Dear Editor,

As long as I have worked on St. Maarten, people from all over the world have sought out St. Maarten for either a steppingstone or to better their life as in the case with Venroy Cargill. Looking at his record I would assume it was/is to better his life.

This happens all over the world. What I do not agree with, and I hope that the competent authorities would also see it in the same light as I do, is that no one who has come here to have a better life, should be so “bold faced” to have a story boasting of their illegal behavior (gypsy taxi driver) printed on the front page of the local newspaper. And to top it off, letting the people know that every night he sleeps in his car across from the Police Station.

This reminds of your editorial of a few months ago in which you cited the consequence of complacency. I have an idea why Gargill would feel free to do what he himself claims to be doing, but no one should be compensated for doing wrong.

I do not think that story was exaggerated and I hope that Gargill cannot claim that he did not know that that article would be printed, but what I know is that this behavior should not be unattended to.

My first reaction was that this should serve as a wakeup call for all the people in government. Especially those who are not showing the political will to do the positive things, but are only there for self-enrichment. The fact that that story is on the front page tells me several, but not so pleasant, things. A slap in the face of government came to mind, but then again this is my opinion.

This was long in coming, because time and time again we have seen and heard that the majority of the members of Parliament execute their tasks based on “not losing votes” and in doing so, not neglect to, but refuse to take a stand against whatever is not popular (remember this next election).

A 67-year-old Jamaican who was granted permanent residency is showing the St. Maarten government that because they are not taking care of him, he is going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether legal or illegal.

I must say this. This past weekend the Jamaicans on St. Maarten got permission to organize a parade and fête to celebrate the independence of Jamaica. This tells me that they are organized. So, taking into account the blame that Venroy Cargill wants to pass on, my suggestion is this. Whichever citizen of whichever nation who can organize themselves to celebrate should also organize themselves to avoid embarrassing situations caused by their fellow countrymen.

I know of thousands of people worldwide who are still saying “Thank you, St. Maarten” today.


Russell A. Simmons