The week that was
April 14, 2015

Despite a never-ending stream of attacks from New Democratic Party politicians, PetroCaribe was looking pretty good last week. A visit by Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza highlighted a state-of-the-art $85 million fuel storage and distribution plant, a $225 million contribution to the interna­tional airport at Argyle, and continued investment in the “Vision Now” programme, which has saved the eyesight of thousands of Vincen­tians.{{more}} All of those projects, and many others, are funded by Venezuelan petrodollars. Venezuela may be in the middle of a political crisis right now, but the “Un-Sign PetroCaribe” bandwagon is running out of gas.



Vincy Cultural Ambassador Marlon Roudette flew all the way up to #7 on the British charts with his latest hit “When the Beat Drops Out,” which also hit #1 in Germany. Now a solo artiste following his split from “Mattafix” partner Preetesh Hirji, Roudette is signed to hitmaker Simon Cowell’s SyCo music label, and poised to invade America on the strength of a forthcoming Columbia Records project. “When the Beat Drops Out” features a lilting steel pan intro, and its music video, like most of Roudette’s visuals, prominently features our Vincy flag.

SVG cultural Ambassador Marlon Roudette

The multinational giveth, and the multinational taketh away. Leslie Jack was an early and energetic advocate for the controversial LIME-FLOW merger in SVG. Now, he’s its first victim. Even before official approval for the merger has been announced, and a few short weeks after Jack’s front row participation in a government-organized public forum on the issue, LIME has kicked its loyal country manager to the curb, apparently with an eye to consolidating under FLOW’s local corporate leadership. How many more talented young Vincentians are going to end up on the unemployment line before this merger is consummated? And who, other than the bigwigs in their Miami headquarters, are slated to benefit?

LIME former Country Manager Leslie Jack

The already-struggling conversation on Same Sex Relationships in SVG took a huge step backwards when Vynnette Frederick appointed herself as lead spokesperson on the issue. Immediately, half of the country stopped listening, as Frederick’s shrill and highly partisan politics make her unpalatable to supporters of the incumbent Unity Labour Party. Frederick, who is not a candidate for the opposition NDP in the upcoming elections, may have got her name in the papers, but the subject she wants to champion just became even more toxic. This one was best left to civil society, or a less polarizing politico.

New Democratic Party Senator Vynnette Frederick

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

– I’d ask when the promised multi-million dollar beautification and rehabilitation of downtown Kingstown would actually begin, now that the year’s first quarter is already behind us.

Media Watch!

– Half of SVG’s 35-and-under crowd descended on Bequia for their annual four-day-weekend of Easter fetes. If you took a glance at social media, you’d see that the focus of the weekend was the parties, who wore what, and which sexy revellers were seen at what hot events. Yet, the newspapers and television broadcasts are full of stuffy accounts of some unknown yacht or double-ender that won the Class 7 trophy in some already-forgotten Regatta race. Yawn. How about a regular social or society page to recount the activities of SVG’s young and beautiful?