Saboto Caesar, left, and Camillo Gonsalves at Argyle last Saturday. (Photo: Facebook)

By Bryan Alexander

Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar was once a shining star of the ruling Unity Labour Party. He was once seen as well-positioned to succeed Papa as leader of the ULP. So convinced was Saboto that he was heir apparent, that in 2010, he even began to speak like Papa, and even adopted some of Papa’s mannerisms. Papa fuelled this belief by suggesting that Saboto was a son in whom he was well pleased. But that was before Camillo, Papa’s “begotten son”, returned to St. Vincent around 2012.

Then in 2013, Camillo was made Minister of Foreign Affairs, allowing him to rub shoulders at a higher level with contacts made while he was at the United Nations. During Camillo’s stint at the UN, Saboto was happy in being called “Mr. Minister”, a position way lower that of “Your Excellency” — the title given to a diplomat. Then things began to change for Saboto when he was moved from the Ministry of Tourism to the Ministry of Agriculture, which was in a dismal state. The banana industry had been taken off life support by the failure to spray against Black Sigatoka when banana cultivation was just rebounding from Hurricane Tomas in 2010. That is when Saboto was sent to take over the Ministry of Agriculture. Was this an accident or was it part of a plan to ensure that the real “son in whom I am well pleased” would appear to shine brighter? We can ask this because Saboto’s candle was snuffed out. Then the real “son in which I am well pleased” was made Minister of Economic Planning.

If Saboto or the nation as a whole had any doubt before, both would have realised where things were heading. Economic Planning is one step away from Finance and it was no surprise that the son in whom I am well pleased was made Minister of Finance last November. Saboto, certainly, you know that Minister of Finance is one step away from Prime Minister? Who was elevated over you to become Minister of Finance, Saboto? Do you have any doubt who would become prime minister ahead of you? Have you noticed who announced the ban on the killing of turtles? Lest you have forgotten, it was the Prime Minister. But turtles fall under your ministry, not so? Who announced the increase in the minimum wage? Camillo! Labour falls under Camillo’s ministry.

What about the fiasco with the marijuana testing a few weeks ago? The so-called scientist turned out to be a chef. Was any due diligence done? Was this allowed to happen to erase confidence in Saboto on a major policy point in the country? Well, at least Vincentians can understand why their government doesn’t want to pursue formally a citizenship by investment programme. If you can’t tell a chef from a scientist, how can you expect to separate legitimate investors from scamps? Well, they’ve already proved that they can’t do that. Remember Dave Ames? Remember the Venezuelan man down Ottley Hall marina who wasn’t paying his workers? Where is he now?

Saboto, if you have any doubt about the extent to which you are being pushed into the background, just look at the way you were treated at Argyle. You spoke so close to the beginning — after Luke — who spoke after public servants. Who remembers what you said? What we remember is that the Prime Minister arrived during your speech. Do you think this was accidental? Can you not see the orchestrated effort within your own party to upstage you? If you have any doubt about who Ralph meant when he spoke about the son in whom he is well pleased, just listen to Papa’s reference to Jesus Christ on Saturday. Maybe you should really take Sir James’ advice, which Papa claimed was given to you.

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 news.iwitness@gmail.com

35 COMMENTS

  1. Mischief and malice, pure and simple. Politics is a blood sport but sometimes those pressed with their nose to the window looking in, like Alexander, also get a bloody nose in the process.

    • Why are you the authority on everything and opinion? Who ever says politics is a blood sport? We are the one who allow politicians to get away with their nonsense, not politics. Bryan is right in some of observations and showing how the leader is victimizing his own people to elevate his son without they even realizing it. No wonder the Comrade see himself little less than a god to Vincentians.

      • Please tell us how trying to “elevate his son” is “victimizing his own people” in any way, shape, or form. How is appointing an elected member of the House of Assemby to a new position, as entrenched in our constitution, a form of “victimization.”

        Don’t be shy, tell us.

        And who in SVG is not “realizing it?” Maybe the rats in Kingstown’s gutters but surely not the people walking omn the roads.

  2. Saboto the writing is clearly on the wall. However, joint leadership is a recipe for diaster, re -Grenadian revolution. Why can you not play second fiddle to Boy Wonder?

  3. Too bad you don’t understand that Camillo has always been the “prodigal son” (Luke 15:11-32), all the more so now with the Yugge Farrell saga like a hangman’s rope around his neck, a man who refuses to confess, let alone repent.

    You are also ignorant of the fact that in the deceitful art of political manoeuvring, “They also serve who only stand and wait” (John Milton 1652).

  4. Ralph Gonsalves’ strategic approach has always aimed to contradict you people and gets his kicks out of just that, the misbehaviour that generates those trademark boyish smiles which motivates the beginning of his speeches.
    The PM knowns that making his son the leader of ULP will be bad news not only for his party but for a large majority of Vincentians. Saboto is a brilliant young man and also not an easy push over which, Sir James has also identified.
    It will be unproductive for any experienced leaders like our SVG PM and a Statesman like Sir James Mitch to more on in retirement leaving their personal investments to go downhill under a hereditary or imperial control. Such which nationals have clearly protested against and especially worsened by the turns to the Yugge/Financial Minister scandal, not overlooking the UN situation.
    I wish that you people will give more credit to the insight of our old political pundits.

