Category: Caribbean Travel


Several days ago I signed up for a cruise newsletter as I am initiating planning for my first cruise in the not too distant future. The following is the quoted contents of my copy of the Vacations To Go newsletter. The pictures have been added by me and were not part of the newsletter. Four more bodies have been recovered, so a total of eleven persons are now known to have died in this tragic incident. That figure will probably rise, unfortunately. Hey, I still believe taking a cruise is definitely a safe, luxurious experience. Never mind the latest cruise ship incident occurred on a Friday 13th, or that it happened one hundred years after the Titanic sank. 

beached!

“At approximately 9:30 pm local time on Friday, January 13, the Costa Concordia struck an underwater rock formation off the west coast of Italy, tearing a 160-foot-long hole in the ship’s hull. The vessel began taking on water and power outages spread throughout the ship.

Almost immediately, the vessel began to list, sending plates, glasses and other objects in the full dining rooms crashing to the floor. Alarms sounded and passengers were informed that there was an electrical problem that crew members were working to fix. It quickly became apparent to passengers and crew members that this was not merely an electrical problem, and those on-board began a frantic evacuation of the ship.

Some lifeboats were launched, but due to the severity of the ship’s listing, it soon became impossible to launch more. Some passengers jumped from the ship into the cold water and swam to shore, while others clung to railings or other objects on the ship until the arrival of fishing boats and ferries that responded to the emergency. Some passengers were trapped in more precarious or isolated positions and were eventually hoisted aboard helicopters.

The ship continued to lean until it finally came to rest on its side,about half submerged, approximately 200 feet off the coast of the small island of Giglio, Italy.

There were more than 4200 passengers and crew onboard the Concordia and as of this writing, six are known to have lost their lives, dozens are confirmed injured and there is confusion as to the number still missing,with reports ranging from 16 to 29.

Firefighters and scuba divers began search and rescue operations early Saturday morning, and on Sunday morning — more than 24 hours after the ship first hit the rocks — two young South Koreans on their honeymoon were rescued from their cabin and a senior member of the ship’s staff(see below) was rescued from the third deck.

The treacherous search-and-rescue operation has been suspended at least once due to worsening weather and concern that the ship could slip in too much deeper water nearby, trapping rescuers onboard.

The Costa Concordia was built in 2006 at a cost of about 450 million euros (USD $569 million at current exchange rates). With 13 decks, the vessel towered 100 feet above the water and is nearly 1,000 feet long.It carried the very latest navigation and safety equipment, and the obvious question is, “How could this tragedy have happened?”

There are conflicting stories as to exactly what happened and why, but statements from both the cruise line and Italian government officials point to human error. An early Costa Cruises statement reports that”there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences.”

The captain has been arrested and charged with manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

Fortunately, the ship’s black boxes contain the technical data and conversations from the bridge that should allow the facts to come out.It may take months to conduct the investigation but I will cover the findings in this newsletter as soon as they are released.

In the weeks ahead, news media will carry the personal accounts of fear and chaos from passengers and crew as they struggled to abandon ship. We will hear of the kindness of the people of Giglio, who opened their homes and schools and churches in the middle of the night to provide food and clothing and shelter to strangers dropped abruptly on their doorsteps.

Is the Captain responsible for the change in route?

There will be stories of heroism, including that of the ship’s chief purser, Manrico Gianpetroni, who reportedly aided the escape of dozens of people before breaking his leg in a fall. He was found and rescued from deep inside the vessel nearly 36 hours after the ordeal began.

Cruise lines carried more than 15 million passengers in 2011. The industry is highly regulated and passenger safety is the number one concern of all cruise lines. Hopefully, as the cause of this tragedy becomes clear, new systems and procedures can be put into place to prevent an accident of this kind from ever happening again.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the dead and missing and injured, and to their families.”

Outline map of St Vincent and the Grenadines

Of all the islands in the Caribbean, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) ranks in the top for its marine and landscape beauty, the friendliness and peaceful stability of its villages and towns and its non polluted environment. But my country is also one of the least known islands on the international scene.

And maybe that has its advantages in that being less popular means that a pristine and naturally happy environment may be longer lasting; nonetheless, we all like to know that we can travel abroad and be comforted that others have heard about the country of our birth. That is why when a friend of mine notified me of a news story in the international media which was promoting St. Vincent and the Grenadines I quickly investigated for myself.

