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We must be going the wrong way !!!
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Law & Politics with Lloyd Noel
In putting forward “A Christian Perspective” of true freedom and development in the Caribbean - our Catholic Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference in 1982 or thereabouts said ........ “Society is made for men (and women) ..... The human person may never be sacrificed for political interests, national or international, whatsoever they may be.... The principle to follow is not that of allowing economic, social and political forces to prevail over man, but for the dignity of the human person to be put above everything else.”
That was so true then - because in Grenada in particular, we were in the middle of a tyrannical dictatorship that was alien to the English speaking Caribbean. Men and women, behind the power of guns, had more or less sacrificed the human person for political interests - partly national, but mainly international to promote Marxist Communism.
Those foolishly caught up in that Melee did not, or could not, see the dangers and the evils that were scattered all over the wrong road they were blindly travelling. Sadly and unfortunately for many, but just as joyfully and very fortunately for so many others - the powers of goodness were very soon thereafter to triumph over evildoers.
Of course, that was not the true end of the release from bondage of the human persons in our suffering land. In fact, many would argue very strenuously - that the return to democracy and its corresponding exploitative capitalism, and more so the corruption, fraud and deceit, that go hand in hand with the so-called democracy - that the replacement system is just as bad or worse.
And the social, and economic, and politically un-ending human suffering and sacrifices, in all our Caribbean lands - although admittedly more so in many than a few - have clearly escalated to alarming proportions, and all man-made.
And sadly for us all - this persistent breakdown of our standards, our systems, the ideals and principles we have held so closely to our hearts above all else, the very dignity and integrity of those we place in control of our nation’s affairs - and even as sadly now our beloved Caribbean Cricket - are all just vanishing from our sight, and soon maybe also from our conscious memories.
We cannot ignore the happenings in the developed parts of the Global Village we happen to share; whether from force of habit, attempts to copying or very sincere efforts of emulating the good examples, or because the economic circumstances leave us no option.
Although it seems that a whole lot of our Caribbean citizens or residents - are more concerned with adopting the more negative and un-productive aspects, and downright criminal happenings and lessons from those developed parts.
Before coming back to our Caribbean Region and Grenada in particular - I cannot help feeling so very said for the Country and people that gave me a second home, in London and Doncaster in Yorkshire, in England.
I have travelled on those underground or “Tube” trains in London so many times - that they are as familiar to me as going from Gouyave to St. George’s.
And my heart bleeds for those caught in those four Stations, as well as the Double-decker Bus I also used frequently on my way to work. I can very well and sadly understand the horrors of being trapped in a Tube way below the Streets of Central London.
My heartfelt sympathies go out to the bereaved families who lost loved ones, and to those who are injured, some very badly I understand.
But where do these vulnerable cities go from here on - with those criminal elements hell bent on taking innocent lives to score political points against their Country Leaders?
I am not at all forgetting similar atrocities on innocent citizens in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or anywhere unjust wars are raging.
And therein lies the dilemma of going the wrong way, in so many more ways then we have any control over - as ordinary citizens.
We seem to be caught in a vicious circle of ideological differences, and or greed, or dictatorial and superiority complexes, and stressful arrogance by and from those in authority - whether in super-power States, or in our own minuscule “dots” on the Global Village maps as independent nations.
And very distressingly, these who are forced to suffer from the injustices and unfair treatment in one way or another - because they cannot get to the root causes of their ill-treatment - they choose to take their revenge on the innocent and defenceless.
Many times we have to blame ourselves as a people, for the suffering those in control of our affairs bring to bear on us in one way or another - because after all is said and done, we put them where they are.
And even when they know that what they are doing is very wrong, and the very people who put them there are not in agreement, and dis-approve of what they are doing in the people’s name - they nevertheless go straight ahead and ride roughshod over the very people’s backs, in doing their own thing for purely selfish reasons and personal gain.
Take, for example, the latest trip by our Prime Minister and his eight members delegations that visited Beijing in Red China last week. Since December last year, while we were in the heat of Ivan’s devastation, and our long-standing friends from Taiwan were right up front, with all manner of Aid and sincere promises to help us out then and in the future; our Prime Minister, and no doubt his Cabinet colleagues in support, decided to dump Taiwan and Embrace Communist China.
