by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): “We definitely believe that we must expect more of our current political leaders who would have been created out of the crucible of the University of the West Indies with new thinking in terms of the Post-Colonial development of the Caribbean,” said the Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition the Rt Hon Dr. Denzel Douglas on his expectation of the new cadre of leaders in the Caribbean.
“Our countries now fully independent must now march to the new tune of the young people of our Caribbean; professional and non-professional, skilled and unskilled – creating new opportunities, broadening the sectors of our own thrust and economic development in the future. That is why I believe that in this crop of leaders, much more is expected of them, and so we would not want to see the trappings of the dictatorial [practices] that we would have seen in some,” said Dr. Douglas during a recent interview with Radio Anguilla.
The veteran leader was speaking on the political evolution within the Caribbean and the emerging brand of leadership currently within the Caribbean, which includes Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and the leadership in St. Kitts and Nevis, as the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, has a new leader in Dr. Terrance Drew.
Dr. Douglas stated that leadership should be inclusive so people can feel like they have the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the socio-economic development of their country.
“To a larger extent, I believe that we are in a good place, and we must demand more of our leaders because I believe that they can do better. They have been trained to do better; they have, in fact, I think, been impacted by the earlier years that our old forebears in the political arena would have experienced, and so we should move forward to the new drumbeat, especially in the opportunities now created now by this pandemic.”
In turning to challenges being faced now and should be addressed, Dr. Douglas spoke of what he perceives as the fear of the opposition and advocated for its inclusion in decision making among other facets of society, as he believes the continued development of our countries should include all.
“I think, first of all, the fear governments have of the opposition, that to me is unfortunate. We must embrace the opposition; make sure that the voices of civil society [are] loudly heard and adequately expressed. We must make sure that we are being conscious of where the global challenges are in terms of climate change, in terms of protecting our environment, in terms of involving our womenfolk and our youths, ensuring that people are skilled, not just the academics of graduates, but skilled and retooled people.”
Focusing specifically on St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Douglas ended this segment by calling for more integration between St. Kitts and Nevis by embracing what both have to offer for the benefit of all.
“We believe the time has come for greater integration of our people so that we can get the best for Kittitian and Nevisian, equally Nevisians and Kittitians and Kittitians and Nevisians, equally sharing in what this country has to offer. A new embracing, I think, is what is being required here.”