Chris Hall is the author of the travel article  and I commend him for his simplicity  and apt descriptors that makes it easy for the audience to have a striking image in their mind’s eye of SVG.

I end by quoting a part of Mr Hall’s article. I highly recommend that you follow the link at the bottom of this post to read the article in its entirety.

“…when I arrive on St Vincent, I realise I have tumbled into exactly the Caribbean I was expecting.This is the Caribbean of the imagination, an archipelago of 32 islands – St Vincent and the Grenadines, to give it its full, grand name – scattered luxuriously across the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea. From St Vincent, the largest, in the north, they trail south, towards Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and eventually, South America – a ribbon of land in the blue of the ocean.”

via Caribbean holidays: St Vincent and the Grenadines are a slice of paradise | Mail Online.

Is this a manifestation of the anger and hatred caused by open borders?

When Anders Breivik staged a one man bombing and shooting massacre in Norway last month the obvious question on everybody’s mind was “Why?” The shooter had actually posted a 1500 online document called “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.” In his self-claimed masterpiece he says that a lot of the fuel that ignited the motivation for his planned actions had to do with the growing multicultural diversity and immigration policies of the government.

In essence, he claimed that the sanctity and genuine pristine existence of Europe is being tarnished and tainted by the many people who are migrating and building lives on European soil.

The developing riots in London, the heart of another European country, seems to be founded on sentiments that are reflective in Anders rationale. Over five hundred persons, young people and children really, have been arrested so far. The law enforcement authorities along with the political leadership is scurrying to analyze the situation and respond with a quantitatively like-minded and effective strategies. Tonight, approximately 16 000 police officers are expected to be deployed on the streets of London in an attempt to decisively stamp out further looting and “criminality”, according to the British prime minister.

I found it interesting that many of the views being expressed online are suggesting that the root cause for such wanton acts of community destruction lies in one word: immigration. The many Londoners who were posting their comments  felt somewhat betrayed that their governments have been allowing people from other parts of the world such as Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East to come rather easily it seems and settle in England. Commentators stated that the majority of these immigrants do not in any way contribute to teh development of the London community. they in effect are getting a free ride. One online post said that it is certain that London is never going to be the same after these riots.

From gathering the information I conclude that there are very many Londoners, and I assume Europeans in general, who are feeling hurt and trivialized as immigrants move to their countries to seek a new life. That, to me is a scary realization, and a festering injury. I recall a few months ago that a British member of parliament did echo a very strongly worded challenge to the government to put a halt to the high levels of immigration in England. So, even the legal authorities are confessing that immigration in Europe is getting out of reasonable control.

I don’t know how many persons have had a chance to read Anders manifesto that I referenced earlier in this post, but it seems very clear to me that there may be even at this moment a host of Europeans who are already taking up the baton from him and are preparing to take back their exclusive Europe even if it has to be done through the parts of a blood revolution. As someone who is from one of the geographical areas that has been identified as an immigration source market, I am keeping a keen eye and ear on this situation. Anyone migrating to Europe I guess needs to be astute and make sure that their wellbeing is protected now and in the long run.

Finally, I don’t suspect that the eradication of the current London riots will mean the problem has been solved; that will be like stopping the entrance of a rabbit or ground insect. All that is going to happen is that the creature will find another place and another time to expose itself. So, last month was Norway, this month is London. Where  and when in Europe will be the next manifestation of attempted anarchy?

Following the preliminary report that has said pilot error caused the post landing crash of  Caribbean Airlines flight BW 523 last week in Guyana, I  wondered how likely it is for  an airline to touch down in the middle of a runway it is familiar with and is a part of its daily routes.

There seems to be some underlying careless practices that have been on going at Caribbean Airlines that may have played a factor in the Guyana mishap. The founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications, Felicia Persaud, has voiced publicly her total dissatisfaction with the service of the airline. According to Ms Persaud, while taking a business flight from JFK to Jamaica she encountered exceptionally unpleasant workers and treatment onboard her flight. She claims that even though a booking was made for herself and two colleagues, they were clearly told at check in that it was impossible for them to sit together. In fact, the trio could not even sit in the same general area; however, when they got on board, they discovered that there were more than enough vacant seats for them to sit together.

