by Comrade Peter Lansiquot
As we would say in Saint Lucia, a “queeze” [fit] took me” when I listened to former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the disgraced neophyte and political infant of absolutely unprecedented ineptitude and incompetence for a prime minister, Allen Chastanet, speak of Minister Alva Baptiste’s “egregious statements potentially harmful to Saint Lucia’s foreign relations, especially when our country is grappling with a worsening world pandemic.” https://stlucia.loopnews.com/content/uwp-condemns-harmful-statements-external-affairs-minister?fbclid=IwAR1ioN9F5GseGzqDYDSkQU1FfjRYSy-ONFllskOhPoJiomLSRTig8bsTFXo
Chastanet was referring to Minister Baptiste’s recent characterization of the Lima Group as a “mongoose gang.”
Many Saint Lucians may not realize this, but Minister Baptiste was only being consistent with himself and his conscience on the matter. Two years ago, in 2019, in the trenches with his comrades in Her Majesty’s official Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party, Hon. Baptiste, a well-bred and well-rounded inhabitant of Saint Lucia’s teeming rainforests, mountains and valleys in the southern “People’s Republic of Laborie,” had already skillfully scoped out that hastily contrived band of first cousins of the wild and wily Saint Lucian manicou.
The linguistically eloquent and sharp Hon. Member for Laborie had said that “Saint Lucia should never be part or be a member of a renegade mongoose gang like the Lima Group.”
As soon as the taxpayers of Saint Lucia booted out the disgraced and disastrous Allen Chastanet last week, SLP Leader and the new Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon Philip J. Pierre announced Saint Lucia’s “immediate” withdrawal from the undemocratic and undignified Lima Group.
But the “queeze” took me because it was very painful to hear the hypocritical and unprecedentedly mendacious Allen Chastanet say: “…especially when our country (Saint Lucía) is grappling with a worsening world pandemic.”
That man is the same man who sat in the chair of the Minister of Finance when his government borrowed, presumably for the benefit of the taxpayers of Saint Lucia, approximately $600 million “for COVID-19 emergency relief”. Yet his government spent only $7 million on tens of thousands of COVID-19 displaced citizens, with the remaining $593 million spread out among a handful of mainly road building contractors, led by the Fresh Start Group of Companies – owned by a former government minister – members of the Friends, Family & Foreigners fraternity (FFF) of his corrupt 2016-2021 UWP governing regime. And 100% of the contracts were issued via the Direct Award white collar crime facilitation mechanism.
Allen Chastanet’s legendary mendacity was on full display that day when he continued as follows: “…we need to maintain and increase good friendships with countries that traditionally have shared our ideals.”
What utter hogwash and lies from Allen Chastanet, a man whose disastrous mis-governing regime was just unceremoniously ejected from office by the taxpayers of Saint Lucia in 15 of Saint Lucia’s 17 political constituencies, leaving two UWP members in the Parliament – Hon Bradley Felix (a former commercial banker of 23 years) who went down in ignominious history for admitting to having signed the $2.2 billion DSH Agreement, without reading it; and Hurricane Allen himself, a character straight out of a 14th century slave plantation Great House, with an air of royalty and acutely high-handed impatience with his imaginary slave subjects, who thinks that “colonialism had a conscience,” and that “Saint Lucia’s patrimony is its credit card rating.”
Allen Chastanet’s basic technique when he is on public parade, is to speak words that he thinks will please the international community and convince them that Allen Chastanet believes in good governance. But the truth is that his above words are a pack of lies, because the shameless pretense of “good friendships with countries that traditionally have shared our ideals” was put on full display when he hastily scampered off like an excited child to Mar-a-Lago, after President Trump snapped his fingers, to snap a picture with that crazed and bigoted idol of his, and, just like Bradley Felix, signed the Lima Group Declaration without first reading it! What amazing ineptitude!
It was only after he had signed the Lima Group Declaration that he realized that his signature of the document would not allow his government to accredit or receive Venezuelan officials in Saint Lucia anymore. Article 12 of the Lima Group Declaration reads as follows: “Our decision not to support any Venezuelan candidature put forward to regional and international organizations and mechanisms.” Therefore, the Government of Saint Lucia came to be classified as a “regional mechanism” that could not “support” the new Venezuelan candidate for Ambassador to Saint Lucia after the outgoing Ambassador, Leiff Escalona, had returned to Venezuela.
