DNA Shocked about PM’s Expressed Fears of Pending Social Upheaval

45

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is alarmed that PM Gaston Browne has, in a written
correspondence dated March 23rd, 2020 to at least two global leaders, expressed his fear that “serious social upheaval…increasing unemployment, poverty and crime particularly in drug trafficking” may likely result as a result on the COVID-19 pandemic if his request to them for “an emergency assistance economic package for Antigua and Barbuda” is not met with a favourable response.

In seeking to bolster his request for money, the PM further warned that his predicted “social turmoil” would also lead to a mass exodus of Antiguans and Barbudans “seeking refuge elsewhere”.

The contents of the letters are a clear admission that long before the coronavirus, the economy of Antigua and Barbuda was in free fall and heading for certain “collapse”. This despite Gaston Browne’s touted stellar management of Antigua and Barbuda’s economy over the last five (5) years.

Clearly, his boastful utterances were nothing more than a smoke and mirror illusion often witnessed in magical performances by Houdini himself or, the fables often read about in fairy tales. Since 2015, for successive years, PM Browne declared that he had grown the economy steadily to the point where our country’s exponential growth was second in the Latin American hemisphere and first in the OECS subregion.

Repeated challenges by the opposition parties that his declared GDP growth were fictitious
were met with Browne’s favourite retort that we were living in “an economic powerhouse”.

How then, did we suddenly become a pauperized country overnight running cap-in-hand with the proverbial begging bowl outstretched seeking financial relief from European and Arab leaders? What happened to the surpluses recorded by state enterprises such as NAMCO? Where did all the millions derived from non-tax revenue from peddling and selling our passports like a cheap commodity go?

It is obvious that the Gaston Browne Administration has engaged in unprecedented squandermania of colossal proportions and, now finds itself without options, ideas or solutions to manage successfully the COVID-19 pandemic or devise creative and innovative social and fiscal incentive packages critically needed by the people and businesses adversely affected by our new reality.

By comparison, our neighbours within the OECS have rolled out steadily some of the most impressive incentive packages for their citizens while the people of Antigua and Barbuda continue to wait in vain for the Labour party government to provide the much needed social safety net to the most vulnerable, the thousands of recently unemployed as well as, the fiscal incentive packages to be granted to businesses community.

In essence, the people require a hands-up. Given the government’s admitted failures to manage our country as evidently expressed in these letters, the DNA calls on PM Browne to come clean with the people and urgently address the nation regarding the true state of our economy, readiness of the health facilities and personnel to combat the escalating
numbers of infected persons on island by the coronavirus, the commencement of COVID-19 testing at our newly certified testing facility and the opening date of the isolation unit at the Holberton Hospital.

Lastly, the DNA demands that Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, cease immediately from painting a horrible image of our people to potential international donors! DNA’s Political Leader, Joanne Massiah stated, “imagine, our leader has referred to us as opportunistic drug traffickers and pending refugees seeking to flee our country for greener pastures at the earliest opportunity and who could threaten the safety and security of other nations and their citizens. Gaston Browne should be ashamed of himself and needs to apologize to the citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda!”

Our people are resilient and have weathered many storms and adverse situations and who have bonded together and emerged stronger. We are committed to our nation’s motto, “Each Endeavouring, All Achieving”.

45 COMMENTS

  1. We survived the UPP for 10 years and we will survive this too. You have norhing to offer this country . Accept it and move on. When we have viable optiobs we will consider them.

  2. Jo, it’s time for you to stop playing politics, and get with the programme. You have no future I politics. The people made that clear to you in the last election. This is a different time, now, and every patriotic Antiguan must dump the partisan politics and pull together as one. There is no political mileage to be gained.

  3. I guess these opposition leaders cannot stay above the fray. Specially in this time when the entire country and for the entire world is struggling with this new thing. I guess they stay short of blaming Gaston for the Corona virus. The economic forecast was never a product of Gaston Browne and his administration. It was the WorldBank, The IMF, ECLAC, CDB and ECCB that did all the economic forecasting. So how come now Joan now want to blame Gaston for cooking the books. So far fetched is not funny.

    • What she is asking, and others want to know is where has the growth gone overnight?
      Why do you have to portray us as criminals?

      If you need help say so, nothing is wrong with asking for help, but don’t paint us as drug traffickers who would run from our country at the first sign of trouble. I am ANTIGUA BARBUDA 🇦🇬 first. Not interested in the politics that so many get lost in. Let’s uplift with truth

      • @from the sideline… The point is that you don’t go from a economic powerhouse to a sniveling beggar in just weeks. It was smoke and mirror. If you were doing so well, then they should be something in the kitty for at least a month of rainy days. This is not about economic forecasting; it is about how well you said the economy was. Just like Trump in the US, it was all a big fat lie!

