Faced with another bill for EC$225,000 for defamation, NICE Radio manager Douglas DeFreitas, on Monday, said he is “kind of tired and worn out”.
Lawyers for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and NICE Radio are due in court on June 26 as Gonsalves seeks to collect the EC$225,000 that the court has awarded him in a defamation suit against the radio station.
The ruling stems from a defamation case Gonsalves brought against Matthew Thomas in connection with statements he made on Jan. 29, 2007 on Stay Awake, a programme he co-hosted with Junior Bacchus.
Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, on Monday, told iWitness News that she had revived a committee set up about five years ago that raised a similar amount to pay Gonsalves the monies the court awarded him in another lawsuit against NICE Radio.
But speaking on his early morning radio programme on Monday, De Freitas said that the efforts to raise the money are those of the committee.
“People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I have fought long and hard for democracy,” said DeFreitas, who is a staunch critic of Gonsalves, his cousin.
“I try to be truthful in what I have said over the years for those who listen me. Not everybody would agree with me and I expect that. But I am kind of tired and worn out. I am ready to give up,” he said, adding that he still has a family to take care of.
“And I don’t have the financial wherewithal to do a lot of things,” De Freitas said.
He contrasted that the situation he now faces with the one in which his brother, businessman Marcus DeFreitas, “fought and spent a lot of money about a judgment when Government took away his properties and closed down his businesses”.
De Freitas said it is about a decade since the court awarded his brother in excess of EC$4 million but that is yet to be settled.
“Gonsalves could go into the court and get judgment against anybody who comes up against him,” De Freitas said.
He said that not everyone would agree in politics, adding, “But I have always been fair to my politics. When the New Democratic Party was in office, I have also been critical of the New Democratic Party and its leadership when I felt it was not going right.
“What is so sacrilege to speak against what Gonsalves and the others are doing? I do not subscribe to socialism and I will forever say that.
“But I reach the point where if I can’t go anymore, I will just sell my house, take what I can get out of it, pack up and go to the United States of America,” said De Freitas, who operates NICE Radio on the ground floor of his two-storey house in Dorsetshire Hill.
“That’s what I will do and I will leave St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Gonsalves and all who want Gonsalves.”
“It is just a matter of seeking to destroy NICE Radio so that the propagation of his rhetoric could stand alone.
“So I am at the point where the committee will do what they want to do and try to raise funds. But I know if it comes to the end of these things, I will just pack up, sell out and leave and find peace someplace else.
“I am a broken man. I am telling you that. I am not afraid to say that because people in St, Vincent don’t like truth,” De Freitas said.