Wake Up Antigua – Monopolies Encourage Corruption

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Makeda-Mikael

Makeda-Mikael

Antigua and other small countries caught in the bind of slow development have been forced into allowing the creation of one-of-a-kind businesses which grow into monopolies without such plan.

 

However, some businesses by their very nature require competition for the integrity of the product to be assured, and Aviation is such an industry. Telecommunication is another which we can remember when Antigua was forced to dissolve its extra close relationship with Cable & Wireless as Antigua moved forward in regional cooperation in trade and commerce.

Antigua and its administrations over the years have developed a tendency to move towards a monopolistic trade culture, investing in one man and his business -(Rappaport/Stanford/Barrett/Ayre) are recent examples of our monopolistic investors who have become household names.

 

The situation under the flamboyant and greedy Allen Stanford became so hostile to any development proposal tabled to the Government, that he sought to develop every idea presented thereby creating a one-man business.

 

Stanford even sought to compete with local plant sellers by creating a landscaping operation which imported foreign flora & fauna, with the compliment of foreign frogs and other new insects introduced past the Pest Control Authorities.

When Caribbean Star Airlines sought to swallow LIAT, the Caribbean’s favorite airline, it choked, even as the Antigua politicians of the day encouraged the takeover, and Stanford, supported by both the administrations did his best to create his aviation monopoly.

The next move was for the control of corporate and private aviation establishing his business on the peninsular where the U.S. Government has abandoned a well built and strategically placed runway, and on which one small operator had built a Fixed Base Operation to serve the same high-end client base. His plan was to monopolize both ends of aviation in Antigua as he fought to kill both LIAT and the FBO.

Today Antigua finds itself in the same quandary as their airport authority is hell-bent on creating a monopoly for one lone American company to serve corporate and private aviation, and one fuel company to serve the entire airport. This move is not only ignorant of the prerequisites of aviation but seeks to retard the progress made over the decades which placed Antigua on an international footing because of the country’s respect for the aims and objectives of good aviation governance.

Aviation Fuel and how a country treats with its fuel support and delivery establishes its understanding of international norms and the reasoning behind it all. If we go back to Antigua’s first years in Aviation which was under British colonial rule, two fuel suppliers have always been our status as a gateway to far foreign countries. The reason for this has to do with fuel safety, and as always, in Aviation offering aviators fuel choice in the most important safety concentrated area of aircraft handling. The ideal is that two suppliers create more safety in fuel uplift as the likelihood of both offering contaminated or improperly tested fuel is small.

Antigua has abandoned the fuel supplier choice, and further has linked their own WIOC to the Airport Aviation Fuel system whereby WIOC is sharing in the supply and receipts of aviation fuels uplifted. Our only concern here is the WIOC 25% foreign ownership by U.S. Sanctioned Venezuela, and WIOC 24% ownership by a Chinese investor who was ‘disappeared’ by his country’s orders. This does not give much confidence in the association of the two operators, one only which dispenses.

So with the Airport Authority now establishing by NOTAM that only the one U.S. Operator can do business on Runway 10 (Dis-used), and that the one Fueler is barred from crossing over to fuel aircraft on the now suddenly exclusive ramp, a total aviation and fuel monopoly has been established in Antigua in this 21st century when the entire world is moving towards fair and equitable business practices.

Antigua and its Airport Authority needs to recognize that Aviation is international, and so are Airports, and which are not just controlled nationally, but by a code of ethics and laws which have to be included in the laws of all member countries of the world operating International Airports with membership in ICAO.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I agree, we need the opportunity to approach additional suppliers. Rubis will treat our companies in the way that suites them.

  2. Just like Blue harbour helicopters a locally owned business being prevented from operating while their helicopter sits at the airport. All because of protecting Calvin air helicopters. Hmmmm

    • I doubt Blue Harbour is being blocked by anyone. Is anyone blocking Liats competition- NO. These are the same owners of Caribbean Helicopters that still owe millions to staff and creditors so no one wants to deal with them.

      • They are being blocked; this is a documented fact!! We need to do research before we apply doubt to any situation. In Antigua we pick sides to quickly and totally ignore facts..

  3. But Valarie Ross… You sold your FBO to the now owners…How much was it worth? Remember you self said in the local newspaper none of your children can run the FBO…Remember you were once the woman in charge and the same rules were ok with you…. but not ok now!!! Please tell Antiguans and the wider Caribbean why you can’t operate an FBO at V.C.Bird and why you sold it….

    Oh and remember to tell us how many of the underhanded deals you were apart of to help this country get to its present state…. How did you become owners of land inside the airport fence????

    Young Antiguans to know the truth

    • Susu
      You should deal with the he issues and the character assassination of the messenger. That’s all some of you good for.

    • Did she steal it though? Because again records show it was legally gained. Our government like to do all these shady deals and them we blame the buyers; you can’t blame people for capitalizing on an opportunity that ends up hurting the country. Blame yah shady government, their hands always in the muddle and corruption.

