On June 19, 2009 Stabroek News carried a letter written by yours truly under the caption `Volunteering to man ‘Barbados bench’’. In response, over 90 percent of 42 comments by bloggers (using their democratic right to free speech) took me to task. I recall one blogger admonished the publisher for ‘printing rubbish’ and another suggested it contributed to making “Guyana look foolish”. Of course, my contention about a Barbados bench was a metaphorical statement in reaction to almost ‘Gestapo-like’ behaviour experienced by two decent friends of mine at the hands of authorities at Grantley Adams International Airport .
Shanique Myrie took the Barbados Government to the Caribbean Court of justice (CCJ) for the ignominy she suffered on March 14th 2011. Ms. Myrie, strongly supported by the Jamaican government, wanted the CCJ to declare the minimum standard of treatment for Caricom citizens under the revised treaty of Chaguaramas.
On October 4, 2013, the CCJ in a case that hinged greatly on their interpretation of the credibility of evidence presented (reminiscent of Justice Ian Chang’s decision in the Henry Greene matter), ruled in favour of Ms. Myrie.
In one swoop, the CCJ has re-established its relevance to the Caribbean peoples; another government in the western hemisphere, other than Uncle Sam has demonstrated its uncompromising posture to defend the rights of its nationals; and a Caribbean ‘Rosa Parks’ has emerged.