February 16, 2007
Eustace sounds NDP battle cry

The thunder of the feet of the NDP is coming to the streets of Kingstown before month’s end, so says the party’s political leader, Arnhim Eustace.

Riding the wave of exuberance shown by his supporters, Eustace sounded the battle cry, stating that the march will take place with or without the police’s permission.{{more}}

Referring to the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Eustace said “We have to remove him as soon as possible.”

Speaking at the NDP protest rally last weekend in Sion Hill, Eustace again repeated the view that because the Prime Minister had represented drug offenders in his law practice before coming to office, this had compromised the Prime Minister’s ability to deal with the drug problem in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He suggested that in addition to the information and secrets that the Prime Minister would have had purview to as a lawyer, he had also benefited from contributions that drug lords would have made to his election campaign. This Eustace said, has caused a conflict of interest.

“And over time they would take control of the country,” he said of the drug lords adding “We are now moving to that stage in the country to the detriment of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Eustace said that the economy and the current generation would be lost as a result of the Government’s inability, in his opinion, to address crime and drugs.

“It represents to me a loss of governmental power to persons who shouldn’t have it, and that has to change. The people of

St Vincent and Grenadines must not live under such a regime,” Eustace said.

He said that some drug lords are helping to make decisions to shape the nation’s future.

Eustace also told his exuberant supporters that he was happy about the debt relief that the Prime Minister has won for the Ottley Hall project.

“We have no problem as a party with debt forgiveness, Gonsalves is not going to say that I know debt forgiveness is good and I criticizing it, debt forgiveness is good for St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.

He however noted that there was some misconception about the $150 million in debt relief. Eustace noted that because the Government had not been paying any money on the Ottley Hall debt, it was not budgeted for in the $102 million listed for debt payments in the 2007 estimates.

He said that a lot people have mistakenly thought that the debt forgiveness for Ottley Hall is going to relieve some of the money budgeted for debt payment. He however stated the while the debt relief is going to free up the country in the long term, this year may see an increase in the debt payment figure as a result of the Ottley Hall debt relief.

He said the $16 million that has to be paid will be added on to this year’s debt payment. Additionally Eustace claimed that the NDP had secured $49.6 million in relief, which is part of the overall figure that the Prime Minister has claimed as his work.

Eustace used the opportunity to again call on the Prime Minister to reveal more information about the early release of convicted drugs man, Alex Lawrence. As he has repeated on numerous occasions Eustace again stated that although there are matters of National Security involved, that much more information could be given to the public on the matter.