By JACK WARNER
Imagine Dale Marshall, the Attorney General of Barbados, has to teach the Government of Trinidad and Tobago how to treat their own people.
It is embarrassing for us when a foreign power can demonstrate more empathy and love for citizens from this Trinidad and Tobago than a Government to whom we pay taxes.
Thirty-five (35) elderly citizens of Trinidad and Tobago landed in Barbados en route to the land of their birth and were told that the borders were closed and despite the best efforts on the part of the Barbadian Government, this Rowley administration refused to open our borders to let them in.
Dale Marshall made it clear that Barbados has no legal responsibility to accept our 35 elderly citizens. As a matter of fact landing rights for this group could have been denied.
But he posited that when he considered the state England was in and the fact that these were elderly people and he did not know what their situation would have been if he had denied them entry in Barbados, he decided to take a principled approach unlike Stuart Young and open the doors for Trinbago nationals something that Stuart Young and our own Government have refused to do.
Marshall understands that he has to protect Barbadians first but he also accepted that this was a humanitarian cause and not because our Government reneged on their responsibility would he abandon our elderly folk in their time of need.
He showed the kind of mercy that we expected of Stuart Young but his behaviour was reflective of the priest and Levite in the Good Samaritan story; his self-righteous nature took him beyond the bounds of human compassion.
No, Dr. Rowley, No!
Young’s pathetic response about some isolated individual who is a Venezuelan resident does not resonate with the people of this country because we know about how, just a little under a year ago, our Government opened our borders to take in Venezuelans without even doing proper background checks.
But when it comes to extending that same level of magnanimity to our own, our elderly, he could not find one drop of sympathy within his heart to open our doors to let 35 elderly folk return home.
The Bajans put them in quarantine after all the protocols relating to their health were conducted to ensure the safety of the Barbados population and this was all we were asking Stuart Young to do.
But one can only wonder about the 35 elderly and muse whether the reason why the doors could not be opened for them was because they did not look or speak like Stuart Young so he found no difficulty in disenfranchising this group, maybe they looked like Prime Minister Rowley’s “Partap.”
Stuart Young must tell the national community whether it is true that he made exceptions for a non-national who arrived at our port after the order of not accepting non-nationals was passed and if that is so Stuart must tell us why exceptions could not have been made for our own.
But there are anecdotes that are making the rounds and you need to clear the air as to whether these are fake because it paints an ugly picture with regard to the denial of our 35 elderly folk.
We are also not accepting Prime Minster Rowley’s narrative about working together with the Barbadian government in the interest of the 35 elderly Trinbagonians because the tone of Dale Marshall as he spoke to the media did not refelct the benevolence that Dr. Rowley wishes to appropriate to his Government. No, Dr. Rowley, No!
Those who gloat in support of your actions will one day find themselves in an even worse situation and will hope that our Government will show some empathy when their turn comes around.
For me what is passing strange is the fact that Barbados was willing to accept our people and make arrangements to keep them quarantined and sanitised to protect their population but we could not find it in our own hearts to open the door and extend the same courtesies for our own.
These are troubled times, Stuart.
These are times when it seems as though the vengeance of God is visiting the iniquity of the people.
I do hope that the prayers of the 35 are heard that God blesses the Government of Barbados and rid this nation of the oppressors that live among us.
May God watch over our 35 citizens in Barbados as hopefully He is doing for the 58 in Margarita and may He bless Dale Marshall and the Government and the people of Barbados.
But for Stuart Young, there is nothing for which we will ask God for them during these troubling and worrisome times.