Fri 31st Oct 2014

Mustique operates like an apartheid state

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa, under which the rights, associations, and movements of the majority black inhabitants were curtailed. Apartheid was abolished in South Africa in 1994, but, sadly, apartheid lives on in SVG.

Mustique operates like an apartheid state. The white super-rich live a life of luxury, but very harsh rules and conditions our imposed on indigenous Vincentians living in Mustique.

Like South Africa during the days of apartheid and the USA pre-1970s, Mustique has a regime of racial segregation. There is a new pre-school in Mustique that has only white children. It seems like the super-rich irrationally think that their precious white children might ‘catch something’ distasteful from black children.

Indigenous Vincentians who work in Mustique live apart from the super-rich, segregated in an area known as Lovell Village.

Indigenous Vincentians who own property in Mustique cannot rent out their property to earn a few extra dollars, whereas the super-rich foreigners of Mustique can rent out their property. The super-rich foreigners are charging up to EC$135,000 a week in rent for their properties and collectively making billions of dollars.

Indigenous Vincentians who own property in Mustique cannot pass on their property by will to their children. This economic oppression of our indigenous people is unjust. A Green government will abolish this apartheid system.

Indigenous Vincentians who own property in Mustique must seek permission from the super-rich to have a visitor come and stay. They must fill in a form called the ‘Mustique overnight guest authorisation form for residents of Lovell village’ and give it to the apartheid regime for clearance, before they can bring a visitor to their home in Mustique.

This is clearly done to control the movements of people and the policy can be likened to the Pass laws in apartheid South Africa, 1800-1994. Slaves in South Africa were forced to carry passes so their owners could control their movements. Do the super-rich of Mustique think they own the indigenous Vincentians in Mustique?

As the Mustique rich get richer, the rules for indigenous Vincentians get harsher. There seems to be a vindictive curtailment of Vincentians freedoms in order to impose some kind of psychotic control over Vincentians and maximise financial gain.

What kind of psychosis must exist in a person’s mind, not just to think of these racist rules, but to happily impose them too and deliberately inflict hardship and suffering on another human being.

Work for many Vincentians in Mustique is on a part-time basis. This means that many workers are not entitled to a pension or gratuity. Again, this policy seeks to maximise profit for the super-rich and oppress poor people, no matter how many years of good work they have done.

Indigenous Vincentians who own property in Mustique were forced to pay the Inland Revenue Department property tax before 30th September 2014 or be liable of a fine of 10% per month. Under the Property Tax Act, indigenous Vincentians can be sent to jail for not paying their property tax. Meanwhile, the super-rich of Mustique do not pay tax.

The psychotic and vindictive regime in Mustique that exerts excessive control over indigenous Vincentians, will not be tolerated under a Green government. There is no rational reason for apartheid to exist in our country.

A Green government will abolish the tax and customs duty exemptions given to the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and use the money gained from taxing the super-rich to build free, high-quality pre-schools and a science and technology university for SVG’s children.

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