Salimos de ALBA and the Era of Good Behaviour

When the newly-elected Mitchell regime embarked on the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in 2013, the driving motive was to save the Government, politically, by avoiding economic and financial collapse.

Victor Burke, as Minister for Finance, had previously appeared reluctant to bring the very recommendations for fixing the broken economy to his Cabinet. Today, that which was meant to save the NNP in Office has produced powerful and unexpected benefits. Appearances are that the SAP has worked to salvage the reputation of PM Mitchell and to position him on the world stage as a Statesman of sorts. No Chavez or ghost of Chavez will be allowed to block his emergence on the world stage! And who can blame him?

Repeatedly during his Press Conference on April 27, the PM called attention to the “international image” of Grenada, while shielding his own imminent payday as a leader with a new and more positive image.

That new image of the PM is being cultivated by some in the multilateral system, particularly, on his account, the World Bank. So now, he is chairing and co-chairing various international meetings; he is invited to sit on the Board of the UN body specialised in Statistics; the Partnership Dialogue on Ocean Governance, Paris 21, Americas Conference, among others.

Then, bigly, the World Bank is promising to frontload financial resources, not just for projects in specified areas such as Climate Change Adaptation, but, curiously, for budgetary support! Yuh makin’ joke? Grenada is earmarked to get US$65 million over three years, with as much as US$52 million being available in short order!

ALBA cannot deliver that kind of money! And a positive image of Grenada on the world stage cannot be consistent with a continuing relationship with an anti-democratic and increasingly repressive regime in Caracas. Therefore, Mr Nimrod’s statement on Venezuela is pronounced as containing words that are “inappropriate language” and Grenada is now calling for a brokered settlement of the political controversy in Venezuela. Things have changed! Maduro is on his own! He can no longer count on Grenada. He will do well to be briefed on the dumping of Taiwan and the embrace of China by PM Mitchell.

If you were still unconvinced, listen to the Government’s position on GRENLEC. No more hard-talk and standoff, but now a declared readiness to go to negotiations in a spirit of compromise. As the PM put it, “it’s not in Grenada’s interest to go fight, internationally”. The cost to Grenada is not only in terms of money, but in terms of international image!

Then, on the Charles Liu (Mt Hartman Project) issue, one hears the Prime Minister touching on the need for potential investors there to be untainted! At some point, to be consistent, he will have to pronounce on the fate of Liu after the elections. Clearly, Charles Liu cannot be good for the “international image” of Grenada. Disconnecting Liu supposedly carries significant risks of disclosure!

So the Prime Minister is breathing new air at Mt Royal and many will be happy for him. He did say that he had been to hell and back! It seems that he was speaking the truth! He is clearly surrounding himself with new buzz words, “international image”. That image is said to be good for Grenada, but it is massive for the personal standing of the PM himself.

This development represents a complete reversal, even perhaps, a cleansing from the stigma of the ‘briefcase’ in Switzerland. Whichever it is, Dr Mitchell must now be a very happy man at the prospect of respectability as a Statesman on the international stage. Going forward, ‘no habla espanol’; no more ‘viva la memoria de Chavez’; no more ‘viva ALBA’!

But there is more! Oh, how I wonder at the power of my God! He is saying I have chosen a successor to lead the Nation. Grenadians, ‘’count it all joy’’ the impartation has been given that ‘London has green eyes’! So the preparation has begun for the restoration and elevation of the Grenadian people to commence shortly after the upcoming elections. If you believe, as I do, it’s time to say, “Count me in”!

William Joseph

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