Dominica: Independence Reflection

As we reflect on the 41st anniversary of our independence let’s reflect on who we are, and how we arrived where we are today! What is Dominica, and who are Dominicans?

Dominica is an English speaking in the Caribbean and part of the British Commonwealth. It is covertly known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean. The country is a parliamentary democracy. It is the homeland of approximately 72, 000 on Island and over 150,000 in different parts of the globe, including but not limited to the Caribbean, the continent to Africa, to South America, to Asia.

No matter where Dominicans reside they maintain a deep and powerful connection to the island. Recently, we have had some (High Valued Citizens) as the Prime Minister refers to added to our Dominicaness! They became Dominican citizens through what began, as a genuine program to raise capital for investment in Dominica, under the freedom party, and continued under the United Workers Party, but has now become a nightmare for Dominica under the Roosevelt Skerrit rogue regime. That is a story in itself, for another time.

With the advent of new and improved technology, Dominicans abroad feel closer to home than ever and they remain involved in all aspects of Dominican life. Many Dominicans at home have not yet come to grips with what is happening on the Island and as a result, the politicians have created a divide between Dominicans abroad who understand and question what is happening to Dominica, and those at home. There is a dangerous “Us and them” syndrome presently which is unhealthy for the development of the nation.

Dominica began its path to independence with labor unrest in the 1930s. The friction continued until it led to self-determination and eventual independence in 1978 under the leadership of Partrick R. John. The political turbulence did not end with the attainment of independence but continued through this day in various forms and degrees.

1979 marks the most turbulent year in Dominica’s history, both in terms of natural disasters and political unrest. Dominica suffered serious economic problems and the effects of devastating hurricane strikes in 1979 and 1980. It would appear that the country had not fully recovered from these past events, when we got hit again, by Erika 2015 followed by monster Maria in 2017. The remnants of these misfortunes continue to loom over the Island like a dark cloud, in so many different ways.

Today it is common knowledge to almost every Dominican at home and abroad that the beloved homeland has been going through some more turbulent times, both natural and political, especially over the past two decades. As the commentators and political observers put it, “Dominica is pregnant with issues” big, serious and many issues. Those who have been watching closely and vigilantly can paint a pretty accurate and frightening picture of how Dominica got to this point, the dangerous and destructive path is clear for those who have eyes to see. Dominica has gone on the wrong trail of the tracks to prosperity, preservation of democracy, and most of all, the constitution. The very core of Dominica is in jeopardy.

The calypsonians and their astute writers saw the trail clearly, and the 2012 calypso season they really put the spotlight on the issues and the trail with masterpieces like “State Enemy” by………“Never Be a Slave Again” by Soul Puss, “Everything is Back to Front” by Vigilante “Where Have All Our Passports Gone” by De Web, “Conscience Lost and Found” by Booplay, ‘Rose Giving Me Blows” by Karessah, “Just Burn, Sicko” by Sye, Technicality by …………. “Win Lose or Draw” by Explosion and many others. But specifically –Back to Country True Confession” by written by the legendary Pat Aaron and sung by the equally legendary now nine times crowned Calypsonian, King Dice. What did we learn from what these calypsonians were telling us in their commentaries? What did we learn from the many Dominican patriots who tried to open our eyes so that we could clearly see what was happening to our lovely Dominica?

Dominicans, the time has come for us to do what we have to do to save the country that we all love! No matter what one’s political affiliation may be, no matter how much one likes or loves the people at the helm of this runaway train, it is now even more important that Dominicans take stock and pay heed. As Bob Marley so brilliantly put in his song “For when the rain begins to fall, it won’t fall on one man’s house top” Remember that. It won’t choose which house top is green, red, or blow to pounce on. So now, with much more urgency it is time for every Dominican at home and abroad to look to the future of Dominica, our country, and return to our country, our beloved homeland!

It is time for all Dominica to reflect and ask themselves, what have we achieved over these 41 years of our independence? What is the status of our democracy? What is the status of the institutions that are supposed to be the pillars of our democracy? How have we prospered as individuals, and as a nation? What does being an independent nation mean to us? Do we have new colonial masters just awaiting their opportunity to recolonialize us, because of secret MOUs? When we can answer these questions honestly, and factually we will know if we are truly independent as the democratic country that we were supposed to be. In the meantime, enjoy the culture and the traditions that our ancestors left us, but never forget the most substantial one, the Neg Mawon spirit! We are going to have to invoke it, to save our country, and our true independence!

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