        • We had 25% growth in GDP these past 6 years which equates to about 750 million EC. So where can we see this growth?
          1. A New Secondary school for 13 million (sir novell richards)
          2. Pay back to debtors (includes IMF 300 million Debt) of some 400 million (debt to gdp went from 104 to 69%)
          3. Pay off the SEMBCORP debt 20 million
          4. Diagnostic equipment for MSJ 30 million
          5.The COVID center 25 million
          6. Monthly payments of 3 million to save save Social security via CIP for at least 3 years hence 100 million
          7. Pay back arrears to APC 30 million
          8. Back pay to public servants 40 million
          9. 5% increase in wages for public servants 30 million
          10. Purchase of 75% of WIOC shares worth some 80 million EC

          • Question for you, the CIP report on its revenue and expenses can be found on its website. Why don’t you stop being lazy and go read the public documents

  4. Oh, come on. Stop acting like this is a monarchy or a communist country and everything is to blame on our leader. Our elected officials are supposed to lead the country to the best of their ability based on the social, environmental, economic circumstances of the World. We are in the middle of the largest social and economic crises in history. Gaston can’t control the rest of the world any more than he can single-handedly stop the coronavirus. This is a democracy and the voters clearly showed you who they want to lead us in the last election. Stop slinging fictitious rhetoric that has no basis in reality.

    • Did you even read and comprehend what was being said? Are you okay with your leader going to foreign leaders and saying that nationals are no good so that they are going to react in a criminal way because of this crisis. Stop being a blind sheep and understand what your leader is saying!

      • The Part you are missing is he is absolutely correct, and you are being defensive about what you perceive he is saying about the people of Antigua. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the “nationals are no good”, it has to do with the fact that ‘desperate people do desperate things’. The catastrophic social and economic circumstances we find ourselves in will undoubtedly lead to “serious social upheaval…increasing unemployment, poverty, and crime”. Just like it would in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or any other country. It has nothing to do with “good or bad people.” I take it the opposite way. Antiguans are loyal, faithful people that will do anything they have to feed their families. If the United States didn’t just approve a $2 trillion stimulus package, they would be facing the same issue. It is not an opinion that crime is higher in low-income areas; it is a fact.

        It is true that Antigua’s economy was very fragile before COVID-19 and if Antigua does not find a way to generate liquidity either in the form of income or debt for its people, EXACTLY what Gaston described will occur. Anyone that thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. Not to mention, we are going to need assistance. Whatever he needs to do or say, as our leader, to improve the chances of getting that assistance is fair game.

  5. Oh please Madam “Leader”. Every utterance you’ve made since 2016 has shown your complete unfitness for leadership at any level, let alone that of my beloved country. What a disappointment you are! Sensible Antiguans don’t just follow for following. So just because other Caribbean governMONTS are giving commitMONTS to fill bellies in the short run does not mean that these are sensible, sustainable investMONTS for Antigua. Go take up knitting!!

    • Lol lol lol. Why are you mocking the good lady for being well spoken and having polished enunciation?

      When was the DNA convention held to confirm Joanne as leader? Will the DNA be putting out candidates to run in ALL 17 constituencies for real this time? If so, who has replaced Erica and Vere. Or will the chubby spanish boy jump ship next? Is Bruce “paupers in Jamaica and Guyana” Goodwin still part and parcel of the DNA? What about Malaka Parker who used to be the PRO of the party?

  6. Oh Yes! This please my heart, welcome onboard lady Massiah your statements are on point and demonstrate a real leader. The calling out of the Labour Party idiot and his mismanagement of our economy is long overdue. Your statements in your letter to the nation of the ineptness of this administration is in line with my comments of this failed experiment call Gaston Browne. All I will say to you lady Massiah move to the head of the class.

    • Weren’t you the same one who REFUSED to air her party’s press release regarding their choice to NOT pappyshow themselves with the UPP to protest global ports???

      Why don’t you go back to Trump and the country you sellout the Antigua flag for??

      • @HYPOCRISY
        Totally in agreement with You. Knight is a CONFUSED MAN / WOMAN. Knight should get a life. He should go back to trying Ladies hat in the store. What a CONFUSED man / woman kNIGHT .

