September 10, 2010
Eustace responds to PM’s letter to CARICOM

Leader of the Opposition and President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace has responded to a letter written by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}}

Prime Minister Gonsalves, on August 24 2010, wrote a letter to the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and several regional organizations, in which he complained about the NDP’s alignment to ‘foreign elements’ out of Britain and the United States of America.

Dr. Gonsalves’ letter stated that the NDP and its allies were involved in campaign to defame St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and called on the people of the region to ‘resist them firmly’.

Eustace, in his letter to the CARICOM leaders dated Tuesday, September 7 2010, dismissed the accusations made by Gonsalves, saying that the Prime minister, whom he described as hapless, has now turned to the people of the region in an effort to resuscitate his dying political regime, after having lost the confidence and support of the Vincentian electorate.

“The Gonsalves letter is an appeal, in the well worn rhetoric of a bygone era, to the sentiments of a wider Caribbean constituency where he believes that it may resonate, if only among members of a small but vocal group of like minded individuals, who, in the determination to wield political power, are quite prepared to overlook the harsh realities of life under their governance.”

Eustace in his letter highlighted a number of issues which he called a litany of woes, which were brought about by Dr. Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) government, and will see an end to its ‘incompetent and malevolent regime’.

These include the ‘abuse and mismanagement of the National Commercial Bank,’ ‘unusual politicization of the office corps of the police service,’ ‘serious attempts to manipulate the Election and Boundaries Commission,’ ‘the partisan use of government funds,’ and ‘concerted attacks on the private sector,’ among others.

Eustace noted in his letter that his political party and its members had endured persecution, harassment, and victimization over the years, but they were confident that they are ‘ready and able to once again provide the vanguard in realizing the legitimate aspirations of our people’.

The Opposition Leader said that he welcomed the Prime Minister’s outreach to the region, and sent out an invitation for them to closely and objectively monitor the state of affairs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“It is the voters of SVG, and they alone, who will decide the outcome of this sad episode in our post independence history,” he said.

“The fraternal people of the Caribbean can help us by being vigilant and engaged, to ensure that the upcoming General Elections are free, fair and comply with the highest standards of representative democracy.”(JJ)