Is this the fi­nal straw for Saint Lu­cia?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Rick Wayne

Hard to be­lieve, the St. Lu­cia Cham­ber of Com­merce was once a night­mar­ish horned and saber­toothed crea­ture ca­pa­ble of bring­ing pow­er­ful politi­cians to their knees at the heart­stop­ping sound of a hic­cup. The grim broth­ers Ge­orge and Jon Od­lum and the not so win­some Win­ston Cenac would at­test to that. So would the lower or­der, among them such as the ev­er­faith­ful Oliver Scott the el­der, whose pur­pose in this life was to keep the red flag fly­ing high.

On the other hand Peter Josie, Mikey Pil­grim, Ju­lian Hunte and the cur­rent prime min­is­ter can with author­ity speak of the fear­some chameleonic beast when its leo­nine head was in­dus­try cap­tain Or­nan Mon­plaisir and John Comp­ton the na­tion’s gate­keeper. If the last men­tioned two were still around, both would read­ily con­firm it was the Cham­ber— in­flu­enced in 1995-96 by a Ne­fer­titi looka­like and a cagey wolver­ine in ba­nana leaves— that fi­nally had wooed the un­pol­ished min­ers of the Val­leys of Green Gold and de­liv­ered them into the red­der-than-red man­i­cured hands of a near stranger in shiny car­ni­val ar­mor.

Of course, soon af­ter he mounted the throne the new monarch had done what ev­ery dic­ta­tor does who is wor­thy of his rep­u­ta­tion: he de­fanged, de­clawed and de­balled the mind­less mon­ster that had tossed his pre­de­ces­sor out to the shit-toss­ing wolves of Wil­liam Peter Boule­vard. Wimp af­ter eu­nuch wimp fol­lowed Ne­fer­titi, fi­nally re­duc­ing the Cham­ber to a pussy en­dorser of what­ever fell out of the vi­sion­less em­peror’s mouth. At any rate, that was the pic­ture from the popular per­spec­tive.

The Cham­ber’s stated rai­son d’être, at least from the mid-eight­ies, has been “to pro­mote and sus­tain a healthy po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial en­vi­ron­ment in which free en­ter­prise and eth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tice can flour­ish in har­mony with the devel­op­ment of the en­tire St. Lu­cian com­mu­nity.” Don’t laugh, dear fel­low cynic, even though it must be ac­knowl­edged the pre­ced­ing sounds like it was lifted out of a party man­i­festo. Cu­ri­ously, the Cham­ber has never seen the need to prof­fer its own def­i­ni­tions of free and eth­i­cal and har­mony and en­tire— de­spite that the ital­i­cized words, as em­ployed by the Cham­ber, do not mean what the or­di­nary man imag­ines they mean.

But enough! The pur­pose of the above is to un­der­score the des­per­a­tion that had mo­ti­vated the St. Lu­cia Cham­ber of Com­merce when it pub­lished a par­tic­u­lar mes­sage in 2010. This writer, for one, could hardly be­lieve his eyes as care­fully he stud­ied what had struck him as a naked ul­ti­ma­tum to the unglued Stephen­son King gov­ern­ment. I could not help won­der­ing what it was that overnight had awak­ened the long dor­mant Cham­ber and im­bued it with the gump­tion to flash its gums, bone­less though they were.

The 27 May, 2010 press com­mu­niqué was headed “Law and Or­der.” But per­haps I should change di­rec­tion, if only for a mo­ment, to re­fer to an­other public an­nounce­ment made only two days ear­lier. Fol­low­ing are some snip­pets:

“We have heard the voices of the poor and dis­pos­sessed in neigh­bor­hoods where in­dis­crim­i­nate gun­shots have en­dan­gered and taken the lives of in­no­cent by­standers. We have heard from shop own­ers and res­i­dents of af­fected com­mu­ni­ties who are now fear­ful of leav­ing their homes or even an­swer­ing knocks on their doors. We have heard from young peo­ple who are now afraid to ven­ture out­doors to play, recre­ate or go to school.”

