A FEW articles ago, I told my readers that the revolution that they seek has already started. That was reinforced at a meeting I attended in Morne Sion, Choiseul last Sunday.
The attendees were very vocal and wanted to be part of the decision-making process. Choiseul is one of the constituencies that have no allegiance to any party. I do understand the underpinning dynamics that make this possible. Most of the people in Choiseul are land owners, either individually or family-owned. They practice a high level of subsistence farming and many of them are entrepreneurial and run their own business or trade.
So when they tell me a hotel is coming to Sab Wicha, I fear. “The plantations by the sea” is not just masterful wording by a discerning and poetic prophet; they are real. They are elements of control. That is why the government of Antigua can be held to ransom; it’s the plantation syndrome. People of Choiseul do not sell yourselves back into slavery. There is every sign that you are being alienated in your own community.
The now property owners at Sab Wicha see the fact that beaches in Saint Lucia are public as a threat to their operation. So whereas the roads were a major point of discussion at your meeting, beach access must be given due consideration, if this hotel comes into being.
Education as we have institutionalized is not empowerment but enslavement. We are teaching our people what to think and how to think. The many who have gone to pursue further education have become slaves to the system. They are not innovating. They are stuck in 9-to-5 jobs trying to pay back education loans and mortgages. Our youths are being trained for the job, not to create the jobs.
The dependence of foreign direct investment is testament to the fact that we do not believe in ourselves and our abilities.
Some have said that Sab Wicha is to Choiseul what the Pitons are to Soufriere. I do not see it. We have given up Sab Wicha without a fight, for ching ching, pocket change. Many people have welcomed the hotel development because of the reflected employment bone that they see in the water and they are about to jump in. But we know how the story ends. A hotel development will drastically change the face of Choiseul. For the better? I do not think so. A 120-room accommodation in Choiseul is very possible without FDI.
Sixty households, given the incentives that we are willing to riskily give to foreigners, each adding two additional rooms to their homes is a magical 120. But we believe in citizenship by investment. Give your best lands to “foreigners” who come in with the economic advantage, they get free access to the roads that your people have trodden for generations. I sure hope that the spirits of our Amerindian haunt them in the enclave that they are about to build. Development? I think not.
We need leaders who can think outside of the box, whose goal is true national development and not self-aggrandizement, who are “true to duty as a needle to the pole.” They are among you, Saint Lucians. Yes, they are.