Liburd, who until recently was a popular talk show host on one of the local radio stations, WINN FM, was one of the featured speakers at a public meeting, held on George Street, Newtown, as part of the court victory celebrations, of the PAM, which won a landmark case in the Eastern Caribbean High Court earlier in the day.
Patches, as many of his friends call him, told listeners that he simply passed by to tell the world, “They cannot stop me”. Perhaps making reference to what he said were many rumours circulating after his departure from the radio station, with some claiming that he had been silenced.
But he thanked God for giving him the courage to stand up in his country to speak the truth. “I will speak the truth in this country, even if I have to stand alone,” assured Liburd.
The main focus of his presentation was the incumbent Parliamentary Representative for the constituency, Dr. Asim Martin and the Prime Minister of the country, Dr. Denzil Douglas.
The self-styled community activist said St. Kitts and Nevis is suffering from a political, social and economic cancer “and we don’t have to be a doctor to determine how terrible, how destructive that cancer can be.” This political cancer said Liburd has been derived from what he called the “DDD” the Denzil Douglas Doctrine.
This is a doctrine of divide and rule, accused Mr. Liburd, who continued by explaining that Dr. Douglas has divided parliament, friends, party and the country.
He also charged that the country has been suffering from an economic cancer derived from the fiscal recklessness of the prime minister and his Labour Government. He complained that too many people have been losing their jobs all over. These job losses, said Mr. Liburd, have been experienced at various businesses in the constituency of East Basseterre. These include, he said, Electrofab, CEMACO, Sharry’s fast food and the one that hurts him mostly, J’s Shop and Save. He argued that after 20 years of operation, J’s Shop n Save, managed and owned by well-known sportswoman, Judith Gumbs, was forced to close, under the weight of a failing economy.
Liburd therefore accused Dr. Martin, who is also the newly installed Deputy Prime Minister, of gross incompetence. He said Martin is an incompetent representative who is failing to look after the affairs of the district. He further criticized the parliamentarian for his poor leadership.
He urged constituents of East Basseterre, that when the elections are called, to stop voting for a representative, who although he is expected to serve them, operates as if he is their boss and their employer. But Liburd was adamant that it ought to operate in the reverse where it is the constituents who are Dr. Martin’s employer and he Martin is the employee and the servant.
“You employ all who you vote for. You are their employer, they are your employees, remember that.”
He said the incumbent is soon to be looking for re-employment and voters should examine his performance to determine if he is deserving of their support.
But he cautioned, “When you vote for Asim, you are also voting for Douglas. He therefore suggested that voters must also examine the performance of the Prime Minister who is the leader of Asim, because “if you voting for Asim, you voting for Douglas.”
“When you examine his (Dr. Douglas’) performance, it has been a failure, because when he took over the country in 1995 he met a National Debt of only 200 Million and since then he has taken it to 3 Billion dollars or 3,000 Million.”
The failure too of Dr. Martin has been equally evident, if one is to be convinced by the charges of Mr. Liburd. “When you look at Asim who has been in office for 17 years some of which he has spent as the Minister of Health (10 years) and though he is a medical doctor, the major hospital has been allowed to operate below required standards, accused Liburd.
He also said that Martin, of late, has been repairing the roads in the district but this has only been so because an election is pending. It was his view that the Public Words Department should have a schedule of regular repairs and maintenance that is free from government influence and based on need.
He promised that under a unity government of which PAM would be part, such a schedule of maintenance would be made possible. But he reminded Martin that what the people of East Basseterre are mostly in need of are food, money in their pockets and jobs; and not patched-up roads.
He urged Newtowners and other constituents to fire Dr. Martin when he comes to them to be re-elected. “When Asim comes for re-employment, I want to leave three words with you. When you look at his performance you cannot rehire him, so tell him three words…YOU ARE FIRED!”
Patches Liburd reminded listeners that he was born and raised and still lives in the constituency; and that he has prepared himself academically and with the requisite skills and experience to serve as the representative of the constituency.