MAVIS BECKLES: Barbados in a tight spot
Last week I told ya’ all about a sister o’ mine who does call me anytime o’ the day or night and tell me any and evahthing; wha’evah pon she mind or bothering her.
Well she called me there during the week and lambaste muh, asking me why I does always have tuh write and tell out she business. She say dat it is a good thing people doan know who it is I does be talking ’bout, otherwise duh would be doing the dog at she expense.
Well anyway, this week I ain’t gine talk ’bout her, I gine talk bout my daughter who call me quite upset day before yesterday, ’bout the Cuban fella.
I think he name Raul Garcia, the one who the other day went pon a hunger strike and still up there in prison after he done serve out the 15 years the court put on pon he fuh some kinda drug-related crime back then.
I does get papers evah single day and I cahn remember seeing dat he gone back pon hunger strike, but my daughter tell me he planning to.
Anyway, this is her opinion: She said, “If the man want tuh dead, leh he dead; wha’ dat is what he wants.”
She say, “Mummy, you think dat the Government of Barbados should be fixing or building any kinda house fuh he? What did he do tuh get a house, and furthermore, why it has tuh be in the historic area o’ the Garrison, a prime location.”
She went on tuh ask me if the Government could build a house fuh a foreigner, Spanish-speaking, Cuban, American man who never do one flipping thing fuh Barbados apart from expensing it by eating three square meals a day fuh 15 years, why duh doan set up and build some kinda house fuh all the lot o’ vagrants and homeless people all ’bout the place and who fuh dat matter is Bajans.
Well, fuh me though, I would say in no uncertain terms dat we ain’t got nuh right housing Garcia.
I think dat Garcia should be glad he got somewhere tuh put he head when the night come, when ya think ’bout some Bajan people who wukking duh tails off day in and day out tuh make ends meet and still ain’t got nutten, nuh house.
Apart from dat, duh got people who have been waiting pon the National Housing Corporation fuh a house since Adam was a lad and still tuh this day ain’t get summuch as a promise far less a house.
What he want a house for? He aint contribute nutten tuh this society. I think what he should do is, instead o’ going pon a hunger strike again tuh draw attention tuh heself, try and ask Superintendent Nurse tuh gi’ he a li’l pick; something tuh do in the prison tuh occupy he mind when the day come and maybe put a couple dollar bills in he pocket. The thing is, he would know in there a lot better than some o’ dem other prisoners.
So, instead o’ saying he gine pon a hunger strike again, he should use dat adversity tuh mentor some o’ the young fellas who come in there fuh the same kinda drug-related crimes dat put him in there in the first place.
I ain’t know bout ya’all but I feel dat if the man want tuh guh pon a hunger strike, the authorities should leh he guh long pon a hunger strike. Wha’ dem ain’t stopping nuhbody from gi’ing he nuh food neither have they prevented him from eating it.
Duh got a good few prisoners up in there in Dodds who I hear would be glad enough fuh dah good bittle dat he playing he refusing. Look, the other day I read in the papers how some prisoners did fighting up there at Dodds fuh more food ’cause, as duh say, duh wasn’t getting enough.
I was talking tuh a friend o’ mine ’bout the same situation, and he allowed me tuh know dat Barbados has found itself in a tight spot ’cause duh cahn keep Garcia in prison, nor duh cahn leh he die as it would spoil Barbados reputation.
Well, I ain’t know how it would spoil Barbados reputation, but I think if the man want tuh die, then let him die. As I said before, nuhbody ain’t preventing he from eating, and not a soul ain’t got he mout’.
But ya see me, I ain’t care wha’ Cuba say. I would pack he on pon a plane headed straight fuh there via Jamaica and when we get there, I would release he at the airport tuh he people. Dat is where he come from, where he was born, he does talk like dem and he look like dem; So wha’evah dem want tuh do wid he after dat it is up tuh dem, he belong tuh dem.
Reputation, my foot. If it gine take a drug pusher going on a hunger strike in prison and dying tuh ruin my reputation, well I gine tell ya; I really aint got much reputation at all. He was living in America all o’ these years. Dem doan want he, and it ain’t ruining dem reputation. Why should it ruin ours?
l Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.