Grenada is at a political crossroads. A combustible mix of Keith Mitchell’s right wing populism and Chester Humphrey’s doctrinaire communism is threatening the freedom and democracy that we take for granted.
In spite of the tumultuous history of their relationship, Mitchell and Humphrey have no qualms about getting together periodically to fight a common enemy or to advance a mutually beneficial cause. Their latest romance has been consummated under the guise of “Project Grenada”.
Project Grenada, Humphrey’s brainchild, is nothing but a smokescreen for the establishment of a totalitarian regime in Grenada. Although this “project” has no clearly stated objectives, careful observation will reveal that many of the actions undertaken by the NNP/RMC are geared towards the total elimination of all political competitors.
This dangerous NNP/RMC alliance is developing along eerily similar lines to those followed by the 20th century’s most repressive regimes, headed by Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.
Since regaining power in 2013, the NNP/RMC has moved swiftly to take full control of all institutions that are meant to be independent of the political directorate. For example, the removal of Willan Thompson as Commissioner of Police has paved the way for blatant political manipulation of the day to day management of the Royal Grenada Police Force and the Financial Intelligence Unit. This control is achieved mainly by the appointment of known NNP loyalists and politically exposed persons to head these entities.
The Public Service Commission and the Electoral Office have not escaped the reach of “Project Grenada”. The appointment of Prescott Swan, an executive member of the NNP, to the PSC, was clear evidence that all state institutions were to be remade in the image and likeness of the ruling party.
Judy Benoit’s firing, Aaron Francois’s resignation, the transfer of Rupert Mc Burnie and government’s failure to appoint a new Supervisor of Elections for several months, all point to a determination of the NNP/RMC to use state resources and institutions to consolidate their hold on power.
Recognising the power of the media, both traditional and electronic, the Mitchell administration has established an almost iron grip over the flow of information. Its total control over the GIS, coupled with the use of incentives to individual journalists, withdrawal of broadcasters’ licences and Mitchell’s early warning to the media that they should consult him before publishing negative stories, amount to a few more blocks in the edifice of the totalitarian state.
The infamous Electronic Crimes Act was another attempt to silence critics of the regime. Cognisant of the use of social media by young people throughout the world as they seek to effect political change, the Mitchell regime designed sections of that law to intimidate and “manners” the youth of Grenada should they ever pose a challenge to his rule.
To cap things off, a network of mercenary scribes and mouthpieces has been deployed to discredit the leadership of the opposition NDC and to promote the NNP/RMC marriage.
Another important aspect of Project Grenada is the system of patronage which ensures that all economic benefits of the State are distributed first to NNP/RMC loyalists and whatever, if any remains, will go to the rest.
As part of this strategy, no effort will be spared to ensure that as many youths as possible are at least given a monthly stipend with the clear objective that they will be kept quiet and away from the influence of any anti-government movement. Mitchell has continued the long-established NNP culture of dependence on politicians by the more vulnerable persons in society for their survival.
There has been a concerted attempt by the NNP/RMC to exercise strategic influence in the leadership of the churches, business community, NGOs and the trade unions so as to ensure little or no obstruction or opposition to the work of “Project Grenada”.
History has shown that acquiescence, silence and apathy only serve to nurture and entrench dictatorships. The time is now for people of conscience and integrity to stand and be counted in defence of our homeland. We owe it to current and future generations to build a nation of freedom and justice, under the guidance of the Almighty, and not one based on political expediency and diabolical machinations.
No to totalitarianism! Long live multi-party Democracy!