Lest History Repeats Itself - We Need a Unity & Progress Government Now!
Concerned Dominicans and Friends:
Whether we have agreed with him in the past or not, we must all commend Lennox Linton for exposing the unsavory allegations now before a court in Tortola. Some of us had heard of these things and could not believe it true. The events in the summer 2008 and the government's geothermal license sell out of the national interest which Adenauer "Washway" Douglas and myself condemned, brought us in for criticism from some we considered friends and "comrades."
Then, we warned that such corrupt dealings over use and control over our natural resources would not find support from us and threatened the future of the country. Declared persona non grata from officialdom, we stood our ground. Now the program by Mr. Linton seems to shed some light into how government business in Dominica now often seems mired in the unethical.
This cannot be allowed to continue or we will lose our country. People will come into our country, seize it, and we will have no one but ourselves to blame where we knew better but shut our mouths, eyes, and ears and did nothing. We will be footstools to the paid-for citizens who have paid off our so-called leaders.
Cast about the world's landscape and witness the failed states which litter the globe. They are failed states because ordinary people, and the influential, allowed impunity to go unexposed and unpunished. The IPO Chairman must act and tell Dominicans why he has not made a move to officially act on the complaint filed by Mr. Linton. Why Mr. Johnson? Why the silence?
As we read of Bajans such as Hartley Henry advising our government in matters of state such as at the Bellagio in Vegas or with regard to China and "our" Ambassador David King Hsiu one cannot but recall another Bajan by the name of Sydney Burnette Alleyne in 1979. We saw that in 1979 the corrupt dealings of Patrick John led to social disorder and disturbances.
Despite progressive Labourites pleading with PJ to change his ways, he would not. When he would not listen, he lost power. Those of us who remember how misbehavior in office reaped the wrath of our people made this solemn warning last year, to no avail. Few in leadership took heed.
To Supporters of the Government
To all leaders of the Government and the honest men and women in the Labour Party: This is not what we struggled for a lifetime to do; put persons lacking in ethics and lawful behavior in charge of our affairs. We ask now, that you disassociate yourself before it is too late.
Most of you in the cabinet do not have a clue to what is being done in the name of our beloved homeland. Do not be heard to say you did not know of the misbehavior of those who were given a mandate to work honestly on behalf of the state. The news of unethical behavior has only gotten worst, even where the government has had every opportunity to clear its name.
Cabinet members routinely tell me they do not know anything about the meetings in Bellagio, Macau or what official status is held by the likes of Rudolph King (now under arrest for fraud) and Hartley Henry (the Barbadian named in papers from the Hsiu lawsuit in Tortola).
We also had the case of the Russian Laschkin who served as our ambassador in Switzerland and was being sued in 2006. To escape justice he used his diplomatic cover as Dominica’s ambassador and caused Dominica to file suit against the host country.
That suit was later, under the pressure of embarrassment of the figures involved, dismissed. Attorney General Ian Douglas claimed to know nothing of all this. And there is more to come from that angle of people being given diplomatic passports and sullying our people’s good name in the international arena; making us seem a nation of unscrupulous persons – which is not the case.
Dominicans are intelligent, law abiding and hard working for the most part and we must protect the image of our country at all times. Therefore this nonsense of having unsavory characters act as our ambassadors is a national disgrace and must stop now.
None in cabinet can tell me they agreed to such a sale of 700 passports for $100,000 each or they knew of the meetings at the Bellagio or Dorchester. Does not our cabinet have the authority to govern our affairs? Shall we be governed by the whims and fancies of a few government leaders out for their own personal interest? What role does Hsiu and Hartley Henry play in our affairs?
What is their mandate from our people? What is the scope of their contractual or other relationships with Dominica's government? Where are the memos they send to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as their names appear on our behalf in overseas dealings? At whose direction do these men operate?
Who will pay the bill when their conduct enmeshes us in commitments which result in lawsuits as that in Tortola? Who is paying the Prime Minister's legal expenses? Our people? And why should our treasury shoulder the bill where the activities being sued about have nothing to do with the national interest or was not agreed to by cabinet?
Will it be said that our cabinet is made up of the deaf, dumb and blind? Or will they, rise up in righteous indignation and redeem the honor of the country and those who died to make us free?
