BU resisted giving our two cents on the current tug war between Barbados and Trinidad but defend we must the yella blue. All the other Caribbean islands defend their ‘colours’ and honour, Bajans however are expected to be a rare breed of people who should adsorb the disrespect of our Caricom neighbours with ‘grace and aplomb’.
First it was Guyana heaping their crap on us in the great immigration debate, Jamaica recently joined the fray with the still unsettled Myrie incident and now Trinidad and Tobago – the ridiculous outstanding fishing agreement not withstanding – decides to demonstrate disrespect for Barbados by screwing us on REDjet’s certification. The issue of airworthiness was never a problem until REDjet exhausted the approval process. Now we are being asked to believe uncertified pictures which have miraculous;y appeared on the Internet showing a rusting landing gear of an alleged REDjet plane. Allyuh must think Bajans foolish fuh trute.
To add to the mamaguying being pulled by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, she trumpeted at the recent St. Kitts Caricom Summit that she is backing a Fast Ferry Service as a solution to making regional travel more affordable. How convenient that such a service would not have to compete with CAL. How convenient the proposed passenger fare is $15.00. It should also be noted that a similar service on the San Fernando/Port of Spain sea route has been a financial failure to date.
Unlike the immigration issue with Guyana and the Myrie incident with Jamaica, the REDjet matter seems to be commanding popular support across the region. The people are supportive because the cost of regional air travel has spiralled out of control. The low budget strategy by REDjet seriously threatens the monopoly which BWIA/CAL has enjoyed for decades, more so now post-Air Jamaica acquisition. What some forget is that Barbados’ support for REDjet threatens the entity LIAT as well which has heavy financial implications for Barbados’ given our significant shareholding.
Even if the REDjet issue is settled tomorrow, the T&T government has exposed it’s hand. In what is a blatant protectionist move from a country whose inflow of capital and people threaten to sink Barbados, Barbadians should rightly feel betrayed. It has taken the REDjet matter to provoke the otherwise taciturn Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart to speak and Barbadians have been edified by it!
Yet again the two regional bullies of the Caribbean have tagged teamed to place the budding spirit of regional cooperation in a full nelson. History sadly records it happened once before in 1962. We live in times where mankind again and again ignores history much to his peril.
Barbadians at home and afar will wait yet again on our government to defend our honour. So too we wait on the expected opposition response from the Barbados Labour Party .