Ad­di­tion­ally: “We have also heard from the busi­ness com­mu­nity which is alarmed at the ef­fects of this un­con­trolled crime on eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the coun­try. So­cial and re­li­gious lead­ers have also called to ex­press their fears and con­cerns about the cur­rent crime wave in Saint Lu­cia and have asked us to show lead­er­ship on the is­sue . . . We have all waited in vain over the last three and a half years for a co­or­di­nated ap­proach and a de­fined plan by the King ad­min­is­tra­tion to fight crime. Some mem­bers of the very gov­ern­ment who should be de­vis­ing plans to deal with the crime sit­u­a­tion have not set proper ex­am­ple.”

More point­edly: “We cau­tion the gov­ern­ment not to dis­re­gard the links be­tween the core of the prob­lem and per­sons in high places. The cit­i­zens of Saint Lu­cia should not ac­cept at­tempts by the gov­ern­ment to make the po­lice the scape­goat in the lat­est case of gov­ern­men­tal in­com­pe­tence.”

Now con­sider the fol­low­ing, is­sued just two days af­ter the above-quoted public warn­ing from (in case you’ve not al­ready guessed) the leader of the op­po­si­tion Saint Lu­cia Labour Party: “The re­cent es­ca­la­tion in crime which has re­sulted in the sense­less mur­der of four per­sons in the past week has prompted the St. Lu­cia Cham­ber of Com­merce, In­dus­try and Agri­cul­ture to again raise the mat­ter of law­less­ness with all stake hold­ers in the coun­try. Notwith­stand­ing nu­mer­ous at­tempts to meet with the prime min­is­ter and key law en­force­ment of­fi­cers of the state, a con­ve­nient time is yet to be found be­cause the pow­ers that be were in­volved with ‘im­por­tant mat­ters of state.’ Surely, if de­ci­sive ac­tion is not taken there will be no state or mat­ters to at­tend to.

“The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion as far as law­less­ness in St. Lu­cia is con­cerned is no longer ten­able and is at an in­tol­er­a­ble level. Dras­tic and de­ci­sive ac­tion must be taken as mere words will con­tinue to fall on deaf ears.”

Ref­er­enc­ing the Du­das Coke de­ba­cle in Ja­maica, the state­ment went on: “We can­not and will not al­low our coun­try to go down this path where even­tu­ally the state is at war with its cit­i­zens . . . This is a sit­u­a­tion the Cham­ber is not pre­pared to sit back and al­low to hap­pen in St. Lu­cia. Con­se­quently we are call­ing on the gov­ern­ment to take ur­gent ac­tion to bring the ram­pant and sense­less crimes be­ing per­pe­trated by a few to an im­me­di­ate halt—by what­ever means pos­si­ble.”

So long pussy­cat ways, hel­looo plas­tic tiger!

Still echo­ing the SLP’s 25 May, 2010 ad­vice (“the gov­ern­ment must se­ri­ously pur­sue work for the young so as to keep them from the jaws of the il­le­gal drug trade and other crim­i­nal en­ter­prises”) the Cham­ber’s re­lease went on: “We have for far too long ig­nored the so­cial im­bal­ances in our coun­try, the plight of the less for­tu­nate, the marginal­ized, the poor, the un­e­d­u­cated and the un­em­ployed which ap­par­ently are the rea­son for the pre­vail­ing so­cial de­cay . . . There is clearly a need for stronger so­cial pro­grams . . .”

The Cham­ber mu­sic and that of the SLP orches­tra differed on just one note. While the lat­ter had un­cov­ered a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt “by the gov­ern­ment to make the po­lice a scape­goat” by not ad­e­quately pro­vid­ing for them, the Cham­ber blamed the ram­pant crim­i­nal­ity on “the litany of ex­cuses from those charged with re­spon­si­bil­ity for law en­force­ment.”

