Our Readers' Opinions
August 13, 2004
International airport – Canouan or Argyle

EDITOR: Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has politically fast tracked two major construction projects, with hundreds of millions in borrowed money: a huge modern prison for Vincentians and a 7,000-foot airport for foreign playboys on their tropical playground in the Grenadines… Canouan. {{more}}
Without the Vincentian people’s knowledge, former Prime Minister James Mitchell had leased two-thirds of the Grenadines gem – Canouan – to wealthy Europeans and North Americans for 99 years; the remaining one-third of the island was effectively sealed off by the foreigners.
Vincentian citizens were prevented by armed Israeli, South African and Italian guards from reaching their ancestral fishing grounds in the north of the island, to provide bread and butter for their families.
The oldest cemetery in Canouan was desecrated and destroyed to make way for the construction of a modern golf course. The wealthy foreigners used expensive lawyers and the courts in Kingstown to impose legal restraining orders on Vincentian citizens, to restrict their movements (to this day) in Canouan.
Today, the go-it-alone Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is about to invest tens of millions of dollars in borrowed government money to construct a 7,000 feet airport on Canouan. Why such a big airport? Make no mistake about this, it is to accommodate the state of the art (gold plated interior decorated) converted Boeing 747 private jet of the New York playboy and wannabe billionaire, Donald Trump, who has a controlling interest in Canouan.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves was RECENTLY wined, dined and mesmerized at Trump Palace in New York City. The Prime Minister then signed a (yet to be publicly disclosed) agreement with Donald Trump. The 7,000-foot jetport then evolved into a financial millstone, which the Prime Minister placed firmly around the necks of current and future generations of Vincentian taxpayers.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of two developing islands in the western hemisphere without the services of a job creating international airport. The promises of Prime Minister Gonsalves to construct a 10,000-foot airport at Argyle during the campaign turned out to be political hot air. The Prime Minster’s talk of upgrading the current airport is political double talk for “Please wait until after I am re-elected,” while he puts the international airport for Argyle on the back burner.
An international airport is needed now, more than ever in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. An international airport at Argyle would create good jobs, spur economic development growth, increase tourism and kindle the entrepreneurial spirits of young Vincentians at home and abroad. An international airport at Argyle is where Prime Minster Ralph Gonsalves should invest the borrowed money; not on the private tropical playground of wealthy North Americans and European playboys in Canouan.
I have a few questions for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. Was there any motion, bill or resolution debated and voted on in your Cabinet or Parliament authorizing the public financing of our airport in Canouan? Which elected politician approved, disapproved, or abstained? What is the opposition political party’s position? Have you ever flown on Donald Trump’s private jet? Did you hold a public hearing in Canouan or St. Vincent? What is the public’s opinion?
Does the opinion of Vincentian citizens who would have to shoulder the principal and interest of the airport construction in Canouan matter?

Randy Aberdeen
Brooklyn, NY 11225