KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 20, IWN – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says that CARICOM leaders are in solidarity with him as he faces a reported accusation that an investor went to his office with money and left without it.
“I put my faith and trust in the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean. … I have nothing to hide,” Gonsalves said yesterday on WE FM in one of his several calls to two radio stations here about the alleged suggestion of bribery.
He said on Sunday that a man, whom he did not name, had told him that two BBC journalists had shown him a video in which Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace charged that Buccament Bay Resort investor, Dave Ames, had taken a container of money to the Office of the Prime Minister.
Eustace on Monday denied making such an accusation and Matthew Chapman, the producer of the BBC “Panorama” episode to be made about Harlequin, told I-Witness News on Tuesday that the crew of the show has no such video.
Gonsalves is attending a CARICOM meeting in Haiti, from where he made the call to WE FM’s “Shake-up” yesterday.
“And I reported it (the accusation) also to the CARICOM heads. I reported it yesterday and they have provided support for me. In fact, one head who is not present here, he sent a note this morning by his minister.
“… His minister reported that his prime minister said to tell Ralph he has my full solidarity, and he said he had made several attempts to call me but was unsuccessful,” Gonsalves said.
“And I have received nothing but full support from my colleagues. Because they know me as being a person who is known for my anti-corruption efforts for more than 12 years — my 12 years in office and before, my reputation for financial probity — and they know me.
“… They know and they can accept my assurances that these accusations are baseless, without foundation,” Gonsalves said.
“I have served my people faithfully and well. I know that my supporters will believe me straight away. I know that there are some [opposition] NDP (New Democratic Party) supporters who would want to hear anything bad about Ralph. I urge them please not to treat their prime minister in this manner,” Gonsalves said.