Lawyer and political activist, Maia Eustace. (Photo: NDP/Facebook)
Lawyer and political activist, Maia Eustace. (Photo: NDP/Facebook)

Lawyer and political activist Maia Eustace has highlighted the fact that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has not had a black elected leader for three decades.

Eustace, who is the daughter of Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, made the point at the New Democratic Party’s youth rally in Barrouallie on Saturday.

She was at the time discussing the power of young people in the political process.

Eustace said that the ruling Unity Labour Party recognises that the young people are powerful

“You know why? Because you have no memory of what St. Vincent was like before they came to power.”

She noted that the ULP has been in office for 14 years, adding that the youngest person registered to vote in the Dec. 9 general elections were just 2 years old when the ULP came to office.

“You don’t know what it was like when the IMF … said ‘much to praise, little to fault’, when we had 5 per cent growth every year, when you drive into Kingstown and you had to face terrible deadlock, terrible traffic because banana trucks lining straight from Geest yard, right back up Richmond Hill into Sion Hill junction,” she said in reference to the NDP’s time in office.

“You don’t know about that, and that is why they prey on you,” Eustace said.

“You don’t know about that. And, for 31 years, not one of you have ever seen an elected black leader of this country,” she said, adding, “They want you to believe that leadership carries a particular complexion in this nation.

“Well, let me tell me you something, all I see is people of every colour in this country, many of whom are black, and why can’t black people too have a chance to take leadership? Why are we less qualified for it?”

Eustace referred to a comment by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves about a decade ago, in which Gonsalves, who is of European descent, said that if he, then US President George W. Bush, and Mr. Eustace, who is of African descent, were walking down the road at night, Bush would recognise him and not Eustace.

Some persons have said that Gonsalves’ comment was racist, while he has said that he was making the point that he is recognised internationally.

“When they tell you that you are invisible because you are black … When they tell you that about Arnhim, they tell you that about yourself — ‘You are invisible!’ Are you invisible?” she said and the crowd responded, “No!”

“But they preying on it. They need yo’ not to have that power, not to manifest your power,” Eustace said.

6 replies on “Maia Eustace notes that SVG hasn’t elected a black leader in 30 years”

    1. So what is being said is because the PM is not negro or Black you should not vote for him.
      I thought an election was meant for the person who is more qualified or who can do things to enhance the quality and living for the majority or all of the people.
      If you notice the people who make these remarks are people who are in a well to do position they don’t care about the less fortunate or poor peopleI am ashamed that a lawyer will make a remark like this and supported by another who may be in a similar position.
      The present PM may be of a causation colour but he was born and grew up among the opposite colour and race.
      An election is all about choosing the one best suited to Lead regardless of colour.

  1. The ethnicity of an individual should never be used as a measure for their worth. If our country is going to go down the road of racial divide then we are not a progressive people. Racism is no different depending on its origin or intended target.
    Mr Eustace’s “blackness” does not make his less of a candidate and does not make him more of a candidate.
    As an educated person I take offense if I am being asked to vote for someone because of their skin colour. We need to lift our politics if we are serious about lifting SVG.

  2. Anyone thinks NDP running a serious campaign? Douglas Defrietas is making the NDP lose. Sounds as though the NDP is now saying absolutely anything to try to win. They voted against everything now they are in favour at the last moment to try to win. Please!!! Imagine they came to the Independence for the first time in years. Who they fooling? And now what is Maia trying?

  3. As a young, undecided voter, the NDP’s election campaign has been disappointing to the point of insulting. If they criticize the lack of black leadership for over 30 years, they are essentially criticizing Vincentian voters. It was Vincentians who exercised their democratic right to elect these leaders– apparently only based on skin colour, according to the NDP.

    The PM was a countryman, from the Marriaqua valley. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I was not under the impression that he was born into wealth. He worked his way up and gained experience and respect, just as Mr. Eustace did.

    NDP is quickly confirming that they are the party for the foolish and gullible. It’s not even that the ULP is above this characterization, but the NDP goes about it so pityfully.

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