Ob­served the abruptly con­trar­ian Cham­ber: “Suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have pro­vided ve­hi­cles, equip­ment, train­ing and ad­di­tional re­cruits and the prob­lem has only wors­ened. It is ap­par­ent that there is need for stronger lead­er­ship in the po­lice force to make use of the many out­stand­ing and ded­i­cated po­lice of­fi­cers . . . It would ap­pear com­pla­cency and in­de­ci­sive­ness now haunt us. Per­sons are now pet­ri­fied of leav­ing their homes whether pro­fes­sion­ally or so­cially [sic] . . . We join calls for a bi­par­ti­san ap­proach to find­ing so­lu­tions and com­ing to grips with this men­ace that is caus­ing our coun­try and our peo­ple enor­mous pain and suf­fer­ing.”

That was hardly the end of the per­for­mance. One week fol­low­ing the SLP-Cham­ber re­lease, a not-so-new voice joined the cho­rus: “Not­ing that crime has be­come the num­ber one con­cern among Saint Lu­cians, the Na­tional Youth Coun­cil has joined in the fear­less fight against crime. Many cit­i­zens are now par­a­lyzed by fear as crim­i­nals con­tinue their ram­page of ter­ror­iz­ing our coun­try. Of se­ri­ous con­cern is the lack of se­ri­ous and far-reach­ing ac­tion by our po­lice force and the gov­ern­ment to bring this spi­ral­ing crime sit­u­a­tion to an im­me­di­ate halt.” [Writer’s em­pha­sis]

No­tice the Johnny-One-Note tone? On the oc­ca­sion the SLP singers for their supper both de­manded the King gov­ern­ment and the po­lice bring the spi­ral­ing crime sit­u­a­tion “to an im­me­di­ate halt.” No­tice the iden­ti­cal phrase? Mere co­in­ci­dence or de­vi­ous col­lu­sion? Dear reader, you de­cide.

‘ Soon af­ter he mounted the throne the new monarch had done what ev­ery dic­ta­tor does who is wor­thy of his rep­u­ta­tion: he de­fanged, de­clawed and de­balled the mind­less mon­ster that had tossed his pre­de­ces­sor out to the shit-spew­ing wolves of Wil­l­liam Peter Boule­vard. Wimp af­ter eu­nuch wimp fol­lowed the Ne­fer­titi looka­like, fi­nally re­duc­ing the Cham­ber to a pussy en­dorser of what­ever fell out of the vi­sion­less em­peror’s mouth. At any rate, that was the pic­ture from the popular per­spec­tive!’

In the event it seemed ev­ery­one had forgotten the Kenny An­thony gov­ern­ment, with elec­tions around the cor­ner—had con­vened in 2005 at the NIC con­fer­ence room a widely pub­li­cized meet­ing to which all right-think­ing cit­i­zens were in­vited, food and drinks on tap. As it turned out, at the ap­pointed hour the room was barely half full; per­haps the cit­i­zenry was too busy keep­ing crim­i­nals from its front doors?

The meet­ing’s stated pur­pose? To ar­rive at some­thing re­sem­bling na­tional con­sen­sus about the best way to de­feat es­ca­lat­ing crime, in par­tic­u­lar vi­o­lent crime. Con­ceiv­ably the gov­ern­ment and po­lice had run out of ideas. The day’s po­lice com­mis­sioner Aus­bert Regis blamed the de­por­tees whose level of crim­i­nal so­phis­ti­ca­tion, he said, was be­yond the tal­ents of his of­fi­cers. Alas, the best the con­gre­ga­tion could de­liver was a busi­ness­man’s sug­ges­tion that bug­ging de­vices be im­planted in the bod­ies of crim­i­nal de­por­tees upon ar­rival at He­wanorra.

No one re­mem­bered the po­lice al­ready had ac­cess to sur­veil­lance equip­ment that al­lowed them to spy on the cit­i­zenry, whether or not crim­i­nally in­clined—with or with­out a judge’s sanc­tion. By the time the red heat be­came too much for del­i­cate Sarah Flood-Beaubrun to bear in si­lence, the Amer­i­cans had been given rea­son to con­sider Richard Fred­er­ick a per­son of in­ter­est—to them!

