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Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace (File photo).
Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, April 16, IWN – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace says Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves should focus on improving the Vincentian economy and creating jobs rather than reparations from Britain.

Speaking on his weekly radio programme on Monday, Eustace noted that some workers at the Irrigation Authority had complained about not being paid since October, even as Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar, said EC$100,000 had been approved for the Authority.

“Just think about not getting your salary for six months and going to work,” Eustace said, adding that some staff at Winfarm were also yet to be paid.

“There are a lot of things going on here, … where people are not able to earn a living, even when they are employed — or supposed to be employed.

“That is the state of this nation. So, don’t tell me about no reparations for slavery and so on. Nothing (is) wrong with talking about that, but that is not a priority for us now,” Eustace said.

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“The priority is to lift our economy and put people back to work,” he further stated.

Last month, Gonsalves called for the formation of a Caribbean-wide group to seek reparations from Britain, which colonised the English-speaking Caribbean.

He said a local committee will be named to seek reparation for slavery, for lands “stolen”, genocide and forced deportation of the Garifuna — the original inhabitants of this country, and the enslavement of Africans here.

Eustace said that he understands the reparations issue.

“And, theoretically, I have no problem with that. But, … being practical now, … the priority is looking after people now.”

He said reparations “may be years or even generations down the road.

“… we talk about repartition for lands stolen and so on. I understand all of that; I don’t have [any] problem with the principles surrounding that. But whether you’re going to get anything anywhere in the near future, in the medium term and in the long term, is another issue.

“And therefore, you want to divert people’s attention to that? Prime Minister, deal with the people who are suffering now. And that’s your government’s job.

“Don’t tell me anything about reparations, because that ain’t coming now to give people any money,” Eustace said.

He said he does not want people to say he is opposed to reparations.

“I am not opposed to it. I don’t believe practically anything is going to happen for that, for a long time. And, therefore, I am not giving that any priority.”

Last week, in a four-page spread in a local newspaper, Gonsalves said the case for reparations from the British for lands “stolen”, for genocide and forced deportation of the Garifuna people, and for enslavement of African in St. Vincent and the Grenadines “is answerably strong”.

But Eustace said those pages should have been used to deal with “the problems the people face on the ground.

“All that is talk. No money is coming from that now to help anything in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. You can talk about it, yes. You have good arguments but where the money coming from? Who bringing it, and when? We don’t know.

“I think that is a red herring to try to draw people’s attention away from the dire problems we face today here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That is how I see that,” Eustace said.

“Don’t expect me to come up with any supporting statement of reparations,” Eustace said.

“That is down the road. Let us lift our people up. Let us lift our economy up, then we can talk about that.”

8 replies on “Reparations talk is a ‘red herring’ — Opposition Leader”

  1. It is an EMBARRASSMENT reading the rantings of Mr. Eustace on REPARATION. He is NOT A LEADER WHATSOEVER; he is just a PITIFUL BLACK MAN who still SUFFERS from a COLONIAL STATE OF MIND.

    To see this BLACK MAN called Arnhim Eustace rejecting the notion of REPARATION from the British for the ENSLAVEMENT of AFRICANS and their OFFSPRING and that of the so-called “BLACK CARIBS” is QUITE TROUBLING.

    The ANCESTORS are PROBABLY TURNING in their GRAVES and so too are Chatoyer and the “Black Caribs,” who DIED FIGHTING to KEEP the British from TAKING their LAND, at the BEHAVIOR of Mr. Eustace.

    Mr. Eustace is the same BLACK MAN who OPPOSED GETTING RID of an FLAWED and OUTDATED CONSTITUTION that was given to us by our former colonial master, Britain, in 1979, with the QUEEN of ENGLAND as the HEAD of STATE of SVG.

    He is the same fella who CONTINUOUSLY MISSES our INDEPENDENCE DAY and NATIONAL HEROES DAY CELEBRATIONS, but when the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Arnhim Eustace made sure he was there front and center. Not only that, Mr. Eustace had the BIGGEST SMILE that you would ever want to see on an individual when they took pictures at the Botanical Garden.

    Mr. Eustace is SUFFERING from a COLONIAL STATE of MIND and at his AGE, there is NO HOPE of him CHANGING.

    That said; Mr. Eustace speaks of ‘red herring’ when the ISSUE he raised has NOTHING to do with a RED HERRING.

