Debe to Mon Desir highway a vanity project
If there is one single person who symbolises vanity in our republic, it is our own Imelda Marcos: flash trips abroad for dubious reasons; the flamboyant use of State funds for hampers and gifts of appeasement as a substitute for genuine development; and back-a-truck rides and flag-waving and princess smiles to promote self and ill-timed events.
Her diva-singing her way out of her inability to manage her Cabinet, her ministers or the nation; stamping the royal seal of her head on the Independence Day banners; the weekly opiate of party and fete; and generally, fashion and style before content and substance. This simply will not do. It will not do because this mode of vanity causes the suffering of the people.
Before the May 2010 general election, this diva's song was, "No highway, no byway". By this, she meant the Oropouche Lagoon communities would be destroyed by this badly aligned Debe to Mon Desir highway. Too much would have to be sacrificed for this unnecessary highway: thousands of acres of agricultural lands, 350 homes, 13 indigenous businesses, the agricultural potential of the Oropouche Lagoon; permanent flooding impacts following the construction of a 9.1 mile highway embankment; the fracture of 13 communities and commons through disconnectivity; and the loss of a historical system of land tenure, land passing generationally through families.
Now, the people can hardly reach her ear. She has changed her mind. The people of the Oropouche Lagoon communities must be sacrificed for those in her Penal and Siparia constituencies because she wants to build a legacy project, one fuelled by vanity.
This is the height of vanity. To sacrifice so much already existing development and wealth to build a legacy, a vanity project. To refuse to listen to common sense: connectivity for these districts can be achieved by using re-route options, using a fraction of the cost of the Debe to Mon Desir highway.
Vanity stumbles across this tragic stage of our modern political life, hand in hand with Papa Doc, and we gaze, baffled and terrified.