Richard Frederick Resigns!

MP for Castries Central Richard Frederick resigns after revocation of US Visas.

Richard Frederick has resigned as Saint Lucia’s Housing Minister. In an exclusive address carried on CHOICE TV on Sunday at 8pm, Frederick announced that come Monday he would no longer be responsible for the ministerial portfolio. The still current representative for Castries Central was dressed in a grey suit and spoke confidently as he delivered the news. He has for the last several days been at the center of controversy following the revelation that his United States diplomatic and travel visas had been revoked.
In the special address Frederick began by reminding the nation he had been a police officer and a practicing lawyer before he entered politics.
Began Frederick:  “I have learnt much about life being a lawyer in a country where the majority cannot afford legal representation. I experienced firsthand the unequalled personal satisfaction that comes from standing up win or lose for what you know is right–even when the prejudiced majority would have you play it safe, turn your back and walk away. But perhaps the most important lesson I learnt from being a lawyer in St Lucia is that you should never prejudge. In the same way you cannot determine the quality of a book’s contents from looking at its cover, so you cannot know the content of a man’s heart from looking at his clothes or the size of his house or the car that he drives.”
Frederick noted that the Saint Lucia Constitution promises accused persons the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
He went on: “It was with that Constitutional guarantee utmost in my mind that I defended both the underprivileged poor underdogs of our society as well as other more fortunate who found themselves in need of someone to stand between them and a supposed jury of their peers. As a practicing lawyer I made some fine, grateful friends but I made very powerful enemies, with state trappings at their disposal. It was the view of many misguided brothers and sisters, among them close relatives, that those accused of certain crimes ought to be denied legal representation, thrown to the dogs, locked away in cages and forgotten. It did not occur to these otherwise fine law-abiding citizens that what they wished for was not simply unfair but was also absolutely unconstitutional. Or that it was not in their best interests to deny others of the right to a defense. After all who knows when it will be our turn to be declared guilty until proven innocent. Even as I made the case for our Constitution and Human Rights, even as I insisted that we should in the best interest of justice for all consider our less fortunate brethren innocent until proven guilty not the reverse, it never occurred to me that I might one day find myself being judged guilty without even the suggestion of a fair hearing. Maybe I was subconsciously thinking that if I ever found myself in such a predicament ‘No big thing I can take care of myself, after all I am a lawyer.’ ”
“You live and you learn,” admitted Frederick. “Today, I am a much wiser man. I have learned the hardest way that we are all, yes, every single one of us, regardless of status, vulnerable. Especially when the combined voice of our accusers is much louder, more sinister, more persistent than the voice of the accused.”
Frederick said that since the issue of his US visas being revoked had come to the fore and the fallout he has had reason to rethink why he decided to enter politics in 2006. He added that his decision to run for office was “well-intentioned” and “I have never regretted it.” He said however he should have recognized the ominous signs that he would be a target.
“It is no secret that from the moment I declared my candidacy in 2006 in the Castries Central by-election I was vilified,” he said. “Leading members of the opposition took vicious aim at me . . . The snipers included a sitting attorney general who was also my opponent for the Castries Central seat, a QC who was not only a frontline member of the opposition party but also president of the senate. All of them were well schooled in the devious practice of using words as weapons for the destruction of reputations. Ever so careful to avoid court action, these lawyers cleverly insinuated that I was a money launderer, a woman batterer, a thief, a criminal, an unscrupulous land speculator, a drug trafficker, among other ills. They even whispered that I was involved in a murder under investigation by Scotland Yard.”
The departing minister noted that even several years after the “smear” campaign his accusers have offered no evidence of what they had said.
“But this did not stop them from repeating their allegations to anyone who would listen including visiting personnel from the American embassy,” he went on. “Little did they know the evil that men do in dark would one day be wikileaked. Predictably they failed in their attempts at fooling all of the people all of the time. The people of Castries Central saw through their sheep’s clothing and recognized them for what they are—ravenous wolves and lazy unemployable opportunists who will stop at nothing to get what they want. The good people of Castries Central treated me fairly; they refused to pronounce me guilty until proven innocent. Maybe because many had themselves experienced injustices on one level or another and those people treated me with respect. They afforded me my constitutional right to innocence until proven guilty. They handed me the special honour of representing them in Parliament and sent shockwaves throughout the political landscape–not just once but twice.”
Taking a deep breath the minister said with the general election looming the same persons who attacked him verbally before were at it again with some new allies.
Said Frederick: “Now more than ever desperate my political enemies from the 2006 elections have been joined by a group of disgruntled former United Workers Party members. They too have their special ambitions. Together with my older political enemies who have always considered me the biggest stumbling block the newcomers are determined by whatever means necessary to wipe Richard Frederick out of the political picture. Ironically, at least one of them has been officially declared unworthy of the public trust. His name is a blot on the books of local banks. His influence on Sir John led to the prime minister’s ‘I was duped’ admission that to this day remains an opener to a huge can of worms. This proven political and business failure was never satisfied with just his fair share of the national cake, now he wants to control the whole bakery and he is determined to use every trick in the book and by any means necessary to step on anyone who gets in his way.”
Frederick said the common goal of his “enemies” is to discredit him in the eyes of the electorate and the wider world.
“It does not matter to them that in their attempts at discrediting Richard Frederick they are also giving St Lucia an undeserved bad name,” he said.
Frederick recalled being “treated like an escaped convict” when he was arrested for alleged under invoicing. He recalled being arrested with TV cameras and other media already tipped off. Frederick then read from a document from the Wikileaks website allegedly from the US state department which quoted the former comptroller of customs as saying that he hoped the under invoicing case would hurt Frederick’s “rise to power.”
“It has nothing to do with customs evasion, it has everything to do with discrediting Richard Frederick and blocking his rise to power. The latest blow from the American embassy has certainly hurt me,” said Frederick.
“But I will survive with the support of the people of Castries Central,” he said. “I am still at a loss though as to the reasons for the revocation of my visas. Although I believe that what is done in the dark will one day be preached from housetops. Nevertheless I have been advised to reserve further comment on these very disturbing turn of events until I am better placed to speak. In the meantime my political enemies are rejoicing. For them the revocation of my visas is like manna from heaven. They see this as the vehicle by which they will regain power. There is blood in the water and the circulating sharks are insatiable. Let them feast on the fruits of their smear campaign while they still can.”
Frederick then addressed his constituents: “You can rest assured that I am innocent of all those allegations leveled at me by my political enemies. My faith that justice will prevail remains extremely strong. Again I thank you for your support and pledge to continue serving you as long as you want my services.”
He had saved his announcement for the end.
He looked dead into the camera and said: “To spare my colleagues further distractions from the important work on behalf of the nation during these especially difficult times I have chosen to reconsider my earlier public statement and resign from the Cabinet of ministers effective Monday 26 September 2011.  Meanwhile, I want to assure the prime minister and my other colleagues that my support for them and the United Workers Party is never ending. We must understand that the phoenix always rises from the ash and in the most adverse of circumstances good leaders always emerge. Remember Nelson Mandela? To my people of Castries Central I say, let not your hearts be troubled as I have every intention of contesting the upcoming general elections. I am confident you will reelect me to continue the unprecedented development of Castries Central that I started since the last four and a half years. Thank you Castries Central. I thank you Saint Lucia. Keep the faith. And may God’s grace be with us in the day’s ahead.”

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