Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

Hours before the 17th anniversary of his election to government, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves Tuesday night presented himself as the subject of a two-decade campaign by Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), parent company of Cambridge Analytica, which has been accused of mining data to influence election outcomes around the world.

Gonsalves, speaking on his Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) Star FM, spoke about his party’s “journey” and the way in which “backward political forces” in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and “elements overseas” want to undermine progress in the country for their own selfish purposes.

“… and in this regard, I speak about an organisation like Strategic Communication Laboratories, which has been here since 1998 seeking to undermine the ULP and from 2001 and onwards, they have been very nasty towards the ULP on behalf of the NDP and they have been particularly so to the leadership of the ULP, including comrade Ralph,” said Gonsalves, whose ULP is into its fourth consecutive term in office.

He said other entities associated with the SCL, such as “bandits” who want to sell SVG citizenship and passports have paid the SCL to work on behalf of the NDP.

Gonsalves has repeatedly referred to citizenship by investment as selling of passports and SVG remains the only independent Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States nation without such a programme.

The NDP says that citizenship by investment can help to improve the economic fortunes of SVG, while not imposing any further tax burden on citizens.

The prime minister noted that former prime minister and founder of the NDP, Sir James Mitchell, was once on the advisory board of SCL.

“He might try to distance himself from them now that there is a lot of nastiness surrounding SCL and its offshore, Cambridge Analytica, which did a lot of nasty work — you notice I am repeating this word nasty, nasty work for Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton in the election [in the 2016 US presidential election]…”

He said special prosecutor in the United States, Robert Mueller, the US senate and Congress, and the British parliament are investigating Cambridge Analytica.

“The evidence has emerged of SCL doing the nasty work to undermine democracy in several Caribbean countries,” he said.

Gonsalves said this was done in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, and SVG.

“And I will be talking about their nefarious role,” Gonsalves said, adding that from the time they were formed in 1993, SCL proudly stated on their website and promoted themselves as “mind benders — bending minds of unsuspecting people, they trafficked in lies, distortions. They said that they can use behavioural analysis to twist people for them to vote particular ways if they didn’t want to vote that way”.

The prime minster further said that SCL once boasted on their website that they have learnt from and apply tactics used by Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda.

“That is the organisation which the New Democratic Party had working against the ULP from 1998.”

He said that in 2001, there was an offshore bank in SVG called Grenadines Bank, whose owner, Douglas Lees, also owned an offshore bank in Barbados and an offshore financial institution in Bermuda.

Gonsalves said that when he arrived in office, Lees’ company from Bermuda was being used by the NDP to do due diligence on persons interested in investing in SVG.

“Making a lot of money and doing very little work because can you imagine getting a company that is associated with an offshore bank doing due diligence for investors?” Gonsalves said.

He said that in 2001, Lees had hired SCL as his multi-million contributions to the NDP that year’s election campaign — in which the NDP was voted out of office, after 17 years.

Gonsalves said that in 2001, a young lady who was a supporter of the ULP and front desk worker at Mariners Hotel, had copied and given to Michael Hamlett — the ULP’s candidate for East Kingstown — a fax that SCL had given her to send on their behalf.

The ULP used the fax as part of its campaign against the NDP.

In 2001, the SCL attempted to use race against him in the election campaign, said Gonsalves, who is of Portuguese descent.

By the 2005 election campaign, the SCL came only as advisors because then leader of the NDP, Arnhim Eustace, wanted to distance himself from Sir James, Gonsalves further said.

He said that in the constitution referendum campaign of 2009, an entity associated with selling passports in other countries hired the SCL to work for the NDP.

“And they used every species of nastiness in that referendum,” he said.

The NDP was able to convince the electorate to reject proposed changes to the nation’s constitution, in a vote that would have seen the NDP elected to office 13 seats to 2, had the vote been a general election.

