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Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has told supporters of his United Workers Party (UWP) that he sees himself as a Saint Lucian who is not better than anyone else.
“I don’t see myself as white, people. I see myself as a Saint Lucian and a Saint Lucian who is willing to do everything that anybody else is willing to do,” the former Prime Minister declared.
He was addressing a UWP Town Hall meeting in Soufriere on Sunday and responding to critics who had labelled him a foreigner who could not relate to Saint Lucians.
Chastanet delved into his family history, struggles, and experiences, including working with his father, well-known entrepreneur Sir Michael Chastanet.
Chastanet said his father moved the family to Puerto Rico to improve his children’s lives.
The former Prime Minister said at the age of seven, he left Saint Lucia for Puerto Rico.
“That explains to you why I don’t speak kweyol. I speak Spanish, ” he disclosed.
Chastanet recalled that his parents struggled before his father eventually became successful.
He asserted that many people think his father was always wealthy, but that is untrue.
The opposition leader said his father never spoiled him but made him work for what he achieved.
“When I worked on my father’s ships, I carried cement. I went into the septic tank to clean the septic tank. I did my time and started from the bottom,” he explained.
The Micoud South MP said that, as a result, he greatly appreciates where Saint Lucians are.
He acknowledges that he did not have it as bad as some Saint Lucians but knows what it is to have parents struggling to assist their children.
Chastanet told his audience he had ‘one big sin ‘, his belief in Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians.
He said he believes every time Saint Lucians get an opportunity to compete globally, they can succeed.
“That is what drives me every single day,” the former Prime Minister said.
Chastanet also hit out at critics who assert he is a product of Canada because he left Saint Lucia for a better education.
He said he left to get better exposure and brought it back to Saint Lucia.
“The same Julien Alfred that they will sit there and celebrate. She is not a prodigy of Jamaica because she had to leave Saint Lucia to become a star and I am proud of what she has achieved,” Chastanet told the Town Hall meeting.
“I have no doubt that Julien Alfred will never forget where she came from and she will do everything to make Saint Lucia a better place,” he said