Speaking mainly to the young people of the Cayman Islands, deposed former Premier McKeeva Bush urged the territory to provide opportunities to the next generation during a National Heroes Day address broadcast Monday.
“We must ensure that jobs are available for them to aspire to, and that means a strong economy which means viable projects in our islands and the support for investors – foreign and local,” Mr. Bush said during the address Monday on Radio Cayman.
The former premier, who has made few public statements since he was removed from office following an 18 December “no-confidence” vote in the Legislative Assembly, made some references to “naysayers” in his brief address. But mainly he urged young people to remain confident and uphold their values.
“We trust that our youth will have the good sense to understand that it is doubt and uncertainty, purposelessness and confusion of values which unnerves and undermines us,” Mr. Bush said. “There are those who are always naysayers and doubters and in this life will always find some way to accuse, point fingers and raise doubt. Know in building a nation, it is most probable that no plan we propose would be supported by all and so for me as a leader to offer any young person what I myself cannot support … how could I afterwards defend it.”
Mr. Bush also sought to prepare the younger generation for harder economic times ahead – harder, he said, than many in his own generation had known.
“Perhaps we have all lived the easy way and now must prepare you for the battle of a harder way,” he said. “The world has changed. We must think of what future we are building for our children, or better still, what future together the youth of these islands will building with us.
“Build we must, and jobs must be prepared for this generation and the next,” he added. “For every good that we must preserve, we may have to sacrifice some comfort and ease. There is nothing for nothing any longer. Sometimes we must give up something we hold dear.” Mr. Bush, who was leader of government business when the inaugural Heroes Day kicked off in 2003, also urged the younger generation to be proud of what the Cayman Islands has achieved.
“God has been good to all of us,” he said. “Be watchful of the evils around you, but be proud of the things that have been built here, the standard of living, tested though we are now. Give thanks for our heritage and be proud of our islands.”