Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

\Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves says he did not mean to cast aspersion on Grenada when he disclosed last Wednesday that his government had accommodated two Grenadians who had reportedly been denied entry into their country. 

Speaking on radio on Wednesday, Gonsalves said that head of the SVG Port Authority, Bishen John had told him that Grenada had said that they would not open their ports to receive just two of their nationals.

The Grenadians, along with some eight Vincentians were being repatriated after weeks on board a cruise ship off Barbados.

Gonsalves said that his government had decided to receive the Grenadians, put them in quarantine at the expense of the cruise line and to treat them as it would any Vincentian.

However, on Thursday, Grenada’s Minister of Tourism, Clarice Modeste, said she was shocked by Gonsalves claim.

“I think it’s very sad, I think it is very far from the truth,” she said on radio in St. George’s on Thursday.

On Friday, during an interview with Xtreme Radio, and SVG radio station, Gonsalves was asked to comment on the development:

“First of all, I don’t respond directly to ministers. Ministers would respond appropriately to ministers. I would respond to the prime minister,” Gonsalves said.

He noted that when he made his original statement, he had spoken based on reports from head of the SVG Port Authority, Bishen John.

Gonsalves said:

“Bishen John, apparently –well, he said to me that he had contacted an official at the port in Grenada and this was not said with any — I only said what the CEO of the port here said to me; that there were two persons to go to Grenada but that the port had said that because they are closed, they would prefer if they come, not now, but sometime next week — Wednesday, Thursday thereabout, because they are opening the port, I was told, to take Disney.

“And I could understand that you don’t — they ain’t really refusing, but you not going to open the port for two.

“You see what I — and that’s why I am not responding to my sister who is the minister. I am just saying what I was informed by the chief executive officer at the Port Authority who was in communication with an official at the Port Authority in Grenada and that’s a perfectly understandable thing and I wrote my friend Keith Mitchell, the Prime Minister… and I say listen, Carnival Freedom is coming here they had originally told me 11 people, nine Vincentians turn out to be eight and two Grenadians. Carnival asked if we would accept them and I said yes”.

Gonsalves said the arrangements were made and Carnival agreed to pay the 14 days quarantine for the Grenadians.

“I have not meant it in any way to cast any aspersion on Grenada,” Gonsalves said. 

In her statements on Thursday, Modeste said that the cruise line had contacted her government the day before it intended to land the two Grenadians.

She said that St. George’s was in discussion with Bridgetown to have the Grenadians accommodated in Barbados until the arrangements were made.

Modeste said it was the cruise line that contacted SVG and asked Kingstown to accommodate the Grenadians.

She further stated that her country had been silent on the assistance it gave in repatriating two Vincentians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

19 replies on “Gonsalves didn’t mean ‘to cast any aspersion on Grenada’”

  1. Gonsalves should not be making off the cuff remarks(chatting shit)about Grenada. If he is so sorry, why doesn’t he apologize to the Grenadian people?

    1. Apologize for what? Am I missing something here? The people stranded on the boat. Just take them in. The Grenadian minister looking to make headlines. I’m with the Vincys and Gonzalves on this one.

      1. Yeah, you are missing your brains. — Apologize for encouraging unlawful behavior. Gonsalves didn’t lockdown(Global recommendations) and he wants to dictate terms to the people who did. When push came to shove he wouldn’t even receive our people stranded abroad he set all kinds of conditions. It was only after a heavy outcry from the population he softens his tone. You people got a serious personality cult (with no regard for ethics) going on over there.

  2. I am more apt to believe the lady minister who as far as I know does not have a background of telling lies.

    Now you sir attempt to make wrong right once again, well it just doesn’t cut. When you see the Vincentian people do not approve of your behaviour you back pedal and deny.

  3. Urlan Alexander says:

    Poor Bishon John. His ears rings constantly every time Ralph finds himself in trouble with anything that relates to port and ovid-19

  4. If he didn’t mean to, then why did he cast aspersions on Grenada.

    Besides telling lies, he is a specialist in denialism.

    I think it’s high time he went and sorted out some of his past, and take a trip to Canada as the first part of doing that.

  5. Anyone who knows the history of St.Vincent or cares to know the history should know that St. Vincent has for centuries been a refuge for all people, from enslaved people seeking freedom, pirates possible repairing ships or just waiting for their next plunder, fishermen stranded at sea, survivors of disasters at sea, the exiled king Jaja of Opobo (by force), the wealthy and the improvised from near and far both the honourable and the dishonourable. Unfortunately our people have not always received the same response from other nations or people near and far.
    In these times of uncertainty and fear/concern ( most of it understandable) the compassion, love and humanity extended by any and every Vincentian to all persons domestic or foreign is a true tribute to our history and a display of the words of our anthem in action.
    God bless St.Vincent and the Grenadines and remember “what e’re the future brings our faith will see us trough”, I love you all.

  6. Jacob Stapleton says:

    Making a mountain out of a mole hill. We are neighbors, what’s the big fuss? Keith Mitchell spoke about his displeasure, Ralph Gonsalves said he wrote Grenada PM a letter, what’s the issue?

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