Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Letter of the day: Why the false grandeur for Obama?

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Usually, I am in agreement with the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) for clearing vendors off the road because they often impede movement on the sidewalks, harass customers and sometimes even obstruct vehicular traffic.

This is not the case with the crab vendors at the National Heroes Circle or the fish vendors in Rae Town. They have become an organised and established force over the years. The environment is clean, the vendors are friendly, and their product of boiled crab and fish is tasty and consistent.

It is a shame that their stalls were destroyed because of the upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama.

When we initially heard the news of President Obama's visit, the entire Jamaica was jubilant, but this jubilation must be overshadowed now by the tactics of the Government to grandstand on his arrival.


destroying native charm


The resurfacing of roads that are well maintained compared to others in the Corporate Area that have been in a state of disrepair for several years was bad enough, but now the livelihood of vendors is being deliberately destroyed to present an upscale and inaccurate front for the US president's visit.

We are a Third-World country. President Obama must be fully aware of this fact. We are also in dire economic straits.

Why, then, do we insist on wasting taxpayers' money to make a false show of grandeur that does not exist? Why would a Government that claims to care about the poor destroy the very living that they are trying to make?

Interestingly, these things that they are quick to destroy and hide are what constitute the very charm of Jamaica that tourists often seek to experience.

I sincerely hope that something equally great comes out of this presidential visit and all this fanfare has not been much ado about nothing.