The Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) has conferred a Doctorate Honoris Causa, an honorary doctorate, on Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
Gonsalves was granted the honourary degree for his “important contribution against the aggressions of the imperial power groups, and his unrestricted defence of counter-hegemonic projects, as well as his fraternity with the Latin American peoples,” the state-owned Agency for Public Information in Kingstown said.
During the award ceremony in Caracas, Rector of UBV, Sandra Oblitas, said that Gonsalves is an undisputed leader of the Caribbean and highlighted the merits of his political, academic, cultural and humanist career in favour of the emancipation of his people and the struggle “for their dignity and true social justice…
“Undoubtedly, we are in the presence of one of the most significant contemporary figures of this century, a political leader, activist and intellectual, but above all a human being with a great heart,” the academic said.
Meanwhile, Gonsalves expressed gratitude for this great recognition and reaffirmed the commitment of his government and the social movements of his country to uphold the principles of sovereignty unconditionally, “without hesitation at any time…
“This activity in which we participate today is not only symbolic of all that we have done in our civilisation of Latin America and the Caribbean, but focuses on the importance of secondary and tertiary education for the construction of a post-colonial, diversified and strong economy,” Gonsalves said.
In this regard, he highlighted the efforts of countries such as Venezuela and Cuba within the framework of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) “in order to promote an education revolution”, essential “for our peoples to reach the standards of living and production, which is congruent with the high values of humanity”.
Gonsalves has repeatedly said that Venezuela and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are “very close peoples, and he hopes that this solidarity and close relationship will last forever”.
Venezuela and SVG maintain bilateral cooperation ties in financial, energy, trade, fiscal, tourism and security matters.
This is the second honorary degree conferred on Gonsalves in recent times.
In September, University of Wales Trinity St David awarded Gonsalves an honorary Doctor of Law degree.
Gonsalves holds a Ph.D. in government awarded by University of Manchester (England), and a Master of Science degree in government and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, both from the University of the West Indies.
He also a graduate of Gray’s Inn (London) from which he obtained his Degree of Utter Barrister (professional law qualification)