However, the ULP retained office one year later, winning the December 2010 general elections by taking eight of the 15 parliamentary seats — having lost to the NDP four of the seats it held in the previous parliament.

Gonsalves said that the SCL was also in SVG in the 2015 election, which saw the ULP returned to office by the same 8-7 margin as in 2010.

“So when you see the NDP, I want the people of St. Vincent to see these nasty people from England, SCL — Strategic Communication Laboratories, who are bent on undermining democracy, bending people’s minds, having contempt for black people, having contempt for the people of the Caribbean, the leaders of the Caribbean, but they want money for themselves and their clients want to sell our passports and our citizenship,” Gonsalves said.

19 replies on “Gonsalves says he’s subject of SCL’s ‘nasty’ campaign”

  1. More misinformation from the master of misinformation and cheating. All the things he accuses others of he himself is the one guilty of these things. Except for the paid internet trolls that will rush to respond in favour of everything Ralph Gonsalves does it is a fact that most of the population of Saint Vincent does not support the , immoral, anti-Christian and truely nasty things this man does. Anyone who has not woken-up yet only has to consider that all the nasty things he says about the opposition he is ten times more guilty of himself, and much more besides! Not to mention the fact that this man has totally destroyed the economy and morality of the country. Then he says he was appointed by God.

  2. Considering the love hate relationship between our current prime minister and Sir James Mitchell, I have no doubt to that of the validity stated by PM Gonsalves >>> “former prime minister and founder of the NDP, Sir James Mitchell, was once on the advisory board of SCL.”
    Such being indicated by our PM, has only assured us the capability and the forces linked to the ULP strategical connections. They (ULP) having repeatedly overcame the perils of those political “bandits” whose strategic torture alleged to have been “a lot of nastiness surrounding SCL and its offshore, Cambridge Analytica nasty work —who are bent on undermining democracy, bending people’s minds”

    I have always maintained that fact that SVG’s PM is still today; one of the Caribbean’s most dynamic politician. We have to in our overall appraisal accept the reality that no one will ever be perfect. The stride should be for endless enhancement and not perfection. MLK reminded: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

    1. Kindly review the most recent (Dec.2017) IMF report on SVG; you may have a different; more professional and informed position, as it relates to his leadership and stewardship of the island…It is truly unfortunate that people allow emotional attachments to preclude,and prejudice factual judgements!

      1. The most accurate, creditable and impartial evaluations are not measured by ‘the most recent’ of any subject but by a more comprehensive spectrum of facts and similarities. Your hypothesis to my thoughts on my originally stated opinion is clearly what it is; ‘your notion’.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    The role of SCL, and companies like them, using bogus psychological assessment tools, has been grossly exaggerated as their abysmal Caribbean track record clearly shows.

  4. Ben for someone like you with such a broad spectrum of intelligence and knowledge, you should utilize it to teach or mentor the less fortunate or deprived individuals in SVG.
    Is there anything you don’t know????
    And I mean that as a compliment not to be sarcastic.
    And I say that to say if each citizen contributed to SVG in some positive way or form we can be such successful country. And I know it’s two things we in SVG and it’s people with money and intelligence.

    1. Boy, I thought that what I was doing every day on this site was, “… teach[ing] or mentor[ing] the less fortunate or deprived individuals in SVG.”

      How can anyone possibly make any positive contribution to making SVG a successful country unless he closely examines the reasons we are now not as successful a country as many would like us to be?

      Still, I remind you and others — again for at least the 10th time — that my view is that our prospects for development are quite limited, on the one hand, and that we are far better than dozens of other countries and their people based on our upper middle income status which makes us richer than we have ever been except for the slavery and early emancipation era, periods based on the wretched exploitation of our people, on the other.

      My view is that we are just about as wealthy as a people as we will ever be for at least decades to come regardless of what developmental efforts, save very radical ones that no goverment would attempt, take place.

      Maybe we should just be thankful that we are far better off from a material perspective than we were 50 years ago.

