04 March 2010

Former Turks & Caicos Premier Calls for National Unity

Turks and Caicos Sun
By Hayden Boyce, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
04 March 2010

Former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Michael Misick is calling on all Turks and Caicos Islanders, churches and political parties to put differences aside and “unite to fight the common enemy, the British.”

In a press statement released on Tuesday, March 2, Misick said: “They (the British) have divided and conquered us. Let’s show that we are wise and we will not be defeated. We are after all one people, there is strength in unity and if we unite we can peacefully defeat the British Empire as the great Indian statesman Mahatma Gandhi did. He once stated, referring to the British”they cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”

Misick, who resigned as Premier in March 2009, blasted the British for staging what he described as a “modern day coup” in the Turks and Caicos Islands while the rest of the world was not watching.

He added: “All of the democratic institutions have been suspended. The Governor (Gordon Wetherell) is now the executive, the legislative. He sits on a panel that decides who should be prosecuted. He appoints judges and so his position is no different than that of the strong man that made a recent coup in Niger or any other recent coup around the world. In fact, it’s worst because even in Honduras after the coup they left the parliament in place. “

Misick noted that the suspension of democracy in the Turks and Caicos Islands happened without any condemnation from the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and the United States of America under the watch of President Barack Obama or any other international body other than CARICOM.

“This is wrong,” he said. “Gordon brown launched his campaign in the UK with the slogan fairness for all. I ask what about fairness for the Turks and Caicos Islands people. I call on Gordon Brown and request that the UN Secretary General and President Barack Obama, the president of the free world, request that democracy is returned to Turks and Caicos Islands immediately and election held without delay.”

The former Premier, who led the Turks and Caicos Islands since 2003, said that in the Governor’s half-yearly report he continues to make it seem as though the former PNP government mismanaged the government’s finances and that this was one of the reasons for the intervention.

“I refute that notion which is a matter for the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands to decide at the election polls. The fact of the matter is that during the six years of my administration the Turks and Caicos Islands has experienced unprecedented growth, increasing the GDP from US$100Million to over US$750Million,” the former Premier continued.

“We spent hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure from roads, to schools, to parks, to sports stadiums, the causeway between North and Middle Caicos, South Caicos airport terminal and the two new hospitals in Grand Turk and Providenciales that will open soon, just to name a few. We spent tens of millions of dollars on scholarships, educating thousands of young people to come home and take their rightful place. We have also spent tens of millions of dollars on health care for our people making sure no one dies because they could not afford to be treated.

We gave thousands of acres of land to our people to empower them and I make no apologies for what we have done. Our record speaks for itself.”

He added: “We attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment in the hotel sector and one of the most modern cruise ship ports in the entire world. A record that transformed a sleeping group of small islands to one on the way to becoming an economic power house in the region and placing it firmly on the map as one of the foremost high end destinations in the world, “the envy of the Caribbean. My people let us not forget the good times that my PNP government brought to you and you’re families. Let us not sit idly by and let the few British elite re-write history - we all know what happened. We all experienced it.”