All the bravado promises and ole talk propaganda that were dished out almost daily - about what a good move it was, and how our people would be the proud beneficiaries of all the goodies from the Chinese rice fields - six months have gone by, and only last week we were told that three or four bilateral agreements were signed for aid, and foremost among them was the one for rebuilding the eye-sore National Stadium, hopefully in time for Cricket World Cup in 2007. Their hopes, not mine.
The grapevine news over the past months, was that Beijing was not prepared to build on top the very suspect foundation and shady concrete structure that survived Ivan. Whatever is eventually decided and hopefully built in the limited time remaining, the structure will have to pass the required standards of stability and reliability of the cricketing authorities, whose duty and responsibility it is to ensure the safety and well being of its patrons. Time will tell.
But while a Stadium for Eight games in 2007 is the number one priority for the powers-that-be, poor people’s houses are in shambles, school buildings and other Government offices are flood gates when it rains; and even the Hotel and such facilities for serving the Cricketing guests that are to be expected, these are no better off, and there is no sign of anything new to assist or replace them.
And the centre pin of our export earnings from our Nutmeg Industry and Agricultural products generally, are in a State of hopeless abandon - with no visible help from those Chinese saviours and liberators.
Whereas the efficient and long serving proven benefactors from Taiwan were booted out, and all their projects gone to the wind with no replacement in sight.
If that wise Government’s decision is going the Right way - then something must be radically wrong with our Brain Cells and Mental state in general.
And talking of going the right way from a Regional perspective - we had a salutary warning experience during the CARICOM Heads Meeting in St. Lucia last week, on the PetroCaribe initiative by Venezuela to assist Caribbean States with cheaper gas and oil.
I do not know if it is just ravenous greed, or short-sightedness, or conveniently short memories, or spasms of dottishness arising every time Caribbean people hear freeness of this, that, or the other - or simply that we are paralysed in our infantile state of immaturity.
Venezuela and the U.S.A. are at serious loggerheads over many issues - not the least of which is President Chavez and President Castro’s marriage of convenience, to fight the “Common Enemy” in the person of President George W. Bush.
U. S. Companies own nearly all the Leasehold interests in the Trinidad Oil and Gas Industry, from which the Trinidad and Tobago Government derive enormous wealth in rent or royalties or however it is called.
The Trinidad Government has been assisting all CARICOM Governments over the years, in all kinds of programmes, financially and otherwise, and at the same time selling to the Region something like Sixty Thousand barrels of Oil/Gas per day. A case of you scratch my back and I will scratch yours - since one hand cannot clap.
What is more, when natural disaster struck us last year, the first person to come to our aid was Prime Minister Patrick Manning in person, with money, food, and man power fully equipped to rescue us.
But no sooner President Chavez threw out his bait, with out even stopping to think about the motives, the consequences, the obvious ploy to use the CARICOM States in his fight with the U.S.A. - all except Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago itself quickly signed the cheap-oil deal.
True enough, the PetroCaribe cut price move does make Oil/Gas cheaper for the CARICOM States, as well as allowing them to pay by trading off their sugar and Bananas and any other goods they may have that Venezuela needs.
But in my opinion it was insensitive, and smacks of ingratitude on those Leaders part - to rush into a deal without even having discussed it with Trinidad and Tobago, much less their own colleagues back in their respective homelands. But that is Caribbean politics for you - no constant principles, and even less statesmanship when it comes to choosing between right from obvious wrong.
And to add immature insult to economic and political injury, those Heads in St. Lucia turn around and blamed Prime Minister Manning for raising his disgust at the opening Ceremony, rather than behind closed doors when they met in formal sessions. I bet Chavez and Castro must have been laughing their heads off, at their big catch of those short-sighted Leaders - and having scored a home run against George Bush and his fight against dictatorship in Caracas and Havana.
But what is more, in my view, Trinidad and Tobago is an integral part of the Regional movement towards total Independence - as those same Leaders are promoting through their pipe-dreams of CSME and CCJ - yet at the first show of a few dollars on the surface, they were up and ready to stab the same Trinidad Leader in his back.  Who, among them, can expect any better when the table turns in his direction?
And now those same Leaders are proposing, or with no shame, claiming as their right to over-seer the West Indies Cricket Administration - in place of an Independent Board of National Associations.
I suppose some would say, things are so bad with our once proud Cricket image they cannot get any worse.
But I would say, that if we allow those political jokers to assume any measure of control over our Cricket Administration - then we would not be going, but have arrived at the end of the road of sheer disaster from going the wrong way.
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