Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves is the best prime minister in the world, his Dominica counterpart, Roosevelt Skerrit told a rally in Arnos Vale Sunday night to celebrate Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) 22nd anniversary in office.
“I am here to celebrate with the best Prime Minister in the entire world,” said Skerrit, who has been in office since 2004.
“Ralph Gonsalves is the true world boss,” Skerrit said, echoing a term that Gonsalves used to describe himself in the campaign for the November 2020 general election, when the ULP was elected to a historic fifth consecutive term in office.
“You know you have in St. Vincent and Grenadines a real gem in Comrade Gonsalves. A true patriot, a decent gentleman, and someone who will stand by you all the time, especially in difficult times,” said Skerrit, who described Gonsalves as his mentor.
Skerrit, 50, said he has been following Gonsalves, 76, since he (Skerritt) was in primary school.
“And Prime Minister Gonsalves has really brought pride and joy not only to you the people of St. Vincent and Grenadines, but every single Caribbean country.
“I can say to you I have been to numerous conferences and summits with Comrade Ralph and every leader in every country, no matter how big or small, they respect Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Skerrit said that whenever Gonsalves takes to the microphone, “every man Jack listens” because Gonsalves “comes to us as a true teacher.
“And we listen and we take notes of what Prime Minister Gonsalves is sharing with us. So, I am here tonight with my wife to celebrate a great man and a great party: Gonsalves and the ULP.”
He told party supporters that people sometimes do not appreciate a good thing until it is gone.
“Let me say to you with the greatest sense of sincerity that you have in Prime Minister Gonsalves a good man, a man who has been with you in difficult times, and has given you hope. Let us stick with Prime Minister Gonsalves and the Unity Labour Party because they are the best thing for the people of St. Vincent and Grenadines.”
The Dominican leader said Gonsalves is “a great man”, adding, “when the history of leadership will be written, Prime Minister Gonsalves will be in the highest or the tops as one of the best leaders the world has seen…
“So, don’t think that Gonsalves is the prime minister of St. Vincent and Grenadines alone. Prime Minister Gonsalves is the prime minister of the entire Caribbean.
“I am telling you, I am telling you that he is my prime minister, … a man who I have the greatest love and appreciation for”.
Skerrit said he did not come to the rally “with no big speeches for you.
“My message to you is very simple. You have in Gonsalves a good man. And when you have a good man, there is no need to change a good man. And when you have a good political party, there is no need to change any political party.”
He said that if leaders were to complain about how difficult it is to run small countries like Dominica and SVG, Gonsalves would be “complaining every minute, but he’s a true leader.
“And leaders find solutions to challenges and that’s what Gonsalves has been doing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, finding solutions to very difficult problems that we confront.”
He noted that 20,000 people were evacuated as a result of the April 2021 eruption of La Soufriere volcano.
“… for a small country like ours here in St. Vincent and Grenadines, that’s a huge task,” Skerrit said.
“But the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and Grenadines stood tall and has responded admirably based on what the World Bank and all international agencies are saying. Gonsalves has shown absolute true leadership in providing hope and care for the people affected by La Soufriere.
“I am here to tell you the people of this country, especially the young people, I don’t have to tell you what Gonsalves has done for education in this country, you know better than me.
“I don’t have to tell you what he did for housing, the house revolution, you know better than me. I don’t have to tell you what he has done to create jobs in St. Vincent and Grenadines, you know better than me.
“And what he has done for his senior citizens of St. Vincent and Grenadines and for the young people. You know better than me.
“I am here to send a simple message to you that you have a special God-sent man as your prime minister, who continues to defend you in the international and regional arena.
“Nobody in the world, no matter how powerful the country is, can stand and disrespect St. Vincent and the Grenadines, without Gonsalves standing and defending his country and speaking boldly to his country, to his people,” Skerrit said.
He urged party supporters to remain loyal to the ULP, saying, “… let us keep what we have. Let us stick to who we know. And you know Gonsalves and you have in Gonsalves a good man, a decent, loving, caring person”.