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Opposition lawmaker St. Clair Leacock in an October 2023 photo.
Opposition lawmaker St. Clair Leacock in an October 2023 photo.
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Central Kingstown MP St. Clair Leacock is questioning the practical benefits of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) having served as pro tempore president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Leacock asked the question two days before SVG hosted on Friday the 8th Summit of CELAC, during which the pro tempore presidency passed to Honduras.

He was at the time discussing on the New Democratic Party’s “New Times” on NICE Radio what he perceived to be the true state of joblessness in the country.

“Have we gone to the international universities where we have our best brains and talents and say look, lend us students X or Y or Professor D to develop new products and to do our research and development work?” he said.

“We’re not doing those. We’re looking for shortcut. That’s what CELAC is as you know. And the minister said that. What it does for us? It gives me a feel-good feeling,” he said.

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He was referring to the response that Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves gave in Parliament to a question he asked the previous week.

The finance minister said that CELAC does not give or lend money to any of its 33 member countries but is “primarily a political and diplomatic forum.

“It is not a development bank or a multilateral lender,’” the finance minister said.

Leacock said last week:

“When we go abroad, we can say, ‘I’m from St. Vincent and the Grenadines where the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is Everard Ralph Gonsalves and his son Camillo is heir in command, second place.’

“You think you could go Greaves with that and walk away with three pounds of back and neck or turkey?” he further stated, referring to a local supermarket chain.

“Which Vincentian in town in St. Vincent now today is eating a better plate of meal because we were on the Security Council? Tell me,” he further said.

SVG held a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council from 2020-2021.

“Tell me which Vincentian has changed galvanize on his roof because we had [two] years on the Security Council,” Leacock further stated.

“Tell me which one of them would buy a bigger ham this Christmas because we’re hosting the CELAC meeting? Tell me which one of them would go and get a barrel that they could take out the sweet soap and sell it and take it to make a living because we had CELAC? Tell them which one of them will go to MoneyGram and Western Union after next week because when people come, they said the road was nice, the grass was trimmed clean and the roads were painted and the lights working and the bulbs working?

“None! Save and except those who will be down there belching their fine wines and idle talk. Because I am not convinced or persuaded that all the five-star story conversations and three-piece suits getting together translates to the man or woman on the street. Nothing! Zilch! But it gives us a feel-good feeling.”

The roadside between Argyle International Airport, where delegates arrived, and Buccament Bay, where the summit was held, was cleaned of grass, gutters de-silted and overhanging trees pruned.

The government also fixed potholes in the road, repaired crash barriers that had been broken for years, and repainted road markings in some areas.

“The people who are parading down at CELAC, at Sandals … and giving us this nice utopia in our minds are the people whose children are already graduates at first-class universities around the world, who putting in their first, second and third swimming pool, who telling you they no longer want vinyl tiles in their house, they want not even terracotta, porcelain tiles and they want this and they want that. They have the good life,” Leacock said.

“They haven’t had to go through the 20 years of wilderness years like Duggie and myself where parts of we house ha’ woodlice and leaking …  because we live a life of sacrifice.

“A lot of them are retired and work for their second, third or fourth income. Ministers once, ambassadors the other time, chairperson the fourth time, fifth time, and all of them looked after; all of them are looked after. But they want to be there on the backs of Vincentians.”

Leacock said the country has to take a good look at itself, adding, “And when a ship finds yourself in distress, it is often easier to come back to the port to turn around than to turn around in the high seas.

“And that’s where we are in St. Vincent. We need to turn this country around. We need to make a complete change.

“We need to have a proper economic model and business model to carry this country forward. It’s an unmanaged country and all the showboating and showmanship and window dressing and make believe and false, we have to come to the reality…”

Leacock said he was not being fooled by statistics that the government quoted from the National Insurance Services that 43,000 people are employed in SVG.

“… go down by the banks and find out from them. Go there. Go and find out from the banks,” he said.

