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CELAC leaders at their summit in Buccament Bay on Friday, March 1, 2024. (Photo: Guyana's Department of Public Information/Facebook)
CELAC leaders at their summit in Buccament Bay on Friday, March 1, 2024. (Photo: Guyana’s Department of Public Information/Facebook)
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Opposition MP St. Clair Leacock says the CELAC summit held in St. Vincent last week “is farcical” adding that countries that the hemispheric bloc opposes ideologically have given over $1.5 billion to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) since the Unity Labour Party came to office in March 2021.

SVG is the only Caribbean nation to hold the pro tempore president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which was founded in 2011.

Kingstown’s tenure ended on Friday with the Eight Summit of Heads of States and of Governments of CELAC in Buccament Bay. 

Leacock spoke on radio about the gathering of leaders two days before it took place. 

“This CELAC thing — and it is not whether you embrace it or whether you bad talk it, it is just to address what is its reality. And the reality, it is farcical. It is farcical,” he said on his New Democratic Party’s programme on NICE Radio.  

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“You fix St. Vincent from Argyle to Buccama,” he said of the governments sprucing up that section of the country as it prepared to welcome the CELAC delegates.

 He noted that he had asked in Parliament earlier last month about the quantum of CELAC investment as a body in SVG, and if by country, the breakout.

In response to the question, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said that CELAC is “an inter-governmental mechanism for dialogue and political consultation…

CELAC is primarily a political and diplomatic forum. It is not a development bank or a multilateral lender,” the finance minister further told Parliament.

St. Clair Leacock 2
MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock in Feb. 21, 2024 photo.

Leacock said that SVG is run using tax from its people and non-tax revenue such as grants.

“Since this government is in office, … the people who we don’t like, the people who we don’t want to have nothing to do it, the colonialists, the imperialists, the white people, the bad people, they are bad; the idealists, the capitalists that all kind of ists, they have given Gonsalves and company over $1.5 billion free to run St. Vincent,” Leacock said.

He noted that England had donated money towards the construction of the new port in Kingstown, which the government boasts about. 

“I ain’t see a cent from Brazil, I ain’t see it from Mexico, a cent from Colombia, I can’t see it from these great sets of Latin American countries that we want to rearrange the world to do south-south and north-south and east-south,” Leacock said, referring to financing of the national budget.

“I ain’t see it. We don’t ship a grain of bananas to them. I don’t get a barrel from them. They’re neither first, second or third generation of Vincentians to say that the economy has a relationship with them,” said Leacock, who is also a vice president of the NDP.

“… you’re trying to force Vincentians to drink a reality that is removed from them. You can’t fix your own little Windward Islands grouping here, you can take charge of your OECS dynamics. That’s your little big wider circle. CARICOM is still hairy-fairy in the minds of a lot of Vincentians but we’re looking to put a different pot on the fire to serve us something which is a cost to us,” Leacock said.

He noted that East Kingstown MP, Fitz Bramble had noted that SVG is a small country that imports just over $1 billion worth of goods annually. 

“We have to find money to pay for that billion dollars’ worth of goods. And what do we export?” he said, adding that the country exports about $100 million in good annually.

“In other words, almost every month, we just export about $8 million worth of goods — a little bit over that,” Leacock said, noting that Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar said recently in Parliament that the country cannot export a 20-foot container of agricultural products weekly.

“But the truth of the matter is that St. Vincent is not progressing, right? It’s not progressing!” Leacock said.  

2 replies on “‘This CELAC thing … is farcical,’ Leacock says ”

  1. calliaquaman says:

    They “Gone With The Wind”

    Make a name for My self.

    The Tower of Babel Genesis 11: 1-9

    1″ Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

    2 As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

    3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

    5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

    8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth”.

    Conclusion: Preopening and Price tag for mi little SVG!!! No Tangible benefits to speak about only image in my head. (Pictures galore)

  2. Take warning says:

    What’s very concerning in all of this , is that the barrels, the western union and the money gram is coming from the USA, Canada and the UK where most of vincentians resides. Will like to know how most of these Spanish speaking places will prosper vincentians food baskets.

Comments closed.