  5. All this idle chatter about the ULP affairs while there is a dire need for the NDP to “peep in their own bowls.” There is a bigger power struggle, or lack thereof (dependent on whether one is an optimist or pessimist) in the NDP, yet some of their mouthpieces are so fixated. Its been a while since pen was put to “paper” and what a waste….

    Meanwhile, why most are focused on the succession (lol), both Saboto and Camillo continues quite unbothered. The PM is definitely not “uncomfortable.” It cannot be denied that PM is a master politician and though I think I am correct in the his eventual choice as his successor, I know better than to make any public declarations.

    With all the pen, “paper,” alternative budgets, walk out of Parliament, constant internal struggles etc, that the Opposition faces on a daily basis, I almost want to add that some of us should “take a hint.”

  6. Poor taste Bryan. Mr Saboto is a hardworking Minister, very intelligent, courageous/ optimistic and committed to the task beforehand. Does his work, unlike those lazy guys within your party. The NDP associate themselves with folks the likes of one Charmaine Bailey/ Jeffery Providence/ Allan Palmer, and Luzette King, etc. These individuals are evil. Wouldn’t go into details. Broken pieces need fixing before attempting others.

  7. C.ben-David what should CamillIo confess to? What was her role in the saga? Was she not a willing participant? Why you always have issues with the comrade and his family? My only issue is one of morality […]. My question to you, have you been always faithful? Reveal your true identify and do not hide behind some pseudonym or alias. I challenge you to be transparent.

    • Observer, you hopless dunce, obviously you didn’t understand my use of Biblical and poetic allusion to poke fun at Alexander’s shallow and mischievious interpretation of the succession issue. Alexander was trying to invent dissention in a highly unified ULP. How could a party that has won four-in-a-row be disunited on any issue? As others have said, it is the NDP that is bouncing from pillar to post, in vain, trying to find out how it can end Ralph’s rule.

      I have said elsewhere that Camillo has nothing to apologize for, except perhaps to his wife. He has nothing to confess to the people because his personal sexual life is nobody’s business. This is SVG, not America, thank God, where if you are an important person and fart, you have to say sorry to the whole nation for the bad smell and then resign.

      Of course, Camillo will be our next Prime Minister, if only because the PM’s deep pockets will ensure he is chosen by the party. But he will serve only one term as the NDP either reorgnizes and chooses better candidates or goes out of business and gives room for a new party to be born which is why I quoted John Milton in saying, “They also serve who only stand and wait” in reference to not only to Caesar’s political future but to the future of the NDP as a political force.

      So, Camillo one term followed by one term by some other party followed by Caesar, who is still a young man, as PM 10-12 years from now under the ULP or, more probably, the original Labour Party banner as the ULP disintegrates following Camillo’s defeat 5-6 years from now on the related issues of economic stagnation, poverty, unemployment, and the failure of Argyle airport to fulfill its tourism development promises.

      • Mr. David, how can anyone read beyond your unnecessary insults? Can you not state your opinion or counter opposed without the need to call names? It’s really infantile and really makes those who may agree with “some” of what you say on other matters, reconsider reading what you write.

        Come on, you surely can state your position rather than responding in the disrespectful manner that has become synonymous with your responses. It’s not a good look!

  8. Saboto is obviously the people’s favorite of the ULP and Ralph Gonsalves may not have anything against Saboto but the entire nation sees that, at least the ULP, will get Camillo whether they like it or not. Ralph will ensure that as long as Camillo is available, Soboto will never be the ULP candidate. Ralph Gonsalves will continually give the spotlight to Camillo and Saboto will be lightly “sabotaged” to appear “lesser” than Camillo.

    • “Saboto is obviously the people’s favorite” does not correspond to the big trouncing he gave to Linton Lewis in 2015 or do you have data from your own pole to suggest otherwise or do you think the seat was stolen by the ULP. “Obviously” you don’t have a clue about who is “the people’s favorite.”

  9. Do you really think that the Master (Raph) will give up his power to a litte black man?
    Pplease don’t be full.I am so sorry for you guys…….
    Black people form the majority in svg but as usual they want to be rule by a white man….that is the problem.

  10. Bryan letter is one of desperation. Since , you all feel soooooo strongly about Saboto, why dont the seven elected members of NDP sign a petition take it to the governor general stating Saboto has all seven members support to be the PM. Test him.

      • Hi Elma, back again trying to dictate what people do? First it was an issue with my choice to not post my real name; now its telling me what I should do with my time? Woman, please introspect. No one on this site is your child. Stay in your lane and bat in your crease.

      • Thanks, and so I will continue to “Stay in my lane and bat in your crease” as Elma Gabriel.
        Our principled readers will agree that it is impossible for anyone to be taken seriously in disguise. That is known as MASQUERADING. You can FREE to join my old mas band for this year’s Vincy mas, under the heading ‘VINCY LAWYERS’!

  11. Sabato is the first Caesar to be assassinated before 15 March (aka THE IDES OF MARCH)<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

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