Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)

CARICOM’s push for reparations for slavery and genocide might be an expensive undertaking, but this is not the main concern of its mastermind, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

“… this is a historic exercise and we have to find the resources to address it,” he told reporters in Kingstown last week, after all his CRICOM colleagues signed on to the reparations effort.

Gonsalves said some persons would work and be paid through the University of the West Indies.

Lawyers, and other professional will have to be hired and individual countries should have to make payments to a common pool, he further said.

“What I worry more about is not the absence of resources but former colonial population seeking to divide our populations, our leaderships across the region and confuse them and have us fighting among our selves over something which we should not be fighting among ourselves about and therefore weakening the strength and legitimacy of the case which we may have,” Gonsalves said.

“Right now, I would be very surprised if former colonial powers are not already working with persons in the region, in the media, in the parliaments, in political parties, to undermine or derail this venture.

“And it will be done in different ways: complete opposition, then it I will be, yes, it is a good idea but this thing ain’t going nowhere, not in my lifetime or in the next. You will get all sorts of tendencies and trends to confuse people,” Gonsalves further said.

He said that at their meeting this month in Trinidad and Tobago, CARICOM heads agreed on an approach — which is to not have confrontation but a development conversation with reparation central to repairing the relationship.

“So, it is a non-confrontational but very frank and robust approach to come to some conclusions,” Gonsalves said.

Regional leaders also agreed broadly speaking on a legal approach.

The meeting agreed that CARICOM will approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under the International Convention for the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination.

But if “good faith negotiations” bear fruit, the parties would not end up in the ICJ, Gonsalves said.

4 replies on “Ex-colonisers would try to divide region amidst reparations effort, Gonsalves says”

  1. It is clear as day that he has no ability to deal with the present and the future, so he keeps reliving the pass. So sad what passes for leadership in SVG.

  2. Maybe there is some sort of statute of limitations on reparations. Israel has gotten them from Germany
    but so far nothing from Egypt for Moses/Aaron and the long march.

  3. I once heard Gonsalves say that all those that came as indentured labour should be included in the reparations share out.

    I truly believe that he is looking for this money to put into the airport. Because no one person could be identified as a modern recipient of the said fund.

    What we should do is first ask Gonsalves himself to put in 10 million US dollars, because his very own family member [Sea Captain, Antonio Gonsalves] in Portugal and Madeira took the first 8 African slaves from North West African coast and took them to King Henry of Portugal. Henry gave them as a present to the Catholic Pope as a present. Now that’s a US$100 million that Portugal should put in. The Pope was so pleased with his African slaves that he carved the World in two and gave half to Portugal and half to Spain. They were given trading rights by the pope and the right to take slaves who were not Christians. Now the Catholic church should put in a billion US dollars. That’s basically how the Atlantic slave trade began, a simplified version but Gonsalves puts in the first amount, he and his family at large world wide are culpable.

    I am writing the actual happening regarding the Gonsalves family and their relative by marriage, Christopher Columbus. I have all the dates and all the records. I will submit it to I-Witness News and every newspaper and agency world-wide.

    GONSALVES AS A SIGN OF GOOD FAITH, YOU PUT UP YOUR MONEY ON BEHALF OF YOUR FAMILY FIRST, I AM SURE IF YOU DO THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WILL RECONSIDER THEIR POSITION.

    BIG UP AND PAY UP, YOU FIRST, LEAD THE WAY.

    Peter Binose
    Self-appointed keeper of the whistle

  4. Just how long can an historical claim last? The Israelis have received reparations from Germany for WWII but
    they certainly have’nt received anything from Egypt for the Moses/Aaron long march!

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