And so, when Foreign Minister Hon. Sarah Flood said in 2019 that, “We continue to maintain a normal diplomatic relationship with Venezuela, we recognize Venezuela as a friend,” she was also being deceitful and working hard – at any cost, to whatever modicum of credibility she may still have had after numerous infelicities to her name – to please her incompetent prime minister.
Venezuela’s Ambassador-Designate to Saint Lucia, Mrs. Karla Del Valle, arrived in Saint Lucia on or around March 16th 2019 and spent the next nine months up to December 2019, with the Prime Minister refusing to even acknowledge her or shake her hand.
The Prime Minister’s office also did not, could not – because of the Lima Group Declaration – authorize the Governor General to accept the Ambassador-Designate’s credentials, until she was left with no choice but to depart Saint Lucia’s shores on or around 6th December 2019.
Never before had an official of Venezuela been so slighted, ignored and embarrassed by any previous government of Saint Lucia. Sir John Compton, Sir Allan Louisy and other departed former prime ministers of Saint Lucia would have been “rolling in their graves”.
But the real “queeze” took me when that booted-out interloper in a prime ministerial environment continued to say: “It has been barely a week since his appointment as Minister for External Affairs and already the notoriously garrulous Mr Baptiste has returned to his old habit of tossing verbal insults at our international partners. The SLP has long demonstrated a proclivity to attack foreigners, whether investors or visitors. This is a dangerous policy that could have far-reaching repercussions for Saint Lucians at home and abroad.”
This was the very same psychological garbage that Allen Chastanet’s United Workers Party preached during the recent elections campaign that ended in the collective in-steps of nearly 50,000 boots to the butts of nine of their 11 parliamentarians. Allen Chastanet has perfected the art of painting the Saint Lucia Labour Party as a foreigner and visitor unfriendly political organization. But the people are having no more of this ridiculous and pathetic lie from “King Liar.” There is absolutely no Caribbean person who is naturally more embracing of “foreigners” than the typical Saint Lucian citizen.
As for Allen Chastanet’s “investors”, every single “investor” that visited and “invested” on Saint Lucia’s shores during 2016-2021, did so with 100% financing from the taxpayers of Saint Lucia. They all came with empty pockets, as trained economic hit-men and conmen do, and left smiling all the way to the bank. The white elephant DSH and con-man type Cabot Cove projects were particularly appalling, among dozens of schemes and themes, all pure bluff and fluff.
For those reasons, among numerous other infelicities, Allen Chastanet’s failed government was kicked to the curb by the people. On July 26th 2021, when they were pushed out of Parliament, Allen Chastanet had left Saint Lucia with a debt-to-GDP ratio hovering around 100%.
As to the silly accusation that Minister Baptiste was “tossing verbal insults at our international partners”, which is nothing but unadulterated “langue boeuf”, Allen Chastanet, in the Prime Moron’s seat, no less, these five years of his UWP runaway train wreck, left the following insults, spewed straight out of the moron’s severely limited verbal stock, for the local, regional and international public record, engraved in the faces and minds of hundred of thousands of Saint Lucians at home and in the Diaspora: “jackasses,” “mendicants,” “primary school graduates,” “barking dogs,” “underaged mothers who make children for different men, just as their mothers and grandmothers did before them,” and of course, “niggas.” For anyone who doubts that the Prime Moron called us “niggas,” feel free to read from: https://www.facebook.com/100000909135811/posts/4685797674793824/
And since we are discussing matters of local and regional politics and solidarity, and of men, manicous, morons and mongooses, Saint Lucians can perhaps take some solace from the following anecdote: before Hurricane Allen had blown so much spit into the faces of an entire nation and its diaspora, an obviously very perspicacious prime ministerial counterpart, Antigua & Barbuda’s Hon. Gaston Browne, perhaps in a preemptive strike on behalf of the people of Saint Lucia, had put the following classic on record, when in retaliation at one of Allen Chastanet’s ocean of incompetent gaffes, he described Saint Lucia’s most notoriously mendacious Lima Group mongoose as “a not-so-bright prime minister.”
(Peter Lansiquot is a former senior Saint Lucia diplomat who has served in Washington, D.C., in Cuba, and at the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana among numerous other postings.)