Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment bend­ing the knee?

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - EDITORIAL | LETTERS -

Dear Edi­tor,

Ja­maica’s vote made at a re­cent Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can States (OAS) meet­ing, re­gard­ing the le­git­i­macy of the Ni­co­las Maduro-led Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Venezuela, is dis­ap­point­ing. The ex­pla­na­tion given by the Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment for its vote is due to hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions and other po­lit­i­cal is­sues cur­rently dev­as­tat­ing Venezuela.

As a cit­i­zen, I am also con­cerned by an­other re­cent move by the Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment which is deemed non-po­lit­i­cal; the de­ci­sion to re­claim the 49 per cent share that the Venezue­lan Gov­ern­ment has in Ja­maica’s oil re­fin­ery. I ac­knowl­edge the fact that an as­pect of the 2006 agree­ment be­tween Ja­maica and Venezuela has not been ful­filled. In­deed, our petroleum re­fin­ery is in need of ex­pan­sion and re­fur­bish­ing. How­ever, the de­ci­sion to re­take Venezuela’s share in Petrojam, fol­lowed by this re­cent OAS vote, are highly ques­tion­able.

Is the Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment bend­ing its knees to the forces of ex­ter­nal gov­ern­ment agenda?

I am of the view that we have made these re­cent steps against Venezuela due to ex­ter­nal pres­sure from the US Gov­ern­ment, which seeks to fur­ther dec­i­mate the Maduro Gov­ern­ment.

On the other hand, at a 2017 United Na­tions Assem­bly vote on Is­rael’s il­le­gal oc­cu­pa­tion of and vi­o­la­tion of Pales­tinian peo­ple and land, the Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment chose to ab­stain. If the Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment is con­cerned about hu­man rights is­sues in other coun­tries like Venezuela, why did we re­main silent in our vote on Is­rael?

The USA Gov­ern­ment sup­ports the il­le­gal oc­cu­pa­tion of lands and gross hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion of Is­rael in Pales­tine. Hence, a vote against Is­rael would have indi­rectly been a vote against US for­eign poli­cies. Ad­di­tion­ally, the US Gov­ern­ment also has an agenda to see a gov­ern­ment of its choice in Venezuela.

It would ap­pear the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica has been vot­ing un­der duress, rather than mak­ing ra­tio­nal de­ci­sions.

Let us not for­get what hap­pens when the US in­ter­feres in other na­tions’ po­lit­i­cal af­fairs. Ask the peo­ple of Iraq, Syria, Gu­atemala, Pak­istan, Afghanistan, etc.

The Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment has shame­fully turned its back on its ally Venezuela. That vote at the OAS meet­ing must have been made out of fear and pres­sure.

Where is our sovereignty? Where is the democ­racy? math­e­mat­ics to un­der­take projects. Such a re­quire­ment is trou­bling be­cause it ne­ces­si­tates an un­der­stand­ing of the rudi­ments of math­e­mat­ics, but re­cent data in­di­cate that only 16 per cent of teach­ers are qual­i­fied to teach math­e­mat­ics. So not only is PEP above the cog­ni­tive level of stu­dents, the cur­ricu­lum also baf­fles their in­struc­tors.

Even more mis­guided is the view that cre­ativ­ity can be taught. One is ei­ther cre­ative or unimag­i­na­tive, and most cre­atives tend to be in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated and highly in­tel­li­gent. As a re­sult, only a few in the pop­u­la­tion will be cre­ative. We need to en­cour­age the very best to be­come bet­ter, but not ex­pect all to be cre­ative, this is sim­ply im­pos­si­ble.

What’s more, col­lab­o­ra­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are skills peo­ple de­velop over time, one does not mas­ter them at age 12.

Since the flaws of the PEP are ev­i­dent, the present Ad­min­is­tra­tion should act ju­di­ciously in do­ing away with it.

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