Our Readers' Opinions
November 30, 2012
GOP, NDP, Democrat Party, ULP

Fri, Nov 30, 2012

Editor: “If we think engagement works well with China, well, it ought to work well with Cuba. The embargo doesn’t work. It is a failed policy. It was probably justified when the Soviet Union existed and posed a threat through Cuba.{{more}} I think it’s become more of a crutch for Castro to use to repress his people. All the problems he has, he blames the American embargo. The more we have a free exchange of people and ideas and customs, the more the people of Cuba will be exposed to the values of freedom and liberty. Cuban-Americans have their reasons for supporting the embargo and they’re very passionate about their reasons, I just don’t agree with them and never have.” [Paul Ryan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2002]

If the heading of this looks familiar, it is a knock-off of a heading, “Republican Party in USA and NDP in SVG”, which appeared on these pages November 16, authored by Hans King. First a lesson: I do not know whether the caption was submitted by Mr King, but writers ought to make every effort to keep their captions brief. Thus the caption could have been, “Political Parties US and SVG”. Second, there is no country known as the USA; that abbreviation should come only from those who are either “sincerely ignorant” or affected by “conscientious stupidity”.

Cuban Embargo

It has become fashionable for Vincentians – perhaps based on “sincere ignorance” – to view the Republican Party as the arch-villain of black people. Speaking in Vermont in 2010, the Prime Minister – who I know cannot plead ignorance – launched his first broadside. Soon after the US election, he was at it again. It is, therefore, not surprising that Mr King would be the author of such a piece, which given the prevailing view in SVG where prominent NNDPers are in sync with him on the Republicans, was substantively a waste of time. “The Republicans lied and demonized Obama; the NDP does the same,” Mr King stated. Is he saying that Democrats and the ULP were not guilty of lying and demonizing people? Did any official of the Obama campaign accuse Romney of killing people by ending their health insurance? Did Mr King see a political ad with an old lady being pushed over a cliff? Is Mr King’s linkage anything less than an attempt to demonize the NNDP by comparing it with the demonized Republicans?

Is the across-the-board hatred of the Republicans justified? Or is it the result of “sincere ignorance”? Was it the “discredited” Republican Party that took us to the WTO destroying our banana industry? Could the Prime Minister repeat in parliament – during the Budget debate – what he said about a six-year delay of the implementation of the WTO ruling? Which party halted the attempt to kill our expanding offshore sector and what was Obama’s first act as President? A number of Castro sympathizers have managed to convince other Vincentians that the Cuban issue is a making of Republicans – it all began with a Republican from North Carolina named Jesse Helms – but the blockade began with a Democrat President, John Fitz-Gerald Kennedy. And Democrats have had numerous occasions to end it but have not. In fact, Obama just used Mr Ryan’s 2002 declaration against him in Florida to obtain more Cuban votes; he did. There will be more on Mr Ryan’s previous position, but let me say here that I support that position and was always baffled by those Vincentians who wanted the Cuban embargo removed but supported one against South Africa. It is all about ideology which tells me that in SVG lot of the vitriol directed at Ralph Gonsalves is personal, not on political theory.

Bad Hands

Mr King could have made some interesting historical facts; instead he used his approximately 500 word piece to make glossy comparisons. “The Republican Party from the first day… asserted that their mission is to make him [Obama] a one-term president…The NDP has done the same to Ralph.” Someone needs to tell Mr King that it is the function of opposition parties to make the governing of those they oppose as short as possible. In SVG, “the Road Block Revolution” is now permanently in our lexicon. “The Republican Party called President Obama ‘the food stamp president’ in his attempt to help poor people. The NDP has been saying that Ralph is ‘a Poor Relief Prime Minister’ in his efforts to strengthen the safety net for the poor.” Was the ULP, while in opposition, ever critical of the numbers of persons on the welfare role? Did they promise to reduce those numbers, but instead implemented an exchange based on suspected political affiliation and boasting about the increase in not just the numbers and the amount they receive?

Unemployment higher than where Mr Obama met it, food stamps recipients up from 32 million to 47 million, 120 million now see government handouts as an entitlement – Kennedy must be turning in his grave. Mr King points to the inheritance of “a bad hand”, but did not Mr Obama and Gonsalves promise to put policies in place to dramatically convert their respective economies? Their California solution will never work. Again, Jimmy Carter’s August 6, 1977 proposal, which was turned down by his party – the party of “yes” is recommended reading. See why Carter’s presidency became a historical disaster. In 1980, when Reagan got elected he did not spend his time blaming his predecessor, he set out to turn things around and in four years created history: winning with 59 per cent of the vote and the greatest number of electoral college votes – 525.

In SVG, the NDP won the election in 1984; Mitchell did not complain about his “bad hand” he implemented his economy plan and in 1989 created history: all the seats and nearly 66 per cent of the votes. Mr Randy Aberdeen does not understand that – perhaps because of his “sincere ignorance”.

Self deportation

And as a final piece of knowledge: ending chain migration; ending the idiotic Diversity Visa Lottery program; enforcing strict deportation policies, not just for illegal aliens convicted of aggravated felonies and other crimes, but for all border/visa violators; opposing welfare programs for illegal aliens; and pushing for real employer sanctions. Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: “Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.” [Barbara Jordan, the late, US Rep. Texas, race unknown.] Sounds like something we heard recently and Vincentian passports? This is really fun.

Frank E. da Silva