LETTER: Rest in peace, my African brothers and sisters

Jenna B capsized in waters near Conaree Village, St Kitts (photo contributed)

Dear Editor,

Let me deal with our African brothers and sisters who are here and some of whom lost their lives in the recent boating tragedy.

I blame the world in turmoil and an uncaring world for this tragedy. Africans have been taking rickety boats and risking their lives for many years to get out of Africa to Europe.

This is nothing new. Many have died. Africans do it every day. The Haitians do it every day.

The Cubans have been doing it for over 50 years. Antiguans and Barbudans did it in the old days by boat to St. Thomas and St. Croix.

The Antigua and Brabuda government in its naivety, established an air link to the motherland, Africa.

Naive because they did not take into account that Antiguans and Barbudans do not love their skin, their colour or their own.

Just consider their hatred of our black Caricom brothers and sisters, while we love the Arabs, Chinese and Caucasians.

The idea was a good one. Who could have imagined that the Cameroonians, trying to escape civil war and persecution, would see these flights as an opportunity, with a direct flight to the Caribbean, as the first step to their determined destination, the promised land of America.

But their timing was wrong. They arrived during the election period and the UPP used their arrival to stir up resentment and suspicion by suggesting that the ABLP brought these people here to vote.

Our African brothers were bad mouthed and ostracized by many of our citizens, who like the Republicans in the US after a school shooting, are offering crocodile tears.

As a result of all this negative publicity, Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname closed its doors, so our African brothers and sisters became stranded and desperate.

Antigua was never their final destination. It was always America. They were here in-transit.

Had we as a people been more welcoming, this may have been avoided. But desperate people do desperate things and now we have a tragedy.

There is enough blame for all to share.

Proud of my African Roots.

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  1. Yeah right…You are saying this as it is the right thing to say..me sure you ah one ah dem that no lub black people…gimme me a break with you all so called outpouring of care and concern.

  2. Writer, I share most of your views. However, some I would not voice as you did so bluntly. Perhaps because the truth of us, people of the black race, really hurt.
    “Naive because they did not take into account that Antiguans and Barbudans do not love their skin, their colour or their own.”
    My Jewish friend, and brother, has always told me that. It’s a generational curse on us. I also know certain things are not right to say, but dealing with Nigerians somehow always turns out to be some scam. And without knowing what went wrong, I glad we caught it before it became a bigger problem. I certainly hope the Prime Minister has learned from this. You could be dealing in all honesty with the good guy, Marvellous Mike, but he has a twin brother that you do not know, who is the unscrupulous one. And the good guy never lets you meet his bad brother until it is too late. We call them the front man. The front man opens the door for the bad guy. That is what happened in this case of Antigua Airways. The bad thing is the UPP sees this as an opportunity to weaken the Gaston Browne administration. They are the evil one that would burn down the whole country, just to become king of the ashes. They have no intention of working with the government in the best interest of the country. We have seen that while going through a pandemic. And their recent walkout of parliament to debate a simple paragraph of amendment to a law that will protect the country from a disaster. But on another note. I hope these Cameroonians will understand that the so-called ‘Promise Land’ that they are longing to go to is not that welcoming at all. And that they don’t realize that God has taking them to an Island in the Caribbean called Antigua, which is like ‘Paradise’. And that we here live peaceably with one another, safe from politics. I’m sure they will be able to start their new life right here and contribute to the development of our country. And after some time, you will be able to bring your family here with you. Or marry some Antiguan girl. So, it might not have been your destination, but like Jonah, God brought you here, so here is where you’re going to stay. And thank God we have a government that will embrace you. Unless you are a bad egg, you will not be deported. My problem with my own race is this. When war broke out in Syrie, the Syrian community brought many young Syrians here to avoid the war-torn country. Many are now living in this country and earning a living. They have opened shops and restaurants and are creating wealth for themselves. you do not see any Antiguan screaming that they should go home.

    • Stop trying to gaslight us Mr high ranking politician.
      The twin brother of Marvelous Mike is you, the bad one. You are no fool, and you weren’t conned. You are quite the con man yourself, a formidable opponent in the con game. Here you go deflecting blame again. The UPP doesn’t have to try and weaken the ALP administration — your actions and inactions are doing it all on its own. Dig deep inside yourself and try to find some semblance of decency. Address the nation and accept your part in this debacle. Continuing to make up stories make you less and less trust worthy. If you want the nation to support you, the nation must feel that they can trust you. That starts with you taking some responsibility.

    • The ALP gets all the blame for this. UPP will not accept any. When it’s something bad the ALP becomes generous in sharing with everyone. When it’s something good the ALP takes all the credit and spoils. This is on ALP & ALP alone! It was ALP boasting about this shit when it was in the works. It was ALP ministers that greeted the inaugural flight.

