Updated: December 25, 2017

In classic manipulation tactics, Mr. Skerrit and his Speech writers are once again trying to make fools of the Dominican Public. His Christmas message to the nation, laced with nice words and referral to the 'Christ Child' was cleverly interspersed with several notable inaccuracies meant to promote one person: Roosevelt Skerrit. This is really sad! However, it is also a reflection of the regards in which Skerrit and his handlers / enablers hold Dominicans.

Firstly, let us address CREAD (Climate Resilient Executing Agency of Dominica). This agency's relationship to Dominica is fuzzy. At best, it appears to be a plan to use Dominica as a prop to wrestle financial resources from generous donors who are sympathetic to the plight of Dominicans. The people (Dominicans) on whose behalf this agency is supposed to function have no idea what it is about. Is is a statuary body? To whom will it be responsive? What is the Mission? Where is the grant proposal? What are the alternatives if its objectives are not achieved? How does this questionable entity plan to address challenges if not achieved? What are the time lines for examining whether objectives are being met? CREAD sounds like another scheme dreamt up to take advantage of a crisis? It likely that the only persons that may benefit from CREAD are the cronies and foreign advisors 'earmarked' to hoodwink donors.

The idea of making Dominica a climate resilient nation is pertinent and relevant to its people. However, this is being cleverly manipulated by the Labor Administration and its 'One-man' fiddler, Roosevelt Skerrit. This character recently called for a 'cease fire' on politics during this Season. However, it does not seem to apply to him or his 'nasty enforcers' who will stop at nothing to maintain power, even it means destroying Dominica. At a news conference held earlier last week, in response to a question about unsafe location of houses in Riverbeds and other flood-prone areas, Skerrit stated that government does not have the legal tools to prevent persons from building in these locations. Fast-forward a couple of days, and he is now stating in his Christmas message that 'through CREAD and resource mobilization we will for example, permanently control flooding in Pichelin and convert Coulibistrie and Colihaut to safe and protected communities'. How? Is there a plan to raise the building platforms or dredge the rivers? Relocate people? What?

The biggest inaccuracy in this speech relates to the funds to rebuild the island. According to Skerrit, "I have been devoting a fair amount of my time visiting old friends and making new ones in an effort to raise the two and a half billion dollars.. I can tell you that to date, we have managed to obtain more than half this amount in the form of actual receipts and pledges.." The Public has no documentation to support this. The primary problem with this statement is that some of the funds pledged or committed to Dominica are unrelated to Skerrit's travel. He and his handlers know this, but are counting on the dearth of information available to peddle a lie. For instance, at the recently concluded One Planet Conference in Germany, the British government pledged £140 million to help the worlds' poorest nations in their battle to fight climate change. Of this amount, £15 million was pledged to Dominica to help reconstruct the island’s water system which was destroyed by Maria. This money was pledged to Dominican because of their circumstance, not because of Skerrit or the Labor Administration. Failure to clarify these and similar pledges in his statement is dishonest.

Finally, the Labor Administration continues to play politics with Relief Resources. In his Christmas message, Skerrit stated that "International agencies have worked with government and we have started to make grants ranging from $240 to $675 to approximately sixteen thousand households and children. This will last for three months". The monthly amount and duration of the disbursements are correct. These are vouchers for purchase of food. The Government of Dominica is not the source of funding. The funds will come from donors (primarily WFP and UNICEF). Likewise, the estimated number of targeted households is overstated by several thousand. Why? According to the UN Situation Report No 13, WFP and UNICEF with assistance from the government of Dominica interviewed 13,300 households based on VNA (vulnerability needs assessment) model as of December 15, 2017. How did the additional household arise?

Like Zimbabwe before it, unless Dominicans challenge Skerrit and his handlers, their manipulations and lies, the island will languish in its difficulties for another half-generation until such time that those within the Labor Party and it supporters get tired of the lies. Complements of the Seasons to all Dominicans. The awakening awaits.