Letter to The Editor

By anguillian June 27, 2014 09:46



Dear Mr Editor:

What caught my eye in the most recent publication of the Anguillan Newspaper is the plan to (invite 2000 retired individuals as (“Permanent Residents”) who would spend $5,000 per couple a month, Anguillans can have the opportunity to sell, lease land, houses, increase the construction boom and create $120,000,000.00 annually). I am not an economist, nor I am responding in any manner to criticize the plan, or the individual who clarified the crust of the plan; I am simply saying from my perspective the plan is a speculative using a formula of counting up other folk’s money, without implementing a plan of doing for self. Moreover, if Anguillans sell their houses (unless they have another house for their own use) then where are they going to live? Laughing out loud…there goes the neighborhood. Of course, here is another twist, folks have been known to sell their land, and then here they come trying to lay a false claim in a court of law to take away what someone else has. Not only has it created strife between families, it can be used and manipulated by others for their own personal gain.

The granting of Permanent Resident status by a country based on some kind of financial incentive is nothing new. It has been done by major nations as well as smaller nations. We can ask ourselves; given the global events in today’s world is that a feasible option for Anguilla? For many years, the nation of Liberia allegedly allowed foreign ships to register in Liberia to generate revenue. However, whenever those ships were allegedly caught up in any situations, the news media reported the issue as having been accredited to a “Liberian freighter”. The same goes, if individuals are given Permanent Resident status as a financial incentive by any nation, the risk is if anything turns up that nation gets the blame……what a price to pay?
Another concern of mine is that history has shown whenever folks are invited into communities where fairly middle class people of the African Diaspora (as most Anguillans); based on their own stereotypes, they are shocked to see us owning our own homes, parcels of land or managing our own businesses. Not only is it culture shock, some of these folks would buy your house, lease your land, and all of sudden the person who you sold it or leased it to, does not want you living next to them anymore. All of a sudden it becomes a territorial situation, (private roads may be erected or it is off-limits); because if you live next to them they are not considered that special anymore. This brings me to this issue, are Anguilla’s beaches public in name only…just asking?
At some point in history, the same folks who were fleeing persecution in Europe, when they fled to South Africa and saw the enormous wealth (South Africa has the world’s largest supply of diamonds and other minerals and the highest standard of living on the African continent); they carved out the most desirable places to live and banished indigenous South African (black folk) to townships or bantusans like Soweto. All of a sudden the folks fleeing persecution suddenly closed their eyes, and began to inflict the same injustices on their fellow human beings. Some years ago, this writer cried long tears, when I walked through these townships of Soweto, and saw firsthand what apartheid (policy of separateness) in South Africa had done to my continental African brothers and sisters. I just had to bow my head and reflect on how man’s inhumanity to man, can create such cruelty from human being
to another, simply because those individuals have the arrogance, to think that they are better than the folk who opened their arms to them. The Native American in the U.S showed the settlers how to grow crops and survive the elements; what did they get in return? They were put on reservations and their lands were taken away from them. Even to this very day, the suffering on those reservations and what it has created for generation after generation is the unthinkable.
Closer to our island nation home front, some years ago, a group of nationals living abroad who are from one our neighboring islands (it shall remain nameless); learned of a plan that was being given to a large outside group to come to their island nation to invest. To give these conscious group of nationals living abroad much due respect and credit; they descended by plane loads on their island nation, to make sure to voice their opposition to that investment plan. They were conscious of the fact that based on their experiences of living abroad, they were well aware of the all the ramifications of such a plan would have on their island nation. I am certain it fell by the wayside. The Village of Harlem in New York was once the “black capital of the world”, where nobody else but black folk wanted to live. There were probably only two banking institutions on the main strip. Today, it has gentrified by folks looking for real estate for a lesser value than downtown. Many long-term residents, who thought they had a stake in the community, are no longer able to afford to live there.
I am not counting up anyone’s money, but I am certain that there are many indigenous Anguillans who have living abroad, are also pensioners and would want to repatriate to Anguilla. Why not create an outreach plan to help them repatriate to Anguilla if that is their choice? Many of these individuals are retired solid professionals, who can create a viable business, offer some technical assistance, mentor our youth or provide support for our social institutions and community organizations. In addition based on their spending power and disposable income they too will boost our economy. They can also share their expertise to help in our task of nation building. Back in the day, Anguillans wrote the book on self-help, taking pride in owning a parcel land and building a house. If there is ever a time that we should continue in that tradition, it is now to bear in mind our future unborn generation.
We ought to begin to believe that we too, have the power to have a stake in writing our own blueprint for the future economic development of our island nation. How soon do we forget, it was an Anguillan, the father of our nation Hon. Ronald Webster who had the strength, courage and endurance to lead our revolution in the mid-60’s. The late David S. Lloyd spearheaded the drive for secondary education in Anguilla. He also built the first “guest house” Lloyd’s Bed and Breakfast, that is situated in Crocus Hill It was another Anguillan, the late Mr. Jeremiah Gumbs who built the first seaside resort in Rendezvous Bay, and fought for our rights at the United Nation’s Headquarters in New York City.
Today, as our young folks go to work in Anguilla’s so called “up market” tourism industry (oh those code words); the industry is standing on the vision of their shoulders. It is an Anguillan our first pilot (the late Capt. Clayton J. Lloyd), who was a positive role model for so many of our aspiring pilots. To give credit where it is due, the current Government of Anguilla kept their promise; our airport now proudly bears Capt. Lloyd’s name. It is an Anguillan, David Lloyd of Lloyd’s Air Services who has the business acumen to manage our airport’s aviation services. It is our very own Mr. Nat Hodge who publishes the Anguillian Newspaper. Not only is he a seasoned journalist, he recognizes that various points of view must be heard. We have got a gem of an island…let us work together to keep her strong and honor the legacy of our forefathers.
In conclusion, inasmuch as we were the catalyst for an “upscale market” tourism industry; I personally extend a warm welcome to all tourists who choose to come to our beautiful island, to enjoy the warmth of a special place that is in my mindset the crown jewel of the Eastern Caribbean. Our indigenous inns, guest houses, cottages, and villas as well as bed and breakfast are cost effective for your stay. Let me assure you, that they are designed to give you a unique traditional Anguilla experience.

Name held upon request

P.S The opinions in this letter do not reflect those of The Anguillian newspaper or any of its employees. Name held upon request.

(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian June 27, 2014 09:46


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