September 22, 2021

OPINION: What’s going on that we should know about?

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By Jolly Green

By Jolly Green, February 2020.

What is being hidden from the public relevant to the murder of Cuban nurse Arianna Taylor-Israel? The intrigue is obvious, all are talking about it.

Arianna Taylor was a beautiful Cuban lady brought to Saint Vincent by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. She came to SVG in 2001 when newly elected Dr Ralph E Gonsalves flooded the SVG health service with Cuban nurses and some doctors. Eventually having worked here for two years, she was required to return to Cuba to fulfill the Cuban overseas employment laws.

But Ralph Gonsalves made a direct plea to his mentor the Cuban leader Fidel Castro for her to be able to stay in Saint Vincent, Castro agreed and she received the special treatment of being allowed to stay in SVG.

Photo by I Witness News SVG

Mitch Israel, following his appearance in Kingstown Court when a hearing date was set regarding the allegations of a head shooting murder of his wife against him.

Unlike most prisoners facing such charges, there are no outward signs of the often so usual police beatings. No black eyes or pulverized face, no broken ribs. The opposite, he had been allowed to wash and dress in smart clothes, and what is more astounding, he was not even required to wear handcuffs or manacles of any kind. His demur was one of someone relaxed who had a good night’s rest. He was walked to court without handcuffs and manacles. From the court, he left in a posh black limousine reserved for top government officials, again no handcuffs or manacles. The usual travel to prison would be cuffed-manacled and thrown in the back of a pick-up truck. What in hell’s name is going on?

Mitch Israel, 57, appeared at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Monday, where Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne read to him a charge that he murdered his wife, Arianna Taylor-Israel, 47, in Kingstown last Thursday, Jan. 30. He was not required to plead to the indictable charge. Perhaps she would still be alive today if the police had heeded to her numerous complaints that her husband had threatened to kill her and he had a licensed gun. The police said she only complained three times, but if it was three hundred or three they should have interviewed him on the first complaint. But it appeared the man had some kind of immunity, what was that based on?

On Sunday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves commented on Arianna’s death. He said that like her on the Friday 26 January, before her death; he had been at a celebratory activity at the Cuban ambassador’s house. Gonsalves said, “She is always participating in those activities. She [not unlike himself] is a Cuban patriot and a Vincentian patriot.” 

Arianna Taylor-Israel became a Vincentian by marriage when she was married to Mitch Israel in 2004. 

Arianna’s second son, born in Saint Vincent, carries Ralph Gonsalves’s name as his middle name. Gonsalves said it was because of his close ties with Arianna, that he was so named. Close ties, what close ties? We need to hear more about this.

Gonsalves disclosed that Arianna was among the first batch of nurses that Havana dispatched to Kingstown between 2001 and 2003. Having done two years of what Cuba calls “internationalist duty,” she was officially required to return and work in Cuba for a certain number of years, and Havana refused her permission to stay in St. Vincent. The rest we know, Gonsalves contacted Fidel Castro, and Castro arranged for her to stay in SVG.

Rather oddly one of Arianna Taylor-Israel’s sisters, Dr. Aimeé Mercedes Duharte Taylor, is an oncologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. To be working still in SVG, she would also have to have the Gonsalves stay arrangement with Castro or his successor. 

I suppose at this juncture we should ask exactly what Gonsalves’s interest in these ladies was? Why and how did he get involved in arranging for them to stay permanently in SVG? How he was so close that a son carried his Christian name?

Arianna Taylor-Israel sang with the Kingstown Chorale/Cantemus at Sir Freddie’s funeral service. 

Ralph Gonsalves tearfully said, “She was a really good human being, a good soul, and it’s painful, very painful…”

Let’s get back to Mitch Israel; he became an exclusive dude almost overnight when someone kindly hoisted him into the company called PDV SVG Ltd. He applied for and got a firearm permit, and acquired a weapon which he allegedly eventually ended up shooting his wife with. It wasn’t just a lowly job either; he was appointed as Operations Manager. These companies are a joint venture Petro Carib company PDV (SVG) Ltd., in which the state-owned energy company in Venezuela, PDV, is the majority shareholder (51 percent), and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the minority shareholder (49 percent). One has to ask, was Mitch Israel qualified to hold such a position? Did he have the education and personal intelligence to be given such a job? Is he a ULP member, and one of the inner circle? Who encouraged the company to appoint him? Did Mitch Israel learn where many of the skeletons lay within the company? Is his knowledge dangerous to anyone? Lets go even further than that, did Ralph Gonsalves take a hand in him landing this job?

I am worried for Mitch Israel being able to stay alive, I must ask, is he in the dangerous position of knowing too much and needing to be kept quiet? Why is he being given the gentlemanly kid-glove handling and the 5 star hotel treatment as a prisoner charged with murder?

A friend of mine said while discussing this matter while we were flying over a snow-capped mountain, “there is more in the pestle than the mortar.” I think he is right. An interesting case, indeed, Eh! Comrade, what say you?

END – IMAGES supplied by author

DISCLAMER: The opinion, belief and viewpoint expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoint of iNews Cayman/ or official policies of iNews Cayman/

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