June 27, 2008
Dr. Anthony calls for stronger security

Security for leaders in the Caribbean must be stepped up as the sophistication of the drug cartels and networks pose a real threat to regional governments.

While saying that the recent death threats allegedly made against Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves are at the moment just allegations, former Prime Minister of St Lucia, and close ally of Dr Gonsalves, Dr Kenny Anthony said that they (the alleged threats) point to a bigger problem that needs addressing.{{more}}

“With the exception of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, in our islands we tend to treat security for our leaders lightly,” Dr Anthony said.

“We do not like to see our leaders too tightly secured,” he said, noting that Caribbean people generally have “an incredible dislike for security.”

He said that in the region, people want their leaders to be easily accessible, but this must be reviewed because the environment in which we live has changed.

Pointing to the drug trade and the impact that it has on the region, Dr Anthony said that the Governments of the region have now been severely weakened because of the existence of the threats posed by the drug dealers.

It has been rumoured that a member of Cabinet from a sister CARICOM country is intimately involved in the alleged plot on the life of Dr Gonsalves, and some eyes have turned in the direction of St Lucia.

“If there is any truth to that, I will feel extremely wounded, so too would be the St Lucian people, but it remains to be seen if there is any truth to these allegations,” said Dr Anthony, who leads the recently deposed St Lucian Labour Party.

Dr Anthony told SEARCHLIGHT that for now, he has to treat what he is hearing as a rumour and wait and see if any evidence is brought to bear to substantiate the various allegations that have been made.

He said that he has however noted that Commissioner of Police (COP) Keith Miller has given some credibility to the allegations.

Opposition Leader here, Arnhim Eustace has dismissed the death threat claims as Dr Gonsalves just crying wolf, while COP Miller has confirmed that security has been stepped up around the Prime Minister, and regional security forces have been solicited to assist in the investigations.