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Commentary: The Attempts to Delegitimize Roosevelt Skerrit in Dominica

by: - November 20, 2019
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The attempts to delegitimize Roosevelt Skerrit in Dominica

 

by Whitfield Mason

Political Commentator

It is clearly emerging that an overseas-funded orchestrated war against Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has been unleashed.

In a campaign suspected to be funded, in part, by a global citizenship and residence advisory firm, and in another part by conservative Republican forces in the United States, there is a move to delegitimize the Prime-Ministership of the Dominican leader.

The main two motivating factors, are — on the one hand that passport-selling firm’s peeve of not being engaged by the Skerrit administration in its CBI programme, and on the other hand, globalist politics not too entertained by Roseau’s unwavering progressive stances in the region and internationally.

It is not coincidence that the opposition has focused on two things in the run-up to the elections – a theory opposition Lennox Linton was given to float that 1.2 billion dollars are missing from the CBI program, and complaints about lack of progress on electoral reform.

Both parties have blamed each other for the lack of progress on the issue of reform, and though there are some good suggestions on the table to enhance the process, even with the disappointing lack of progress, the system as it is, can deliver free and fair elections, as it has done in the past.

After threatening for months with not taking part in general elections until electoral reforms were instituted, the United Workers Party, in an about turn, said they will field a full slate of candidates.

They have since boasted that they are confident they will win the December 6 vote, which flies in the face of the counter-narrative which has been promoted largely on social media; that the elections will not be free and fair.

But this counter narrative is part of a well thought-out plan.

It is the opposition’s insurance policy, to cry foul, and to be able to instigate unrest against the DLP after the elections should the incumbent win the vote.

If the challengers win, the results will be fine with the sponsors. If not, the ring leaders will instigate a level of unrest that could force the hand of the government, and set the stage for foreign interference in a bid to force Skerrit out of office once and for all.

The threat to Dominica’s democracy is real, and it is not from inside – but from powerful forces from outside, especially those who have frowned upon the DLP’s government brave defense of Venezuelan sovereignty; perceived close relations with China and support of progressive ideas and causes particularly in Latin America.

What happened on Monday night was a coordinated escalation of what until then was a mundane nightly ‘vigil’ outside the President’s house.

Agitators, armed with a running generator, paid-for expanded internet bandwidth and cameras rolling, came with the stated aim of pushing down police barriers and marching onto the house of the president, hoping to ignite a confrontation with the police that will be caught live to the world in real time.

In many ways, it backfired.

The police, inspite of being taunted, physically assaulted and facing a handful of r riotous men, some who jumped behind security barriers, acted with unbelievable restraint.

There was no serious injury. No one was arrested. No brutality.

There are not too many places in the Caribbean that this would have ended so nicely.

But as if on cue, as soon as the video of the incident – one a paid live stream -popped up online, there were commentaries and articles appearing in coordination on many websites and social media platforms riling about “Dominican unrest” and about the leadership of Skerrit.

With impressive speed, the US Embassy in Barbados issued a travel advisory.

The demonization of the Dominican leader by some of the forces has been a long-term project, only now, with three weeks to go before an election, it is on steroids.

Where did we see that script before? Salvador Allende in Chile 1973? Michael Manley in Jamaica in 1992?

It might be a different era, but it the same strategy from an old playbook.

The insertion of the spectre of violence in Dominica’s elections is a concept that is funded in a capital far removed from Roseau. It is the beginning of the sowing the seed of rebellion against a man, who by every conceivable independent yardstick, has delivered more for Dominica’s poorest in recent years, than at any time in history.