One of the operational problems of Caribbean Airlines is that passengers are not told their allotted seat at the point of making their bookings. Additionally, since Caribbean Airlines have acquired BWIA, the friendly service and champagne style experience have gone through the door (or has been misplaced in the departure lounge).

Ms Persaud says that the attitude of the Caribbean Airlines crew on board her flight seemed to obviously suggest that they were daring the passengers to come fly with them again. Her flight ended with the business class passengers who had paid a lot more money for a business ticket being forced to wait at the conveyor belt until the economy passengers were finished picking up their luggage.  It is important to state here that Ms Persaud landed in Jamaica just hours before the Caribbean Airlines plane crashed in Guyana.

Such an attitude does not bode well for an airline that is from a region in desperate dependence on tourism and whose company motto is “The warmth of the islands.”

One unhappy bride has revealed that her entire bridal party was left in limbo and stressful frustration when they attempted to seal the deal on booking a flight for the group. After complying with the company by booking months before the flight and paying a deposit to secure seats on the big day, the young woman was told that the seats were never confirmed or booked. She was told that the airline representative who she had dealt with initially was wrong in saying the seats were secured.

On the most important day of her life, the now distraught bride was told that if the group does want to travel on the identified flight they would have to also pay a rate that is higher than what they had locked in the original booking at. Not only that, but now they would have to pay an extra $1000+ right then and there.

Another grain of sand that is in the eyes of Caribbean Airlines customers eyes is the often misplaced pieces of luggage. Yes, all airlines have issues from time to time with misplaced baggage but one Guyanese, Jerrick
Rutherford, feels that the company’s manner of handling such issues is like a slap in the face. Mr Rutherford highlights that when his wife’s bag did not turn up at JFK from Guyana he inquired to its whereabouts. He was told that it would be on the next flight.

The “next flight” came and went.

He tried in vain to contact the relevant company personnel only to be disconnected or excused away. A week or so later, when he spoke to someone whose responsibility was to deal with missing luggage the weary inquirer was told the security or finding of the bag was the sole duty of the person who was working at the time of his wife’s flight.

Mr Rutherford also feels belittled as a person because he claims that Guyana is the only place where he sees passengers traveling with Caribbean Airlines are packed like sardines in an office to make their appointments and bookings. In the small space, there is no privacy and whatever is said becomes public knowledge to anyone in the room at the time.

The above passenger experiences are definitely not good and it places the ball squarely in the court of Caribbean Airlines.  One would hope that they don’t try to fly the skies as though they alone own it and the value customers get from their service is unimportant.

 But I think my biggest alarm with Caribbean Airlines is the F grade that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given the airline. It says the company has not sought accreditation; moreover, Caribbean Airlines has a poor track history of responding satisfactorily to customer complaints. The BBB indicates that sometimes the airline does not even respond to it as regards customer complaints. Most of the complaints that have been settled were settled with the help of the BBB and not through the sole efforts of Caribbean Airlines.

So, what is the probability that an environment of complacency and disregard for customer safety and satisfaction has become the norm of Caribbean Airlines and contributed to pilot error in the Guyana crash? The information outlined above does not make it hard to believe that if the officials keep shaking the tree, more will fall out than just pilot error.

Aviation officials investigating the crash of Caribbean Airlines BW 523 that broke in two last Saturday morning after landing rather precariously at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana have released some preliminary findings.

Accordingly, it seems that the crash that saw some 4 persons hospitalized was due solely to the errors of the pilot(s) in command of the aircraft that was carrying some 162 persons, mostly Guyanese returning from the USA.

Readers will recall that after the crash I posted an article in which one of the passengers, Michael Nedd, said that in his opinion the problem was caused by the plane running out of runway. He believed that the pilots landed the plane in the middle of the airport. Interestingly, that is precisely what the officials have found out in their investigations so far. It is also interesting to note that although the pilot of the destroyed carrier had said that poor visibility and the hazardous condition of the airport was to blame, the investigators have decisively rejected those conditions as factors causing the mishap.

Was this the first time that the pilot in question was landing at Guyana at that time? Could it be that after flying from New York the cockpit crew was overworked and lacked sleep? Was the pilot otherwise distracted by undisclosed cockpit events? These are questions that the officials will most likely put to the crew of flight 523.

Both heads of government of Guyana and Trinidad, where the airline is headquartered, have issued statements to the effect that it was a “miracle no loss of lives” resulted from the incident.

