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King of Soca demands apology after 12 years


St. Maarten – Twelve years ago, in April 2003 to be exact, Soca superstar Machel Montano and his mother Elizabeth were destined to perform at the Carnival Village for a Soca Blow out show. At the Princess Juliana International Airport, Security and Customs noticed that Montano had a small quantity of marijuana in his possession.

Montano and his mother ended up in the holding cell at the police station in Philipsburg after their arrest for drug possession. According to Wayne Bowman of the Trinidad Guardian, Detective Toney Skatcliffe said “He should thank the Lord and seek to behave himself from now on.”

The next day the two were released and the police announced there would be no further investigation. “The Montanos were taken into custody as part of a routine investigation into drug-related activities,” police spokesman Geronimo Juliet said at the time. A suitcase filled with marijuana believed to belong to the Montanos was found at the airport. Juliet said that the police were only seeking answers from the Montanos.

Fast forward to 2015: Machel Montano still holds the government and people of St. Maarten responsible for the arrest and for the night spend in jail on the Friendly Island twelve years ago. Montano performed in Anguilla this past weekend and told the crowd that he will not return to St. Maarten until he gets an apology from government. This newspaper obtained the video of Montano’s performance.

Dressed in black before performing his hit song “Bottle of rum,” the Soca star looked at the crowd and said, “When last you see Machel in St. Maarten? You know why? Last time I went to St. Maarten, they lock me up in a jail, they put me in a jail with six men. Man does smoke weed in the jail, man cook crack in the jail. Man make baby in the jail and tell me name the baby after me. And they put Machel to sleep on the floor. Listen to me, you know why they put me in jail? Because they say I had 185 pounds of weed. That is crazy, listen I have puffed once or twice just like Obama. But I don’t smoke any ganja, I don’t smoke, I don’t shoot heroin. Where I come from we only drink one thing and that is rum. Everybody who want to see Machel back in St. Maarten, tell them give me back my name. Free Machel.”

More than 1,500 people from St. Maarten traveled to Anguilla for the Soca show to see the artist perform.

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