    Were Mr. Eustace and Dr. Gonsalves having a DEBATE on a PARTICULAR ISSUE and then Dr. Gonsalves changed or introduced a different topic to deflect from the one that they are discussing?

    That is when you use the idiom ‘RED HERRING.”

    Mr. Eustace is just IGNORANT.

    That said; it is LAUGHABLE and TROUBLING that persons who claimed that they LOVE and WANT the BEST for St. Vincent and the Grenadines or who claimed that they’re VINCENTIAN PATRIOTS would want this man to become the PRIME MINISTER of this BLESSED NATION.


    In closing, I would not HIRE Mr. Eustace and the NDP to MANAGE a MAUBY SHOP much less GOVERN a COUNTRY.

  2. Mr Eustace, I really like your approach to our current situation. Everyone talks about reparations but no one wants to take the lead. Can Gonsalves set a price tag on the Lives of Our Ancestors? How much money, land, half of England. I can bet that none of you will have the courage to set the price. And if you might want to prove me wrong and set some ridiculous amount and the other side say I a’int paying!!! Then what will you do. Go to war. It just aint going to happen. So right now continue to fight the good fight until the battle has been won. Then all the things that you want now will be bestowed upon you. Have the courage to instill in your people a way of life that is unique to SVG and stay clear of the Babylonian ways of America, Canada and the European Union.

  3. Why is Arnhim always taking Ralph’s bait? All he had to do was to congratulate Ralph on raising the topic and then ask him how he’s going to handle the issue of paying workers.
    Ralph will now turn around and say Arnhim doesn’t care about the issue based on his arguments. Ralph is going to use the following statement by Arnhim to rattle him:
    “……….. So, don’t tell me about no reparations for slavery and so on. Nothing (is) wrong with talking about that, but that is not a priority for us now,” Eustace said.
    The last sentence of the above quote starting from “Nothing is wrong” is that was needed.

  4. PVPALMER, Eustace should not be rattled by Gonsalves, because Gonsalves has a hidden past family history.

    In 1441, Antão Gonçalves (Antonio [Anthony] Gonsalves), intending to acquire a cargo of animal skins and oil to sell in Europe, landed on the shores of West Africa. The ten Africans he abducted were almost an afterthought. Whilst trading glass beaded necklaces for skins with the Africans, he beckoned to them and said “vindo ao papa” (come to Papa), when they approached they were overpowered and manacled and taken aboard his ship. When he returned to Portugal, Gonsalves delivered the captives to Prince Henry, who in turn presented them as a gift to the Catholic Pope, then as much a powerful political figure as religious leader. The gesture so pleased the Catholic pontiff that he granted Prince Henry licence to a broad chunk of West African territory for slave taking. Hence the start of the African/European commercial slave trade.

    This started consecutive popes granting parts of the world either to Spain or Portugal, areas that they could conquer and sack, taking valuables such as gold, silver, pearls and slaves. Those ten African slaves so pleased the pontiffs’ that it became a normal procedure of the Catholic Church to acquire slaves and license others to capture them. For centuries Catholic missionaries world wide kept slaves, to carry out all the manual work for the priests in their international locations. Even in Saint Vincent, Priests kept slaves in the 1700’s and early 1800’s.

    The main players in seeding the initial creation of the Atlantic international slave trade was Prince Enrique [Henry] of Portugal, the Gonsalves family of Madeira and Portugal, the Catholic Church, the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns and Christopher Columbus.

    Gonslaves should initially put a substantial sum of his own money into reparations, his forbearers hold a great responsibility for what happened to Africans.

    VINCYIRSDODGERPOWA, you should take some of your money and help out Gonslaves by helping fund his families contributions to slavery atrocities. Your blind support for Gonslaves makes you as a collaborator responsible for reparations by association.

    This matter of reparations is a huge con of Vincentians, its designed to try and make people take there eye off the ball.

    There is hardly a person in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that qualifies for reparations. Perhaps in Barbados or even Saint Lucia, but not SVG. There is so much evidence of that, that it makes what Gonslaves says another of his misleading lies.

    I would like to repeat something I wrote today, “A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. Why therefore consider a man a good man because he is a good talker?”