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Please note: It’s now 30 Years.

Today marks exactly twenty-five (25) years since Vincentians at home and abroad were plunged into their most horrifically tragic air disaster in the history of commercial air flight in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

It was on August 3, 1986, that LIAT flight 319 disappeared while attempting to land at the Arnos Vale airport (now renamed The ET Joshua Airport). While all incidents that result in loss of lives are tragic, the untimely deaths of the thirteen souls on board were particularly stinging to all sections of the Vincentian society. That single flight not only  combined a unique mix of some of the most progressive nation builders in our country at the time, but also brought  grief to our regional and international territorial relatives.

Quite possibly the first face that comes to the minds of those of us who were around twenty-five years ago and now recall that stormy Sunday night, is that of Donna Young. Donna epitomized the youthful beauty, charm, female empowerment and potential of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Donna was a bank worker, employed with Barclay’s bank. She had just turned age twenty and was coming back from a holiday trip to America. Donna had won the Miss SVG and Miss Carival shows right here at home in St Vincent in the year 1984. Donna Young also held the Miss OECS title as well. Her smile lit up the stage like no other. One could not help but love Donna Young. To fully appreciate the connection that the Vincentian public had with Donna Young, think of her as the late Princess Diana of the UK or of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) of the United States of America.. Indeed, Donna was our own Vincentian Princess. She was royal.

Donna Young

Donna Young

Also on that ill-fated flight was a watchmaker who was physically challenged. Imagine a gentleman in his wheel chair and is out and about daily taking orders and repairing watches. That was the fortitude of Robert Fraser, who was born with no legs. Disability was never going to be his inability! Robert Fraser was on the flight, coming back home from a seminar in St Lucia that focused on persons like himself who could not walk or had other physical challenges.

IMG_20140804_122553Then there was a family of husband, wife and eight-year-old son who perished that August night. Again, it is expected that everybody’s death will be mourned, but, alas, this was not the average Vincentian family. At just seven years into its political independence from Great Britain, St Vincent and the Grenadines was unfortunate to lose its political opposition leader and two members of his family. Hudson Tannis, along with his wife and son, Ordway,  were returning from a wedding in St Lucia and happened to be aboard  flight 319. Hudson Tannis was also the former Deputy Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines during the Labour Party government of Milton Cato.

The Grenadines also felt the loss of lives because a native of Bequia, a female passenger listed as Alida Ollivierre, was returning home for her friend’s wedding. She was actually traveling on flight 319 with the bridegroom, Rufus Nelson, a Dominican.

Other passengers on the doomed flight included Busta Lockhart, a Vincentian who was on his way back from cutting cane in Canada. Another Vincentian passenger on board was Ruth Babb. The remaining passengers were two Italians. So, of the  thirteen persons on the plane, eight of them were Vincentians.

L-R: Hudson Tannis, his son Ordway, and his wife, Christine Tannis

L-R: Hudson Tannis, his son Ordway, and his wife, Christine Tannis

The aircraft was being piloted by two pilots, Phillip Roach of Guyana and Keith Hobbins of Jamaica. It has been said that the pilot captaining the flight, although he had been to SVG before, was now doing so as the pilot in command. Apparently, he had an idea where the runway was. Unfortunately, owing to the mountainous terrain of the country, the airport is right next to the Caribbean Sea. Because of the rainfall that night, the place was foggy. Visibility would have been extremely poor. Later, residents of Cane Garden will say that they heard the aircraft circling and then the sound of a sputtering engine. Liat flight 319 aborted the first landing attempt. It was during the second landing attempt that the plane disappeared.

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For days and weeks after, all able-bodied man, woman and child, took to the sea and shore to do what they could to find any signs of remains. Apart from a sighting of some floating oil, the remnants of that plane was never to be seen again. At least up to this day. It is said that the waters in the Grenadines are among some of the deepest in the hemisphere, measuring between 180 to 1000 feet. Along with our local coast guard, there were other coast guard ships from Caribbean countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezeula, and Barbados.

In addition to all those boat searches, The Trinidad and Tobago government sent a helicopter, and the USA sent an aeroplane to participate in an aerial search and rescue effort.