His 2005 en­try into the po­lit­i­cal arena co­in­cided with an of­fi­cial con­spir­acy to nail him as a money laun­derer. Soon the public would be hear­ing from the steps of the Cas­tries mar­ket that Fred­er­ick was worth well over $45 mil­lion dol­lars; that he was a woman bat­terer who cared lit­tle for his mother; a land spec­u­la­tor and a quick­draw McGraw with a ten­dency to whip out his irons at the slight­est provo­ca­tion. (Iron­i­cally, it was his op­po­nent in the 2006 Cen­tral Cas­tries by-elec­tion who pulled out his weapon when a con­stituency res­i­dent told him what he was dis­in­clined to hear!)

At a March 13, 2005 meet­ing on the Cas­tries mar­ket steps, star­ring the Ja­maican siren Tanya Stephens, Kenny An­thony de­scribed the then in­de­pen­dent Fred­er­ick as “the most fright­en­ing devel­op­ment in the pol­i­tics of the coun­try” and ques­tioned why the UWP had not told the elec­torate all they knew about the neo­phyte politi­cian. “God for­bid a man who makes a living de­fend­ing and pro­tect­ing drug barons in the courts of this coun­try should be elected to par­lia­ment,” the prime min­is­ter prayed.

Of course that was hardly the first clash of the ti­tans. There had been an ear­lier episode cen­tered on a law lec­ture that had left Fred­er­ick, if not the Ja­maican law stu­dents who re­ceived it first­hand, with the im­pres­sion the prime min­is­ter had counted him among fel­low Caribbean lawyers that had con­trib­uted to their pro­fes­sion’s un­flat­ter­ing rep­u­ta­tion!

By 2001, with vi­o­lent crime es­tab­lish­ing new per capita world records, the of­fi­cial com­fort­ing word was that regular cit­i­zens had no rea­son to lose sleep. The line had been heard be­fore, from the same mouth. In March 1998—yes, as far back as that!— in a tele­vised ad­dress on law and or­der, the prime min­is­ter Kenny An­thony had claimed there were among the cit­i­zenry some who con­sid­ered Lent “a time to kill, to ter­ror­ize our peace-lov­ing com­mu­nity, to play out their in­ter­nal quar­rels.”

Specif­i­cally: “This state of af­fairs be­gan with the killing of Michael Ga­boo Alexander on March 4, 1998 as he rode a bi­cy­cle along the Al­lan Bous­quet High­way near Balata.” By the prime min­is­ter’s judg­ment, the killing was “swift and pro­fes­sional.” The few wit­nesses could only tell the po­lice “the num­ber of per­sons in­volved.” By which time they had long evap­o­rated.

Then there was the killing of Bon­nie Clarke a short time ear­lier. “Notwith­stand­ing that the trial in this mat­ter has ef­fec­tively col­lapsed,” com­mented the prime min­is­ter, “the speedy ac­tion in suc­cess­fully iden­ti­fy­ing and ap­pre­hend­ing the prime sus­pects should not be forgotten.” De­spite “the ru­mors about var­i­ous hit lists” the prime min­is­ter was con­fi­dent the po­lice were “slowly but surely closing in on two wanted men.” This was the first time a sit­ting Saint Lu­cian prime min­is­ter ap­peared to con­firm ru­mors that some lo­cal homi­cides might pos­si­bly be con­tract killings. There would be more talk of hit lists.

He went on to ref­er­ence sev­eral vi­o­lent rob­beries and in­ci­dents in­volv­ing guns, with no re­lated ar­rests. The prime min­is­ter did not wish the cit­i­zenry to “ex­ag­ger­ate the sit­u­a­tion,” how­ever. “The fact is,” he re­as­sured them, “the peo­ple en­gaged in the das­tardly acts are small in num­ber and all their acts are di­rected against each other.”

The po­lice had con­vinced him the shoot­ings in the last few months were “all linked to this small group of per­sons al­legedly en­gaged in the il­le­gal drug trade” and he in turn wanted the na­tion to rest easy in the knowl­edge that this “was not some wide­spread na­tional crime wave as­sault­ing any and ev­ery per­son in our com­mu­nity. In essence this a strug­gle among ri­val gangs, each determined, it would seem, to wipe out the other in or­der to se­cure con­trol of the il­le­gal drugs trade.”

