Some Vincentians living overseas have used social media to encourage terrorism in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Thursday.
He said U.S. officials have been notified of such social media posts.
“We notice that a context for the propagation of information is being inflamed by a number of persons who are on social media, most of them living in the comfort of overseas.
“You would have seen them,” Gonsalves told a press conference on Thursday in which he spoke about the fire at the Public Works compound at Arnos Vale earlier that day.
“There are calls to assassinate Ralph and his family. There are calls to burn down Ralph’s dwelling house — his personal property. They are encouraging people in the act of terrorism, to burn down the city. I want to know what the Leader of the Opposition is saying about this,” Gonsalves said.
The Prime Minister did not identify the persons who he said were committing these acts, but said some of them were in St. Vincent and the Grenadines campaigning for the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), in the lead up to the Dec. 9 general elections.
He said some of these persons use what they believe “is the safety of their home in Brooklyn or wherever, to encourage this kind of lawlessness.
“I want to say to them that the police, directly, and through the Ministry of Foreign affairs have informed the American authorities and provided examples of these postings. I just want to make that point.
“And, I happen to know that the Ambassador himself, the American ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has been engaged to be made aware of the use of this illegal activity on U.S. soil –directing terrorist activity against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Leader of the country.
“I have not spoken this before, but in the light of this fire this morning, I want to inform the public,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security.
In response, NDP president and Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, said in a statement on Thursday:
“Without providing any single evidence, Ralph Gonsalves also accused Vincentians living in the United States of terrorism, and is seeking to put American authorities on his own people.
“What all of this highlights, is what we have always known – that this man will do and say anything to remain in power.”