Of parents, orphans, hotels and immunity

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There is a saying that goes something like this: “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.”  It has been used by many and made popular by a few.  After searching with Google for its origin, we found one reference that said that it originated in the first century and was coined by the Roman historian Tacitus in a book “Agricola”.  The quote, “Inquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi indicant, aduersa uni imputantur” is roughly translated to “This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone.”
Later, a version was used during World War II by Count Galezzo Ciano, Mussolini’s son-in-law, when he said, “La victoria trova cento padri, a nessuno vuole riconoscere l’insuccesso”, which translates to “Victory has 100 fathers. No one wants to recognise failure.” It is probably most famously used by President John F Kennedy when responding to a journalist about the Bay of Pigs in 1961. He said, “…victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan…”
You may be wondering why we just gave you a history lesson about a likely, well-known saying, so we will tell you. On a recent broadcast of OBSERVER AM, when asked if he was willing to give some credit to the current administration for wooing the Waldorf Astoria to our bit of paradise, the United Progressive Party’s (UPP) public relations officer, Damani Tabor, did what was expected. He sought to claim credit for the success on behalf of the former finance minister, Harold Lovell. It was at that point we began counting our way to the 100 fathers of this success.
We are sure that there are many people who contributed to the successful courtship of this premium Hilton Hotel brand, so we would like congratulate them all. Knowing a thing or two about how these hotel management deals are structured, we are sure that the principals of Al Caribi Cay Development played the major role. The first and maybe the most important stage is to satisfy the brand that you can produce a property that meets their exacting demands. This is no easy task for a company like Hilton and a brand like the Waldorf Astoria. That said, the government would also have to pledge support and would have to be fully on board to give Hilton the level of comfort that they needed to attach any of their brands to any property. So credit is given where credit is due.
We know that Antigua & Barbuda is well known for intimate boutique hotels; however, we have long held the position that we needed a big brand to solidify our position as a market that could cater to the upscale tourist. For some time there was talk of a Ritz Carlton but that talk fizzled unceremoniously. Now there is promise of the Waldorf Astoria, which we welcome, and do not shy away from congratulating those responsible for making this a reality. If and when this materialises, it will be a good for everyone; no matter the colour of the kool-aid you drink. So line up, all you parents of success, but remember, if for any reason, success takes a turn, you have forever affixed your name to the birth certificate.
While we are handing out praise, there was another development in our bit of paradise that caught our eye and caused a smile. That smile came when we read the release from the Office of the Prime Minister that said the government had agreed to waive all diplomatic immunity for any individuals who US authorities may wish to question in relation to the John Ashe bribery scandal. It was reported that the decision was in response to a request from the government of the United States of America for assistance with regard to ongoing criminal proceedings.
We are happy to know that if (and we want to stress that word “if”) there was any wrongdoing by anyone in this matter, they will not be able to hide under the skirt of diplomatic immunity. Anyone who has sullied the name of Antigua & Barbuda and profited along the way, should face the accusers and the evidence in a court of law and defend themselves. And, if found guilty, they should be subject to the prescribed punishment. Put simply, if they have done the crime then they should do the time.
This, of course, applies to all and sundry. We hope that this becomes a firm policy and there are no exceptions in the future. We especially hope that this same policy is applied when requests are made in relation to the Odebrecht bribery scandal. Antigua & Barbuda has featured prominently in that storyline and has garnered far too much negative international press. Transparency and accountability must be the policy.
So for all you people who think that there is no sunshine in paradise, you can quell that negativity with these rays of hope. Plus, always remember, you can’t have paradise without sunshine.

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