Prime Minister Dr. Kennedy Simmonds signed a Loan Guarantee in the amount of US $25,330,000.00 on behalf of Nautical Trading (St. Kitts) Ltd on 30th May, 1986. Nautical Trading (St. Kitts) Ltd. was a private company that was incorporated in St. Kitts by the law firm of a big PAM lawyer on December 15th, 1984.
Nautical Trading (St. Kitts) Ltd. purchased three hydrofoil vessels from an Italian company and two such vessels arrived in St. Kitts and were put into operation. However before Nautical Trading (St. Kitts) Ltd could repay the loan of US $25, 330, 000.00 the two hydrofoils disappeared from our waters never to return.
As Loan Guarantor the St. Kitts and Nevis Government was saddled with the legal responsibility to repay the loan. Happily, the Italian Authorities heard the pleas of the Douglas Administration and forgave a substantial portion of the debt.
The point that I want to make is this: that the leaders and members of the CCM/PAM cabal have been talking, within recent times, of the great love and concern that, PAM has for the poor ordinary working man.
Yet PAM never borrowed any significant sums of money to put into any of our local public corporations to benefit poor people. PAM however guaranteed a loan of US $25, 330, 000.00 to benefit a private company promoted by two Englishmen, one of whom had a substantial criminal record.
Nautical Trading (St. Kitts) Ltd. was established to provide “a luxurious inter – island ferry service to the Caribbean” from St. Kitts. Why would the government of St. Kitts and Nevis want to guarantee a loan of US $25, 330, 000.00 in respect of Nautical Trading (St. Kitts) Ltd., a private company?
Perhaps because of the high – ranking political people who were associated with the company?
The company was a total failure. The government gained nothing for its involvement. The government lost money in having to repay part of the loan that it guaranteed. The money that was lost foolishly and unnecessarily could have been put to better use in helping the poor and needy.
The PAM government squandered money that could have been put to better use in helping the poor.
The acquisition of the Sugar Estates Lands is another case in point.
The Sugar Estates Lands were valued at $10.0 million by an independent overseas evaluator from CFTC (Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co – operation). Premier Bradshaw offered the land owners $10.0 million which they refused. He then offered $12.0 million which they also refused.
When PAM went into power the Simmonds Administration paid the Sugar Estates Land owners the sum of $22.0 million. That is $12.0 million more than the assessed value of the lands and $20.0 million more than the last payment offered by Premier Bradshaw.
Ten or twelve million dollars could have been used to provide enormous benefits to the poor in our midst. Instead the Simmonds Administration paid ten or twelve million dollars extra to the Sugar Estates Land owners. Yet the PAMites are elsewhere nowadays shouting about how much they love and care for the poor.
The People’s Action Movement (PAM) would not only do nothing to help poor people. PAM would say things and do things deliberately to fool and mislead poor people.
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHA) assisted by the Public Works Department converted Pond Pasture (which was then a cattle pasture owned by Pond Estate) into a Housing Development Project for low and middle – income earners.
As soon as the ground was fully prepared and construction of houses was about to begin, the PAMites and their agents went throughout the length and breadth of East Basseterre warning people not to build anything on Pond Pasture.
PAM’s story was that the ground at Pond Pasture is not stable and any structure put down on the newly – developed Housing Site would sink. You see how PAM tries always to fool and mislead poor uninformed people? The ground at Pond Pasture has remained stable since the area has been converted into a Housing Development Project.
After all these years during which the PAM people did so much harm, wickedness and injustice to the poor people of this country, the same PAM people are currently saying that they do not endorse the government land for debt swap with National Bank as this would mean that the ordinary people of St. Kitts would not be able to own a piece of land in their own country.
The PAMites are predicting that National Bank will sell the Sugar Estates Land to the oil – rich Arabs of the Middle East at a price which is beyond the reach of ordinary Kittitians.
But National Bank has not yet declared its policy or its approach to the sale or disposal of the lands acquired in exchange for debt.
Furthermore, PAM has never in its history shown any real interest in promoting the welfare of the poor in general. PAM has always sought to push the welfare of the HAVES in our society above the welfare of the HAVE – NOTS.
Lawyer Eugene Walwyn, now deceased, established a bank, the Bank of Commerce, at Circus in downtown Basseterre during the 1970’s.
The Bank catered to the needs of poor, ordinary, working men and women and enabled them to own motor – cars, fridges, stoves, washing machines, televisions and microwaves ovens on th easiest of terms and conditions.
Mr. Walwyn was then associated with the Labour Party and Mr. Walwyn’s endeavours brought much political benefits to the party. This was too much for PAM and so for purely political reasons the PAM government went after Mr. Walwyn and his Bank,
They could not harm Mr. Walwyn financially, but the PAMites succeeded in destroying Mr. Walwyn’s Bank. In the fall – out hundreds of poor working people lost thousands of dollars which were invested or deposited in Bank of Commerce. The PAMites were not interested in the welfare of the poor. They were interested only in destroying the Bank of Commerce.
Dr. Simmonds signed a Loan Guarantee in the sum of US $25, 330, 000.00 on behalf of a private company promoted by two Englishmen, but his party set out to destroy and succeeded in destroying a bank established by a well known citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis.