Letters & Opinion

Plantations By The Sea

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

HOTEL developers do not come here to make us rich; they come here to make themselves richer. They come here to exploit our natural beauty and our cheap labour. They come to occupy our prime lands paying next to nothing, controlling our borders and disrespecting our heritage.

Reminds you of anything? Slavery! I am not happy that this island is being turned into a rosary of hotels by vision-less leaders. The plantations have reemerged and the slave masters are still white. We wear the masters’ branding with a smile and our consciences are seared, only we do not know it or we do not want to acknowledge it. Our families were ripped apart with the separation of parents and their children in the salve trade; mothers sent to one island and fathers on a boat to another. The same is repeating itself; mothers are strangers to their children; fathers work spilt shift and that split is reflected in the hearts of their offsprings. Torn between two lovers, work and family.

We are being sold into slavery by those who [claim to] know us and have our best interests at heart; our leaders. The conquerors disguised as investors are building their enclaves, (DSH and Fairmont Sunset Bay Resort), [“plantations by the sea”] while our people are happy with the allurement of a just over broke (job). They smile at the glitter, just like our foreparents from West Africa so many years ago. As the saying goes, those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

It was related to me that one of the things that drove John Compton into politics was the disparity that he observed in land ownership in this Fair Helen. During this time I am told that there were about 5-7 major land owners on island. Anyone who claims that he or she is following or building on Sir John’s legacy and want to give massive land ownership to anyone developer is a deranged liar. You cannot give your factors of production into the hands of foreigners, or Saint Lucians who have never set foot in Saint Lucia. Talk about vision-less leaders. Trivia question: Which vision less leader brought us into this CIP regime? Now back to regular programming.

Cuiusestsolumejusestusque ad caelum: whose is the soil, his it is even to the skies and to the depths below.

We as a people do not believe in ourselves; the vestiges of slavery. We believe that some outside entity, God or some foreign investor must come and develop our country for us. We give all kinds of incentives to those foreigners that we would not give to our locals. We reject proposal upon proposal made by our citizens, make it difficult for them to obtain grants, funding and concessions and claim that we are a developing state. But my greatest disappoint is in our people, I continue to say. We do not read and we say it without shame. We have moved from celebrating two intellectual giants to putting “bad in bumbum” and “spilt in the middle on a pedestal”. We are of the slave mentality that there is nothing we can do until the next five years. If the prime minister says he is going to do something that is to our detriment, then there is nothing we can do about it. Saint Lucians wake up from your slumber and brake free from your mental slavery. A new emancipation is needed and our artists need to lead it. Calling all artists!

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