BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 2, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Minister responsible for the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA), the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, has rubbished as “fake news” the reports being peddled by the Opposition as it relates to security management at the Robert L. Bradshaw (RLB) International Airport.
Minister Liburd was referring to an article posted online by the Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party late last week, which stated that the airport’s international status is under threat due to security concerns raised by the US-based Transportation Security Administration (TSA) following an inspection of the facility in 2017.
The honourable minister categorically refuted those claims and stated, “I have seen the report myself. There were no adverse issues documented by the TSA as it relates to security or any other matter.”
Another inspection by the Transportation Security Administration at the RLB International airport is expected to be carried out by August of this year.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has taken meaningful steps to enhance the safety and security operations at the airport. This included the passage of the Civil Aviation Bill (Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority Agreement Bill) in May 2017, which allows for greater oversight of St. Kitts and Nevis’ civil aviation safety and security framework and brings it in line with other member states of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Minister Liburd said the reports being peddled by the Opposition are nothing more than just another failed attempt to distract the people of St. Kitts and Nevis from the true picture of growth and development being realized in the twin island Federation under the three-year old Team Unity Administration.
He noted, “The Team Unity Administration is on a roll in the process of enhancing its productive infrastructure.”
The publication of this fake news is the latest ploy in a propaganda campaign being led by the rejected Denzil Douglas-led Labour Party against the projects that are successfully being carried out by the Team Unity Government – projects the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party-led government failed to deliver during its 20 years in office.
One of the earliest and most disloyal acts by the Opposition came last year when it was revealed that Dr. Denzil Douglas, in his capacity as Leader of the Opposition, wrote a letter to the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) on July 7, 2017, asking that it withholds funding for the second cruise pier project.
That unpatriotic action to try and block the construction of the second cruise pier has since come to naught, as work on the US$48 million capital project is now underway.
Additionally, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris disclosed at a press conference earlier this year that the Opposition Leader went to extreme lengths in his attempt to deter investments in the Federation, and under the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. According to Prime Minister Harris, it was Dr. Douglas who sought to encourage the owners at Heldon’s Estate Hotel and Residences in St. Paul’s not to do any further investments in this country.
Just recently, attempts were also made to destabilize the economy by tarnishing the reputation of a well known real estate developer, Mr. Mohammed Asaria, the founder of Range Developments and one of the principals of the Six Senses Hotel project in St. Kitts.
Mr. Asaria, whose company is responsible for developing Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour and the Cabrits Resort in Dominica, was forced to respond to allegations being purported that he had been arrested and detained in China on suspicion of illegal fundraising. He has since vigorously rejected those claims and promised to pursue “the highest possible damages” in court against those responsible.