Guest Comment: Cultural Differences and A New Kind of Slavery at Guiana Island

When inviting large scale development on a small island it is important to know the culture of the people who join our community in order to avoid conflict.  From the first time that Antigua introduced Chinese labour into the construction industry in Antigua, I have been having flashbacks to the days of slavery. The confidence of a superior force of a different culture evidenced by language and colour, a force which has the allegiance of the rulers of our country, can be a whip in the hands of the overseers, and can mean death to some who refuse to obey. Obedience is the first rule of Communist China, failure often punishable by death. Slavery is also alive and well in certain areas of China; forced labour is the engine of growth for the bulging Chinese population, which serves the world with ‘Made in China’ commodities.

The recent altercation on the YIDA job site here hit me with another flashback where in 2011 in Africa, Chinese Managers shot 11 Zambian striking mine workers who were protesting against poor working conditions.  The Chinese who operate under a communist culture, in their ignorance of Labour laws and ILO stipulations regarding working conditions, did what they would be legally allowed to do in their home country – shoot dissenters , strikers and all those who are considered obstacles to their program.

The Government of these small islands must use the Talk-shop of Caricom to look down the road twenty years at the catch in the net which is being cast around the Caribbean Sea, from Bahamas in the North,(Baha Mar) to Jamaica (Goat Island), to Antigua (Guiana Island) to St. Lucia (Pearl of the Caribbean) to Grenada ( Hog Island/Grenada Resort Complex) to Surinam (Paramaribo takeover).

Certainly our fisheries will be in the net, but so will all of our islands, as our politicians continue to trade our patrimony for new baubles of slavery: not glass beads this time, but ecologically and economically unsustainable Zones of Chinese power, Chinese energy dinosaurs, Chinese surveillance kits to destabilize political opponents, and other destructive means of controlling the local people. This is the bait being used all over the Developing World to catch fools!

Now what also bothers me and sends me into flashback mode, is the persons on the YIDA side, whom the Chinese are using to assist them in their wanton takeover of our islands. I see my ancestors being forcibly taken by some of their own, and sold to another culture of people who had no respect for their way of life, but only saw the lucrative results of the sale of humanity. Today, we are looking at the beginning of abuse of our workers on the YIDA job site, and the yellow-wash put on it by one who should remember our history, and one which we will not allow to be repeated.

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