He re­called that when the gang wars started “in 1996,” the year he took of­fice, the po­lice were “weak, in­de­ci­sive and, it is al­leged, com­pro­mised.”

More­over, it was un­de­ni­able that “the el­e­ment of cor­rup­tion within the po­lice force de­vel­oped in that pe­riod [shortly be­fore his ad­min­is­tra­tion re­placed that of Vaughan Lewis], to the ex­tent that ev­i­dence sug­gests they may have been in­volved in pro­tect­ing cer­tain drug barons.”

Fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion that our only se­cu­rity force in­cluded “crim­i­nals in uni­form,” an ob­ser­va­tion with roots reach­ing back to the late eight­ies, tol­er­ated by suc­ceed­ing gov­ern­ments—if not nur­tured for par­tic­u­lar po­lit­i­cal pur­poses!

The prime min­is­ter promised that on his watch the po­lice would un­der­take “a firm and sus­tained op­er­a­tion to se­cure our streets and rid our com­mu­ni­ties of this dis­taste­ful be­hav­ior. Op­er­a­tion Re­store Peace would use all law­ful means to bring an end to the type of crim­i­nal ac­tion we’ve wit­nessed and to ap­pre­hend the per­pe­tra­tors.”

Fi­nally he spoke di­rectly to “the crim­i­nals who have in­flicted the pain of the last few days on the peo­ple of this coun­try.” He promised them “a tougher time than you ever imag­ined pos­si­ble.” Ad­di­tion­ally, “The net will be stretched around you and slowly but surely close in to trap you and ter­mi­nate once and for all your un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties. You can run but you surely can­not hide. In the com­ing months you shall find no hid­ing place in our beloved coun­try . . .” The ques­tion im­me­di­ately arises: What did the prime min­is­ter mean by “trap and ter­mi­nate your ac­tiv­i­ties once and for all?” How do you per­ma­nently stop a man’s ac­tiv­i­ties with­out guar­an­tee­ing the man is in no po­si­tion to re­peat them?

As for the good guys: “With your help the po­lice can do it. When Op­er­a­tion Re­store Peace has achieved its ob­jec­tives we will re­move the shack­les of our fear of vi­o­lent crime . . . The crim­i­nals may have started the war but I as­sure you law and or­der will end the war.”

Con­ceiv­ably, by “law and or­der” the prime min­is­ter re­ferred to the armed to the teeth, US Marine-strained SSU. Three years later, the gov­ern­ment was, by the prime min­is­ter’s ac­count, still at­tempt­ing in vain to “take back our coun­try and streets from the crim­i­nals.” On June

28, 2001 he told the na­tion via TV what re­gret­tably it al­ready knew only too well: “Saint Lu­cians in all walks of life have ex­pressed fear, anx­i­ety, anger and frus­tra­tion with this crime wave and its ero­sion of our life­styles.”

If the quoted lines im­me­di­ately above carry a familiar ring, maybe it’s be­cause they fea­ture, al­most word for word, in the Labour Party’s press re­lease of 27 May, 2010 that opened this fea­ture.

“We have di­rected the po­lice to take back the streets,” the prime min­is­ter went on. “They will achieve this by in­creas­ing regular pa­trols” and by es­tab­lish­ing “a task force to tar­get known crim­i­nals, de­ploy­ing the SSU in trou­ble spots around the coun­try . . . The ob­jec­tive of the po­lice ac­tion will be to make life as un­com­fort­able as pos­si­ble for all well-known and in­tend­ing crim­i­nal el­e­ments.” Keep in mind that “task force,” dear reader, first men­tioned, as I say by Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony in 2001—whose deadly pur­pose was to tar­get crim­i­nals known by the SSU!

Let us now, space be­ing limited, fast for­ward to that all-im­por­tant time—at any rate, to the prime min­is­ter’s ad­dress de­liv­ered on the evening of Au­gust 20, 2013. Let’s pre­tend the law­less­ness in the House never hap­pened that had started soon af­ter Sir John’s pass­ing in 2007. Let’s pre­tend, too, that no ne­far­i­ous al­le­ga­tions were lobbed by fel­low MPs at Richard Fred­er­ick, no ref­er­ences made to his os­ten­si­ble con­nec­tion with an ad-hoc po­lice task force of deadly re­pute.

