The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

It is long past time that Arnhim Eustace earned a masterstroke of his own.

So here it is: the granting of a self-governing “Carib” (Garifuna) collectively-owned and managed land reserve making up at least 500 acres of Crown land at or adjoining a seaside location in the North Windward “Carib territory” as partial compensation for the brutal treatment and forced exile of 5,000 of our indigenous people following their loss to the British in the second Carib War in 1797.

The reserve would serve as a monument to those who fought valiantly to resist the rapacious efforts of the British planters to take all their land — a goal they succeeded in accomplishing. It would be a site for communal Garifuna festivals and rituals, national Vincentian recreation, and tourism development.

North Windward has always been the least developed and poorest part of our country and any economic development for its 2,000 plus population would be welcome, especially if it involved foreign visitors, including the thousands of descendants of the exiled Garifuna to whom Mr. Eustace has graciously promising honorary citizenship.

The model for this reserve would be the 3,700-acre Dominica reserve and model village, managed by and for the aboriginal people, the latter hosting thousands of local and foreign visitors every year.

Although the Caribs of SVG have become much more integrated into the general creole population than their Dominican counterparts, to the extent that many people lack any deep sense of Garifuna ethnic consciousness, there are still enough aboriginal beliefs and practices to ensure that such an enterprise would be nothing less than authentic.

To be sure, there could never be a way to redress the cultural and physical genocide experienced by the Garifuna, a treatment that even exceeds the wickedness of plantation slavery.

Still, a tourism-oriented reserve would bring jobs and income to our most disadvantaged citizens.

This partial redress is something only our own people can do since the slavery reparations movement that the Prime Minister has helped launch and to which he has tied the Garifuna, like some kind of excess baggage, is destined to go nowhere, especially on the issue of land claims, something only the sovereign country of SVG can grant to its founding people.

As for the costs, the land which is owned by the people of SVG would be free. The expense of constructing a genuine Carib village and allied infrastructure would readily find overseas donors, including several United Nations agencies, as have similar projects around the world.

Promising such a venture would ensure that the NDP would have a better than even chance of winning what will be a hard-fought election in the constituency of North Windward. Indeed, capturing this seat could well win the next election for either party.

This is why I call it a potential masterstroke that Mr. Eustace would be foolish to pass up given how far he has already moved on the Garifuna cause.    ben-David

C. ben-David

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

5 replies on “Time for an Arnhim Eustace masterstroke”

  1. Luther Bonadie says:

    C-ben,

    You are all over the place, like a bad penny, or a no good woman, that just wont go away.

    I’ll remember ,that when you leave this earth, to have your chariot chained so tight ,just to ensure, you’ll never walk this earth again, to haunt anymore Vincentians.

    1. You are starting to sound just like the comrade, comrade. In fact you may well be him with the nasty disparaging remarks about women ” like a bad penny, or a no good woman”

      One thing for sure you really do not know right from wrong.

      As for the remarks about David, your jealousy of his superior intelligence to yours should not be an encouragement for you to restart this back stabbing rhetoric that is so very Marxist comradely behavior.

      1. Well yes, Peter, I also found that first sentence outrageously sexist. “all over the place like a bad penny, or a no good woman”. My dear Luther Bonadie – take a good look around this country at the number of men, starting at the top of our society, who are “all over the place”. That’s OK, I suppose – they’re men, so being all over the place is natural, is it? But the women are “no good”. Thank you very much.

  2. And how is the suggestion that we create a Garifuna reserve and model village “all over the place”? Dominica has one – and Dominica hasn’t gone anywhere, least of all “all over the place”. It strikes me that “Luther Bonadie”‘s is just the knee jerk reaction of attempted ridicule of any suggestion that does not emanate from the Supreme Leader himself.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Well said. We need to ignore the source of good ideas and start implementing them. Not everything is about politics or party affiliation, nor should it be.

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