Antigua & Barbuda is a small country with a small population. Sugar, the once powerful king was dethroned by a powerful combination of rainfall, labour problems, and a marketing and political conspiracy that permanently took away Sugar’s kingdom.
Tourism, the founder of a new royal line, speedily took over the vacant throne, amidst predictions of a precarious reign that threatened to come to a premature, turbulent end, because of an unspecified but curable type of recurring anaemia that deeply affected its immune system.
It became apparent that an “old-time flannel-undershirt” should always be worn as an aid to ensure protection against the volatile elements that seemed always prepared to inflict mayhem on its vulnerable chest and extremities.
Things seemed to go well, but continued to prolong its precarious existence until a new disease that was known to affect its spiritual and physical immune system suddenly appeared on the scene. It is known that the Romanoff family that dominated Russian royalty once suffered from a peculiar, debilitating illness called haemophilia.
On the surface, everything seemed to be kosher, until an unexpected chook caused this haemophilia-type of malady slowly to cause its family’s life-blood to ooze-away in a gradual sapping of its out-flowing vitality. This new disease called gambling had an addictive quality that eventually, like lupus, attacked itself and wrecked the diminished/diminishing whole.
The regents of the Tourism Royal Family, decided that the cure lay in the storming of a citadel called Washington in order to wrest from the citadel, the apparent cure or neutralising drug, called money, that could possibly assist in halting the debilitating effect of this new disease and build-up the immune system of the family.
Strange enough, access to the drug that could also put an end to the haemophiliac-debilitating disease also lay alternatively in the use of a generic drug called WTO. However, like all generic drugs that are cheap and easily accessible, there is another aspect to the cure.
In the venous system of certain creatures, there is a main vital highway called the coetaneous vein, that becomes vulnerable to the slightest assault from external forces or pressure. The alternative drug that can prevent this vulnerability can only be found in this citadel called Washington. The doctors of the royal family called Tourism read the Bible and read that the days of a man would be three-score and 10 but by reason of strength, those days could possibly be prolonged!
The decision to approach the disease via use of the WTO generic drug did not take into account the vulnerability of the survival system if the coetaneous vein that carried the vital nutrients of the regent’s life-blood, either ballooned and burst or was accidentally or deliberately cut. The heart is crucial to the survival of any living organism.
May I remind my readers that Dr Christian Barnard was attributed with performing the first heart-transplant on Dr Blaiberg in South Africa? The actual operation was done by a Black man listed as a Gardener, who had the nerve to cut out the whole heart and insert the new one. Who got the credit? Very few people remember the name of the Black surgeon who did the job! The name of the game seems to be fame for those who advocate the use of the WTO drug! But is this feasible?
There is, in the study of Economics, the concept of (a) The Short Term and (b) The Long Term. The questions that ought to be uppermost in the minds of our regents, are “Where does the Short Term end? And where does the Long Term begin? Which option is the better for a patient that is seeking to survive? Is the Long Term better? Is survival an option ? Do the people who seek to use the generic WTO drug stand to gain anything but the fame for having tried the use of the WTO drug?
Our regents should think on these things.
There is many a slip between cup and lip. I remember the day in New York when as minister of tourism I was preparing to make a presentation to Pan American about the tourism prospects of Antigua. Al James said some eye-opening things to me about St Croix. I will not repeat what he said, but the implication was “St Croix, just dead!”
When the story of the Fountain Valley massacre unfurled later that day, it mashed up my presentation and mashed up everything. Up to today over 40 years after, Tourism in St Croix has not yet caught itself. We depend on remittances from the United States to help some of our people. The majority of our hotels have had their origin in United States’ money. We can depend on a steady flow of tourists from the United States and containers from the USA come here every week to supply us with food to which our culturally cultivated palates have become accustomed.
Even if an advisory on Antigua & Barbuda is totally wrong, the negative damage would have been done. The United States has been known to have made such mistakes. It will take years to repair. We have an excellent friendship arrangement with China. What’s wrong with working through China to get benefits from the United States?
I know of someone who developed a study on how to improve our tourism. To offer yourself as an alternative to the government in power, based on negative ideas, is not in the interest of our country.
Those who advised fighting the United States of America in Court belong to a country that the United States wrote off, long ago. Was the advice given out of love for us, or out of a penchant to get even with the United States? How can you enforce a judgement without having the wherewithal to enforce it?
Perhaps we should begin to be proactive. A mosquito cannot sting an elephant and hurt it. Dale Carnegie once wrote a best-seller, “How to win friends and influence people.” Get real and become a favourite of the only super-power in the world. They are just a stone’s throw away. In the interest of our future relations and development, a friendly hand of Peace is better than a sword that is rusty and blunt. War has never been victorious over Peace !