      The other Caribbean countries got wind of the poor West Africans in Antigua that were going to illegally cross some borders. They closed their borders because they didn’t want to be party to any illegal activities of which their government had no hand in creating — And good for them, they kept their coutries good name and reputation intact.
      Will the ALP administration ever take responsibility for it’s mistakes and wrong doings? Y’all are even indirectly blaming other Caribbean leaders for not harboring people whose intent were to commit criminal offenses by illegally entering other counties. Have you no INTEGRITY @From the Sidelines?
      You must have cojones the size of watermelons — Which tell me, you’re the person who have castrated all the male ALP parlimentarians.

    • @From The Sideline
      Why on earth do you constantly complain when the ABLP Administration is required to give answers to the citizens of this country? Your latest gripe is that the UPP do not wish to work with the government and want to weaken it, then you follow up by saying about the UPP, Quote, “They are the evil one that would burn down the whole country, just to become king of the ashes”. Unquote.
      Here is a reminder: in politics the duty of the Opposition is to oppose, question and probe government to give answers and/or explain why they have taken any action they disagree with.. Yes, when both parties can see eye to eye on a particular issue then they should work in harness for the common good. It is plain for all to see that you do not like any question asked of the government that you find awkward to answer. If the situation was reversed you would be asking the same questions of the UPP. Grow up! So, now you say Marvelous Mike has a twin brother, how many people know that? You must have inside knowledge of sensitive matters to know, food for thought. You must also know who really owns Antigua Airways and the ins and outs of that organization. Be a good citizen and tell us. The comparison between Syrians bringing their relatives here and that of the Africans duped along with our government does not stand up to scrutiny, they are two different situations. Questions must be asked……etc.

      • @Oversee- Where in the constitution is what you wrote written? You really need to relook at the oath. A&B must come first, not personal agendas. If something is good for A&B, it should be supported. Can’t be when in government you support something that you then oppose when no longer elected (eg CCJ). Contrary to the idiot Baldwin Spencer’s notion, the opposition role is not to oppose government. Constructive criticism is what’s expected, with proper alternatives offered. Support for what’s best is also expected.

        • @tenman
          Kindly explain what you are talking about. How does the Constitution conflict with what I have written and why should I relook the oath as you suggested? Didn’t I say where the Opposition and Government see eye to eye over an issue then they should work in harness for the better good? I am neither a supporter nor a member of any political party as you are. I express my thoughts freely on any subject as I see fit; I doubt if you can say the same. It seems that government should not be questioned or give account for its actions as far as you are concerned. If anyone has the gumption to want answers to their grievances they are regarded as haters or worse. Now you refer to former PM Baldwyn Spencer as an idiot, (your words) why? You show a deep lack of respect for the one time leader of this country. Good manners never hurt anyone. Your talk of constructive criticism is empty, hot air and hollow and you do not believe in it if it is criticism of the government. Not everyone is easily duped. Keep that in mind.

    • @Sideline
      All this love Gaston and you say you have for the Africans is fraudulent. You people see one thing and one thing only, potential Alp voters. You are practicing the same crap you do with the non nationals. UPP don’t like the Africans. You people don’t care who you let in the country. Just vote ALP.

  3. Your statement mention that their final destination was America but why should Antigua be an intermediate in that transaction. It will reflect bad on Antigua that they ware the ones who allow the Africans to enter the us illegally. I really don’t understand.

  4. How can they be transiting when they have no documentations to move on to other destinations? Is it a crime to question an administration on shifty and possible illegal activities? The UPP never spoke a bad word against any African, the UPP questioned the lack of due diligence by the ABLP and the way they allowed the same Africans to be used. The UPP demanded answers to the questions, why did it take 4 flights in from Africa for them to realize they were being duped, and where are the rich African tourist they stated would be travelling to our shores? The ABLP administration gave the Africans campaign paraphernalia to wear while they lined the streets, using them as human billboards and walking campaign adds, thrusting them into our elections, they did that, ABLP did that, not the UPP. The government claimed an aircraft for Antigua and Barbuda and that too was a lie, it was a charter with no direct return for the Africans. There is so much to unpack here. So many lies, deception and possible illegal acts. The buck stops at the feet of the Prime Minister and his team of self enriched goons. Get it straight and realize they are bringing the NEXT LEVEL of HELL.

  5. The Africans are sucking up our CIP money. Who is gonna have to pay to bury the retrieved bodies? ANU, SKN, the UN. . who?

  6. Writer well said. However we need to change that mindset. The mental enslavement must end. We complain that other nations are advancing, with the opposition usually citing policies in Barbados. Motley has long made clear her beneif in a direct airlink between BDS and Africa. One of their ambassadors, David Comissiong has made clear: “Hopefully, before the middle of the year, we’re going to have that direct airline licence not between Ghana and Barbados, but it’s likely to be between Lagos, Nigeria and Barbados twice a week. So, once we can get on that plane at Grantley Adams [International] Airport and fly across the Atlantic to Lagos, that is just a short journey from Lagos to Accra, Ghana,” see Direct Flights To Africa Soon A Reality BY JULIE CARRINGTON | MAR 10, 2023. As usual in A&B even things that are beneficial (GOAB did make some mistakes but they are human) must be destroyed by a power hungry opposition (An evil man will burn his own nation to the ground to rule over the ashes. – Sun Tzu)

    • I’m sure when Motley makes her belief of a direct link from Barbados to Africa a reality, it will be done with people of integrity and character. I’ll bet there won’t be any scammers involved with her ventures. She understands that the race it not for the swift but for those who can endure it.

