[private] Perhaps it is time to reintroduce myself to new readers of the Bay Islands Voice. My name of course is George S. Crimmin. I was born on the Island of Roatan in the community of West End in the summer of 1949. I received my elementary/primary and secondary schooling in Honduras, but received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States. I was employed as a secondary school administrator for many years, as well as serving on the board of directors of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month Committees in the state of Massachusetts.
However I consider my greatest honor to be my three years as Senior Advisor to former Bay Islands Governor Dorn A. Ebanks at the turn of the century. In this position I met many of our present and past national leaders, up close and personal. Sound exciting? Unfortunately, it turned out to be an unimpressive and uninspiring experience.
This experience left me convinced that a perverse bias exists against local Bay Islanders by the majority of the leadership in Tegucigalpa and elsewhere on mainland Honduras. We have been governed by racist, incompetent, semi-illiterate and corrupt leaders, and by individuals with little vision or imagination. Many of the tombstones of our deceased leaders, God rest their souls, should read “Buried at 65, but died at 30”.
But back to current events. Have you noticed how frequently our businesses are being audited these days? Until recently audits were sporadic, happening every few years. Then they became annual. Today they appear to be almost quarterly. But why? It is my understanding that when you are audited there should be some evidence of wrongdoing.
But that’s not the case here on Roatan. It appears that whenever those in charge get the urge, they dispatch their bloodhounds and pit bulls to launch an attack! Whenever these nameless people get the whim, they are free to harass, terrorize, and threaten us with impunity. They even show up on holidays such as Good Friday, Easter and Christmas. Any special event can trigger an onslaught of these repugnant vultures. It seems an arbitrary and discriminating practice, nothing short of criminal.
I wonder why our local authorities haven’t intervened on our behalf? Are they perhaps too busy covering their own rear ends to worry about ours? And to whom can we complain? The Attorney General? The President?
Let’s start with the President, the supposed defender of the constitution. President Zelaya, would you please call off your bloodthirsty hounds? We have endured enough, our pot boileth over! Our local officials lack the moral standing or intestinal fortitude to stick up for us; so we appeal directly to you.
We have for generations been treated as second class citizens, but lately it seems even this designation has been downgraded. Now we are being singled out for special harassment and intimidation consistent with treatment of a people under military rule by a foreign power.
And while on the subject of occupation, this past Good Friday holiday season no decent human being residing in West End was allowed a good night’s rest. Mainlanders were allowed to invade us with truckloads of high powered stereo equipment and permitted to blast their music all night long! The streets were overrun by drunks, crack-heads, and prostitutes. We locals were left with truckloads of garbage, stench, and human waste to clean up. Foreign visitors left Roatan with nightmarish memories, vowing never to return. We may be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
A reliable source informs me that your agents should have more than enough to keep them busy on the mainland, since the only legitimate taxpayer over there appears to be the Coca Cola Company. President Zelaya, can you explain these special agents who are lately such frequent visitors to our fair island? They seem ill-prepared, ill-mannered, unreasonable and solely interested in extorting money from local businesses in the form of bribes. There appears no other method to their madness. Regulations change from month to month. Cases selected for special review now take place in La Ceiba. We pay to send our representatives to the mainland, only to have the future of our business ventures hanging on the whims and peculiar preferences of hearing officers. Even some foreign businesses are suffering the effects of these intimidating tactics. Could this process be any more deplorable, arbitrary or corrupt?
Fellow Bay Islanders, the administration of these audits constitutes corruption at its core. Some of these so-called auditors appear so conceited and self-delusional that they believe their sweat is the nectar of the bees, and their flatulence the perfume of the night! As Bay Islanders we must band together and stand up against this onslaught of corruption. Our insistence on respect for the law is the greatest defense of our freedom, and the true source of our collective strength as a people.
Mr Attorney General, you are supposed to be the highest law enforcement officer in the land. Since the benchmark of any civilized society is its justice system, please take note that our legal rights are being violated, disregarded, and trampled upon with increasing regularity and utter impunity. If you truly believe in the rule of law can we see some evidence? How about it Mr. Attorney General? The proof will be in the pudding. [/private]