THE EDITOR: For the second time in less than six months, TT has the dubious honour of insulting the people of Dominica as she struggles to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Many nationals have been clutching their pearls this time, as our decision to vote against the waiver of OAS fees was done on an international stage. This, however, is not the first time we have shown our true colours to our battered Caribbean brothers and sisters.
In October 2017, FAME-Caribbean (Foundation for Fashion Apparel Manufacturing Entrepreneurship), headed by bespoke master tailor Andrew Ramroop, OBE CMTT (who is currently teaching a multi-million dollar tailoring course in Macoya funded by the taxpayer), launched “The Green Runway Benefit for Dominica and Barbuda” under the patronage of Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. No one even batted an eyelid back then when the benefit was cancelled/switched/moved and a new production titled “On Stage” upstaged “One Common Intention” for Dominica and Barbuda.
Instead of a charity benefit, what we witnessed was a State-entity-sponsored fashion show that featured Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley strutting the catwalk in sartorial style, wearing one of Ramroop’s 24-carrot gold stripes collection suits.
Skerrit, who had already accepted Fame-Caribbean’s invitation and had other whirlwind visits scheduled around it, still came.
He graciously thanked the people of TT for our generosity, received seeds to help rebuild his country’s agricultural infrastructure, met with our hurricane relief management teams, attended a thanksgiving Mass, and interacted with students of Dominica studying here.
This snub to the people of Dominica went practically unnoticed as Ramroop’s enablers turned out in full support on NAPA’s stage, yet many of the same people are now cringing over our vote at the OAS meeting. As one member of the congregation at the thanksgiving Mass remarked in amazement, “How do you uninvite a Prime Minister?” Such is the arrogance and the thirst for fame that we would disregard those in dire need for a chance to strut in a spotlight.
As a patriot of this country I would happily donate towards Dominica’s OAS fees in an effort to make amends for this second insult, and to let the people of Dominica know that there are those of us who really do care.
JAMES B SOLOMON, Diego Martin