Creativity needed to overcome reparation challenges
May 3, 2013

Creativity needed to overcome reparation challenges

Because there may be challenges associated with making a claim for reparations, that does not mean that the claim should not be articulated. It, however, means that creative ways must be thought of to surmount these claims.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves expressed this view while speaking at a press conference on Monday.

He said that the issue of reparations and settlements is going to become one of the major issues of international political discourse.

“And we are in the vanguard and we will help to provide the initiative,” Gonsalves said.

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace recently expressed the view that there are other, more important issues than reparations to be dealt with, such as the state of the economy, and the government’s management of it. Speaking on the New Times radio programme on Nice Radio on April 15, Eustace said that the priority was to lift the economy and put people back to work.

“I understand the reparations issue, you know, and theoretically I have no problem with that, but for it to be practical now, for me, priority is looking after people now,” he said.

Eustace accused the Prime Minister of trying to divert people’s attention from the issues that were affecting the country.

Gonsalves, who recently published an article on reparations entitled; “Preliminary notes on the quantification from the British for lands stolen, genocide and forcible deportation of the Garifuna people and for enslavement of Africans in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” said that in the same way that a call has been made for reparations for other groups around the world, the same needed to be done for those in the Caribbean.

“Some may think that this is not a matter of importance and I am sorry for them – really, really sorry for them if they don’t support this call.

“They would line up with the neo-colonialists,” he continued.

Gonsalves said the same way that Queen Elizabeth II made an apology for the genocide committed against the Maori people of New Zealand, or in the same way there was a call for the Jews, it was necessary for the Garifuna, Kalinago and the descendants of the slaves to raise the issue of reparation or for an appropriate settlement.(DD)