The following weekend one of the largest and most sombre memorial services was held at the Victoria Park, where everybody who is anybody in St Vincent turned out to sympathize with a grieving nation. Saturday August 9, 1986, and Sunday August 10, were declared official days of mourning and flags were flown at half mast across the country.

Prime Minister of SVG, James Mitchell, at the memorial service for flight 319 passengers at the Victoria Park on Sunday August 10, 1986

Prime Minister of SVG, James Mitchell, at the memorial service for flight 319 passengers at the Victoria Park on Sunday August 10, 1986

This is the last recorded air mishap that LIAT has had which had a direct impact on Vincentians.

I hope that our younger generation will at least take a moment today and pause in reflection of the wealth of human and Vincentian potential that we all lost that night. One cannot help but feel that somehow our lives in St Vincent would have been that much richer as a result of the contributions made by the “unlucky 13” of LIAT flight 319, back on August 3, 1986.

May their souls enjoy eternal bliss.

The Caribbean Airlines Aircraft Broke in Two after a Hard Landing

According to Michael Nedd, one of the 162 persons on board the BW flight 523 of Caribbean Airlines that crashed in Guyana earlier this morning, the airplane hit the runway very hard and passengers began screaming after their heads were repeatedly being banged against their head rests. He said that there was little or no time to prepare for the crash; the cockpit crew did not issue any announcements or warnings before the crash.

After the passengers got an emergency door opened they jumped outside in a state of pandemonium. Mr Nedd indicates that when they got outside of the plane that had broken in two, there were no persons from Guyana or the airport to assist them. Mr Nedd said he called his son, who worked at the same airport where the incident happened. He said his son clearly told him that no one at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport  knew that the plane had overshot the runway and had broken in two.

Apparently, it took an unusually long  time for assistance to arrive. Only one passenger, a man with a broken leg, will be kept in the hospital while the others with minor injuries are being released. The majority of the passengers were Guyanese born, American nationals. The flight had originated from New York.

One of the concern now is for the provision of counselling services for the survivors. Guyana, apparently, does not have the human resources, apart from social workers, to provide that service.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Airlines are refuting claims that the incident is being  reported as a crash; they claim that it was an overshooting of the runway and not a crash. The Airline is issuing the clarification in hopes of alerting the public that its safety record has not been tainted by this incident. However, Mr Nedd says that the plane landed in the middle of the runway and so there was just not enough space for the plane to safely come to a stop.

There will be more posts as information comes to hand.

While it is not completely unheard of, commercial air carriers crashing in the Caribbean is a relatively rare occurrence. However, people around the Caribbean are waking up this morning to the news that a plane carrying one hundred and sixty-two persons, inclusive of  8 crew members, came down amid torrential rains in Guyana at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport .

The crash happened about 1:30 am some three hours after its scheduled landing. The Caribbean Airlines craft broke in two after it shot past the runway because it couldn’t stop.

No lives were lost, although there were some resulting injuries such as the pilot’s broken leg.

Almost every year it is safe to say that the summer will not be complete without a commercial aircraft falling out of the sky somewhere in the world. I think that is so because the summer months are the unofficial “fly a plane” season. There have been reports from various aviation officials that often times pilots are overworked, and some even admitted falling asleep while thousands of miles above the earth.

In fact, the Air France plane that crashed in the Atlantic ocean in June 2009, just three hours into its eleven hour flight from Brazil to Paris, was at the time without its senior pilot in the cockpit. That is what the data recovered from the black boxes reveal. The captain had gone back in the cabin to sleep, apparently.

Readers of Ashford Daniel Writes will recall that I recently posted entries that dealt with  Caribbean Airlines and how its Trinidad government is greatly subsidizing its fuel for it to have a comparative advantage in the evolving Caribbean market; but even with a government hand out the Trinidad public was still grasping the available flights being offered by Redjet. Redjet is soon to commence operations to Trinidad and Tobago.

With the crash now of a Caribbean Airlines aircraft, exactly what impact will that have on the future demands for seats on Redjet and on Caribbean Airlines?

Officials in Trinidad will hold a press conference later this morning on this breaking news.

