Some don’t have Cayman at heart

Recently I had a chance to talk to a few people from the outside world about their reasons for being here on Cayman. Most of them told me the same thing; that they came here to work and send the money they made home to their country.

They had no interest in the Cayman Islands or its people; only their work and whatever they could get their hands on to send out of Cayman.

As I gather more information from these people, they left me with a feeling of real pirates robbing a floating ship, then after they have stolen all the goods on board, they now turn around and are cutting up the ship and selling her to buyers from many different parts of the world.

This is the type of picture the outsiders painted.

For me, as I got them to talk to me, when asked such simple questions as do you know why the Cayman Islands is tax free I got answers like this: ‘I don’t know,’ from someone that has been sending money out of this country for more than nine years. They went on to state, ‘I do not give nothing to this country. Not even one hour to help for example the hospital or anywhere else’. These people do not have any real love for Cayman or the Cayman people; just to use us in any way they can. As a matter of fact, I didn’t receive any positive input from these people about Cayman.

Most of them said that the people here were enslavers and did not speak good about this country or its people, only the fact that they could make good money here and send it home.

Like most Caymanians, being kind and sharing and peaceful and nice in so many ways, my heart went out to many of these people that come to our shores for a better living.

But at this present time I do not feel that way anymore toward those that are just here to use Cayman and the Caymanian people.

The time has come for us to step up to the plate and put these invaders in their place. We must stand up against those that label us lazy and don’t want to work. How did these outsiders come here in the first place unless we were the ones that worked so hard to build up this Island to a level that became so high that we need them to help now with the bigger picture of upliftment of our people and our Islands. After all, we came from thatch huts to the best houses in the world. I say to all of the people from the outside world that thinks that the people of the Cayman Islands is no goo in your eyes, please leave us and go back home and take your way of life back home with you along with your bad ideas about our people and Islands. We really do not need you here on Grand Cayman to pull us down

Emile S. Levy


  1. Emile

    I’ve read your many letters and for the most part, you speak the truth as you know it, from your heart…and you truly love Cayman but…

    Have you really thought through this entire Cayman situation before you wrote this last letter ?

    The problem with so many Caymanians such as yourself is that you have tunnel vision; you only see what you’re intensely focused on and that is the foreign/expatriate community in Cayman.

    You do not see and have mentioned NOTHING in your letter about your own Caymanian people’s complicity in this foreign/invader/pirate element you’re ranting about in this letter.

    You refuse to see and acknowledge that is it your own government’s policies toward foreign labour/immigration/work permits that is geared to enrich both the governments coffers and private business investors pockets that has your country swamped with foreigners, who, according to you, care nothing about Cayman except the money they can make there.

    You refuse to see and acknowledge that is sentiments like yours expressed in this letter that has a govt. immigration roll-over policy in place that denies any of these foreigners from ever becoming a part of your country and culture except through marriage to a Caymanian, and that in itself, is a risky route to take, given Cayman’s xenophobia.

    You refuse to see and acknowledge that it is your own people’s passive and submissive nature to their own Caymanians who are exerting power and authority over them and exploiting their good nature by denying them jobs…and then blaming it on the very foreigners that you are railing against right now…that has them in the sorrowful predicament that they are in…and slipping further into everyday.

    No Emile, it is your own lack of honesty and unwillingness to face and challenge the oppression of your own Caymanians against you that is yours and Cayman’s problem…

    Not Cayman’s foreign-nationals population.

  2. Does anyone else find it ironic that a letter such as this should be published on the same day the headlines reads; Election Day: 22 May, 2013?

    Expats are in for a bashing for an entire year.

  3. The first line says it all. The outside world. Maybe you need to go visit the outside world and open your eyes. Cayman is NOT the center of the world as you may think it is! It is people with ignorant hateful attitudes like yours that are creating the Caymanian vs. Expat problems

  4. Think about how expatriates are reviled here in Cayman, and then ask yourself why they don’t love the place.

    Think about how expatriates are made the scapegoat for Cayman’s problems and then ask yourself why some (a minority) don’t contribute to the life of the island.

    Think about the spiteful rollover and pervasive xenophobia against paper Caymanians and ask yourself why many expatriates leave after a short time.

    Think about the reactionary bigotry and racism that is endemic in the Caymanian ppulation and ask yourself why you feel so paranoid.

