Former diplomat, Sehon Marshall is now press secretary to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (Photo: Facebook)

The diplomat who was recalled following a report that he split his wife’s lips open with a punch to the mouth was “set up”, a spokesperson for the ruling Unity Labour Party has said.

Frank Da Silva made the claim on radio on Thursday during his weekly appearance on Shake-Up, the pro-ULP programme broadcast simultaneously on WE FM, Star FM, and Garifuna FM.

Da Silva defended his one-time political nemesis, Sehon Marshall, a counsellor at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

At the same time, he cast aspersions on Marshall’s wife, Xandra Marshall, the nation’s Deputy Consul General in New York, who called police after her husband reportedly struck her during a row at their New York apartment.

“Folks, I ain’t telling you all everything I know but if I am telling you that this thing here, this whole thing with Sehon Marshall is a set up, trust me, it is a set up. You know,” Da Silva said.

His comments came during an exchange with his co-host, Elson Crick — a former journalist now communications consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister — who was “puzzled” by how the New York Post, which first reported on the incident, was able to get background information about Marshall’s previous faux pas, although the information is widely available on the internet.

ULP spokesperson, Frank Da Silva. (iWN file photo)

As part of its reporting, the New York Post noted that in August 2014 — while he was being considered for his first diplomatic post — Marshall had spoken disparagingly about Vincentians who he said  “quit their jobs and migrate to the United States to become nannies and dog walkers”.

The issue was widely reported in local and international media, and the New York post quoted a CANA News report on the matter.

“Tell me something: this thing began at 1:14 a.m. Police came. Post report at 2:41 – you notice I ain’t missing anything — p.m. The Post went and found this? The Post went and they found this stuff here about him in 2014?” Da Silva asked.

Crick commented: “That’s great work. But why is that important in the story?”

“Because this whole thing is a set up. Somebody knew that this thing was gonna happen. That this incident was gonna happen,” Frank said but did not indicate who knew that Sehon and his wife would have a row or how they were able to know this.

“Folks, I ain’t telling you all everything I know but if I am telling you that this thing here, this whole thing with Sehon Marshall is a set up. Trust me, it is a set up. You know.”

Da Silva went on to read what he said was a WhatsApp comment sent to him by a woman about the incident.

“She just know is America, once you call the police, he would get in trouble,” DaSilva quoted the woman as saying.

“Honestly, I really don’t like up his head but I believe she took advantage of the situation,” Da Silva further quoted the woman as saying.

He added: “This is a woman writing this to me, you know.”

“I am strongly against a man hitting a woman and I am strongly against a woman hitting a man, too,” he further quoted the woman as saying.

He said the woman had said in the WhatsApp conversation that she had listened to a co-worker reading the story and when she got to the part where the story said Mrs. Marshall refused medical attention after the summoning the police, the woman listening to the story told her co-worker, “If she know she is right, she would have gladly consented.”

“That’s a woman sending this to me,” Da Silva said, adding that he responded to the woman saying, “That, my dear, is what happens when some people get special rights. The rights of others are diminished. Justice is no longer blind.”

Da Silva chastised those who he said “want to carry on and rejoice and talk stupidness (nonsense)…

“Somebody needs to get me a record that the fella is in the habit of doing this and people making some phony, baloney comparison.”

Vincentian diplomats Sehon Marshall, left, and his wife, Xandra Marshall.

Da Silva said people could always play the tape in which Mr. Marshall had said while he was a talk radio host on Star FM that Da Silva, makes things up.

“Justice is justice and I don’t care,” Da Silva said.

“I know what goes on in America and I read the story, and, based on what I know, in addition to what I ain’t telling alyo, I’m gonna stick up for him. Period. I don’t care what he ever said about me before it is not of no consequence. None…

“Folks, you listen to all of that. I don’t think we have to talk anything about that Sehon thing anymore. Let who want to talk and talk stupidness about Sehon, let them talk it. You know, it’s just unfair, really, that’s what it is.”

He said he had received another WhatsApp message in which the person was discussing “the set up”.

“Fella fighting for yo’ to get a job, the ink ain’t sign on the bottom of the thing yet, it ain’t sign yet, but yo’ feel yo’ no longer need him so yo’ could start a war and they could throw him out and you will remain. Is that yo’ want? Yo’ go outsmarted if that’s what you’re about,” DaSilva said.

On Nov. 15, Mrs Marshall took up office as Deputy Consul General in New York and Consul General Howie Prince introduced her as such at a town hall meeting at which Minister of Tourism, Cecil “Ces” McKie and head of the Tourism Authority, Glen Beache spoke.

However, since the domestic violence incident, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has said that while Mrs. Marshall began working on Nov. 15, she and the government were yet to sign a contract.

In addition to recalling Mr. Marshall, the government has instructed both he and his wife not to report for work, until further notice.

15 replies on “Embattled diplomat was ‘set up,’ ULP says”

  1. Dave Cambridge says:

    Even if it is a setup, would you allow someone to make you hit a women, more importantly your own wife? Is this saying it was okay to hit her, but it should never have reached the police or the public then all would have be fine?
    Is domestic violence only such when it becomes public? What is the true definition? Can the writer of the article shed more light on his definition of domestic violence?

    1. I think Da Silva is trying to imply that the wife is a NDP supporter… That even though she got a great job from the ULP. She may be the one getting set up as a scapegoat, not to save Mr. Marshall but to make us think the ULP has only top-notch people (implying Marshall was set-up) and therefore we should vote for them.

