Founder – DRP speaks the truth
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October 18, 2013

Founder – DRP speaks the truth

Fri Oct 18, 2013

I, Anesia Baptiste, founder and leader of the newest political party in SVG – the Democratic Republican Party (DRP) held a Town Hall meeting for Vincentians in New York on Saturday night, 5th October, 2013. Mr Nelson King, US correspondent for the Vincentian newspaper was present and published a piece in the Vincentian newspaper of Friday, 11th October, 2013, called “Baptiste Outlines Party Plans”.{{more}} I read the story that day, found errors in it and immediately sent an email to Mr King informing him that corrections should be made.

Below are the issues I highlighted which need correction and I especially want the public to know that my party’s position on whether we would maintain relations with Cuba and Venezuela was totally misrepresented by Mr King.

1. The reference to “build back” that you have in the first paragraph, I don’t know where it came from. I played a short video clip in which I said “We will fix this country, we will build it together”.

2. Under “Party Planks”, it should be “the protection of the economic rights of Vincentians everywhere.”

3. It is “Ministry of Domestic Development” under the Domestic Development Plan (DDP).

4. In your 4th paragraph under “Party Planks” it should be “maximizing the use of local fruits…” and non-chemical…. “growing of vegetables.”

5. Reference to the use of fruits and vegetables as “drugs and medicine” should have been completed by the phrase which came right after “as preventative and curative measures in diet”.

6. The Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty (TIRL) is not an offshoot of the SDA Church, as King’s article said. The TIRL is a registered NGO in SVG under our laws. It is not an incorporated church. It is distinct from the Thusia SDA church, which is an independent SDA church and the TIRL is an arm of the church, advocating for Religious Liberty.

7. The certificates and awards were presented “for service to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” as was inscribed on each award and certificate, not for service to “the party” as King’s article said. Again, my inscriptions were clear and deliberate. In fact, the whole effort was to highlight how all the people who were awarded had rendered service to SVG, despite party affiliations and support.

The following misrepresentation was the worst. What Mr King quoted me as saying about Cuba and Venezuela is misrepresentative. It is not even a complete thought and gives the impression that I said I would end foreign relations with Venezuela if I see human rights abuses. This is not what I said. Mr King said “On relations with Cuba and Venezuela, Baptiste said, “I will not have relations with Venezuela and know…human rights abuses of the people.”

However, a transcript of my actual words at the meeting is:

“First of all we must recognize that we already have relations with some of those Countries…those Countries you mentioned and in some cases the relations did not start with the current government. Ok? So, the issue for me, is not so much remaining in relations with them but it’s what I stand for while in relations with them. So, for example, I will not have relations with, let’s say, Venezuela, and see and hear of known, factual, human rights abuses taking place there and not say anything about it. So, if I were to learn that there were human rights atrocities being committed by the government of Venezuela…I’m just saying if… against their people, I would write to the leader. I would say something showing that I do not condone that. I have no personal relationships and friendships with individuals which would compromise my stance on rights and freedoms. I believe in rights and freedoms as a universal human right issue…a matter of humanity. And wherever rights and freedoms are protected I say ‘kudos’. Wherever it is infringed upon I condemn it. And it could be a Country too that traditionally my Country has relations with. So, I would not make it a pain to separate the Country from long standing relationships we’ve been involved with but at the same time my relationship with them would be on the principle of the protection of human rights and freedoms everywhere and if they break those things and I know of it, I will be speaking out in opposition to that kind of behaviour.”

This may be seen and heard by anyone on our site here

I specifically asked last Friday that the Vincentian correct these things, only to be told by the Editor on Wednesday that I would have to wait until next Friday. I’m dissatisfied. I know that if this was a misrepresentation of the reputation of some high official, like say the Honourable Prime Minister, the paper would not be telling him on Wednesday just before midday that he has to await the following Friday for the correction. I thank the Searchlight newspaper for allowing me the opportunity to air my views fairly and thus to protect my reputation from the damage that has been done by the article in the Vincentian newspaper. I and the DRP continue to struggle for the rights and freedoms of ALL, justice and no discrimination against ANY in SVG!

Anesia O. Baptiste
Founder & Leader
Democratic Republican Party (DRP)