The Federation was amongst the earliest nations to close its borders in an effort to control the Corona Virus.  It did so on 25th March, almost 4 months ago. At that time, the expectation was for a 3 month closure, and the stimulus package was tailored to match. Now, the Federation is amongst the few countries – certainly within the Caribbean – whose borders remain closed.  There is no assurance when the curtain will be lifted.

There are good reasons for continued closure..  True, we wish to remain Covid free, but we also want to resume our place in the world economy while maintaining our health status.  The health benefits of freedom from covid and the economic resources to remain so are now on divergent paths.   Ultimately, the health of the nation is most important .we are too shall to have to fight a rapid  influx of COVID..  It’s a delicate balance that must be achieved.

The Hon Premier, in a moment of candour, admitted the difficulty of the NIA to maintain the payroll with so little collection. He said that were it not for the kindness of our bankers (and the frugality of the TUG at the Federal level and the CCM at the local level), we would not have been in this good a state where all public employees and many private sector ones continue to be employed, mostly on full wages.

The Premier is correct,leadership matters.Had COVID arrived 6 or 7 years ago while the sales of passports were up yet citizens,institutions and local churches had to accept a haircut,the country would have been much worse off.Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harris and his good stewardship  the ,lean times that we have found ourselves in came while our storehouse and treasury are in good condition.You are correct Mr. Brantley , thank God for Harris’ leadership at this crucial time.

..  Economic activity must be catalysed and this can only be done in an open economy.  The challenge is and will be when to open, and how. As suggested sometime ago by President Trump, the cure must not be worse than the disease but, we don’t want to open too quickly and have to close again because of importation of the virus..

We must face reality. Opening the border has risks, the greatest being the risk of infection. .  Our risk management strategy must involve an all hands on deck approach, including those of the Cuban health personnel amongst us.

Against this backdrop, it is sad that several US senators are proposing to target nations which requested and accepted medical and nursing assistance from Cuba.  If the senators get their law passed, our countries may be sanctioned as human trafficking countries even as we attempt to recover from Covid 19.

We appreciate the leadership role of the health professionals in the early stages of the fight against Corona, the government has also done an excellent job providing support to residents during this awful time..

Difficult times lie ahead that can only be handled through governance that comes from our elected officials.  We believe that government must continue to be prudent and only open the boarders when the time is right.It is better to be safe than sorry. .