St. Vincent and the Grenadines has accepted the offer by Grenada to help with the supply of fuel to Union Island after fire destroyed the sole petrol station there last week Tuesday, May 19.
Prime Minister of SVG, Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday that while Grenada has not written formally to his government, St. George’s has made contact through two separate government offices in Kingstown.
“… and I gave the same answer,” Gonsalves said.
He said that the minister responsible for Carriacou, Petite Martinique had contacted SVG’s Direct of Grenadines Affairs, Edwin Snagg.
“… and I told Edwin fine, as long as this is done in a structured and organised manner. And the commissioner of police from Grenada got in touch yesterday with our commissioner, because, clearly, the issue is going to be the safety of the – how they collect the fuel and that should not be too problematic, but the mode of transportation of the fuel so that it is safe from the standpoint that the extent of the risk of any fire aboard whatever [is] bringing the fuel would be mitigated and also in relation to any spill,” Gonsalves said.
He said that the problem is that, currently, persons in Union Island have to go to Canouan to buy fuel.
“If you’re going to Canouan to bring fuel in a speed board, it could be problematic,” the prime minister said, noting that it is also a further distance that between Union Island and Carriacou.
Gonsalves said he has said publicly elsewhere that he welcomes the assistance that Grenada is offering.
“In fact, in my letter to my friend Keith Mitchell, the prime minister, after there was a little contretemps between him and myself with a statement he had made, I said in my letter that is water under the bridge and I said all I was doing really, I was not intending to stir up any trouble or anything, I just wanted to help our Grenadines brothers and sisters in Petite Martinique and Carriacou, as had happened subsequently because I am sure that if the shoe was on the other foot that Grenada would have helped us.
“The shoe is on the other food now in relation to fuel and I accept, no problem at all,” Gonsalves said.
He said the two countries are divided by miniscule minutes of latitude and longitude.
“So, there it is. There is no — the only story there which would have been interesting for some journalists who may like confusion is for Ralph to say, ‘Nahh! No way! Well, I woulda been acting contrary to my character and my sense of reasonableness,” Gonsalves said.
During the cross-border exchange between Gonsalves and Mitchell, Gonsalves had said that his government was prepared to help residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique with access to cooking gas, if they so desired.