      I hope there are not many people that will fall for something like this.

  2. Ricardo Francis says:

    My Concerns and Questions respecting this matter:

    1. Where is the police report?

    2. Who called the police?

    3. What exactly happened?

    4. How did it happened?

    5. Were there circumstances leading up to this situation?

    6. Who were the officers, who attended to the property when the call was placed?

    7. What are the qualifying requirements for him to have been given this job in the first place?

    8. What are the qualifying requirements for her to have been given this job in the first place?

    9. What are the legal, educational, political, and experienced requirements on the part of the ULP and the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for diplomats?

    10. How many Vincentians at home and abroad that the ULP and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have attempted to destabilize, demobilize and demoralize?

    11. What are the real facts to this situation?

    12. How many of them have goats and sheep that do not belong to them?

    13. How many of them have to sing for their supper?

    14, Was this situation designed and engineered by the ULP and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to hide some other developments taking place?

    15. Is Frank DaSilva running for cover?

    16. Is this situation developing into gossip to hide the real facts and issues?

    17. Who are they going to sue over this situation?

    Ralph Gonsalves and the Government and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have no desire to terminate the employment of these two individuals. They were advised to return home for consultation. Vincentians, I urge you to listen, carefully when Ralph is speaking, He wants you to hear and not listen.

    Ralph Gonsalves was sleeping when the two individuals were appointed. It was not his decision. It was Louis Straker. The same situation occurred when Camillo Gonsalves was appointed. Fools may be talking but fools are not listening!

    I can, confidently, say that there have been many attempts to destabilize, demobilize and demoralize me, by this administration and its operatives. I can not substantiate it, necessarily, but I have strong reasons to believe that attempts have been made based upon situations, events and statements.

    The New York Post has a legal right to do background on a story. The information is readily available on the internet. The New York Post should ask my view and I will certainly tell everything that I have reasons to believe is the case.

    There is no attempt, in my view, to destabilize, demobilize and demoralize the two parties in question. There are a lot more questions about this situation and the circumstances surrounding it that should be examined and reviewed. There are so many more questions that I can ask. There are too many situations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that get swept under the carpet. Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP can continue to operate in this manner for the official opposition is weak.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St, Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  3. It takes a special amount of stupid to really to take the time out of their life to actually say something like this, Mr. Da Silva should be ashamed to be quoted saying something so nonsensical.

  4. You cannot trust DaSilva’a versions of the event, given that he is a bonafide opportunist. He jumps and every opportunity to make himself sound as if he Albert Einstein. Take what he says with a grain of salt.

  5. I do not think it could have been a set-up, anymore than it was a set-up on the NDP politician that the ULP was having a vulture’s feast over some months ago. Notice that this time the NDP is not exploiting the situation? It shows which party has the maturity to LEAD the nation.

    TGIGF=”Thank God it’s Godwin Friday”

    1. well what he said was true about west indians leaving the caribbean and going to the states abd being nannies and dog walkers when they should be taking advanrage of the education opportunities while in the states …i assume thats what he was trying to say..
      as far hitting his wife is concern as far as i know the police have no jurisdiction over diplomats…..

  6. Dear Mr. da Silva, if you are the spokesperson for the ULP, may the Almighty God have mercy on the Leaders of the ULP for having someone like you representing them. People like you give Vincentians a bad name, by trying to justify and condone Mr. Marshall’s actions

    Personally, regardless of being set up or not, the fundamental rule is wrong is wrong and hitting another person regardless of the situation is absolutely wrong.

    Many of us as Vincentians grew up in homes or in neighborhoods where hitting a woman was a norm. Please, this is the 21st Century get with the programme!

    Whatever happens between Mr. Marshall and his wife, he had no right to hit her. God did us here on earth to suffer at the hands of no one. Remember, he has sisters!

    My advice to the Leaders of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, this situation is non-debatable. Mr. Sehon Marshall and his wife should both be recalled, because of their lack of experience in Protocol. I do hope and trust by the grace of God, next time they will choose someone of maturity and experience to represents Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in such a high profile and respected position and also, give them the basic protocol training.

    Proper Protocol, in my opinion, is Mrs. Marshall should have contacted the Embassy whereby, they should have just called them home and issue a statement that due to unforeseen circumstance, we had to recall our representative; without disgracing Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

    Mr. da Silva, if you have nothing constructive to say, say nothing. The ULP need someone more qualified to be their spokesperson.

    May the Almighty God bless Saint Vincent and the Grenadines!

  7. Modupe Olufunmi-Jacobs says:

    Set up or not, there is no justification for his violence against his wife, period. Frank DaSilva, seems to be supportive of Mr. Marshall’s behavior. Was he this supportive of Colin Graham, when he admitted to having in the past committed abusive actions towards his partner? I can’t take this double standard. Domestic Violence is wrong, regardless of whom is doing it. This is an issue beyond ULP and NDP politricks Frank, stop being such an ass wipe and stand up for what is Right. Say No! to Domestic Violence, Sexual assault, harassment, and all forms of oppression.

  8. Okay let’s get something straight here politics is one thing Sehon Marshall has work very hard for everything himself and Xandra have so why put it all down the drains please people look at the big picture all the sacrifices he made to get to where they are now even with all the nonsense going on you all don’t live in his house why judge get the facts first the Guyanese people say puppy turn dog now and the Vincentian say don’t bite the hands that feed you. And this to shall pass because you can’t keep a good man down…

  9. If you do not know the facts of the situation apart from what you heard or read in the news outlet, its best not to comment.

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