I attended the Chamber of Commerce’s 40th Anniversary party Saturday night and I was appalled to hear the remarks of Jamaica’s Prime Minister and I was more aghast to realize that he was invited by the Chamber of Commerce.
He made reference to the introduction of visas for Jamaicans entering the Cayman Islands and he did not forget to indicate that Jamaica could do the same thing. And I am wondering who would be more affected whether it would be the Jamaicans or the Caymanians? He also brought up, without merit, the subject of discrimination against Jamaicans.
Over the years I have employed many Jamaicans in various fields. Some of them were easy to work with and some were not; however, all those who have contributed to our economy have been fairly well paid with much of the money going back into Mr. Patterson’s country,
Mr. Patterson also made reference to the Cayman Islands having their own distinctive characteristics as a result of our economic growth as the world’s fifth largest financial centre, which he called a ‘worthwhile recognition’. He further urged us to become more involved with CARICOM and I dare say that if we were involved with CARICOM we would not be the major centre of international banking as he referred to.
Our island is unique and we are as close to CARICOM as we need to be and I hope that our Government never considers changing our association status to a full member status because this would undoubtedly cause a revolution in Cayman.
I applaud Mr. Arthur Hunter’s remarks wherein he stated that he hopes the next time Mr. Patterson returns to the Cayman Islands he will have to get a visa.
I am further alarmed at the Chamber of Commerce defending Mr. Patteron’s remarks, especially the Chamber’s president saying that it was an honour to have Mr. Patterson attending the function. What a shocking remark!