  5. Is Gonsalves jumping on the Beckles bandwagon? Jamaica has been toying with this idea for some time now but to date folks still talking and going nowhere. In Durban 2001 anti-racism conference a lot of posturing and grand ideas were made about reparations; to date, folks still talking and going nowhere on this issue. In Nigeria 1993 there was a Pan-African Conference on reparations- plenty talks, grand ideas; folks still talking but going nowhere on this issue. Gonsalves knows fully well that all this talk about reparations for slavery is an exercise in intellectual rigor, rather than a pursuit grounded in reality. But let me say this, if there is any one person who deserves his 40 acres and a mule is the resident ULP apologist on here, who never fails to inundate us with his sycophantic rantings.

    My personal view of reparations has evolved over the years from abject apathy to pragmatism. Who are we to set a price on the head of our ancestors, how much money or land can compensate for the pain suffering and wholesale slaughter of our ancestors? Are we going to re-haggled a price for our ancestors just as the white man did 200 years ago? Isn’t the demand for reparations trivialized the impact of slavery by suggesting that it could be compensated with money? Plus, who exactly will be paid, individuals or a respective Government on behalf of its people? Is Gonsalves, a white man with African ancestors, entitled to reparations?

    Eustace is totally correct in his assessment…reparations not putting food on my table…notice its people with deep pockets always sprouting this sort of rhetoric, hungry belly people do not have the luxury to be sitting around yapping about ideals and fleeting illusions. If Gonsalves is so enamored with the notion of reparations, how about giving poor people some of the millions and the lands in his family coffers?

    By the way, the only country in the region, that comes to mind that is truly deserving of “reparations” from a former colonial power, is Haiti…but that is for another discussion.

  6. TeacherFang, my suggestion to you is to REFRAIN from making your PERSONAL VIEW KNOWN, because they have no VALUE or WORTH, in my many instances.

    Dr. Gonsalves have been making the case for REPARATIONS for CLOSE to a DECADE. In fact, Dr. Gonsalves went to the United Nations and spoke on the issue of REPARATION. So too has Baldwin Spencer, the PRIME MINISTER of Antigua and Barbuda.

    So yes, Dr. Gonsalves has shown LEADERSHIP on this ISSUE of REPARATION on BEHALF of the GARIFUNA and KALINAGO PEOPLE and and people of AFRICAN descent.

    Where is Mr. Eustace’s LEADERSHIP on this ISSUE?

    When we SPEAK of LEADERSHIP, my 12 year old nephew has shown more LEADERSHIP than Eustace on this very issue.

    Mr. Eustace and those who support him are still SUFFERING from a COLONIAL STATE of MIND.

    That said; how is the issue of REPARATION TRIVIALIZING the IMPACT of SLAVERY?

    Does that really MAKE SENSE to you?

    Did the JEWS TRIVIALIZE the HOLOCAUST when they ask for REPARATION?

    Did the INDIGENOUS people of Canada TRIVIALIZE their PLIGHT by ASKING for REPARATION for the STEALING of their LANDS and the ENSLAVEMENT and OPPRESSION of their PEOPLE??

    Did the so-called NATIVE AMERICANS TRIVIALIZE their PLIGHT by asking for reparation for land and resources stolen?

    I can go on and on.

    By the way, nothing DETEST me more than when so-called Black people, who has NO SENSE of HISTORY and therefore BELIEVE that their PEOPLE should be COMPENSATED for what their ANCESTORS went through during SLAVERY, find all MANNER of EXCUSES as to why COMPENSATION should not be given.

    For example, America was BUILT on the BACKS of BLACK PEOPLE, but LISTENING to the APOLOGIST, TeacherFang, REPARATION should not be given.

    Reparation should be given.

    In what form it should be given is a logistic that should be dealt with through negotiation and goodwill.

    In closing, I am in SUPPORT of Dr. Gonsalves and the other LEADERS of the Caribbean region call for REPARATION.

    In the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I am 101% in support of Dr. Gonsalves call for REPARATION for the KALINAGO and GARIFUNA people as well..

  7. VINCYSTINKERPOWA, you who are a useless nonse have the audacity to address your betters so

    “TeacherFang, my suggestion to you is to REFRAIN from making your PERSONAL VIEW KNOWN, because they have no VALUE or WORTH, in my many instances”.

    Who on earth do you think you are, did the IRS visit you yet?

    Expect a call.

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