Editorials

Troubling signs!!!

The arrival of yet another private plane with Chinese business people at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) on Monday afternoon should be sending alarming bells among the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

THE NEW TODAY has every reason to believe based on its own intelligence gathering that there is more underneath the surface with the increasing presence of these Chinese businessmen on the island in recent weeks.

This newspaper will not condemn the Chinese for coming because businessmen look for opportunities and it is in their interest to take any that presents itself where and whenever.

It is hardly unlikely that the Chinese are not aware of the decision taken by Grenada and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to prevent persons who visited China within the last 14 days to come to our shores.

It cannot be by accident that despite this particular travel ban the Chinese will still head for Grenada without the full knowledge of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Who in the government knew about this plane coming to Grenada and for what purpose? Were the Chinese businessmen coming to meet with government officials, persons in the private sector or both of them?

THE NEW TODAY had picked up information early Monday that the plane carrying the Chinese investors were due to land in Grenada on Sunday but were waiting on clearance from someone to make the journey to the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).

So the logical question is this: Who is it in Grenada that the Chinese were in direct contact with on making the trip to the island?

Did someone assure them that they would get clearance to land at MBIA?

There appears to be some link between the visiting Chinese businessmen and the Mitchell-led government on the recent developments involving Grenlec and other issues that are currently on the front-burner of the administration.

The public should now be fully aware of a draft document in circulation in which a move seems to be afoot by government to deal in a hostile manner with the Grenlec shares now in the hands of the U.S-based company WRB Enterprise and ordinary Grenadians.

This newspaper will not support any move by government to engage in underhand deals to effect a takeover of Grenlec and WRB which came to our rescue back in the 1990’s to end the days of massive power outages when Dr. Mitchell was Minister of Works and his deputy Gregory Bowen served as General Manager of the company.

Prime Minister Mitchell and the NNP regime should not be allowed to take over Grenlec is this manner and create the conditions for it to fall in the hands of the Chinese.

Any such move should be interpreted as an attack on U.S interest in the Caribbean and sending a clear signal to Washington that Grenada is prepared to throw American companies under the bus for the Chinese.

This will mark a significant shift in foreign policy by Grenada who should be forever grateful for the U.S-led rescue mission in October 1983 that brought an end to bitter political strife on the island including the execution of a Prime Minister and three Cabinet ministers on Fort George in the madness that took place for political control within the New Jewel Movement (NJM).

The current Prime Minister is seemingly forgetting and might be showing ungratefulness as the Americans created the conditions for him to come back home from exile as he was declared persona non-grata by the 1979-83 Grenada Revolutionaries as a stooge of Washington and a nasty CIA spy.

Today Dr. Mitchell is surrounding himself with some of the same elements who were prepared to shoot and kill him as a common criminal in the days of the Revo in what can now be considered as anti-american posturing by the NNP administration on the Grenlec issue.

THE NEW TODAY is also picking up credible information that the NNP administration is looking to strike a deal with the Chinese businessmen to take over our oil and gas exploration business from the Russians.

About a year ago, Public Utilities Minister Gregory Bowen announced at an important NNP party meeting that the Russians were financially broke and that talks are taking place with a Chinese group of investors to get involved in Grenada’s oil and gas business.

Less than a month ago, this newspaper reported that the Kuwaiti company, CCC which has been engaged in road construction under the NNP regime for over 25 years is pulling out of Grenada at a time when our own roads are in serious decay and need rebuilding.

It is our information that the current NNP regime is looking towards the Chinese to take over from CCC as the new road construction company operating in Grenada.

All this is linked to the NNP getting ready for the next general election and looking to the Chinese to pump millions into their coffers to seek another five year term in office.

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is apparently asleep and not aware of what is happening underneath the surface as Dr. Mitchell crafts his way to another election due within the next three years.

This newspaper is sending out a warning to Grenadians that the U.S government is not sleeping but is very much interested in Grenada’s flirtation with the Chinese given the geo-politics of the region.

About a month ago, a senior member of the administration in Washington warned Jamaica and other Caribbean countries about accepting the soft loans offered by China at very attractive concessionary rates given the unfolding of events in Africa with the Chinese and their money.

Dr. Mitchell might be preparing to take the gamble by accepting what might appear at this point in time to be easy money from the Chinese since he might not be around in the next 15-20 years to start paying back but to leave that burden to a next generation of Grenadian leaders.

It is imperative that all of us in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique demand from the NNP to see any of the contracts with the fine prints signed with the Chinese on loans to our country.

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