While many Vincentians are expressing their views on who should be our next national hero,
Lawyer and Unity Labour Party election hopeful, Carlos James is making a case for Carib chief Duvalier to be considered as this country’s second national hero.
James made the call while addressing a gathering at the Culture Fest event in Chateaubelair last Saturday.
The event, which was spearheaded by the Generation Next – North Leeward youth group, saw participants from community groups in North Leeward and the National Reparations Committee joining to mark this country’s National Heroes and Heritage Month of activities.
While addressing the large gathering in Chateaubelair, James noted that it is often forgetten that Natioanl Hero Joseph Chatoyer was not alone and could not have coordinated his island-wide tactical maneuvering without the help of others.
James said that before the nation takes a quantum leap from the Chatoyer era to our modern socio-economic and political development it must consider other persons who contributed to our development from the Chatoyer era such as Duvalier who was a main component of the struggle between Caribs and the British.
“Now, before we even get to the stage of considering the likes of Joshua, Cato et al, I am of the opinion that there is a strong case to be made of Duvalier, who was instrumental in the fight for freedom for the Caribs along with Chatoyer,” James said
“Let us not rush into this issue of national heroes in an accelerated and political way. Many of us are eager to push for Joshua and Cato, but in time we will get to consider that stage of our country’s socio-economic and political development where the issue of national heroes is concerned,” James said.
Ebenezer Theodore Joshua, the country’s first chief minister, and Robert Milton Cato, its first prime minister, are among the names of persons being advocated for declaration as national heroes.
James told the youths at the cultural event to empower themselves and to be aware of the issues that are affecting them within their society.
“You must be conscious of who we are, where were are from and where we are going as a people. It is important that you empower yourself as young people and let your voices be heard,” James said.
The event also saw contributions from the Miss Heritage contestants from the Troumaca and Petit Bordel Secondary Schools along with local historian, Curtis King from the National Reparations Committee.