Cuban and Vincentian workers at Argyle International Airport in August 2014. (IWN photo)

The state-owned International Airport Development Company (IADC) has defended it decision to retain more than 100 Cubans to help construct the Argyle International Airport.

As at the end of June, the IADC was employing 623 persons — 509 Vincentians and 104 Cubans, head of the IADC, Rudolph Matthias told the media on Thursday.

There were 44 engineers, 36 of whom are Cubans and eight Vincentians, he said.

“It is a construction project after all and this is why we are so top-heavy with engineers,” Matthias said.

“So when you hear people speak somehow as though there are people coming from Cuba to push wheelbarrows and these kinds of derogatory statements, it is almost disrespectful to say the least of the persons who are from Cuba here helping us to build this airport.

“The other Cubans are generally operators and technicians. IADC doesn’t employ any labourer or any simpleton from Cuba. Everyone whom we hire from Cuba is a professional in their own right and we only hire Cuban persons when we cannot find a Vincentian to do the job,” he said.

Matthias was speaking at an event where U.S.-based Vincentians donated US$10,000 to the construction of the EC$700 million airport.

The airport, which has missed completion deadlines annually since 2011, is carded for completion by the end of this year.

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5 replies on “No Cubans pushing wheelbarrows at Argyle airport — IADC head”

  1. So does that mean that the Vincentians you hire are simpletons? Disrespectful to Cubans to call them labourers, or to expect them to push wheelbarrows, but not to Vincentians?
    Mr. Matthias, no man is an island entire of itself. If you don’t know the rest, go look it up. I wonder how the work at the airport wold progress should the disrespected Vincentian labourers stop pushiing the wheelbarrows. Mr. Matthias, you are disrespecting humanity when you express your disrespect for the contributions of those perhaps less fortunate than you.
    That is what happens when people are put into postions for which they are unprepared and which they do not deserve. Like the saying goes, power corrupts… Now Mr. Matthias, go apologise to Vincentians and pray that they have enough goodness in their hearts to forgive you.. Then shut up if you don’t know what to say.

  2. The Cubans are pushing wheel barrows, barrows full of money as they laugh all the way to the bank..

    Ten years to finish the three year airport project at Argyle and ten years to finish the hospital project at Georgetown.

    These projects could have been finished seven years ago and been running by now with proper funding and without the ghost Venezuelans failing to pay the Cubans wages, and the ghost coalition of the willing, without all the lies and fiscal duncemanship.

  3. I am a ULP supporter but Comrade has to get this Mathias guy to shut his trap. It’s coming close to election and the messaging about this airport has to change; no more about completion dates but rather about the long term benefits to our future generations. This is no time to have this amateur alienating people whether intentional or not. Come on comrade you have been in the business too long for this.

    1. Yes, Please Dr. Matthias, just shut up. If one takes the time to analyze what you say, one will more than likely be left with 2 opinions of you:
      1 – You are a dunce and your achievement of a PhD, while laudable, must have been obtained by less than fair and honourable means.
      2 – You think the rest of us are fools who cannot sift through the dirt you spew, and who would be taken in by said PhD.

      Dr. Matthias, The second is probably true in regards to what you think of us, but you are wrong – incorrect, inaccurate. We have risen above acting like sheep being led to the slaughterhouse.

      The first, only you know the answer to that one.

      In any case. Stop appearing so foolish.
      Thank you!

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