LETTER: Give Credit where Credit Is Due

19

By Traycee L.

Nothing great is ever achieved by men who fail to dream big and are incapable of inspiring others to believe in something that, at times, they can barely shape with their imaginations. Very few, if any, would dare to say that Prime Minister Gaston Browne is not such a man. Far from intending to flatter, some describe him as brash, bold and at times border-line crazy yet others see those same attributes and identify them as unrelenting courage, tenacity and passion with a laser focus on making the world a more prosperous place for others who cannot reach the summit of life’s mountain alone. No matter how you choose to characterize him, the one thing that we will all agree on is that he is fearless in battle. He is not daunted by the size of the opponent nor the fierceness of the battle. In fact, they only seem to imbue him with commitment and purpose.

When Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced to the world back in 2019 that the government of Antigua and Barbuda would not be granting a vesting order to allow any foreign bank to purchase the operations of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Antigua and Barbuda many thought that this was nothing short of lunacy. Many so-called banking experts and former bankers crawled out of the woodwork to condemn the Prime Minister’s bold stance with the global spotlight on him. Some of the very same experts back in 2008 and 2009 said that we would not be affected by the subprime housing crisis in the United Stated, along with many other premonitions that failed to materialize. They appeared as experts on politically clever radio programmes where they disseminated their lectures built on failed careers and inability to lead anything of note into a slight headwind of success. They pontificated all the reasons of politics, law, economics and our size why this just could not happen and why we should save our strength for something more realistic and winnable, within the realm of their limited ability to dream big. They even cited the Treaty of Chaguaramas and how it provided the rights of establishment of companies from other member states.

Although we might be tempted to ridicule or chastise the so-called experts by suggesting that their attempts to discredit the efforts of the Prime Minister were nothing short of a veiled effort to mislead the people of Antigua and Barbuda because they had no vision or could lead the charge, the fact is simply this, most of them truly know no better. They have never fought for anything so consequential nor are they capable of seeing our place in time as we write our own history. Some of the things that were prognosticated by the naysayers are unsurprising when you consider their propensity for cowardice and an unwillingness to fight for the people that they claim to be representing, especially those who aspire to lead Antigua and Barbuda.

On 1st September, 2021 an amazing and historic event took place in Antigua and Barbuda. What many generations of us grew up knowing as the Bank of Nova Scotia in Antigua was no more. The Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB) logo and sign now adorn the side of the building at the corner of Market and High Street immediately west of where another former Canadian bank stood, now bearing the name ACB Caribbean. This is not simply about defining the legacy of Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party; this is far more. The Party has a rich legacy of planting the pillars on which our development stands and today it continues to set and surpass expectations for the people of this fair land. Each citizen and anyone who calls here home should be proud.

What has been appalling since this transition from Scotia Bank to ECAB is how the ECAB General Manager could not bring himself to thank the government for leading what appeared to be almost an unwinnable fight against a giant which created the pathway to acquiring the operations of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Antigua. This was no gift to the country and it did not come easily. The government locked horns and even went as far as the Parliament to make its position even more pellucid in law. Even as the debate raged on no consortium ever stepped up to the plate, but the government insisted that our bank, managed by our people, with our assets, could do the job and acquire the bank. Despite the efforts of the Bank of Nova to send representatives from their headquarters to convince the government to relent and allow another bank within CARICOM to purchase the bank, Prime Minster Browne and his team stood strong and firm in the interest of all. Some say defiant, others say determined, but whatever you choose to call it the result is that ECAB is one of the largest banks in the sub-region today. The way was paved in gold for ECAB to acquire the operations of the Bank of Nova Scotia but you may be led to believe that the management of the bank was somehow so skillful or involved in bringing this moment into history. In the words of King Smarty Jr. “give credit where credit is due: if you nah earn it, it nah belong to you!”

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Kudos to the PM Gaston Browne and his Cabinet for sticking to their convictions even in the face of barking 🐕 dogs.

    Lovell would have crumbled,cowered and capitulated in no time 😂🤣😆

  2. Strange the Gaston Browne bashing crew quiet as a mouse. Where is Charles Tabor, Red Koolaid, Freetownson, Antiguan Citizen and all the rest🤔

    • Gaston Browne,what has become of your very good friend Alex Saab Moran? Did you write that letter about yourself.Are you now someone named Tracee L.? Your deception did not work on me.

      • Me nar name Gaston Browne ya ms and me know one of the haters would come wid that bs ah he write the letter heself spoken like ah true hater

  3. SAM.H I will truly commend Gaston Browne when he finds a solution to the problem of the suffering pensioners who continue to get pension payments months late. I will also commend him when he provides conclusive evidence that the Odebrecht bribe money that was paid to Casroy James and was alleged to be for him was actually returned as he announced in Parliament. Those are two of my main concerns now.

    • @ CHARLESWORTH TABOR

      TABOR…. Did you listen D.GISEL ISAAC on OBSERVER RADIO this morning? What a shame. Could not answer Simple questions. Talking from two sides of Her mouth.

      • INDIRA I was listening. What a solid presentation. She was absolutely great and she and Daren interact quite well unlike Max Hurst and his lies, vacillation and obfuscation.

  4. Just curious about the fix for LIAT workers. Any word on when we can expect to get paid? While everyone is rejoicing we continue to suffer.

  5. @Liat victim
    They rejoice because their pockets must be full, maybe they are shareholders in Namco also, they know what they are getting so they are not concerned with others.
    The best PM that does things to benefit himself while people are suffering

  6. Fact is we seem to live to criticize especially when the focus is on obtaining status, power for ourselves, or seeking relief for whatever hardship we are personally facing. People see what they want to see and say what they want to say. So I say, Gaston Browne let only your God and conscience convict you. What I see is a man who fights for Country. His tenor might not suit some, it may not even suit most, but geez he’s resilient: UWI, ABI, BNS/ECAB, WIOC, housing, paying salaries and yes paying pensioners ( even if late) amidst the worst crisis we’ve known in our lifetime. He hasn’t run to hide amidst personal wicked attacks nor is he undaunted by what lies ahead. Let history absolve you Gaston Browne. Whatever mistakes you’ve made learn from them and move on. Let none take you off track. Do what you know to be the right! May God guide you as you navigate the ship of State through these turbulent and trying times.

    • Antiguans and Barbudans becareful when a dictator wants control of your banks. They already have CUB, WIOC now the plan is ECAB. Follow the money, go and read ” All is clouded by desire” go to the part about Antigua and read about the players from Swiss American Bank. The book is available on amazon. Antiguans wake up. Oh did the top dawg fix the corresponding banking issues? That is our problem. The only thing missing from this letter is a picture of the writer on his/her knees like Monica Lewinsky.

      • @ KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR
        KNIGHT you will always be a FOOL. Do not expect any better from you. You are an OVERWEIGHT CLOWN. How is your BOSS SERPENT ?

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