I had to come back with this quick follow-up post because our older folks told us to strike the iron while the anvil is hot. A former Caribbean diplomat, Sir Ronald Sanders, writing in the Caribbean 360 online newspaper today has echoed some sentiments that made me look carefully to ensure it wasn’t my writing. I guess brilliant minds think alike. *_*

One of the revelations that Sir Ronald makes is that the very high prices charged for our beloved LIAT‘s tickets are dual mostly to the high government taxes. This is sad and shows the pervading colonial type mentality in terms of economic provisions still reigning among our leaders. Can you imagine that LIAT pays such regularly high landing fees and still our governments are charging the consumers and traveling public so much heavy-duty taxes on their tickets. Some of us, on all of this, still has to pay a departure tax to leave our own island home!

How much longer will our Caribbean citizens be held as hostages for myopic government aviation policies?

In his article as well, Sir Ronald analyses on the political wrestling match that has been going on between Redjet and its opposing countries of Jamaica and Trinidad. I am sharing a direct quote from the article. It is particularly important because as a Vincentian I must be concerned about the level of respect shown (or not shown) to my country and its leader.
Here, now, is the quote:

“What is even worse, at no time was St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves brought into the wounding discussions over permitting Redjet to fly – and he is the person in the CARICOM quasi-cabinet with responsibility for overseeing air transportation. Redjet may have been given permission to fly to Trinidad and Jamaica thereby adding to their Guyana route, but that is only a battle, a real war is yet to come unless good sense infects the thinking of CARICOM’s leadership and a sensible aviation policy is established taking account of both commercial realities and public good.”

I could not have put it any better myself!

I believe that it is up to the citizens of the region to arise, just like the Barbados Prime Minister, and say enough is enough. It is from Sir Ronald Sanders article today that I am learning that Jamaica and Trinidad have been in discussions aimed at having the government of Trinidad and its carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) buy over the Jamaican airline Air Jamaica.

It also seems that the Trinidad government is subsidizing the fuel of CAL so as to give it a comparative advantage; however, even Trinidadians are running headlong to Redjet because they are booking seats faster than the spreading of a fire along a dried hillside.

I’d like to recommend Sir Ronald’s article and so I’m including its link here:

http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/opinion/479569.html#axzz1SlaGq6w8

Are Trinidad and Jamaica afraid that Redjet is too hot to handle?

Redjet is the newest air carrier to come on stream in the Caribbean. It is a business venture originating from the island of Barbados where its investors are attempting to provide comparatively low fares to the region’s air destinations. I used the word “attempt” just now because it seems that some Caribbean heads of government want Redjet to become an aerospace abortion.

Granted, while I think that Redjet counted its chickens before they were hatched by announcing scheduled start dates for commercial flights into Trinidad and Jamaica before apparently following protocol applications, the unflinchingly critical opposition that these two countries meted to the airline has not given a favourable impression of Caricom or Caribbean unity.

Even if there were issues that needed clarifying the parties involved could have settled their differences privately and discretely.

I am tired of the constant blockading of new airlines trying to get access to the Caribbean skies; especially so when the traveling public can get a much-needed rebate on ticket price. As it is now, especially for those of us who are hostages of LIAT, air fares really instil air fears into persons who have no choice but to fly.

However, I want to big up the Prime Minister of Barbados who put his two feet down on the matter a few weeks ago.

The Prime Minister said that he is basically hurt and feels betrayed by his Trinidad and Tobago’s equal because Barbados approved the licenses of the Trinidad and Tobago carrier, Caribbean Airlines without even thinking twice, but Trinidad has been like a nagging woman complaining about unmet safety issues.

The Barbados Head bluntly stated that he can play the same game that Trinidad is playing. And I was glad to hear this. I was looking forward to a subsequent announcement out of Barbados that Caribbean airlines’ license has been revoked.

I mean the issues that obstruct Caribbean unity are so infinitesimal and irrelevant that we must begin to call them for the bull s*** that they are!

And that’s exactly true you know. Not too long after Barbados said enough is enough, both Jamaica and Trinidad announced almost on cue that approval has been iven to Redjet to begin commercial flights into their respective countries.

Imagine! It takes threats to activate the mechanisms of progress in my Caribbean. I wonder if my Caribbean citizens are paying attention? Caribbean people, the Arab world has sent a message of the democratic reality: governments must do what the people want–not what they see as politically astute.

But the saga is not quit finished as yet because Redjet has no confirmation as to exactly when its low-cost wheels will be touching down in Jamaica or Trinidad.

You know, I can’t help but wonder how come the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has not given a statement of its position on the Redject issue?

Like Redjet is burning them up?

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