  4. Prior to 2014 when the FBO was operated by a local owner, Runway 10 (Dis-used) served all Ground Handlers (3) ASA, CAS, DSA, US Air Force, Caribbean Helicopters, LIAT, and for five years Stanford Development Company. Although SDC & FBO were at war business growth continued a pace without disenfranchisement to any Operators at the Airport.
    Aviation businesses are the worst family inheritance unless the family is aviation oriented which is not guaranteed.
    What else? All may be assured that if I were the person you write about, it all would have been itemized over the years by both political parties and Mr. Stanford.
    20 years of fighting one’s own government for one’s existence on Runway 10 (Dis-used) and to prevent the continued private ownership of Airport lands takes its toll on the best of us in face of ignorance.

    • Lol!!! Valarie Ross aka Makeda Mikael…. you forget the same DSA owner and you were business partners and you side stepped her because you wanted what you wanted and you weren’t willing to share. Tell the Antiguan People you had to sell your FBO and not give it to your children as an inheritance because as of 2012 you were in court with ECCAA for money owed to them for landing and NAV/COM fees exceeding over $100,000.00 . You created the problem that is now being faced locally in the aviation business…. tell us how you own land inside the Airport Property???? that’s what we want to know… if you’re such and upstanding citizen and want so much good for Antigua give back the government their land….

      • so she is basically another “sellout Uncle Tom” pretending to care about her people, but is actually the enemy in disguise?

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! So that it becomes legitimate to ask, “Where is the Sistah coming from?” “Are you down with overcoming oppression?” These are assessment and evaluative questions that allow the interrogator to accurately pinpoint the responder’s location, whether it be a cultural or psychological location. As a paradigm Afrocentricity enthrones the centrality of the African, that is, black ideals and values, as expressed in the highest forms of African culture, and activates consciousness as a functional aspect of any revolutionary approach to phenomena. The cognitive and structural aspects of a paradigm are incomplete without the functional aspect. There is something more than knowing in the Afrocentric sense; there is also doing. Afrocentricity holds that all definitions are autobiographical.” – Dr. Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change!

      One of the saddest Historical Referent Points in Antigua and Barbuda was the creation and also the decommissioning of Runway 10! What does the BIO show! With the decommissioning, it showed a Government Bureaucracy and Bourgeoisie devoid of Vision and Strategic Thinking, “hardbound and hardheaded” with an educational process and behaviour to be good civil servants with their vocation “not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism.” (Fanon)! Their sights were compromised by the surrounding hills and the Eastern Atlantic, or more closer North Sound, after the most powerful and its Seabees had provided the cognitive, structural and functional space while in time displacing the original habitants of Winthrope’s Plantation!

      The desecration of Eve’s Garden and Lady Nugent’s Burial Grounds on which hallowed spaces and time, People of African Descent in Antiguan and Barbuda frolic merrily with nary a peep of those Historical Referent Points in SPACE and TIME! What does the BIO show! It showed an Intelligentsia and “Edge Up Arrivistes” who at their core possessed “a hedonistic mentality —because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson.” (Fanon)!

      Not very long ago, A North Atlantic Privateer doing business at Dickenson Bay, understanding the Historical referent Point in SPACE and TIME of that area where it was called “run a way bay” by enslaved Africans who sought freedom in the area because of the swamps and ecology while at the same time recognizing the inevitability of the grim reaper put his affairs in order so that his entrepreneurial efforts would fall in the hands of Antiguans and Barbudans! The Buccaneer realized that death rattle!

      Some would ask: Were there no other People of African descent with the heft except Signature! What does the BIO show! Some would say: It showed that a Cadre of Government Adventurers in the early days of independence closely identified “with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

      Your front row seat in helping to create the Historical Referent Points in Antigua and Barbuda is to be appreciated! You have toiled on the Plantation and should have peaceful enjoyment of your SPACE and TIME before the grim reaper knocks at your door! Keep on telling “your truth” recognizing “The Danger of A Single Story.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!

      “One of the key assumptions of the Afrocentrist is that all relationships are based on centers and margins and the distances from either the center or the margin. When black people view themselves as centered and central in their own history then they see themselves as agents, actors, and participants rather than as marginals on the periphery of political or economic experience. Using this paradigm, human beings have discovered that all phenomena are expressed in the fundamental categories of space and time. Furthermore, it is then understood that relationships develop and knowledge increases to the extent we are able to appreciate the issues of space and time.” – Asante!

      Nuff Said!

      Go Well!

  5. It’s illiterate to think because a person sold a business they’re blacklisted from ever operating that type of business again. Only bad minded people who like to watch other people pockets think this way. That’s why foreigners go own all the best businesses and properties in this country. While y’all settle for the so called nice piece of land overlooking cooks dump, fighting for a party instead of fights for y’all kids future and position. Hope you know when this country start fall the foreigners have dual citizenship ship and the Antiguans will be stuck in the S&1+!!

    • ok Missa Knight!!! Everybody know that you have your U.S. passport, but why you keep running your dirty vagabun mouth on Observer radio pretending to care about dis kunchee?

    • Yep you like the attention. Pray to be like you when I am your age (brain still working)

      I think you used some wrong examples. In general they were not monopolies but very large biz hence had a lot of influence. The only how we can deal with such is to ensure our people have options (UWI is part of that game changer) in terms of work. In essence we are talking empowered persons hence voters who are more likely to hold politicians accountable. Politicians benefit from less hand holding (dependency) and can more focus on moving the country forward. Makeda contrary to your gloom and doom, we moving in the right direction (downtown eg Heritage Quay will look amazing by year end 2022, Young people will have much more career options’)

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