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Economist Dr Vanus James, as he appeared on a PDP platform

Economist Dr Vanus James is repeatedly urging Tobagonians to go out in large numbers to vote out the Peoples National Movement.

He said Tobago’s development hinges on Tobago’s autonomy, which he said, the PNM has failed to deliver over the years.

He added the PNM has demonstrated by its actions and by the statement by the Prime Minister that they (PNM) will not give Tobago management over its affairs. James who has been consistently appearing on the PDP platform said the call to remove the PNM from the leadership of the island is even coming from the party faithful in Trinidad.

“I got a call from a PNM in Trinidad in the last three days since they start to do their cussing on a man like me, more PNM people donate money to me to give to the PDP in the last three days. I raised more money in Tobago to contribute to the PDP efforts to dismiss the PNM.”

He said the PNM insider also told him that the ruling PNM would be bringing up “boat loads and plane loads of tricksters and crooks” who are going to try to rig the election in one way or the other.

The renowned economist said he believed the PNM must be removed from office to reform the THA.

And he said once a policy is developed and implemented, the island’s finances would be efficiently managed.

As it is, Dr James said the Executive Council of the THA does not report to the people of Tobago, “However they take instructions from the Trinidad arm of the PNM, effectively making the Trinidad PNM Tobago’s bosses.

“As long as Trinidad is your boss you are going to be walking behind them with a chain forever and ever,” Dr James said.

The economist compared the economy of the Cayman Islands to that of Tobago. He said while both are similar in terms of population size and resources, the Cayman Islands is able to produce US$82, 000 per person per year.

He accused the political leader of the Tobago Council of the PNM Tracy Davidson-Celestine of “mashing up” Tobago’s tourism during her tenure as Secretary for Tourism.

“500,000 stayover visitors go to the Cayman Islands, 1.5 million cruise ship visitors go to the Cayman Islands, they export what I call capital services so their economy produces nearly US2.5 billion dollars per year.”

He said while Tobago could be earning the same, year after year Tobago is “begging for 2.5 million TT dollars from Trinidad,”

According to Dr James Tobago can achieve the same but it will not happen under the “mental slavery perpetrated by the PNM”.

“Tobago is trying to compete with Trinidad and they have us like their footstool, with a Tobagonian Prime Minister. Isn’t it time for us to wake up,” he said.

He added Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has warned Tobagonians that he (Dr Rowley) alone cannot deliver autonomy, while simultaneously encouraging Tobagonians to vote for the PNM. However, Dr James said a vote for the PNM means that the island will in effect say forget about democracy, forget about the dishonesty and mismanagement and that, he said is the same as accepting that Tobago will never be developed.