Shawn Richards all signed a letter stating their united position against the government leadership and handed it to the Governor General. With that done, many would have expected that the GG would have taken action instead of non-action. Of course, one must remember his connection with the one who appointed him. Well if that is not bad enough, the Majestic 6 notified external bodies and they distanced themselves from the pending outbreak that hovers low over our heads. They in effect said they will not get involved in internal matters and disconcertedly brushed away the threat of democracy under attack. What a bundle of hypocrisy! What idiotic thinking! What a shameful blunder! I can remember very well in 1998 when scare tactics emanated from CARICOM as Nevis sought to legally separate itself from St. Kitts in what is a constitutional right given to Nevisians. CARICOM stepped in and made a statement inferring that Nevisians not vote in favor of our constitutional right. The State Department also intervened with a similar statement. What did the OECS say at that time? I remember hearing incumbent government leaders and ministers on platforms in other islands campaigning for one party or another. Isn’t that interfering? Both Caribbean organizations have shown their profound unfairness and bias on many occasions but this in my opinion is most immoral and blatant. It sickens to the core when all these individuals sit idly by and watch a galloping dictator destroy the democracy that for many years was fought for to achieve. How do they sleep at nights? It is full time external forces step in and help make the wrongs right within our federation. Our prime minister and his minority 5 grinds and are in desperation mode and nothing can be put beyond them. The people have spoken, the federation is in turmoil, our economy is stagnant while dictatorship looms. The two Caribbean bodies, OECS and CARICOM are assumed to be working fairly as they try to promote unity for our islands. Let’s look at their involvement. They have been at the forefront in discussing our economy, our money, free trade, free movement of Caribbean nationals through the OECS region and even the Caribbean Court of Justice. It seems a travesty that OECS, CARICOM and other agencies with clout do not step in and ensure that justice is done in St. Kitts and Nevis. Now is not the time for political football and grand standing in this all important matter where dictatorship strongly threatens our democracy. The latest stunt being perpetrated by the government is to refer to the constitutions of other Caribbean islands which suggest elected members cannot cross the floor. PM Douglas has called on elected members Tim Harris and Sam Condor to resign. What audacity! Tim Harris was fired by PM Douglas and Sam Condor already resigned his ministerial post. Not surprisingly, other Caribbean islands are chipping in with statements for or against the dilemma plaguing our federation, yet still, OECS and CARICOM cannot. What OECS and CARICOM? What good are they to St. Kitts and Nevis today when our federation is at its lowest ebb and seeking assistance?