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People who oppose giving to Irma victims are mean-spirited – PM


People who object to this country’s donations to countries ravaged by category five Hurricane Irma, are mean-spirited.

This is the view of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who disclosed that St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has already contributed US$100,000 in cash and over 2,000 pounds of food and water to Caribbean countries affected by Hurricane Irma; and this week, a construction barge will leave these shores with over 1,800 tonnes of food, water, building and other materials.

Some persons took to social media and talk shows in the wake of the donations.

In response, the Prime Minister told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that a few persons who are opposed to him cannot stop him from doing the right thing.

“…Anybody who wants to contest those propositions, well, they can have somebody else as Prime Minister. I just happen to think that the overwhelming majority of people agree with me,” said Gonsalves from his office.

He added, “so, if you have a few mean-spirited persons who hold those positions, and from their postings you will see those are people who are always opposed to Ralph. But it will give you the idea, the mean-spiritedness of the people who are opposed to Ralph, who write under pseudonyms and whom people suspect who they are. I don’t really worry.”

Gonsalves said solidarity is not a question of giving from your extras, but from the little that you have.

“…That is the real solidarity…some of the same people talking, when things happen here, they want people to help us…you want to tell me, we can’t afford in direct monies and materials and food and water, a few hundred thousand dollars?” asked the Prime Minister.

He said it would be a shame if this country ignored our Caribbean neighbours in their time of need.

“If you don’t like what I am doing, you can kick me in my butt at election time; but I happen to think that the vast majority, the overwhelming majority, will support me in what I am doing.”

Gonsalves said if Hurricane Irma had hit here, with its over 140-mph winds and rain, other countries would have had to come to our aid in the same way.

Apart from our donation, Gonsalves says he has been in touch with several leaders in the OECS, including St Lucian PM Allan Chastenet (also Chair of the OECS Authority), Premier of the BVI Orlando Smith, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne and officials in Anguilla.

Last Saturday, a CARICOM heads of government video conference was held, while the local police have been working in collaboration with the Regional Security System (RSS) as security issues have arisen in several of the countries. These issues include looting and prison breaks.(LC)