  5. “Contempt for black people?” Ralph is certainly seeking to establish a “straw man,” as one should expect him do-at the dawn of an upcoming election. He, Gonsalves, is an example of someone who uses distractions and obfuscations to “bend” the minds of black people… e.g: Yuggie Farrell.
    I hope that people are able to see through this ruse! Ralph is using the fact that Cambridge Analytica is currently under scrutiny, to delegitimize any potentiall damaging information that could furnished by the SCL..

    1. That is true. Unfortunately there are too many in Saint Vincent, including a few that comment on this website that are more than willing to excuse the total nastiness of Ralph Gonsalves. He gives himself the licence to attack anyone with slander, lies and exaggerations, and if it is someone he does not like and they are down…he will kick them even more, and when he believes he has destroyed them, then say how much he loves them! Conversely, when someone criticizes him he plays the poor innocent underdog victim and look and see how many COMMENTING ON THIS ARTICLE ALONE, on this website, that rally to his crocodile tears defense!!! Of course there are the paid internet trolls such as Vincy Lawyer, AI, Observer, and Faith which are probably the same person, but It is sad that there are some just begging to be lied to.
      The fact that he pays people to make supporting comments on this site, passing-out building supplies before elections, etc…USING TAXPAYERS MONEY, demonstrates that he is running his own even worse operation that he accuses others of.
      Yes, too bad there are those that show sympathy for this man when what he does is far, far worse!

  6. Don’t forget the dirty tricks played by ULP operatives against Stalkey JOHN in London. Was Cambridge Analytica/SCL involved? Who were the primary beneficiaries?

    Shaking Head

  7. The ULP used the company not the NDP, they would have nothing to do with them because Sir James was involved as an adviser and Arnhim Eustace being an honest man would not hear of it.

    Even a contract was awarded to a nominee British corporation. Need I say more, but Mr Chance will not post that if I do, perhaps wisely so.

    1. Hello Anonymous G.T.,

      Is it your assumption that “Mr Chance will not post that if I do,”? I see no reason for him not to do so, consider that the majority of you who comment on this media source use camouflaged names. I often wonder what will happen when Mr. Chance restrict the use of Anonymous names for comments?

      1. “… when Mr. Chance restricts”? Mr. Chance has no intention of doing any such thing. In fact, how do we even know that “Elma Gabriel “ is Elma Gabriel? The use of pseudonyms is long-established and very common choice the some people opt to make.

  8. Attention Admin:
    The most dependable source of media is those with policy of restriction to fake names, where personal methods to verification of Ids are mandatory. I HEREBY DECLARE THAT THE NAME Elma Gabriel and or Elma Gabriel-Mayers ARE NOT ‘FAKE’ NAMES AS CAN BE VERIFIED VIA ALL SEARCH SOURCE CHANNELS.

    1. Congratulations! However, as long as you post pro-Gonsalves comments you have nothing to worry about. The man hates criticism, (one reason for this article in the first place).Besides, YOU are not the media, YOU are not a news source, you are only making comments.In a country that persecutes people for being critical of the leader, one has to be careful! Before you criticize Kenton you should go to school for journalism. There is also reasons for protecting sources by not revealing the names. If you made statements against Gonsalves and you have a government job, assets, … you would not reveal your name. Look at what happens to many that do!!!

      1. Nothing you have written above is news to me as I am very much aware with the disorder of politics; a norm no matter whom or which party is in power. I have not “criticized Kenton” but responded accordingly within the flow of dialog. As a Vincentian patriot who resides in the diaspora I strive to be impartial in my comments.

  9. Almost twenty years in power? 700 million costing airport with no marketing statergy? SCL? PM son involved in sex scandal?
    Rampant murder and thieving in the land. Youth carrying marijuana to school. Incest and sexual abuse of students. Well you can’t make this *** up. C. Ben, you truly look like a patriot sometimes.

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