Let’s not re­call his ra­dio show and some of his more in­fa­mous guests, at least one of whom had stopped a bul­let with his head in broad day­light out­side a po­lice sta­tion in Cas­tries. If we try hard enough we might suc­ceed in delet­ing from our mem­ory banks the oc­ca­sion when gov­ern­ment MPs and a cow­er­ing fe­male Speaker were de­nounced in the House as “crim­i­nals and rene­gades,” sim­ply be­cause they had not seen eye to eye with their tow­er­ing de­nouncer on the mean­ing of “as soon as con­ve­nient.”

La­beled “An Un­happy Episode,” the cited Au­gust 2013 speech pur­ported to ad­dress the U.S. State Depart­ment’s de­ci­sion “to dis­al­low of­fi­cers of the Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force from par­tic­i­pat­ing in train­ing pro­grams ar­ranged or fi­nanced by the United States.” Ob­vi­ously read­ing from a teleprompter the prime min­is­ter de­scribed the is­sue as “ex­ceed­ingly del­i­cate and com­plex,” in­volv­ing sev­eral par­ties, the RSLPF, the U.S. gov­ern­ment, the DPP’s of­fice and “most im­por­tantly the cit­i­zens of our coun­try.”

What he re­ferred to as “cur­rent events” had their ori­gins, he said, “in the twelve in­di­vid­u­als who were shot and killed by po­lice of­fi­cers be­tween 2010 and 2011, dur­ing the ten­ure of the gov­ern­ment of the United Work­ers Party.”

No­tice, dear reader, the prime min­is­ter—in pri­vate life a con­sti­tu­tional lawyer— chose not to say the twelve in­di­vid­u­als who were al­legedly shot and killed by the po­lice. He spoke in­stead as some­one con­vinced the cops had un­law­fully dis­posed of twelve cit­i­zens—a mass killing that the prime min­is­ter im­plied had mys­te­ri­ously caught the at­ten­tion of the U.S. State Depart­ment.

Why did he draw at­ten­tion to the day’s ad­min­is­tra­tion when al­ready it was com­mon knowl­edge the Labour Party was not in of­fice at the time of the shoot­ings, that in­deed its of­fi­cials had, from their usual plat­forms and via so­cial me­dia, pointed sev­eral ac­cusatory fin­gers at the gov­ern­ment headed by Stephen­son King?

The prime min­is­ter point­edly re­minded his au­di­ence at home and abroad that the cited shoot­ings had oc­curred “af­ter the for­mer gov­ern­ment launched what was then de­scribed by the me­dia and else­where as Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence.” (Ac­tu­ally, the me­dia re­ferred to the op­er­a­tion by name only when quot­ing op­po­si­tion politi­cians.)

In his 20 Au­gust, 2013 speech the prime min­is­ter, like a pros­e­cut­ing at­tor­ney set­ting up his case, re­called that in an ad­dress on 20 May, 2010 his pre­de­ces­sor had threat­ened lo­cal crim­i­nals that “there will be no refuge, no stone will be left un­turned and there will be no hid­ing place.” In an­other speech a year later, the same prime min­is­ter, ref­er­enc­ing the crim­i­nal el­e­ment, had re­port­edly said: “They will be hunted down, they will be found, they will be pros­e­cuted, they will be judged and will be made to pay the con­se­quences for the crimes com­mit­ted against our peace-lov­ing and law abid­ing peo­ple.”

In the af­ter­math of Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence, said the prime min­is­ter chan­nel­ing the pros­e­cu­tor in his soul, “twelve per­sons met their deaths. Th­ese killings de­scribed by some as ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the United States, in par­tic­u­lar the State Depart­ment. In its Coun­try Re­port on Hu­man Rights Prac­tices in Saint Lu­cia for 2011, the State Depart­ment noted that ‘there were twelve po­ten­tially un­law­ful fa­tal po­lice shoot­ings dur­ing the year, some re­port­edly com­mit­ted by of­fi­cers as­so­ci­ated with an ad­hoc task force within the po­lice depart­ment.’ It is this is­sue which has pre­oc­cu­pied the United States and which has led to the ac­tions taken against the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force.”

