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PM Gonsalves: NDP abandoned E.G. Lynch

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has suggested that the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) arrange a fundraising event to assist ailing spokesperson Elwardo ‘E.G’ Lynch.{{more}}

The Prime Minister made the suggestion at a press conference yesterday, Monday, as he refuted allegations that he had blocked Lynch, whose vision is failing, from acquiring a visa to travel to the United States for medical attention.

“But I know that if Lynch was in the ULP (Unity Labour Party) and had served the ULP faithfully and well as he had served the NDP, I would have gone home and I would have told Eloise ‘We have to have a dinner; we will provide the food and everything and I will be one of the 20 persons at the dinner, and each person who I invite to the dinner will pay $5,000, to give him an initial $100,000.’

“Surely they can have a dinner. Eustace can pay $5,000. Friday, Leacock, Cummings; I don’t know about the others. They can call people who support them; everybody knows the Veiras support them, the Bonadies support them; at least some of the Bonadies, C.K Greaves persons support them. They have architects among themselves, contractors among themselves, they have other people…. So, what happen? He could get $100,000.

“Arnhim and my cousin Jennifer could organize it and each of them pay $5,000 apiece, and present the $100,000.”

The Prime Minister said that if Lynch is unable to travel to the US, and does not want to go to Cuba, where he may be able to receive treatment, the money raised could send him on his way to the United Kingdom or Canada.

“Will I allow the man to suffer or to go blind, after he talk out his soul for you for 13 years?”

Lynch was the host of the NDP radio program New Times, and on a number of occasions, found himself on the receiving end of lawsuits initiated by the Prime Minister.

He is currently in debt to Gonsalves by over $200,000.

Gonsalves described allegations that he or the government convinced officials at the US embassy in Barbados, not to issue Lynch with a visa as ‘a dastardly lie’, and said that he had been of the view that Lynch was already the holder of a US visa, and was surprised when he heard that Lynch got ‘turned down’.

“Everybody knows, when the US Embassy turns you down for a visa, for them immediately to change it, requires in accordance with their law, substantial change in the circumstances which led the officer at the Embassy to turn you down in the first place. So you have to show a real change in the circumstance, that’s why they tell you to come back in another year….”

The Prime Minister said that as a Vincentian citizen, he has a governmental duty to assist, so long as it is possible for the government to help.

He said that Lynch was abandoned and cast aside by the NDP.

“Lynch is finished, they discard him; put him on the dung heap, on the refuse heap, how you could treat people like that?

“We have mechanisms through the Ministry of Health and through the Cabinet Secretary or through the Prime Minister to provide assistance…. We have sent people to Cuba with eye problems; not just the masses (who) went at the time of the Vision Now program, but subsequently with people who had to do operations… and my office here of the Prime Minister made the arrangement with the Cuban Ambassador… and that is open to Elwardo Lynch, as it is open to any Vincentian, where we make arrangements to try and help.

“Anybody in their right mind would think that I would discriminate against a citizen first of all, and then discriminate against somebody who has a medical problem on the grounds of politics? What happen, you think I am a beast?” Dr Gonsalves asked. (JJ)

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