[Event] Federal Palm Tour I (Grenada & Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
With fanfare and the familiar tones of the 1st Regimental Steelband, the Federal Palm, with President Carmona and staff on board and staffed by trained servicemen of the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard, departed for Carmona's good will tour of the region to bring support and a better understanding for the soon-coming political union.
Waving from the bow to a crowd of supporters as they left the dock in Port of Spain, the President prepared himself for the challenges of the trip before him.
About 16 hours later, spirits still high, they sailed into port in Saint George's Grenada, where he was warmly greeted by the Grenadan Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell.
The next few days were a whirlwind of speeches, rallies, town halls, and sit-downs between the President, citizens, and other government officials. Starting there in the capital, they toured around many of the largest cities of the island nation: Gouyare, Grenville, Victoria, and Saint David's and even stopped in the city of Hillsborough on the island of Carriacou before sailing further north.
At his many Grenada stops, President Carmona spoke on the islands beautiful natural scenery, its hardworking people, and rich history. In his talks, he outlined the benefits of the union to the people of Grenada:
- Better tie Grenada and the Caribbean into the world as a whole
- Increase in economic development, either through building of various economic sectors or an increase in tourism from around the world
- Better protection and security from threats, both human and natural, be it terror, natural disasters, with the combined resources of the Caribbean behind that support. He targeted these talks on defense and support against and rebuilding after natural disasters in portions of the island most effected by Hurricanes including Ivan and Emily in the 2000s. He hoped defense from other threats rang true still with the older Grenadans who still remembered the US invasion of the 80s and the aftermath, and the hope that a better
- Continued and growing support in helping Grenada rebuild following these recent natural disasters
- Development of infrastructure and facilities across the island. Roads, bridges, airport, and ferry services.
- Supplying jobs to Grenadans, both at home through the encouragement of local industries in manufacturing and agriculture (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, etc.), as well as making it easier to find work and travel around the multiple states of the proposed union.
- Making access to electricity, clean water, better communications, etc. more available to all Grenadans
- Make access to education easier, further develop St. Georges University, the largest employer on the island and a major draw in revenue
- Protection of Grenada's natural scenery and resources, a vow to conserve the unique natures of Grenada including the critically endangered Grenada Dove
- The shared sense of Caribbean identity they shared, a background of colonization and servitude, whether they came from Africa, India, or elsewhere
- A hope for a bright, future of the Caribbean, shaped by Caribbeans themselves.
After Hillsborough, the President bid Mitchell goodbye and the Federal Palm continued northward, crossing the maritime border into Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Starting in Clifton on Union Island, his island hopping tour continued toward Saint Vincent, also stopping at Charlestown on Canouan and Port Elizabeth on Bequia before landing at the capital of Kingstown. Alongside Saint Vincent Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, he toured the island as he had in Grenada, also stopping in Georgetown, Byera Village, and Biabou.
His talks and meetings covered both the broader plans as the had in Grenada ([M] that would just be repeats so I won't rewrite them) but also on the benefits that would directly come to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines including:
- Protection of SV&G's beautiful beaches and tropical environments, while also promoting their appeal to tourists globally.
- A pledge to continue the efforts of SV&G's leaders, including PM Gonsalves himself, in a push for reparations for slavery and native genocide at the hands of the Europeans and others
- A diversification of SV&G's economy to allow for greater stability and reduced economic vulnerability, while continuing the support the current largest industry, banana production
- That the union will work hard to introduce new businesses to the islands, to reduce unemployment and also provide new opportunities both at home and around the member states
- Work to expand the tourism sector for the island, as well as develop SV&G's potential as a film and movie location as it was for the Pirates of the Caribbean films to bring further revenue to the island and its people
tl;dr First stops on the tour around the proposed union and friends.
I guess can I get rolls on any public opinion increase? Both count as OECS states.