      The problem was not with mistakes that were made (if it was even a legitimate attempt that Antigua do it first), it was in trying to cover up the mistakes with lies after lies. You can expected people to just blindly follow leaders that are consistently lying to them. When mistakes are made OWN IT. Address the nation and lets us know how you plan on correcting what went wrong. No one expects leaders to be perfect, but we should be able to expect some honesty. We are tired of the spins — and it’s an insult to our intelligence that you think lying to us is the best course of action.
      Adopt some principles and start leading with integrity. Respect is earned.

      • @Do Better BDS exists on a place called earth hence corruption exits there. You may be unaware but the US has recently convicted a former BDS cabinet member for actions he took when elected (Reminds of what they claim Baldwin Spencer did). Note also that while BDS passed its prevention of corruption act in 2021, A&B did ours almost 20 years before (2004). By the way even in Heaven there has been strife (see fall on satan from heaven). The airline Air Peace (A&B also) that BDS has been negotiating with, its CEO is wanted in the US for fraud (note he has not been convicted see 20-Mar-2023 11:44 PM Air Peace in talks to commence operations to Barbados, centreforaviation)

        • What makes you thinks I’m a UPP supporter? Is it that all ALP supporters are expected to just accept anything the party leader does? So we can’t have a conscience and stand against what is wrong?

          Because corruption happened under Spencer’s administration then corruption from the Browne administration should be acceptable? Is that the kind of country a striving Antigua should become — a never ending cycle of corruption. Look, it’s apparent that as long as some of you grifter are getting your your palms greased you will discard any sense of integrity you may have had — money is y’all’s GOD. Do your preaching to someone else. I stand by what I said. When leaders make mistakes they need to own them. We are tired of the neverending lies intended to cover up misdeeds willful or otherwise.

    • Antigua will never advance as long as Gaston is in power. No credible investors will come to Antigua because they won’t pay bribes. The low class non nationals allowed in the country to be paid minimum wage and fill the ghettos are just dumbing down the country. Gaston will not spend money developing country unless it is places like Willoughby Bay where they can sell their lands for millions. Look at the quality of the roads compared to Antigua. Too many dunce people in Antigua and too much corruption.

  7. Here we have AGAIN another out of order, insensitive, blame caring, callous and uncaring response to what should be a solemn moment!!! This is so distasteful, disrespectful and dishonorable!! It doesn’t matter what Africans, Haitians or Cubans do!! He who is of a high place should have checked things out more thoroughly before bringing the Antiguan and Barbudan people into this debacle!! Now, the walls are closing in, it’s UPPs fault, it’s the modeling of Republicans but not the ABLP’s fault nor responsibility!! Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut. In grief and loss, few words are better!! The actions of a caged animal who is very much aware of its impending doom are being played out here!!! It’s l most too much to even take the time to comment upon!! The blood of these unfortunate souls are on the hands of those who colluded to bring them to the Western world!! No amount of consider this or that perspective or pointing fingers will ever change that. The consequences will in time reveal who you are while you attempt to cover-up or present your lies with white-gloves and pious acts. Africa does not take kindly to the loss of her children!!!

  8. We were told that these were wealthy tourists. Now they were in transit? These Africans admitted that they had never heard of Antigua. The first Antigua Airways website listed photos from Antigua, Guatemala and in hindsight their goal was really getting to Central America. These Africans don’t want to be here! They didn’t leave their country to get stuck on a Caribbean island!
    Antiguans and Barbudans are the real victims here. We were misled. We were chastised for not seeing the vision of opening up the air bridge to wealthy Africans. And of course we protested. Why should we focus on developing African routes as we watched LIAT and Caribbean travel crumble?
    Why hasn’t the ABLP govt launched an investigation into the principals of Antigua Airways? They took these Africans money and left them stranded here. The govt is attacking everyone else except Magic Mike and Co. Why hasn’t Marvelous Mike been questioned about the wealthy Nigerians that he had promised to deliver.
    We now hear that Antigua Airways is defunct after less than 6 months and one “legitimate” flight. What was the nature of the government’s arrangement with Antigua Airways?
    How will the CIP passports be handled now that the company is defunct?
    If Antiguans and Barbudans are outraged we have every reason to be! We were duped and lied to. We demand the truth!

  9. Ok, Gaston was duped by Marvelous Mike.
    DUPED by fake investors again!
    So, Gaston. Tenman. From the Sideline are you going to cancel and retrieve the ten or more passports that were issued in the deal?
    Blinded by Greed, Gaston Browne will be DUPED again

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