February 24, 2022 | By Hopeton O’Connor Dennie |
Mark Golding & Opposition Elements playing Politics
As the war of words came to an abrupt end last night, as tanks roll through the streets of Ukraine. President Putin has lied. He said he was not planning to invade Ukraine. This is now history, and an ongoing drama. Reports monitored in Jamaica as revealed that 44 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 10 civilians. Russia has lost 6 warplanes and 50 soldiers. These reports cannot be independently verified.
Some forty Jamaicans have been stuck in Ukraine and are now in bomb shelters. They have to been studyt from medicine to other disciplines. The JLP government through the foreign minister, Johnson Smith had offered to assist them home. They were reluctant to leave. We now hear that the government has abandoned our nationals. This is fake news being peddled to embarrass the Andrew Michael Holness administration. A loan scheme was also devised with no conditions for taking up the offer.
These government offers have not been refuted by critics.
A student said she did not wish to return to Jamaica without her cat. She placed the love for her cat over her personal safety. This was disclosed by Hon. Robert Nesta Morgan, Information Minister. He said the students were repeatedly offered assistance and they kept procrastinating. They felt they were not in danger. The chickens have come to nest. The situation has to changed overnight with the invasion.
William Mossias, a Jamaican businessman who is married to Vicky a native Ukrainian is stranded in Ukraine. He is trying to get out via Poland.
“My wife’s 70 year old mother, (of Vicky my wife,) has refused to leave her home in Ukraine. We have 5 children the smallest being 3 years old. My family has been living here for a year. We came here for a medical procedure for Vicky my wife. Medical care is cheap here and of a high standard. This is a highly developed society.”
“Tomorrow Friday, February 25, 2022 the family of William Mossias have planned to seek refuge in Poland. William Mossias has dual citizenship with the United States Of America. He is heading for the USA eventually”
So declared a calm sounding William Mossias in a telephone interview monitored by Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie of Vision Newspaper.
Oil prices internationally have risen due to the conflict in Ukraine. World oil is up to US $100. Brent Crude in the US has risen to $97 US dollars per barrel.
Hon Mark Golding has been critical of the government. He said inter alia:
“The government has not handled the matter well”
So declared Hon. Mark Golding, as he tried to damage the government of Andrew Holness. That is cheap politics at this time. Sad indeed.
Based on the information released by Foreign Minister Johnson Smith, we are satisfied that the JLP led government has done the best they could have done under the circumstances. The students, especially the first year ones, who have just arrived in Ukraine, were naturally reluctant to leave. It cost about one million dollars to go there.
UK and US have both condemned the invasion and have tightened sanctions.
Euromarket and leaders have met.
They have pledged support for Ukraine. They have frowned on an attack on democracy. They vow to retaliate against Russia.
At least seven Jamaicans have left Ukraine. These are mainly students.
It is unfortunate that the tragedy has been reduced to raw politics in Jamaica. We need to unite at this time as Jamaicans, and not allow ourselves to get divided. Let good sense prevail, please!
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a poet, elegist, author, and senior international journalist who writes for Vision newspaper