In a recent lash back at Astaphan Dr. Douglas appeared to be taking off the gloves, criticizing Astaphan for some of his failings as Minister of National Security. Douglas actually went so far as to accuse the former Minister of not having any “credibility and virginity”.
Douglas, according to a Government release, referred to what he categorized as the “dismal failure of Dwyer Astaphan as Minister of National Security from 2004 to 2008.”
While trying to put his comments into context, the four term Prime Minister, went on to quote what he explained, is a saying told to him by a wise man: “credibility is like Virginity, once lost it cannot be regained.”
According to Dr. Douglas, Dwyer Astaphan is the last person who should be blaming the Labour Government and others for the state of crime in the country today.
Douglas told residents at a public meeting on Thursday, 28th April, in his home town village of St. Pauls, that he has allowed himself to remain too silent and for too long , on the many attacks against him, from his former Cabinet colleague. He also made similar comments during a recent sitting of parliament.
Douglas said that Dwyer Astaphan lost his credibility to speak on the issue (of crime) because as a Minister of National Security and as a Parliamentary Representative, he was “very soft on crime.”
The Prime Minister recalled that the former minister was consistently critical of the security forces whenever they conducted searches for illegal firearms and narcotics in the Central Basseterre areas which he represented in Parliament. He constantly glamourized the use of marijuana by young people and was very critical of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) citing several articles on marijuana research which he circulated in the Cabinet and making references to large quantities of marijuana that were cultivated in California under US Government supervision.
Douglas said that while Minister of National Security and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr. Astaphan took several hardened juvenile criminals – one of whom was on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison on charges of murder – from their cells to attend the annual Prime Minister’s Gala at which Minister Luis Farrakan of the Nation of Islam was the Guest Speaker.
“Crime is nobody’s friend and there cannot be any softness on crime here in this country,” said Prime Minister Douglas at the public meeting, reminding hundreds that earlier in Parliament he disclosed that as the Minister of National Security Mr. Astaphan brought to the Cabinet draft legislation to legalize marijuana. “What kind of Minister could that be when he calls me when I was the Minister of National Security, complaining that the ‘SSU went into Mc Knight again… why they don’t go to Bird Rock, Frigate Bay and Half Moon Bay’,” recalled Prime Minister Douglas.
“There can be no compromise on crime because of party politics. You cannot be soft on crime,” said Dr. Douglas.
The Prime Minister contended that Mr. Astaphan is attempting to rewrite history relating to his tenure in the Labour Administration so as to leave a favorable legacy, but he will fail because according to the sage he has ”neither credibility nor virginity.”
However, Astaphan is known, in the past and since leaving office, to explain to the public that his hands were tied by Prime Minister Douglas, who seemed unwilling to provide the necessary resources to fight crime in St. Kitts & Nevis.
Astaphan has indicated that despite his many submissions in Cabinet for resources and new programs, the support from the Prime Minister was not forthcoming.
Since the hit-back by the Prime Minister, political observers have already warned that Mr. Astaphan will not take these harsh comments from his former boss very lightly.