The result of the general elections in Nevis has set off a spate of victimization By the NRP Administration against local citizens and Commonwealth nationals perceived to be CCM supporters the like of which has never been seen in this Island before. Weeks before the elections Mr Parry warned foreign nationals particularly the Guyanese that they must “fall in line” and support the government or else. He left no doubt in anybody’s mind that he meant he was going to deal with them if they did not support his party. At the time I wrote an article in the St. Kitts-Nevis Observer highlighting the story. There were those who came to his defense and said he was only mouthing political rhetoric and did not mean what it sounded like. Indeed, the Press Secretary Mrs Deli Caines-Bussue said that Mr Parry was referring to the practice By some Guyanese of obeah and that his warning had nothing to do with politics. I pointed out then that the Guyanese were not known more than any other West Indians of practicing obeah in their culture. We have seen that Mr Parry was serious as I always knew he was. The warning was full of coersion and threats unbecoming a head of government. Now they have started By dismissing the lowly paid workers at the hospital and other government institutions. They have even attempted to warn private employees about their foreign employees that they stand the risk of having their work permits cancelled. I suspect that they would soon move to deal with established civil servants as the process for disciplining such civil servants is much more complex and difficult. The campaign of victimization against persons deemed to be CCM supporters does not only relate to foreign nationals but also to local non-established workers. I have had to respond to one of those dismissal letters myself coming from a permanent secretary who should have known better. The victim is a poor woman from Fountain who has always supported me and is well known to be a CCM supporter although making sure at all times that she did not display any outward support for the party. When she brought the letter to me I was extremely moved especially so as I realized she was shocked and was clearly wondering how she was going to live. I have come to the conclusion that we are now in a dark period in the history of this beautiful land of ours. The country has been plunged into despair all because a group of persons decided to win an election at all costs and then to govern with an iron fist and a total disregard for sound fiscal policies. We have not only lapsed into a political quagmire but we are mired in an economic situation that it is unclear how we will emerge under the present leadership of the country. The criminals look on and see the country drifting and in disarray and now see their chance. The police are called upon to spend an inordinate amount of time on immigration matters and are left with little time and resources to deal with the more serious threats to our way of life. I have said on many occasions that I will always challenge those who set about to preach and foster xenophobia in this country. From time immemorial our people have journeyed to foreign lands to seek a better way of life. My parents, both from Nevis, met and were married in Santo Domingo. My two older siblings were born there. I was the first of my parents’ children to be born in Nevis. Beside me all of my eight siblings are living abroad. Further, two of my children are living in a foreign land. In writing this series of articles I speak for myself and not on behalf of my party the CCM. However, I would hope that my colleagues in the leadership of the party feel the same way about these matters. Having made this clear I want to state here that if, God willing, our party is returned to office in 2011, I would campaign to have every foreign national who I perceive was victimized and returned to their homeland for political reasons be able to return here and renew their residency. That is my pledge. To think that Caribbean people could be dismissed from their jobs and hounded out of a Caribbean land because they seek to exercise a right bestowed on them By the constitution of the land is so deplorable that the NRP should hang their heads in shame. I lived in Jamaica between 1972 and 1978 and from the time I entered that country I was encouraged By friends to get involved in politics and I did so. I rose to become a very senior and high profile official of the People’s National Party (PNP). No one ever threatened me or made me feel unwelcome. Indeed the only persons who found it strange was other non-Jamaicans West Indians living there. If one pays taxes and one is allowed By the constitution to vote, one is entitled not only to vote but to campaign for the party of one’s choice. That is my view. Nevis is a small country but our minds and outlook must rise to the mountain. To what depths have we plunged?
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