Sun | Jun 16, 2019

Devon Dick | This is not fair

Published:Thursday | February 7, 2019 | 12:14 AM

“This is not fair!” was the refrain of a young lady with whom I had a meeting a few days ago.

She had a letter dated January 11, 2019 from the lawyers of a utility company stating that $1 million was owed and there has been failure to pay that sum as agreed. The next step is court action.

After making contact with the head of the utility company, who was very understanding and praying with and for the young lady, she said, repeatedly, “This is not fair!”

The investigations will determine whether it is fair.

Is it fair what is happening in Venezuela? How could Juan Guaido declare himself interim president and USA and some Latin American and European countries recognise him as such? This is setting a dangerous precedent.

Could the opposition leader in Zimbabwe declare himself the president because elections are fraudulent? So many elections worldwide are marred by fraud and gerrymandering, including in the USA. Is that a basis for someone to declare himself or herself winner without recourse to the courts?

Furthermore, when there are credible allegations of fraud in elections, then one has to determine whether they made a difference to the outcome.

Jamaica appears to be going down a dangerous path with regard to Venezuela. Perhaps a better course of action, than not recognising Nicolás Maduro as president, was to allow CARICOM to take a position on Maduro or call for or support sanctions against Maduro over illegitimate elections.

SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS

By not recognising Maduro, it follows that the next step is to recognise the one who has declared himself president. However, we have not taken that step and so we are out of line with USA, some Latin American and European countries. By going out on this limb, we open ourselves to be perceived as supporting a USA invasion, which seems likely under a president who needs some diversion.

Furthermore, the Jamaican Government needs to find a fair way to resolve the 49 per cent shares of Petrojam belonging to Venezuela, especially since the USA sanctions prevent financial dealings with Venezuela. This world of geopolitics is not fair and we might get caught up with swimming with the sharks.

It also seems that the then PNP government was not fair to the people of Venezuela when it did nothing publicly when the people were suffering.

About three years ago, Gleaner columnist Daniel Thwaites criticised the Venezuelan government for the appalling socio-economic and political situation in Venezuela. Now inflation is at 1,000,000 per cent. No similar statement came from the then PNP government. Why? In fact, was there any Jamaican journalist who highlighted the plight of the people or any columnist who expressed concern?

OILY SITUATION

There is another oily situation between RUBiS international and the Philip Chong-managed gas station. In a letter dated January 31, 2014, RUBiS outlined a term of the new contract as “one year commencing the 30th day of January 2014 and thereafter shall renew and on a month-to-month basis automatically”.

There are some senior corporate executives who have contracts that state that six months’ notice must be given if their contracts will not be renewed

How can a massive investment in the operation of a gas station be on a contract that is renewed on a month-to-month basis? This surely cannot be fair. I would like to know from Chong what the then government did in 2014 and what is being done now? And why is RUBiS acting this way?

Jamaica needs foreign direct investments to help the economy grow and to create employment. However, there ought to be guidelines for the operating procedures.

There needs to be a voice of reason and hope when things are not fair.

- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of ‘The Cross and the Machete’, and ‘Rebellion to Riot’. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com