        • You can’t expect even a modicum of PATRIOTISM from Missa Knight. He has PUBLICLY DECLARED that an Antigua passport is OF NO VALUE TO HIM because he has his AMERICAN PASSPORT and in his words, the U.S. does NOT recognize DUAL CITIZENSHIP. In other words “eff Antigua and Barbuda”

  7. POOR JOANNE…For the life of me I cannot understand what the HELL is wrong with our Opposition Leaders in Antigua and Barbuda. Where is Single Pringle ? I guess Lovell DOES NOT want Pringle to show his INCOMPETENCE. I can absolutely say that in 2023 there will be no OPPOSITION . ABLP will win all the seats. In this crisis ALL the OPPOSITION Leaders show such INCOMPETENCE , LACK OF EMPATHY , SELFISHNESS . All the OPPOSITION Leaders ..HAROLD LOVELL, JOANNE MESSIAH , TREVOR WALKER ,JAMAL PRINGLE et AL .. SHAME SHAME.

  8. @KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR
    @JOANNE MESSIAH
    Knight you support Joanne Messiah because of your DISLIKE for ABLP. Just remember All DNA Candidates LOST Their Deposits in the last election.So Antiguans have nothing to worry about where the Opposition Parties are concerned. In 2023 All Opposition Parties in Antigua / Barbuda will lose Their Deposits.

    Knight You are just Someone that should not be on Radio. All you utter is FAKE NEWS . AWFUL

  9. For your information the Hon Gaston Browne already rolled out his stimulus package. We got seedlings to plant to start back yard gardening. Nothing wrong here we should applaud our exemplary leader.

    • @juju beard
      Antigua will never be an economic power house. You know why? There are too many ignorant and unlearned people in the country. With such blind loyalty to ALP, you his Supporters demand no accountability.
      Whether Ms Massiah is in government or not she is Antiguan citizen and is entitled to an opinion. You would be wise to listen to the message and not attack the messenger. You and a lot of individuals on this page should remove your dunce cap.
      The situation is bad all over the world and a lot of countries are providing their citizens with financial assistance. I guess they are doing this to prevent them from becoming drug dealers. Things in Antigua are going to get worse before this crisis is over.
      The Gaston Browne’s utterances in his letter of March 23rd shows a desperate man governing a bankrupt country with a pile of debt.
      Nothing is wrong with having a backyard garden. Everyone should have one if they have land. And while we are all becoming farmers, we should get some cows, pigs, goat, chicken and a fishing boat as we are going to need protein. Without a source of income people won’t be able to buy any.

  10. I am shocked to read so many brainless comments. The questions and the observations by Joanne are valid . However when some people cannot see any further than their nose then they try to castigate others. Time for people to emancipate themselves from mental slavery. Knowledge and understanding is soooo important . Nuff said.

  11. …and, in the mean time, while the in air, in the Rum Shop is filled with laughter, the stench of stale Cavalier Rum, and idle chatter, YIDA, YIDA, YIDA and his army are slowly but surely, erecting their State, within the State Of Antigua, Barbuda & Redonda.

    The Art Of War, so well practiced, by the Chinese Religion, is accomplishing its Mission.

  12. The Pm is a brilliant mind.

    The opposition parties cannot keep up with his political tactics…

    Simply put the GDP growth that the PM quotes and promises for future years primarily hinges on borrowings.

    He knows how much he will borrow so its easy to forecast and he knows how much he borrowed to keep the GDP positive.

    In actuality the economy of Antigua has been in a negative position for many many years.

    The thing is he keep borrowing but he is not using the new money to create money so the economy can expand. So the new money vanishes from circulation by the third or forth cycle.

    The opposition parties are obviously clueless to this fact. This is not text book stuff this is real street classroom stuff… Melchisedec calls it as it is non bias….

    • How brilliant is offering dollar barrel relief when the whole world is closed?
      How brilliant is trying to coerce other countries to jointly go to IMF because you are too ashamed to return to your vomit?
      How brilliant is being unable to offer a plan to keep the economy going post COVID like other OECS countries, and others, have done?
      As Mark Twain so brilliantly said, “Its easy to fool people, but its hard to convinced them they have been fooled”. It is clear that much more work is needed on that in this country.

      • Zackie shipping companies are still open. Recently got a pond filter (this week). Ebay by the end of the next Monday estimates a part for my refrigerator will be at the freight forwarder, for forward delivery Friday via Amerijet.

        As far as getting economies going, one does not do that during a shutdown. There will be time for such after. By the way since you are comparing, the St Lucian government is now talking with unions to get public sector workers to accept a salary cut of between 30-65%. SKN’s plan is election geared and most of its promises were already stated in the budget. If you think OECS governments have some money tree in their yard, you need to wake from your slumber. Read the Central banks dire prediction regarding regional economies:

        “The ECCB has run several scenarios for the ECCU. Based on two such scenarios, economic activity in the ECCU is projected to contract between 5.0 per cent and 7.0 per cent (in real terms) in 2020 accompanied by a sharp rise in unemployment. Keep in mind that prior to this pandemic, economic growth in the ECCU was projected at 3.3 per cent.