    Grow up, Mr Levy

  5. It saddens me to hear more Expat bashing around election time. It seems that everyone want to seem more Caymanian and express how much they love Cayman as a mantra for vote getting rather than providing any real solutions to the country’s problems. Blaming Expats is a red herring like saying all the prisoners in Northward are Expats. There is a huge population of Expats that volunteer and contribute toward local charities. Please look around before you attack.

  6. I have never read such a hateful piece of work such as this and what a way to stir up the divide and hatred already existing . Expats using Cayman in my opinion is a fallacy, it seems to me that the Caymanian Companies that hire these people for little of nothing and then work them into the ground only to kick them to the curb are actually the users. Where else would they get people that will work hard for only a few dollars an hour, they are taking full advantage of these peoples sorrow, desperation and sad situation in their own home and then curse them for being here. No wonder they stay to themselves, who would want to associate with people who clearly despise them. Most of the anti-foreigner comments I read I just disregard as ignorance but this seems to come from an intelligent person and seems to embody what it is now to be Caymanian, to hate all that you cannot exploit, take advantage of and personal benefit from, and if you can, still hate it. If I were in their situation I would do the same, why would I contribute anything to a place that is only looking to send me packing once they have used me up. They send everything home because they know they can never call Cayman home and that they will eventually get ousted, can you really fault them for that?

    I cannot believe that everyone from outside feels the same way as what she is attempting to paint foreigners with, I know personally a lot of people that aren’t from here that love this place and do more for the community than many that were born here despite their lack of human rights. So before you go pointing your finger at outsiders you need to take a look within yourself and ask what can I do for my own Country and not always what my Country can do for me. When you go into a business filled with Expat employees ask the Caymanian owner why they are there. Go to your local quarry and ask the owner why there are so many expats working in the hot sun all day when there are so many Caymanians out of work and get your answer.

    To many Caymanians think that the Island has grown to where it is today as she said from Thatch Huts to the best houses in the world with no help from the outside world. And by the way Cayman does not have the best houses in the world nor does the USA for that matter. Are people so naive and hateful that they really truly believe that Cayman would have come this far with no outside investments, workers or the people who chose to call it home.

    Ask me why there are no taxes in Cayman and I may say because the government is filling its coffers enough of the backs of cheap foreign labor that they do not need to ask their own people to contribute more. Simple solution, put an income tax on Caymanian workers to replace the work permit fees they collect then there wouldn’t be such a need for that financial input. Are Caymanian willing to come out of their own pockets in order to alleviate the need for foreign investment, are they willing to pay property taxes to keep land from being owned by foreigners. If there were property taxes you can best believe that the amount of foreign property owners would greatly diminish.

    The one thing she accomplished with this is to give the Non Caymanians that are here a true perspective of what the feelings of the Caymanian people are towards them and I’m sure it will only give them more reason to contribute even less.

    Congratulations Emile S. Levy, you have just successfully proven to outsiders what it is to be a Caymanian and what those people who are smiling at you really think of you. It seems that the Love and Faith in God that used to exist in Cayman has been replaced with the hatred of your fellow man and love of oneself only.

  7. NJ2Cay

    Emile Levy is not a woman..he’s a man.

    A man you’d not soon forget, if you ever met him.

    Emile is not like what this rant expresses; he doesn’t believe half of what he’s written here.

    Election time is coming up in Cayman in less than a year now…

    That should explain to you what this letter is all about without me having to spell it out in plain words.

  8. That saying, ‘we teach people how to love us’ and sadly this started with being raised to not be as assertive as we should have been and I agree that this is not an expat problem. As a Caymanian I blame lack of opportunities on politicians for not ensuring there were fair processes in place to sustainable development and to minimize/eliminate unfair discriminatory practices by enforcing the law.

    For eg, the fact that churches and civil service has never had to face same rules as private sector can’t be blamed on expats. Our own short-sighted and greedy leaders refused to implement policies for growth for their own people.

    Expats can’t approve their own work permits, permanent residence or status so when the foreign persons who feel entitled to come here and see the opportunities for themselves and friends, and we have to face that fact re some expats, then if we haven’t planned for our own and give them priority where possible can we blame them?

    hey, if I could get off the plane in Toronto and tell a buddy I want to stay there and it just a matter of sending in a work permit and paying some fees, I’d do that for a few years too. So I for one being aware of the outside world keep saying we can’t blame the expats, the UK etc etc…..the blame is home grown period!

