LETTER: Take Your Knee Off LIAT’s Neck

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LIAT Crew and Staff POS

Dear Editor,

 

I have absolutely no hesitation in describing the proposed “liquidation” of LIAT as an act of “state banditry” and a massive blow to an opportunity to catapult the rise of black entrepreneurship in Antigua and Barbuda, the region and beyond.

 

My initial suspicions of this being the case were confirmed by comments made by Prime

Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua, on radio in his country on the weekend and subsequently.

 

Who am I? I’m, among other things, a communication/media professional, an entrepreneur and a national of St Vincent and the Grenadines. I’m currently crusading on behalf of black entrepreneurship, and also for the Caribbean’s cultural and creative industries (with music at the forefront) to become a/the major export of the region.  I’m familiar with the modus operandi (as described by PM Browne in his recent comments) of those who are spearheading the frustration of his admirable attempts to resuscitate LIAT.

 

In my country, I often witness the emergence of barriers which regularly stall the advancement of black entrepreneurship. Despite the obvious discrimination, there are those with tremendous influence on the state sector who insist on promoting the view that we are living in a homogeneous society-a view I’ve challenged.  In a missive to the Ministry of Trade(SVG) dated, September 25, 2019, I asked: “If we are living in a ‘homogeneous society’, then why, as a black  entrepreneur, am I being/have been discriminated against by state institutions and agencies,  such as the Ministry of Trade, Invest SVG, the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC), the

Tourism Authority, the then state-owned, National Commercial Bank (NCB), and the National Regulatory Telecommunication Commission (NTRC), just to name a few?

PM Browne’s determination to save the LIAT brand is wise and commendable. The brand is the company’s most valuable asset. It enjoys an enviable level of loyalty and goodwill which any business will crave.

 

Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s LIAT initiative is being discriminated against. A “bewitched knee” is on its neck. The blatant disregard meted out to his proposal reminds me of the findings of the Report on The Situation of People of African Descent. This Report, which was commissioned by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, found that in the Caribbean, black businesses and entrepreneurs frequently encounter discriminatory obstacles in their respective countries. The Report was launched on July 6, 2012, at the 33rd meeting of Caricom Heads of Government, which was held in St Lucia.

 

I’m currently involved in business initiatives that are available to collaborate with PM Browne, who has rightly urged that  “we use our talent, intellect and creativity to attract foreign direct investments to supplement domestic investments” in a resuscitated LIAT. As I’ve explained elsewhere, the initiatives to which I referred earlier, are about entrepreneurship, wealth creation, generational wealth, job creation, Caribbean integration, etc.

 

I empathize with PM  Browne. I’ve been experiencing the pain of the “bewitched knee” which is on the neck of black entrepreneurship in St Vincent and the Grenadines. I can’t breathe!

 

Bernard Joseph

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6 COMMENTS

  1. To the Editor,
    Many of us have knees on our necks and can’t breathe. Unfortunately, what goes around comes around. I have been severely victimized by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and Gaston Browne is complicit. The same blatant disregard for my human rights at the hands of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. This is just the beginning of his downfall and frankly, the downfall of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Dominica. Total disregard for my human rights. Let them be confounded and confused.

  2. If Prime Minister Browne wants to save LIAT he has to offer to buy the shares of Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Any other approach will invo!ve inviting Prime Ministers Mottley and Gonsaves to involve themselves in an unwittingly fraudulent liquidation scheme, whereby you liquidate today and startup again tomorrow.

    PM Browne doesn’t see the error in his proposals, and unfortunately nobody in his administration is pointing this out to him.

    PM Browne actually wants to liquidate LIAT 1974 Ltd and startup LIAT 2020 Ltd. Wrong approach. What he needs to do is to forget about a new LIAT, and offer to buy Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines shares. Then, he is likely to bingo!!!

  3. Well written and I commend PM Gaston Browne and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit for confronting the Big Bad Wolves 🐺 from Barbados and St Vincent and leading the fight to save LIAT.

    • You have to look at who is behind the scene pulling the strings in Barbados. Its the IMF

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