But how much of the above is ver­i­fi­ably true? Who in­formed the U.S. State Depart­ment about the “po­ten­tially un­law­ful” shoot­ings and the ad-hoc task force? Was the State Depart­ment pre­oc­cu­pied with the po­ten­tially un­law­ful shoot­ings or was the depart­ment more in­ter­ested in the ful­fill­ment of prom­ises given by well-placed and hardly self­less in­for­mants? (It comes to mind that long be­fore it ac­tu­ally hap­pened, cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als were con­fi­dently pre­dict­ing the re­vo­ca­tion of Richard Fred­er­ick’s U.S. visas, some go­ing so far as to sug­gest “Fred­er­ick may not be in any po­si­tion to con­test the 2011 gen­eral elec­tions!”)

In his speech dated 20 Au­gust, 2013, the cur­rent prime min­is­ter ev­i­dently for­got his own de­liv­er­ies in 1998 and 2001, when he pub­licly threat­ened the na­tion’s crim­i­nals that their ac­tiv­i­ties would “once and for all be ter­mi­nated,” that they could run but not hide, that thanks to Op­er­a­tion Re­store Peace they would “find no hid­ing place in this beloved coun­try.”

He also ne­glected to men­tion what had led to the launch­ing of his Op­er­a­tion Re­store Peace and the po­lice shoot­ings that had fol­lowed. This was how he ended his ad­dress on 20 Au­gust, 2013 (not as he said more than once in his IMPACS-re­lated ad­dress on Sun­day, 30 Au­gust 2014): “At times like th­ese, spec­u­la­tion will be rife but we must fol­low the rule of law as en­shrined in our Con­sti­tu­tion. There can be no other way. We now reap the har­vest of rash de­ci­sions, par­tic­u­larly by pol­icy mak­ers anx­ious to gain quick res­o­lu­tions.”

Was the prime min­is­ter re­fer­ring to his pre­de­ces­sor Stephen­son King—or to him­self? Can the an­swer be be­tween the lines of the un­re­leased IMPACS Re­port or is it con­tained in what the prime min­is­ter chose not to say on Sun­day to the trust­ing sons and daugh­ters of Saint Lu­cia? In any event, the writ­ing is on the wall.

Mean­while the re­verted pussy­cat Cham­ber has gone back to sleep on its fa­vorite door­mat while the Chris­tian Coun­cil (yes, it’s alive, if not al­to­gether well) sadly weeps in si­lence. As for the day’s op­po­si­tion party, it knows even less than it has said on the lat­est bomb­shell—un­like the in­ter­net and the world’s lead­ing news­pa­pers, the N.Y. Times and the Tele­graph among them, that have since Sun­day daily been paint­ing the most un­flat­ter­ing images of Saint Lu­cia!

Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony: Did he on Sun­day bite off a whole lot more than he can pos­si­bly swallow? While he claimed the IMPACS re­port con­tains “ex­tremely damn­ing” in­for­ma­tion, while he named names on the one hand and on the other, the prime min­is­ter also said in­ves­ti­ga­tions were con­tin­u­ing even as the DPP was study­ing the

un­re­leased IMPACS doc­u­ment.

Se­na­tor Pa­trick Leahy: He spon­sored the Leahy amend­ment that pro­hibits the State Depart­ment from pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to for­eign coun­tries that do not re­spect hu­man rights. As­sis­tance is de­nied un­til the gov­ern­ments of such coun­tries take ef­fec­tive steps to bring re­spon­si­ble in­di­vid­u­als to jus­tice. Se­cu­rity force units that have been

de­nied U.S. as­sis­tance in­clude those of Bo­livia, Colom­bia, Turkey, Gu­atemala and since 2012 Saint Lu­cia.

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