Our Flashback photo in last Wednesday’s STAR took us back to 1997 at the height of the trade disputes over Windward
Island bananas and the preferential treatment handed out where market share was concerned. Putting up the challenge was the WTO at the behest of Chiquita. Said Rupert Gajadhar chairman of the Saint Lucia banana growers association at the time (at the center of our flashback photo seen being interviewed by Vincent Lewis): “We have avoided the strife and turmoil that has plagued Latin America precisely because we don’t have a plantation economy and our distribution of income is better. What do the Americans want to do, reduce us to another Haiti?”
Theresa Alexander-Louise, an economist at the Windward Islands Banana Exporting and Development Company had this to say: ”We are used to coming back from natural calamities like hurricanes, flood or drought. But if the markets for our bananas are taken away, that will be a disaster greater than any hurricane we have ever experienced.”
That is not to say that the political football that the banana industry had become and still is has helped either.
Banana dead? It depends on whom you speak to.
The woman pictured on the right with the warm smile was happiest when she was doing what she loves the most. However hers remain one of the mysterious and cold cases in Saint Lucia. Who is she and who is the man pictured with her? If you recall anything about her case you can also share with us on our website at www.stluciastar.com or visit our Facebook page.