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Tue 27th Oct 2015

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Independence message from Mr Ivan O’Neal Leader of SVG Green Party

Taiwan and white, super-rich foreigners main beneficiaries of SVG independence

It is very clear that the main beneficiaries of SVG’s independence are Taiwan and the white super-rich foreigners of Mustique and Canouan.

It is unbelievable that 36 years after we gained independence we still have high unemployment, high poverty, high crime, and more worryingly, colonialism. At independence, 36 years ago, our people dreamed of jobs, an escape from poverty and a good life for their children. Our people have been failed by the NDP and ULP governments.

The NDP and ULP governments betrayed the people of SVG by giving our licence to fish tuna to Taiwan. Taiwan has used this licence to create a billion-dollar tuna fishing industry. The NDP and ULP governments should have kept this licence and set up our own billion-dollar tuna fishing and canning industry.

If SVG had had its own tuna fishing and canning industry for the past 30 years, life for our people would be much better. This industry would have created thousands of long-term jobs and provided the SVG Treasury with billions of dollars. We could have had modern hospitals, schools that were not dilapidated, universities for our children, truly free education and low unemployment.

The NDP and ULP governments betrayed the people of SVG, too, by not taxing Taiwan on the billions they made from our fish licence. Gonsalves claims there’s no money to give public servants a pay rise, but if he taxed Taiwan, the SVG Treasury would have earned billions of dollars in tax. It is despicable that 36 years after independence, our government workers are forced to have their wages frozen for years, while Taiwan earns billions and pays no tax.

The NDP and ULP governments betrayed the people of SVG by giving the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan tax and customs duties exemptions in the Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002. If the NDP and ULP governments had not done this, the SVG Treasury would have received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue over the years.

Poverty would be significantly reduced and there would be no families living in a ‘lean to’ if the super-rich had been taxed over the years. How is it that we are an independent country, but the NDP and ULP governments are subservient to the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan?

SVG’s independence from the UK is not worth the paper it is written on, when our people are being treated as second-class citizens in their own country.

When we got independence in 1979, it was meant to be the end of colonialism. However, that never happened and we have had 36 years of segregation and white enclaves, like that under apartheid in South Africa. These white, segregationist foreigners, living it up in their white enclaves in Mustique and Canouan, are eating the fruits of SVG’s independence.

It is time that Vincentians enjoyed the fruits of SVG’s independence and reclaimed our sources of revenue from the parasites – Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan. The SVG Treasury needs this revenue to make life better for Vincentians. We must create thousands of new jobs, make education truly free, make water and electricity affordable for all families and reduce crime and poverty.

Let us not give up on the dream of true independence for our people. Vote Green Party.

May God bless SVG. Happy 36th independence anniversary.

Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA
Leader and co-founder of SVG Green Party

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