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Eustace should say if he approves of Ramos’ email

Eustace should say if he approves of Ramos’ email

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“My problem is with the people who brought him here… I want the honourable Leader of the Opposition to tell me if he approves of the things that this man said… the vicious lies and slander that were spread about St Vincent and the Grenadines, and I want him to come clean and say that that man must{{more}} know his place…”

This was the call made by Camillo Gonsalves, minister of foreign affairs and Unity Labour Party (ULP) candidate for East St George, last Sunday, in response to an email allegedly written by Belizean Garifuna leader Wellington Ramos, making claims of human rights violations in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Addressing a ULP rally at Rabacca on August 16, Gonsalves criticized Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace saying: “You don’t bring a man from overseas to walk up and down in this country, and when he leaves he trashes the country… If you love your country, you would rebuke a man like that!”

On August 13, Gonsalves posted, on his Facebook profile, a copy of an email allegedly penned by Wellington Ramos, which was sent to the US State Department, Amnesty International, the US Embassy in Barbados, Eustace and New Democratic Party public relations officer Vynnette Frederick, among others.

The email outlines human rights violations allegedly being committed by prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and his Government against the country’s Garifuna population and the rest of the population.

Camillo Gonsalves, speaking at the rally denied that these allegations were true – in particular, Ramos’ claim that SVG is a police state.

“If St Vincent and the Grenadines is a police state, how you manage to run up and down St Vincent and the Grenadines talking foolishness and nobody ain’t trouble you?” he declared.

“I don’t like to talk about clowns and sideshows, but my responsibility is Foreign Affairs and when you start to write letters to international agencies to try to pull down the name of St Vin­cent and the Grena­dines, you cease to become a clown and sideshow, and you become an irritant that must be got rid of…”

Gonsalves also said that Ramos sent in his letter to various US agencies with the hope that they will send in personnel to SVG to investigate its political affairs.

“Can you imagine that in an election year, you are writing a letter asking America to come in here and intervene in our internal affairs? You, who just passed through St Vincent for a couple days? How dare you!”

Gonsalves further asserted that during his visit to SVG last month to discuss the proposed honorary citizenship for Garifuna persons in the diaspora, Ramos attempted to stir up “ethnic anger and division,” like many have done in the past to benefit themselves.

He insisted that modern day SVG has carved a “cohesive society” from the descendants of indigenous peoples, slaves, colonialists and indentured servants.

“We have no place and time for people coming in here trying to stir up divisions between us. We do not want your brand of filth in this country!

“We want the New Democratic Party to condemn the divisions and say we are one people… There are some things that are bigger than elections, comrades!”

Gonsalves also heavily criticized the NDP’s lack of participation in annual Garifuna related activities, and the homecoming celebration in years gone by.

“Where were they when we made Chatoyer a national hero in this country? Where were they when Comrade ‘Gomery [Daniel] was north of the Dry River investing his time and his energy uplifting the standards of one area that has been ignored historically in this country?

“Where were they when we were in the trenches calling for reparations for the slaughter of the indigenous people of this country? They voted against it in Parliament!” said Gonsalves, indignantly.

“Who wasn’t boycotting Garifuna celebration was desecrating Garifuna tombs… now they want to come and talk about Garifuna. Shame on you!”

SEARCHLIGHT contacted the Opposition Leader for comment on the matter, but he declined to do so, saying: “He (Gonsalves) can make whatever comment he wishes.” (JSV)