Friday, Nov 15, 2019
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WTO scare tactics or facts?

Dear Editor,

It is said that people like me who don’t like WTO and have the courage to say so are using “scare tactics”.

I must admit that what I say is scary, but they are not “tactics”; they are facts.

Believe it or not, I believe in foreign investment. But I do object to a group that is in no way tied to The Bahamas making investment decisions for us. The reason is very simple. The WTO is a group made up of some very wealthy and powerful nations. The decisions they make will be for their benefit, not ours. We should be making decisions for the benefit of our grandchildren.

As we all know, there are nations who would like to take over our fishing areas, wipe them clean and leave. I would like to know that our fishermen could leave their boats to their children and grandchildren. I would like to see that those Bahamians who operate fly fishing businesses in The Bahamas can hand their trade and its profits over to their children and grandchildren. That’s not too hard to understand, is it?

When I was a young man, gas stations were owned by Bahamians and the owners could hand them over to their children. How many gas stations are still owned by Bahamians? Do the fathers have anything to leave? How hard is that to understand?

Some have used Austin Levy, the father of Hatchet Bay Eleuthera, as an example of foreign investment. When Levy came here there was some disagreement as to what he could do. A.F. Adderley represented Levy, and Sir Stafford Sands represented a group later known as the “Bay Street Boys”. Levy won.

The important thing was that Bahamians who lived here would wallow in the bad or profit from the good of the decision.

Hatchet Bay and Levy were successful. Levy showed by his performance that it takes three ingredients to make a business successful: production, transportation and marketing. It is unfortunate that the PLP ran him out of here.

If we join the WTO, decisions that will affect us will be made in some distant land by some people who have never lived here and don’t know how to find The Bahamas on a map. They will decide what is good for them, not for us who live here.

People say that protections for some Bahamian businesses have been put in place for when we join the WTO. Who made the decisions? Were the Bahamian people asked? Or were they made for “some government cronies”, as usual?

Furthermore, what happens if they change their minds after we’ve joined? “Sue them,” is the cry. Who’s going to pay the bill? Are you joking?

The other alternative is that we can pull out. Yeh? Check with the English who want to pull out of the EU. Once you’ve joined and get enmeshed with them, it’s next to impossible to pull out.

Yes Bahamians and residents of The Bahamas, I said in my recent article that joining the WTO was like a flea crawling up an elephant’s leg with the intention of rape. Well it looks as though the elephant has turned around and is going to rape the flea. And you know what will happen? The flea will die.

Scare tactics? No, just facts.

– Pierre V. L. Dupuch

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