Letters & Opinion

OAS and Elections in Bolivia and Dominica – Part 6

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Will OAS role decide for whom the bells toll after tomorrow’s Dominica poll!

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Chronicles Of A Chronic Caribbean Chronicler By Earl Bousquet

IF anyone thought Leader of Dominica’s United Workers Party (UWP) Lennox Linton was joking when he threatened to repeat the recent Bolivia regime change experience in his country, there can be absolutely no doubt left.

Nor can anyone doubt that foreign hands are fully at play in the current unprecedented electoral unrest in The Nature Isle.

For over a fortnight, the UWP has applied scorched earth tactics against the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) through introduction of new elements right out of a CIA playbook.

Unforeseen elements are being introduced in Dominica that depart wildly from traditional electoral politics in the OECS — from creating roadblocks and barricades with blazing tires and old furniture to publicly harassing, assaulting and insulting religious leaders and resorting to xenophobia against fellow CARICOM citizens.

On Monday, an unruly UWP mob accosted and verbally assaulted Saint Lucia-born Catholic Archbishop Malzaire for not taking sides in the deep election divide, demanding he ‘go back home’ and warning him that ‘The Cardinal is coming’ (a reference to Dominica-born Cardinal Kelvin Felix, who earlier served as Roman Catholic Archbishop of Castries and Saint Lucia.)

But Cardinal Felix too was similarly publicly and verbally abused by opposition supporters after returning home from Rome earlier this week and likewise refusing to take sides.

Fake Social Media News is also being used effectively to feed contrived political narratives aimed at justifying anarchy and creating conditions for cancellation of the poll and invitation of further external interference and eventual military intervention.

There were reports yesterday of LIAT and the US State Department having canceled flights to Dominica.

LIAT denied the Fake News, but huge fires were set by protesters at positions near the airport to take advantage of wind direction and darken clouds to affect airline landings.

On Wednesday, Regional Security System (RSS) troops started landing in Dominica to keep the peace at the invitation of the government, Caribbean (OECS and CARICOM) governments having ignored the Opposition Leader’s early demand that they ignore any such call by Skerrit.

Interestingly, an OAS Observer Mission arrived on the island unannounced on Tuesday, joining four others already there from CARICOM, the United Nations, the British Commonwealth and the US (The Carter Center).

There was no official explanation of this apparent volte face by Skerrit after having earlier refused to bow to pressure to invite the OAS. But pro-UWP social media postings claimed the US had ‘threatened to impose sanctions’ against Dominica and ‘to take immediate actions if Skerrit proceeded with the elections without inviting the OAS.’

Skerrit having repeatedly accused OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro of being the main player in a master plot to remove him and other identified CARICOM leaders from office come what may and by any means necessary, much international attention is already being paid to the OAS Observer Mission’s role in the poll.

On Monday, The Guardian (London) indeed published a call by seven prominent international personalities for the OAS to explain its role in Bolivia after nullifying the results of the October 20 elections and creating the conditions for the military coup that forced President Evo Morales from office.

When it became clear that Morales was going to win a fourth consecutive term, his political opponents resorted to violence, allegations of corruption and electoral fraud — and made the country ungovernable up to Election Day.

Likewise in Dominica. Uncertain of or having concluded the UWP is unable to prevent a fifth consecutive term for Skerrit and the DLP in free and fair elections, UWP supporters are resorting to violence, claims of corruption and allegations of fraud — even before Election Day — instead of simply allowing the voters to decide.

Like in Bolivia, Linton has also created the basis for implementing his threat to invite the OAS to intervene militarily.

Last Sunday he publicly stated he would waste no time to ‘invite the OAS (Organization of American States) to intervene in Dominica should he have reason to believe tomorrow’s election was ‘stolen’.

A pro-UWP ‘Concerned Citizens Movement’ petitioned the Dominica High Court earlier this week seeking an injunction to stop tomorrow’s poll, which was turned down.

But the UWP continues to feed a narrative suggesting there will be electoral fraud, which it is heavily counting on the OAS to somehow discover and reveal today or tomorrow in a country where there had never been any official claim or complaint of electoral fraud since independence in 1978.

Besides, both the UWP and the DLP have won and lost elections using the same laws the DLP is now so vehemently opposing.

The anarchy witnessed in Hong Kong recently has unfortunately shown its ugly face in Dominica, where the hounding of government supporters and increasing evidence of possible violence and public anarchy on Election Day can likely to result in either a cancellation of the election or an intended low poll.

Everyone everywhere should hope for the best for Dominica today and tomorrow. But if PM Skerrit hasn’t also been planning been preparing for the worst, too late shall be Dominica’s cry tomorrow night.

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