Just when it seemed that the nation was finally rallying behind the Argyle International Airport, a star cast in concrete near the entrance to the control tower has raised questions about the government’s off-repeated refrain that the project is a national one.
The star is also the symbol of the Ralph Gonsalves-led Unity Labour Party.
The development comes even as persons have raised questions about why Valentine’s Day — rather than National Heroes Day, March 14 — was chosen for the opening of the project and the theme “Love is in the Air” — which echoes the “Labour Love” slogan of the ULP’s 2015 election campaign — was used.
Further, some persons have noted that most of the t-shirts marketed for Tuesday’s airport opening rally are red and white — colours used by the ULP in its election campaigns.
Other people have defended the colours, noting that red and white are the colours of Valentine’s Day.
The EC$700 million airport, which opens today (Tuesday), six years behind schedule and with EC$400 million added to the national debt, was conceived and gestated in politics.
But Gonsalves — who has been accused of contributing to the politicisation of the project –has repeatedly called for national support for the airport, which he has said will be a game changer for the Vincentian economy.
The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has said that it remains concerned about the manner in which the project was managed and has spoken of the lack of transparency associated with its financing.
However, NDP and Opposition Leader, Godwin Friday, said in Parliament last week Tuesday that the airport is too important to fail and called on all Vincentians to work together to ensure its success.
To demonstrate that he was not just talking, Friday and other NDP lawmakers attended the flag raising ceremony on Monday that marked the commissioning of the airport.
But, earlier on Monday, photos began circulating on social media of a large star cast in concrete at the roadside near the entrance to the control tower.
The star is located outside of the airport compound.
Some persons have questioned the reason for the star, with some saying that such a symbol –whatever the reason it was erected — can only help to further cement and perpetuate the bellicose politicisation of the project.
When iWitness News visited the area Monday afternoon, workers were busy putting finishing touches on the area where the star was cast.
The government has offered no explanation about why such a symbol was cast so close to the airport or the significance of it.