Updated: April 08, 2018

"Nationalism is not to be confused with Patriotism" George Orwell

by Jamber Press Contributor.
The Labor Administration is almost at the end of its 4th term, nevertheless it seems that with each successive term the administration's attitude towards the citizens who did not vote for them have become more oppressive and destructive.  The dangerous mindset  is either you join the Party or 'leave town'.  So, using state resources, they have embarked on a journey to make life miserable and uncomfortable for those who do not support the ruling party.  Hence, the  needs of those Constituencies represented by the Opposition are systematically ignored. Over the past 15 years there have been very little development in such communities.  Their roads, schools, sports facilities and healthcare needs are neglected. As a routine practice, citizens who did not vote for or do not support the current Administration in Dominica can expect that their democratic rights will be infringed.  They are regarded as 'outsiders'. These citizens have little opportunity to receive Government-related jobs, are passed over for promotions in the public service and most disturbing, children of non-supporters are victimized because children of the ruling Party supporters are generally favored over non party- supporters. Those who do not support the ruling Labor Party may not be given opportunity to bid on government contracts and 'targeted constituencies' receive little to none of the Developmental assistance provided by International Organizations.  

The members of the Opposition do not fare any better; there is a concerted effort to stifle their voices. All resources of the state including police services, broadcasting resources, national security and internet snooping capabilities are targeted to annihilate any opposition to the supreme party (Dominica Labor Party).  The official Opposition and anyone or group who opposes the ruling administration are consistently marginalized.  Whereas Parliament is the place where voters are able to see and judge their representatives, the governing Labor Administration refuses to hold regular sittings of Parliament. Instead, they use Cabinet to make decisions on important matters such as budget and spending, thereby depriving the whole country of Parliamentary oversight; this deliberate action aims to stifle the voice of the Opposition and sideline the citizens who did not vote for  the Dominica Labor Party. On the rare occasions that the House sits, the Opposition members are usually derided, interrupted, and chastised by a Speaker who has constantly demonstrated her disdain and hatred for the members of the Opposition. The behavior of the Speaker of the House of Parliament, towards the Parliamentary Opposition, deteriorated following her failure to be elected President of Dominica about five years ago.  Without doubt, the democratic rights of non-Labor Party Supporters, 'the outsiders', are being eroded and must be curtailed immediately before catastrophic results.

Not surprising, there are those on island who believe that this issue of discriminating against and ostracizing non-supporters is overblown. They believe that the ruling Dominica Labor Party just wants citizens to come together and be more 'nationalistic' especially since the passage of Hurricane Maria. Is this the whole truth? It is not!  As a matter of fact one does not have to forgo their political affiliation to become more 'nationalistic'.  Unfortunately, the Labor Administration and their apparatchiks are deliberately and willfully conflating 'Nationalism' and 'Patriotism'. In 1912 Hitler began talking about being patriotic to defend his country against the 'enemies'; this quickly morphed into Nationalism, hatred of people other than 'his own'. That is, you are either with or against us; those who were not with his party were destroyed. The Labor Administration seem to be going down that route; they want no Opposition and are hoping for a One Party state with no checks and balances.  Thus, they have capitalized on ways to steal elections. For those who did not vote for them they use deprivation, favoritism, and ostracism to force non-supporters to acquiesce to their misguided philosophy.

It is an irrefutable fact that, this labor Administration have no qualms about using the country's finances to stay in power, even if it means placing people's life and livelihood at risk.  They have a record of bypassing the usual method of allocating funds.  As a result, they have brazenly channeled money to wherever they want, in order to secure votes and show the 'outsiders' that if you want to be treated right you better join the 'insiders'.  It is no surprise that the Administration cannot account for US$100 million (XCD $265 million) that Dominica owes the people of Venezuela.

This situation in Dominica has become worse since Hurricane Maria devastated the island because of the massive amount of International Aid that is now at the Labor Administration's disposal.  International donors must be made aware that their donations are being used as a cudgel to batter and destroy particular groups and individuals by deliberately bypassing whole swathes of citizens who need help. It is difficult to understand that in a Democratic country the rights of a minority group are deliberately trampled because of their political affiliations.  This is discrimination and most be halted because one who has nothing to lose or reason to exist will descend into primordial survivor mode and do 'whatever it takes' to live, support and protect self and family.

This potentially destabilizing state of affairs has totally eluded the Labor Administration in Dominica. They are so intent on making sure that 'outsiders' only receive crumbs that, despite extensive International Financial and Material support, the building supplies necessary for citizens to repair their homes have not being distributed. The administration refuses to use a systematic plan for the distribution of those supplies.  Yet, it has been reported that trucks have been seen late at night surreptitiously delivering building supplies to supporters of the ruling party. That is favoritism towards the 'inside-group' and promotes discrimination.

It is obvious that some citizens in Dominica are not being treated equally; the majority ruling Party is oppressing the minority. The Labor Administration, their Advisors and fervent supporters seem to believe that Dominica belong to them and they can do as they choose with the island's resources. This is very myopic and must be curtailed before it reaches a 'point of no return'. Historically, victimization and demonization of specific groups have had disastrous consequences that the world community have later regretted. Germany, Rwanda, South Sudan are few examples where the world stood idly by while specific groups were targeted. At present, with the large quantity of Financial and material support poring into Dominica, the world community is uniquely positioned to curtail an emerging disaster in this  small island state currently ruled by a ruthless, insincere regime. A regime that will fabricate stories about coup attempts in order to demonize, arrest and attempt to destroy the opposition. A regime that is lead by an individual, Roosevelt Skerrit, who is uncomfortable with truths and facts and who will do whatever it takes to maintain his party hold on power in this Caribbean island.

 At present, International entities are uniquely positioned to impact the situation in Dominica. The World Bank, European Union, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, USA, UN agencies (UNDP, UNESCO, WFP, IMO) and Private Donors hold the key, the financial and material resources, that the Labor Administration so desperately seeks to continue its oppression of Dominicans. Therefore, they  must ensure that the Financial Resources being provided to Dominica in its time of need, is not abused for political advantage but find its way to all Dominicans in need.