12 replies on “Which Vincy is better off because SVG was head of CELAC? — Leacock”

  1. Prudence Morton says:

    Leacock’s comments re svg’s hosting of celiac shows his short- sightedness. It is also infantile.

  2. Really, Mr Leacock. Is this the extent of your vision. Can’t you see farther than your nose? Or in this case your mouth?

  3. Sandra Small says:

    Prudence Morton who is more myopic than you. You criticizing Leacock but there are many things to to talk about you but I will leave it there. How ethical are you? The Bible speaks about the mote and the beam and I will leave it there. You think being in the diaspora image you better than the rest of of us?

  4. Take warning says:

    The one that is most hated is the one that speaks the truth. Can all with long sightedness and those who can see beyond their nose please tell us what all you can see? Can you see help to alleviate the extreme poverty ? bring more medicine in the hospital? Those who know the truth and refused to believe it are assumed to be criminals.

  5. Diaspora Angel says:

    Prudence Morton did you understand the analogy which Leacock was making or you are incapable of comprehending? The way the government should be manage its not a maury shop like the SVGAT for which your are a board of director. If you have nothing valuable to say then shut up. The higher the monkey climbs the more it exposes its rectum.

  6. Elma Gabriel says:

    Prudence; you would agree that there is no need for name calling and those derogatory remark in respect to the article. In my opinion; you have exceeded the threshold of reasonable or normal discourse considering that the Honorable Minister, did not belittle any one.

  7. Ms. Prudence Morton just a question, Why are you ascribing Leacock’s comments about Celac to be infantile and shortsightedness? There is an old adage that goes like this, one is entitled to their opinion but not the facts.

    Ms Prudence Morton let’s have a dialogue here. Which part of Leacock ‘s statement is shortsighted and infantile as you deemed it to be? If you are unable to put it out, then it is proper to say that your “Elevator seems not to go all the way up but stuck somewhere in between “. Have an awesome day.

  8. Jason Dublin says:

    Prudence by all accounts Leacock’s account of the benefits that derived from the Celac’ meeting was not far fetched. The average Vincentians was not better off by hosting the meeting in St Vincent except for patching up of the roads here and there. It was his opinion that the we are no better off by all accounts.

    Let’s examine the descriptive terms you attributed to the honorable Minister, as shortsightedness and infantile. I believe that you do not understand the true context in which these words should be used. For this reason I see a bit of malapropism. My advice to you before you click posted, peruse what you have written before you make yourself an imbecile.

  9. Leave Prudence Morton alone some people try to find some relevance in trying times. However, belittling someone as in the case of the Major Leacock is certainly not the way to go. By reading the comments on the subject, it is fair to say the her comments were not taken with any measure of positiveness., but reaped scorn on the author. Her chickens have certainly come home to roost by a cross section of contributors on this forum

  10. Prudence is the Major an infantile? One infantile will surely know the other. I think ghe previous comments on the forum tells it all. The major is a humble man and one of integrity.

  11. we need to stop trashing peoples point of view and put our head in the right space, we sound like five year olds …we have real problems in SVG it can only be solved together as Vincentians, at the end of the day the man or woman on the street of SVG is has to eat and feed their families, How much tourist dollars trickel down to street level.
    Mr Leacock does have a point … we need solutions …yesterday. the standard of living of the avrage Vincy has to catch up, we all need to work for that.

  12. Am sorry, if you cant take the heat get the Hell out of the you all have any solutions for the problems of creating sustainable jobs for our People in Svg to raise the standard of living, addressing the rise of crime Please help me understand…this is not 5th grade and on this forum we are not children….I want solutions as a Vincy Diasporan…I want to hear real solutions I can support..not meaningless comments of attacking each other, leave that for the elementary school…please it does not look good from out here.
    our honourable member for central kingstown has valid points what are your solutions to the concerns raised?..

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