To my friends and the patriots in government, I say: Clear your names. Make it clear that you reject corruption and the use of public office for personal gain. All civil servants must now stand up and expose corruption where they see it. How will you answer when asked: What did you know? And when did you know it?
Your children and your children's children will remember your heroism and honor when you stand for what is right. All Dominicans of faith, honor and goodwill will applaud you. Only the ignoble, and their devious acolytes, will find fault with you. Of their threats you should never be afraid.
An informed and energized patriotic people will ensure that you shall survive the recriminations from those who only seek their own selfish interest not the national interest. The road to tyranny is paved with the complacence of those who remain silent in the face of inequitable conduct.
The Dominican Ambassador to the UN, when questioned, has distanced himself from this stench of corruption. We expect more government officials, ministers and supporters of the Dominica Labour Party to clearly distance themselves from any and all corrupt dealings - dealings done in Dominica's name by our so-called public servants.
Too many delayed their indignation and outrage at bad behavior in government and the Labour Party was consigned to 20 years in the political wilderness. We are at such an impasse once again, exactly 30 years after the fact. We must not make the same mistake. We must secure the best interest of our dear homeland first!
Now, with increasing economic challenges, our government is distracted by lawsuits and allegations of corrupt dealings such as the sale of 700 Dominica passports for $100,000 via David Hsiu. On the internet there is a photo of Dominica Ambassador David Hsiu donating money to China - where did that money come from? Passport sales? Who accounted for that money? How many Chinese citizens are there? How many are eligible to vote in the next elections? Without an answer to those questions our democracy will be endangered by phantom Dominicans casting ballots for their sponsors of choice.
What of ALBA?
What about ALBA and the heroism of Jose Marti and Simon Bolivar? What about "All Shall Eat" and the principles of social justice which motivate the members of that grouping? Do members of the ALBA group of nations sell out their birthright and natural resources?
Do they meet at fancy hotels such as the Dorchester, the Bellagio in Las Vegas or Macau to do deals on the side; behind the backs of their people. Or is ALBA about protecting social justice and making sure our geothermal energy, aggregate and other resources go toward the national interest and benefits the common man? Who are we trying to fool here?
ALBA is predicated on indigenous people controlling their affairs - not a sell out to foreign money men who can buy influence and sway a nation to their own nefarious ends.
2000 Election was about Good Governance
There was justified criticism of the UWP in 2000. There was the same issue of passport sales. Remember the 60 Chinese who showed up in Canada with Dominican passports? That event embarrassed the UWP and led Canada to tighten entry requirements for Dominicans entering that country.
Yet, despite these allegations against the UWP, no one was prosecuted. The election brought in a coalition of Labour, UWP and Freedom Party personages. Much good was accomplished at great cost; with much effort, sacrifice and loss of life of Rosie and Pierro; then some took a detour from the promises made and are leading our nation down the wrong path.
Where are we now? Do we have good governance? I must humbly suggest now that, despite some good moves, we have applauded - and still applaud - this government has lost its way. The 2000 Good Governance Coalition based on trust and ethics has collapsed and is not represented by the current administration. Hence the decision of an increasing number of honest Labour Party supporters to part ways from this mockery of LeBlanc, Rosie and Pierro's struggles for a better Dominica.
No Accountability? Remember 1979
Where is the accountability or transparency in this regime? Such good governance was the legacy of LeBlanc, Rosie and Pierro. We must never abandon that legacy. Mike Douglas must be turning in his grave that his son, Ian, as Minister of Legal Affairs, cannot be heard from at this crucial time.
Where trust is lost and the government is unable to explain these issues of corrupt dealings in any honest and forthright manner, rule of law is in danger. No wonder we see a flourishing of crime where there is an absence of sincere leadership in things big and small at the helm. Attached below is an article from the US Times Magazine - as a follow up to the 1979 debacle; it is worth reviewing. Fellow Dominicans take note: A people who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
I say act now; take a stand and condemn corruption in public office. Separate yourselves from such behavior. Do not claim you did not know. We call on all Dominicans to support our call for a Unity and Progress Government which will bring all patriotic political forces - from all the parties - together. At a time of global economic meltdown we cannot afford leadership enmeshed in such distractions and allegations of wrongdoing which have not been rebutted with any degree of clarity or honesty. We need men and women who can focus on our beloved homeland's development and who will do their jobs honestly, competently, with the national interest foremost; without fair or favor.