Former Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Pamela Gordon-Carty was elected as the new political leader of the United St. Maarten Party (US Party) on Sunday, November 28. In photo: Gordon Carty (centre) with incoming and outgoing party board members and former leader Frans Richardson (second right).
~ Nicholas new board President ~
PHILIPSBURG–Former Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Pamela Gordon-Carty was elected as the new political leader of the United St. Maarten Party (US Party) on Sunday, November 28.
She was elected at the party’s congress held at the John Larmonie Center. She succeeds former Member of Parliament (MP) Frans Richardson. Party members also elected Cecil Nicholas as the new President of the US Party board.
Upon being elected, she made it clear that the party, in or out of government, will not allow the people of St. Maarten to accept “crumbs” any longer. She said the party has always been and remains on a path to realising independence for St. Maarten and she urged the people must come together and decide that they will no longer tolerate their children suffering in a St. Maarten that has so much potential. The new leader considers herself to be a person with clear vision on how St. Maarten should move into a challenging future.
“I am so moved by the confidence and trust you have placed in my person to assume leadership of the US [Party –Ed.], which already is embarking on reactivating and restructuring in order to analyse, assess and examine the challenges our people in St. Maarten are confronted with on a daily basis,” she said.
The new leader assured that the party is not going to promise a one-time fee, but a life of growth and “enhancement of your social life, financial stability, healthy lifestyle, long term employment and a balanced future. We have a plan, and we will execute it in or outside of government because all we need at this phase of the plan is the people,” she said.
She is not happy with what is happening in the country. “In slavery days, they exchanged gold for seashells. Today, one-time food vouchers are being exchanged for land and the right to employment, the right to fair trail, the right to a dignified existence. Our people have been abused, walked upon and given empty promises. We will lead and our people will no longer exchange their patrimony for seashells,” she said.
She continued: “If we need to walk on thorns then we will do so because people were made to trample upon all obstacles to achieve freedom and independence, not on paper, but true independence. The walk will be long but together we will reach the promised destination. When I look at St. Maarten, I see a lot that has to be done. I also see abused people, I see injustice toward our people, I see instilled fear, I see great minds being neglected and put aside, I see neglected rights, I see manipulation, deprivation, I see victimization and I can also silently hear the loud cry of our youth.
“But what I can also see is the fear of the strength of the people coming together. I smell the fear of colonialists hoping that one day the people don’t realize that together they stand stronger and that the people don’t come to realize that their breakthrough lies in their own strength. I see a method to keep them distracted and hungry,” she said.
“With small steps, we will once again have our people dominate in managerial functions, our people will be employed permanently and not for short term, they will be able to own their own house and be able to pay their mortgage, bills and enough leave-over to live a dignified and happy life,” she added
She called on the people of St. Maarten to stop expecting “others/outsiders” to do for them since intentions are often not pure and extremely self-serving. “Don’t expect the colonialists to hand out olive leaves; reality is sometimes it’s poison ivy. Don’t expect investors to consider you as the solution, in some cases they will slip you a sleeping pill expect you stay in slumbering mode while they take over our high positions, while they take over our beaches and assets, our identity, trample over our culture, manipulate the system to suit their agenda. In return, they will take for themselves long term profitable money-making patrimonies,” she said.
“I am now making this plea to our people to come together and be part of our numerous educational and informative campaigns in the different districts that will highlight our plan step by step. Let us move together towards success,” she concluded.
Nicholas said the US Party under the leadership of Richardson, was founded with a vision and plan “and we hold steadfast to that vision to this day.”
He reminded the gathering that Richardson had the party operating based on his vision of strong leadership for an independent St. Maarten and it is because of his leadership that “we are strong and still moving forward today. We had disappointments along the way, but we never lost sight of our goals. Our bonds are stronger because of the challenges we faced and our resilience is a reflection of the people because we are just that, a reflection of the people of St. Maarten,” Nicholas said.
“Though some may say we are not ready for independence, my answer to that is so let’s get ready for it because we can no longer afford to sit by and wait to be rescued. The personal cost and debt to the country is too great. I say let’s put leaders in place that have a plan to make us self-sustainable. Let’s make the tough decision at our own pace. Let’s empower our people and not restrict them. Let’s safeguard our assets for future generations to come and not give them away to save the day. Let’s place emphasis on making decisions that put us in a better position tomorrow and not just today. Let’s take better care of our elderly and those living below the poverty line. Let’s create an environment where our people can strive by diversifying our economy so that if the world ever shuts down again, we can at least feed ourselves without having to rely on the importation of basic foods. Let us build an independent St. Maarten because we can, period.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/gordon-carty-elected-elected-us-party-leader