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Weep For Nevis

Commentary By Arthur Piccolo

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. June 17, 2009: It seems our earlier comments about Premier Parry`s recent trip to New York City caused quite a stir back on the Island. Well here comes the hurricane.

SHAME on Mr. Parry and those on Nevis who think like him. Let`s pray among the 12,000 residents of this small, but precious island, that there are some who Alexander Hamilton would be proud to call his fellow Nevisians. If you know anything about Hamilton you know he did not suffer fools and much more, he was a courageous champion of worthwhile causes and abhorred human weakness.

Hamilton would shudder at the small mindedness of Premier Parry and those in his camp. Much more, he would weep tears of despair that Nevis has not learned the message he brought to the United States that made this country what it is today.

Hamilton saw disunity and a fractious group of former colonies that had no future if they did not unite despite their many differences. It was Hamilton who along with Madison who are most responsible for the American Constitutional Convention that produced the United States of America from the ruins of the Articles of Confederation.

So what do we have today?  A bickering Nevis always in psychological warfare with the somewhat larger St. Kitts, and even more telling, facing a dis-united Caribbean that largely ignores Hamilton and his legacy.

Here is the very specific point of this message. We have proposed time and again that for September in Lower Manhattan where Hamilton is buried, in tandem with the opening of the UN General Assembly where many Caribbean leaders gather in NYC, a major gathering to commemorate Hamilton here.

It would be a celebration led by the Caribbean in honor of Hamilton`s most important achievement – becoming the First U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in September 1789 and in effect the Savior of these United States with his economic plans to monetize the debts of the individual states and turn it into an engine for growth the world had never ever seen before.

The response to the proposal always is Nevis is in no position to get leaders from throughout the Caribbean to join in honoring Alexander Hamilton. First, Nevis is not a nation and they should ask the Prime Minister in St. Kitts to join in such an effort.

WAKE UP NEVIS and stop being so parochial and pig-headed.

Hamilton is a son of the Caribbean as he was born on Nevis and spent part of his young life on St. Croix. It does not matter what others think of Hamilton in the Caribbean. What is important is that Nevis and the entire Caribbean will benefit mightily by all Caribbean leaders honoring him in the United States where Hamilton is important by identifying themselves with Hamilton here in New York City where it counts.

George Washington was a Virginian but Americans see Washington as a Great American not a great Virginian. The entire Caribbean should likewise embrace Hamilton as their own. Hamilton was a New Yorker but he is viewed here as a Great American.

If Premier Parry wants more of a legacy that being quickly forgotten once he is gone, and if the good people of Nevis are sincere about wanting the best for their island, they will demand Premier Parry put aside all squabbles and join in temporary alliance with St. Kitts to invite all the Caribbean leaders to gather this September 2009 the 220th anniversary of Hamilton becoming U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in Lower Manhattan to honor Alexander Hamilton as America`s greatest immigrant and First Secretary of the Treasury.

They should also invite a distinguished list of Americans beginning with the current Secretary of the Treasury and a who`s who of leaders in American government and business to join at Trinity Church, then nearby at an official reception to follow. Both events, led by Nevis, under the auspices of the nation of St. Kitts & Nevis, but co-hosted by many other Caribbean countries and leaders as well.

Nevis, most of all, but the entire Caribbean will benefit mightily from such a show of enthusiasm for Hamilton here in the U.S. Hamilton would be so, so proud. But of course it will not happen as Nevis sees itself as weak, lacks that kind of self-confidence and Premier Parry is clearly confused and everyone in the very small island kingdom of St. Kitts and Nevis is having too much `fun` squabbling over nothing to cooperate in such an ambitious project.

Weep for Nevis. Weep for the Caribbean. There is no doubt Alexander Hamilton is in his grave weeping for Nevis and the entire Caribbean and its lack of vision and unity.

EDITOR`S NOTE: Arthur Piccolo is chair of the Bowling Green Association and a major proponent of Alexander Hamilton.