KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 28, IWN – Owner of Nice Radio Douglas DeFreitas, citing spiritual inspiration, says he has written to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves asking him not to pursue other defamation cases against the station.
Gonsalves said on Monday that he has instructed his lawyer to pursue two other judgements against the station that are ready for execution.
He made the announcement on the same day that the station paid him $206,000 for defamation, in a case dating back almost 10 years.
The money was raised through donations from listeners to the station, under the Save Nice Radio Appeal.
De Freitas on Wednesday dedicated 12 hours — 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. — to programming thanking God that the station was able to pay the money and avoid going into receivership.
Listeners called in to pray, sing, and praise God on behalf of the station.
DeFreitas spoke of his letter to Gonsalves during an exhortation sometime after 6 p.m. Wednesday.
He said he was led by the Holy Spirit on Monday to dedicate the 12 hours of programming on Wednesday to praising God.
He said he was also moved to write to Gonsalves, his cousin, asking him not to pursue the judgement.
De Freitas said he called Gonsalves on Wednesday to inform him about the letter.
“We had some pleasant talk, but we had some disagreeing talk. … So he said he was not going to say anything about how I write him and I said, ‘No, you don’t have to; because, in the spirit’s prompting, I have to declare it, I have to move it into the atmosphere and this situation that exists.’
“And so, we chat[ted]. There are little things we disagree on, big things we disagree on,” De Freitas said, adding that the Prime Minister said he was looking forward to receiving the letter.
“So, that’s where I am, just exactly what the Spirit tells me to do. Whatever happens after that is God’s will and I want you people who journey with Nice Radio and the family of Nice Radio and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to pray and to continue to pay earnestly and sincerely that somehow God’s way will be the only way,” De Freitas further told listeners.
He also called on listener to the station, which has the slogan “2% radio; 98% love”, to pray “That God will change the hearts of each of us in a way that will bring some healing in the land.”
He said God had used the situation with the station “to show His greatness [and] that He is still in control of everything and can heal the land.”
De Freitas, who like Gonsalves, is a Catholic, said he belongs to a church that preaches social justice.
“And in that doctrine of the church it is necessary that we speak to the things that are wrong, without fear or favour. And in speaking, those words shouldn’t be meant to defame anyone. We suffer the consequences when those things happen. Because, on the other side, it is how the other side accepts what is necessary or an apology,” he further said.
De Freitas has repeatedly said that Gonsalves has dealt with Nice Radio, which is widely regarded as supportive of the opposition New Democratic Party, differently from other stations.
He had said that while other stations have broadcast defamatory things about Gonsalves, he has always asked them to apologise without asking to pay compensation.
However, Gonsalves asks Nice Radio to apologise and pay $250,000, De Freitas has said.
Gonsalves has also repeatedly said that while he will seek redress for defamatory comments by his political opponents, he has no interest in closing done Nice Radio.