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Minister Daniel responds to ‘Carib’ comment

Minister Daniel responds to ‘Carib’ comment

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Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel has reacted to comments he claims were made at a protest outside his Ministry last week, saying that no one has to tell him he is a Carib.{{more}}

Daniel, while addressing a meeting of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) last Sunday evening, said that last Friday morning, he went on to the picket line outside the Ministry of Agriculture to read what the placards were saying.

“One of the placards that I read on the line said ‘Gomrey must go’. Well, I tell you, comrades comrades I tell you. I know where I come from, and because I know where I come from, I know where I can go. Comrades, as an individual, I heard certain comments. But I say to you, I am born of Carib descendants. Nobody ain’t got to tell me that. I born right here. Nobody ain’t got to tell me that. Comrades, no boat ain’t bring me here in chains, and I did not come here in indentureship, so I know where I come from, and Comrades, I know where I am going.”

“So, tell Bowman and company that Montgomery Daniel knows where he comes from, and Montgomery Daniel know where he going, and it is the people of North Windward who decide whether or not I stay or go.”

Daniel told those gathered at the meeting at Sandy Bay, one of the larger villages in the North Windward constituency he represents, that he believes “from the bottom of his heart”, that the persons who were demonstrating are not “serious in the survival of the banana industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

He said he came to this conclusion, because last week Tuesday, just a few days before the demonstration, he had held a meeting with stakeholders in the banana industry to discuss the present state of the industry.

“I can tell you, for the stakeholders who came, who represented their various institutions, some of them have no interest, because they did not see themselves with the recommendations coming forward. All they are interested in, is their own political view as relates to their political party.”

Daniel said, coming out of the meeting last Tuesday, eight recommendations were made, but he indicated to the meeting that the recommendations must be cleared with the prime minister.

“They agreed. But yet, the major agitators found themselves at the Minstry of Agriculture on Friday, indicating that they are demonstrating,” Daniel said.

The first enslaved Africans were brought to St. Vincent by the French in 1719. In 1845, the first indentured workers arrived from Portugal. The first dispatch of Indian indentured immigrants followed in 1861.

The 2001 census put the percentage of blacks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at 66 per cent, mixed race at 19 per cent, East Indians 4 per cent, Caribs 2 per cent and other races 3 per cent.

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