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A work crew repairs a section of the Mandela Highway in Gibson Corner on Feb. 2, 2024.
A work crew repairs a section of the Mandela Highway in Gibson Corner on Feb. 2, 2024.
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The road repair works taking place in certain parts of St. Vincent is on account of the fact that the country will host the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on March 1, says opposition leader Godwin Friday. 

“I know why they’re doing it. Because they have CELAC coming up and they don’t want to be embarrassed and [people] saying ‘This is the kind of road alyo have in the country? I thought you does come out here and tell people how St. Vincent so great and so nice and you can’t even have decent roads going to your airport?’” the opposition leader said this week.

“That is what they are trying to avoid, the embarrassment,” further stated on his party’s radio programme, New Times on NICE Radio.

He said the government did a similar thing in Bequia in December 2021, when the funeral of former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell was being held in Bequia. 

“… they fixed up, patching up places down in Paget Farm coming up to, trying and make it look decent because [Barbados Prime Minister] Mia Mottley was coming in through Bequia Airport,” the opposition leader said.

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“But still you can’t do in two days or two weeks what should have been done over the past 23 years of the government. That neglect has brought the country to its knees in every respect,” Friday said.

He said that all over the country the “lament” is “How did we get to this?

“And so, we are on a course in the New Democratic Party to bring relief to the people and to tell, particularly the young people, that we are going to do better,” Friday said.

He said Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is “completely out of touch” if he thinks the Vincentian economy is something to be proud of.

“He needs to stop globe-trotting and going all over the place and spend more time here and actually finding out, understanding the hardship that people are going through, finding out what is going on here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

The opposition leader said that by every economic measure, this government has failed.

“We have one of the worst unemployment rates in the region; there are no jobs, especially for the young people. Poverty remains too high. In fact, it has increased under this administration and wages are the lowest in the region, they are far too low for people to get ahead.”

Friday said the government wants to get credit for their half-hearted economic strategy. 

“Well, such a strategy is no strategy at all. It is just simply spinning top in mud and trying to get credit for your intentions rather than for your action.”

He said the NDP has a plan to build an economy that delivers for everybody 

“We want to create an economy that reaches every village in the country; that people, wherever you are, will feel the effect of an NDP government in office — not just some people, all of the people in this country,” the opposition leader said. 

SVG is slated to host the CELAC summit at Sandals Beaches Resort in Buccament Bay on March 1. 

2 replies on “Govt patching potholes because of CELAC Summit — Friday”

  1. Every government in the world does a clean up like this when hosting an international event.

    And we certainly have far less abject poverty today than we had when the NDP was dethroned so many years ago, a fate they have seen repeated five times since then because the people don’t want these misfits back in power.

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