        Member Governments have fashioned and announced fiscal stimulus, or what may more aptly be described as care and relief packages(Zackie call 463-5555 or email covidsocialservices@ab.gog.ag for your package, if your reality truly reflects what you write), to help cushion the effect of the pandemic on individuals and businesses. With Tourism closed, this is an exceptionally challenging time for our governments because revenues have plummeted even as COVID-19-related expenditures have increased dramatically.”.

      • Zackie shipping companies are still open. Recently got a pond filter (this week). Ebay by the end of the next Monday estimates a part for my refrigerator will be at the freight forwarder, for forward delivery Friday via Amerijet.

        As far as getting economies going, one does not do that during a shutdown. There will be time for such after. By the way since you are comparing, the St Lucian government is now talking with unions to get public sector workers to accept a salary cut of between 30-65%. SKN’s plan is election geared and most of its promises were already stated in the budget. If you think OECS governments have some money tree in their yard, you need to wake from your slumber. Read the Central banks dire prediction regarding regional economies:

        “The ECCB has run several scenarios for the ECCU. Based on two such scenarios, economic activity in the ECCU is projected to contract between 5.0 per cent and 7.0 per cent (in real terms) in 2020 accompanied by a sharp rise in unemployment. Keep in mind that prior to this pandemic, economic growth in the ECCU was projected at 3.3 per cent.

        Member Governments have fashioned and announced fiscal stimulus, or what may more aptly be described as care and relief packages(Zackie call 463-5555 or email covidsocialservices@ab.gog.ag for your package, if your reality truly reflects what you write), to help cushion the effect of the pandemic on individuals and businesses. With Tourism closed, this is an exceptionally challenging time for our governments because revenues have plummeted even as COVID-19-related expenditures have increased dramatically.”.

    • @Melchisedec:
      How do you measure a brilliant mind? Did you use a wooden rule and or a tape measure? We like to use words to described others.And for part part,they do not apply.Tell me and only me.One brilliant measure Gaston Browne as Prime Minister has introduced.To help the most vulnerable(Poor People) in Antigua and Barbuda.

      • @BLACK-MAN
        By their fruits my brother: Look at all the UPP insiders joining the PM movement. Look at how the opposition is a whisper and keep chasing the PM.

        The PM is tactical and astute. You must give him credit for how he is dismantling UPP and making them irrelevant.

        • @Melchisedec: Those that you mentioned as men.They were weak are still weak.They are spineless men of straw.They are without scruples.All Gaston had to do was to wave a few pennies into their faces.Even if he had wave some crumbs off the table.They would still fall.So I do not see any brilliance in that.

          • @BLACK-MAN
            It was only yesterday these men were the most honourable men around town. Everything they said and did was UPP perfect….

            Now look what you think of them today, why a brilliant man called Gaston he makes all the difference in the world.

            Notice how quickly Mr Lovell went to Cabinet, LOL, the PM did the historic photo op, shut them up and business as usual. LOL

            The PM was so brilliant that Mr Lovell could not even think straight the next day his conversation changed…LOL

  13. Does it matter if its DNA, ALP, UPP or MONEY, we are all in the same boat…. sinking surely. We have gotten so blinded by selfishness that we are unable to see the troubles that face us. We need to go back to basic, simplify our lives and begin to LOVE. I have no money but i share what i have, i LOVE my brother, sister and neighbor as myself, in that it makes me happy. The earth on which we live is dying right before our very eyes yet we cant see. At this time its not about politics or money, its the time for LOVE. Starting with mother earth which we have destroyed, our brother, sister and neighbor please is ask lets STOP and RESTART again. This time putting God first in every thing. I always hear this question being asked, What is our purpose in life? The simple answer to that is; LOVE. With that, every other thing will simply fall in place. Lets stop the Cursing, fighting and political tug-o-war, place more emphasis on finding solutions to fix our problems which we have created and stop the blaming, please i ask. Love is all we need.

  14. I UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PM AND JOANNE IS SAYING. THERE WILL BE NO ARAB SPRING IN ANTIGUA AND ANTIGUA IS NOT JAMAICA… WE NEED HELP! THAT’S IT!

  15. We are in a WORLD CRISIS and you are telling me that All the Opposition Parties are talking about are CONSTITUTION , BARROWING MONEY ,???? I have never heard the Opposition give Us a sound advice in reference to the COVID 19. Hon. Gaston Browne is of SOUND , BRILLIANT mind. The Opposition parties are just skating.The Opposition Parties are a Bunch of HOT AIR.

  16. @BLACK-MAN
    By their fruits my brother: Look at all the UPP insiders joining the PM movement. Look at how the opposition is a whisper and keep chasing the PM.

    The PM is tactical and astute. You must give him credit for how he is dismantling UPP and making them irrelevant.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here