Over the last ten months, Barbados has begun to re-emerge as a strong nation which will always act in the best interests of its people and the Caribbean on the global stage, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has told Barbados Labour Party faithfuls.
Speaking at the BLP’s Heroes Day picnic on the scenic East Coast, the Prime Minister said: “I feel so proud that when we move through the Caribbean and the rest of the world now people say, ‘Barbados like it back, you hear Barbados recently?’
“There was a time over the last ten years when all Barbados said in international fora was ‘I concur’. But you know Bajans ain’t no ‘concurrers’, but Barbados has an opinion and we will share it with the rest of the world.
“Whether it is Venezuela, and we agree this region should be a zone of peace and that you must respect the principles of non-interference, if we have an opinion on LIAT, if we have a view on the EU and the OECD, we will express our views, and we will do it for the benefit of our people.”
The Prime Minister reminded the thousands gathered at the Barclays Park that the island’s problems did not happen overnight, so they could not expect them to be resolved within a short space of time.
She said: “Let me remind you, we inherited a ‘pop-down’ system, and if it took ten years to pop down, we can’t fix it in ten months! But I know that it will get fixed and it will be better than anything you have ever seen before!
“However, it will not happen overnight; anybody who believes that should be watching Bewitched on TV, and want someone to wiggle their nose and change things! I can’t do that, but I will work every day for you because this country deserves better and this BLP will do better for you.”
Mottley said the Government’s Mitigation Unit will train retrenched public servants “with skills that will equip them for the world they will have to live in for the next twenty years” and spoke of plans to empower workers in at least two state-owned essential service providers.
The Prime Minister added: “Once we start to rebuild, you won’t only be the workers but you will also benefit as owners. We are trying to ensure that in a repurposed Transport Board the workers and drivers will be owners of some of the buses too, because it should not only be a few people owning buses in this country.
“I had this same conversation with the workers at the Sanitation Service Authority. We have come to public life to make sure ordinary Bajans benefit in this going down, and not just a few people at the top.