Beware of trouble in paradise

Filed under COLUMNISTS, COMMENTARIES

00_LuciusGanttI’ve visited Europe, Africa, South America, and a few other continents. But my favorite travel destination is the Caribbean islands.

Perhaps I enjoy myself there because oftentimes I get paid there. I have done a lot of political consultation in the Caribbean in recent years because Blacks there are far more interested in doing business with their own kind than the modern-day Negroes in the United States who believe their oppressor’s ice is always colder than their own.

I was conned
Years ago when I began to travel to the islands, I felt very safe. Don’t get me wrong. I was once ripped off in the Bahamas for about $150, but I wasn’t shot, beaten or robbed. I was simply conned!

I blame myself for being tricked and have never criticized Bahamians or others in the Caribbean for my stupidity back in the day.

In the good old days, crime was extremely low, for the most part, in all Caribbean countries. But when crack cocaine and other hard drugs hit the scene, things took a turn for the worse!

Things are so bad now on many Caribbean islands that several governments and travel agencies have issued “security advisories” warning travelers to be careful when vacationing or doing business in the Caribbean.

Be careful
Don’t get this column twisted. Most visits to the islands are trouble-free. And most of the increase in island crime, I think, is related to a region-wide economic downturn.

But the travel warnings discuss the potential of being robbed while driving, and suggest that tourists “keep your car doors locked, windows rolled up, and personal belongings, including handbags, safely stored at traffic lights” because you could be a target of thieves.

The best way to stay safe is to remain at your resort or in designated tourist areas that are well-patrolled by island police.

However, if you are like me and want to really see the island country in all of its glory, you have to get away from your hotel or resort.

What I do is get around during the day. No matter where you are in the world, it is dangerous to prance around in the streets in the late-night hours – especially if you are drunk, high or geeked-up!

Take precautions
When I move around at night in a foreign country, I usually have a driver. If I’m in a place like – no disrespect – Kingston, Jamaica, I have a driver and a bodyguard, especially if I want to go to or near Mountain View, Trenchtown, Tivoli Gardens, Cassava Piece or Arnett Gardens. In Montego Bay, be careful in areas like Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Rose Heights, Clavers Street or Hart Street.

In the Dominican Republic, travel advisories suggest you beware of assailants on motorcycles, scooters or bicycles who snatch purses, phones or necklaces –especially on holidays and during Carnival.

The island of Puerto Rico may be the most dangerous of all islands in the Caribbean.

I could go on and on about all islands, but I won’t. Just be careful when you travel like you are careful when you’re home.

Never act scared!
Act like you know how to protect yourself and if necessary, how to defend yourself.

Travel in groups and don’t overdo it with the alcohol, pot, the pills or whatever you do. Also be on the lookout for muggers, robbers, con men, thieves, rapists and other shady characters and criminals.

Enjoy yourself in the Caribbean and wherever else you travel to.

Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on Amazon.com and from bookstores everywhere. Contact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net.

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