More and more Vincentians are complaining about Barbadians!
Barbados is a small island nation situation just outside the island arc — floating in the poundings swells of the Atlantic Ocean. In retrospect Guyana and Belize are more worthy to be called a Caribbean nation for the same reason their shores are bordered with the motionless Caribbean Sea. Evidently, Barbados claims regionalism only when there are benefits to be derived.
Its people are proud from the existence of the country’s rapid industrialization, which was built upon aggressive negotiation and the fact that their governments have always placed its people first. Nonetheless, these industries thrive, because they are sustained and supported by the OECS member states, especially the Grantley Adams International airport where countless OECS nationals are bombarded by endless problems and insults by the impolite egotistic Barbadian authorities.
Coupled with their unethical behaviors that promote an ideal opportunity for gaining tourists, often seduce international tourists and portray OECS islands, including St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), as inferior destinations and echoing their favorite cliché “Why go to SVG when Barbados has better to offer.”
Because of Barbadians’ condescending attitudes, I celebrate the CCJ judgment in the case involving Jamaican Shanique Myrie who was awarded BDS$75,000 for ill-treatment at the Grantley Adams International Airport — the most disgusting transit point at which any Vincentians could find themselves.
It is safe to say that the Barbadian authorities believe that Barbados is a superior place to the rest of the Caribbean.
Other Caribbean citizens should follow the genius of Ms. Myrie, who is admirably one of the strongest women in the region for stepping up to the Barbadian authorities and win — a quality that is lacking amongst our leadership in SVG and, to some extent, the OECS. Time enough!
In response to the CCJ ruling, many Caribbean leaders have now weighed in on the situation. I am in disagreement with the St Kitts and Nevis leader to some extent, who recommended a desk set up to assist Caribbean nationals. This should not be. What needs to be done is to avoid Barbados entirely!
More so, the situation got even worse when the Barbadian authorities publicly disagreed with the CCJ ruling, insinuating that the authorities in Barbados did nothing wrong. This I’d describe as haughty and apathetic.
Ideally, I am assuming that LIAT could play a positive role in the attitude that Barbadian authorities are displaying to Vincentians and other OECS nationals.
In respect to the hassle in Barbados, I too have had many grievous experiences. I cannot forget an instance where the authorities had asked me to sit in a small room at the airport and held my passport for no reason, after I disembarked an international flight from Miami.
Ihe only reason I was not detained is because I refused, demanded my passport, and outlined my rights and informed them that what they were doing is illegal action for any person in transit.
There were many similar complaints made to me by other Vincentians at that horrifying place called Grantley Adams International Airport. Vincentians have been given two weeks to stay in the country in a time when we are promoting the CSME.
Moreover, there are many of us who have been taken off our flights and asked to overnight for no apparent reasons: spending money for hotels, food, taxis and other commodities. No wonder Barbados is now registering its one-millionth tourists to their shores and billions of dollars in revenues — unethical and desperate if you ask me!
How can we get rid of this blight of the Caribbean?
Should we stop importing their manufactured products?
Instead of using Grantley Adams international Airport, can OECS nationals use Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago, Point Saline in Grenada, Hewannora in St Lucia, VC Bird in Antigua and Barbuda, Robert L. Bradshaw international in St Kitts and Nevis or San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International in Puerto Rico when connecting to international flights?
Truly, Barbados continues to treat Vincentians and OECS nationals like aliens while travelling in a region that is supposed to be boundary-less.
Still we continuously support their economy and sit back and do nothing when are mistreated.
As for me, I will avoid Barbados as much as possible. My next international flight is connecting me through Barbados; hence, the reason I’ve postponed traveling dates for months now — trying to get a connecting flight through another Caribbean Island.
I refused to travel through Barbados!
D. Markie Spring
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].