CARICOM Moving Full Steam with Demand for Compensation for Slavery

The memory of SLAVERY lingers...

The memory of SLAVERY lingers…

CARICOM Heads of Government (HoGs) are currently meeting in St. Vincent and one contentious issue communicated by sitting chairman Ralph Gonzales is that leaders expect to hold talks with Europe later this year about the thorny issue of reparations. There is the other  issue which has surprisingly been slotted on the agenda – whether marijuana should be decimalized.

Leading the Caricom taskforce on the multi-billion dollar legal action for reparation for the slave trade is Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.  He has hit the British press with the zeal reminiscent of his assault on then Mutual Life Assurance Society. What is surprising is the speed with which the HoGs seem to be moving on the issue – see October 13, blog – The Caribbean Advances Claim for Reparations.

The Daily Mail has offered its opinion on the case and while we do not totally agree it does provide a different perspective that will be of interest to the region vested in the issue. BU’s provocative view is that the action maybe flawed in that governments are trying to usurp the prerogatives of individuals to bring their own class action for civil offences against their personal ancestors.

The attempt to provide grounds for governments to do this is pegged to the claim that these former colonial powers “raped” these territories, therefore suggesting that governments are in a class action with descendants of slaves. Is this the case? Have individuals been consulted? Do you know of anyone who has signed up as plaintiffs? Will individuals be granted any court awards?

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p align=”justify”>Almost 50 years after independence we have to the question of our elected government. How much have they contributed to undermining our economy, our laws and the complete demise of our court systems? How many of them have come out of their tenures of office as millionaires while the rest of the country suffers? Do they think it is right that they should have a piggy bank built on the suffering if our ancestors on which to further feast at the trough now that other sources have dried up as a result of their ineptitude?

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