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Fri 6th Nov 2015

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White settlers must not sell lands to foreigners

Many Vincentians living on the leeward side of St. Vincent have expressed their deep concern about hundreds of acres of land in Peters Hope, South Leeward, being sold to foreigners. They say that this will make it harder for their children and grandchildren to buy land in St. Vincent and Vincentian children are being pushed out of their own country.

White settlers in SVG were given hundreds of acres of Crown Lands without paying one dollar, during the period of colonial rule. Now, these white settlers are trying to sell the land gifted to them, to foreigners. White settlers were not successful in the sale of the Orange Hill Estate to foreigners and they must not be successful in Peters Hope too.

A Green government would take back the land and distribute it to the people of SVG, rather than see it sold to foreigners. People have said that the ULP regime and the white settlers in Peters Hope, are planning to sell the colonial gifted lands to foreigners, so foreigners can build, expensive, luxury homes.

SVG Green Party believes that we must ban the sale of lands to foreigners, as is the case in Georgia, Cuba, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and many other countries.

South Africa is now proposing to ban the sale of land to foreigners. South Africa President, Jacob Zuma, says the reform is aimed at addressing ‘the need to secure our limited land for food security and address the land injustice of more than 300 years of colonialism and apartheid’.

He said ‘In future, foreigners - who currently own some five to seven percent of South Africa's land - would be allowed only to lease property for between 30 and 50 years, and may be required to cede land considered strategic’. We must do the same in SVG and save our land for our children.

The proposed plan to sell of hundreds of acres of land in the green belt area of Peters Hope to foreigners and build hundreds of luxury homes is a dangerous prelude to the long-term destruction of our beautiful country. We must not destroy our country for the sake of tourism. We do not want more white enclaves, like in Mustique and Canouan, which make Vincentians second class citizens in their own country.

We don’t want a second phase of colonialism.

If this land in the green belt area is developed for tourists, we will lose many trees, and this will cause more flooding, more landslides, increase devastation and poverty, and reduce our water supply. We will be more like Haiti.

If this land in the green belt area is developed for tourists, we will destroy prime agricultural lands and this will increase the threat to our food security. SVG will be forced to import hundreds of millions of dollars more of imported foods and this will significantly increase the price of food and make it much harder for poor households to feed their children.

Mass tourism is bad for our country. It only offers seasonal, low-paid jobs for our people, where are people must be subordinate to foreigners doing the cooking, making up the beds, cutting the grass and being the security guards. This form of development will destroy our country and does not alleviate generational poverty. Mass tourism brings pollution to our environment, higher water and electricity prices and perpetuates prostitution.

SVG must ban the sale of land to foreigners so that our land goes to our children and we have enough good agricultural land to grow our own food.

We must focus on providing sustainable, long-term jobs for our people, creating sustainable sources of revenue for the SVG Treasury by setting up our own tuna fishing industry, building factories for fish canning and agro-processing and taxing the super-rich, and increasing our human capital by providing our children with free, high-quality education from preschool to university. We must build our own university to empower the younger generation.

On election day, vote Green Party. Put your X next to the telephone to stop the white settlers from selling lands to foreigners and to save the lands for our children. Vote Green Party to stop the destruction of our beautiful country.

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