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Saint Lucia’s National Green Party leader, Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires, believes 2023 will bring unprecedented challenges.
“I would think it would be more challenging than previous years because we can see what’s on the horizon,” de Caires told St Lucia Times.
He referred to the COVID-19 situation in China, where the first COVID-19 case was reported in Wuhan City in December 2019.
The NGP leader recalled that shortly afterward, the virus reached Italy as people travelled.
He asserted that COVID-19 is not over.
“But I will not signal to the Saint Lucian people that we have anything to fear because I think that basically we got through quite well even with less than thirty percent vaccinated,” de Caires told St Lucia Times.
However, he explained that no one knows what mandates and protocols international bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would implement because of the developments in China.
In addition to that issue, de Caires pointed to what he described as the current ‘crazy weather’ decimating food crops.
“We already see the price of bread going up, and that’s a staple for us,” the NGP leader told St Lucia Times.
He also referred to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, both major wheat producers.
“Agriculture doesn’t happen when there’s a war like that,” de Caires declared.
“We see that China and Russia are looking to take over the monetary system. International trade is done in US dollars and now we see alliances on the other side, so our monetary system may be in jeopardy and we depend on the US dollar. How is that going to affect us?”
“And with the rising prices and inflation, our salaries are not going up,” de Caires noted.
“So I think that a lot of people who live from pay cheque to pay cheque are going to find it a lot harder to survive this year,” he said.
The NGP leader told St Lucia Times he hopes he is wrong.
“I hope I am not being paranoid,” he declared.