  9. Firey, The next 12 months will indeed be interesting to see what people are made of..

    I definatey know the name Emile Levy now as I’m sure others do as well and my impression of the person comes from his own words..

  10. It’s not often I feel the need to add my comment, but reading this letter actually made me cry. I have been here 5 years and I LOVE Cayman, but sadly Cayman does not love me back, it hates me, and can’t wait to make me leave. Or so it seems sometimes when I come across this sort of sentiment.

    I have no well reasoned or researched arguements to present, I can only tell you how I feel. And I felt at home the minute I arrived on Cayman, but I feel that I cannot make my life here, become a well-respected, valued and integrated member of the community. It’s not down to me. It’s down to people like this to decide – people who have only bad things to say about me, even though they don’t know me. All they see is the country on my passport.

    I have to justify myself every year when my job is advertised and my permit is appplied for, and soon my time will be up and regardless of how I feel and what I want, whether or not Cayman is in my heart, I will be forced to leave my home, my job and my friends – to go where, do what?

    I have a simple job, a simple life here, I am certainly not a ‘key employee – but if I was allowed to, I could become a member of society here, a person who works hard, in and out of work, a person who is honest, kind – a good person. Just like you Emile.

    I was upset that the writer thinks we are all here to take away from the island. I can say in my case, I do not want to take away, but sadly I will be sent away even if I do not want to go.

    Writer, please remember that there are no native people in Cayman – every one here is ‘an invader’ to the island, just some are more recent than others. Perhaps if your ancestors had been unwilling victims of an early roll-over policy then you may well have been born in one of those poor countries that you speak of now, and you may have left your country of birth to try to seek a better life for you and your family.

    And as far as I know, no one can tell you exactly why the Cayman Islands are tax free. The whole legend of King George and the ship wreck seems to be purely that – legend. The real reason the Cayman Islands is tax-free is probably because the original inhabitants were so poor, that there was only a subsistence living here, people had no excess to be able to send in tax anyway.

    So please don’t decide on whether a person is good or bad, worthy or not, based on their country of birth. Base it on their values and actions .

  11. Dear Editor and especially Emile,

    It is continually disturbing to read letters to the editor and comments from your on-line Compass site that exhibit a disturbing anti-expat sentiment. As an expat, I certainly don’t feel very welcome when I read these letters and comments. Fortunately, some are so full of misspellings and xenophobic ramblings that it’s easy to dismiss them. However, in my two years on Grand Cayman not a month goes by without my reading something negative about ex-pats. I can understand in these difficult economic times that it would be convenient to blame expats for the high unemployment rate, but I don’t think any Caymanian employer wants to pay high work permit fees, housing costs ( in some cases ),vehicle expenses, re-location expenses and other assorted expenses if there were qualified Caymanians to do the job,.do you? From a strictly business point of view it makes sense to hire the local talent when available. Sowhy all the continuous anti-expat sentiment? After all, we were invited here. We were asked to re-locate and be a part of the Cayman Islands community. I am certainly not asking for sympathy ( empathy, perhaps ) , but I think a lot of people under-estimate the challenges of expat life. Most expats are leaving family and friends behind to make this transition. Starting over in another country and learning a new culture can be difficult for some, especially those from large metropolitan areas. Even more confusing is the same old refrain of ex-pats sending all their money home, but that’s where our extended families and bills are our mortgage payments, our children’s college tuition, our credit card bills, our student loans, etc – of course we’re going to send money home.
    Personally, I love Island lifestyle, but the transition is not an easy one and the uncomfortable nature of being an expat is only further alienating when you read these anti-expat letters and comments. I would encourage those writers to consider carefully world history and the importance of immigration policies, work permit legislation and work visa initiatives abroad and in the Caribbean. Without foreigners and their human and investment capital every nation on earth would not be what is today. It is notable that the most famous and perhaps wealthiest business person in the Cayman Islands, Mr. Linton Tibbetts, made his considerable fortune in the United States initially as an expat.
    Finally, as an additional insult to expats, I must sign with only my initials for fear of retribution to my employer or my-self. I can only hope that the more enlightened citizens of this Island share their thoughts when confronted with the reality of immigration policy in a competitive world. The Cayman Islands are a beautiful place with incredible people, but we are ALL part of a global marketplace and we must act and think accordingly or risk a slow and painful economic demise.

    Signed HMS

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