Conversations with a Tyrant

Submitted by Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green

‘You don’t belong here comrade,’ you belong in Cuba, even Venezuela, not in Saint Vincent. You have devoted so much time and energy and given SVGs political support to others at the UN and elsewhere that we in SVG disprove of, leaving us feeling neglected and second class to those countries. You really should consider living where you choose, but Saint Vincent should not be on the list.

When your ancestors came to Saint Vincent, they came because they were invited to fill the jobs previously held by slaves. The planters did not want to employ the ex-slaves, mainly out of spite. But in many cases ex-slaves did not want to work for their old masters, perhaps they were the majority.

In the Portuguese island of Madeira, people were starving due to an ongoing famine, with harvest and crop failures for several years. Agents for the Caribbean planters came and those Madeirans that wanted to emigrate or work for a period in the Caribbean were enlisted. The enlistment required entering into contracts, and the contractual system was called Indentured Labour, which was a legal contract binding the Madeirans into the service of a planter for a specified time, with specific terms. At the end of their contract they had the right free passage back to their original homeland. Entering into the Indenture contract was a free choice by the Portuguese Madeirans; they chose to try and find a better life where there were no food shortages.

Mid-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Portuguese migration from the Madeiran archipelago to the Caribbean, while not unique to the Commonwealth Caribbean, is a phenomenon crucial to St. Vincent, and other British and French territories. After Guyana, St. Vincent was the single most important destination for Madeiran migrants in the 19th century.

After the Madeirans signed up to travel to Saint Vincent, they travelled to Southampton in England, from there they were carried to Saint Vincent on well-equipped ships to Kingstown, Saint Vincent. The ships had cabins for the families and larger rooms for groups of men only. Onboard ship was a surgery manned by a qualified doctor and nursing staff. The immigrants were fed, and well looked after, the same amenities that a fare-paying passenger would receive.

Now, comrade, I know in the past you and others have tried to equate Indentureship to slavery, and the ships that the Portuguese arrived in, to slave ships. But in the original slave ships Africans were manacled, chained, tied down on a bare wooden deck where they had little option to pee and poo where they laid. It ran all over those around them. They were laying like that until the ship’s sailors throw buckets of ice-cold seawater over them to wash them down. The Tight Pack method involved packing as many slaves into the hold as possible. It was expected that some would die, but a large number would survive the voyage. A ship’s hold was cramped – only five feet high, with a shelf running around the edge to carry more slaves. The slaves were loaded in so close together that one captain described them as being ‘like books on a shelf’.

Many died, and many suffered mental anguish for the rest of their days. They had been brutally captured and sold into slavery by other Africans, kept in pens and prisons in forts and barracoons on the West Africa coast by their African captors, then sold to foreigners, slave traders of every nationality.

Then you comrade insult the memory of every slave transported in this way by claiming the Portuguese suffered the same fate as the Africans. But the insult does not rest with the ancestors, it is an assault of, and an insult to every black person in SVG today whose ancestors were slaves.

Now you have joined us at the hip with the Cubans who are mainly white and disrespect black people on their island, blacks there have few if no jobs, third rate living conditions, and are third-class citizens.

Telling us that you, a white man, are the blackest prime minister in the Caribbean, making nasty remarks about black citizens, making racist statements against Arnhim Eustace. The lack of respect, the failure to know your place makes it obvious you do not belong here comrade, you belong among like-minded people in Cuba or Venezuela.

Now is the time comrade, it is time to consider leaving SVG, let the people live a better life under a new government which is uninfluenced by you, your family, or your organized dynasty.

SVG is not your family plantation; you are not the great white planter, you are not going to be allowed to use the mental form of the bullwhip on the minds of poor innocent and ignorant black Vincentians any more. It is over; it is over!

Many people have suffered under your rule, even if you did not carry out or plan the atrocities yourself, it has happened under your watch, and I believe you could have stopped it.

People have had their property, their family land, seemingly unfairly compulsorily purchased, then in some cases to remain unpaid for numerous years. Businesspeople raided by police with sometimes falsely obtained search warrants as a form of spiteful harassment.

People like Bigger Bigs had their business destroyed with the loss of lots of jobs for poor Vincentians.

You have had accusations against you of rape and sexual assault, of having a Swiss bank account containing $19 million US dollars. Yet nothing prosecuted or evidenced to the people that you are innocent of such accusations: no court cases, no satisfaction for the people in general, and your accusers in particular. Not that I am saying you are guilty of anything, but you have had the opportunity to clear yourself of all the accusations in court, but it has never happened. It would rightfully or wrongly appear that you have fought not go before any court on any of the matters. Which is a strange procedural action for an innocent man to adopt.

Remember when you said this comrade? Castro is the greatest man to walk the face of the Earth [a blasphemous insult to Lord Jesus]. Well, the opportunity is there now for you go and live in Cuba or go and join Fidel Castro.

There is extraordinarily little democracy left in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the State has become a dark place, and democracy dies in darkness.

18 thoughts on “Conversations with a Tyrant

  1. Much of the writer’s arguments are reasonable, within contexts.

    Indeed, the Protuguese as the originators of this period of slavery, colonialism, imperialism, racism and capitalism largely established some right of “red” people’s rulership in the Caribbean. A cultural construct which bedevils us to this day.

    And as much as we respected Fidel Castro, Tom Adams and Michael Manley they too were central to that vicious ethos.

    The time of a reckoning has come!

  2. Nobody should be office for so long! Even good men are in danger of becoming corrupt after so long.

    Don’t know enough about the Vincentian situation. There seems to be no real connection between our people these days. I remember better days.

    I remember feeling the pain of Grenada, Trinidad and Jamaica during their political strife.

    I miss that feeling. Has it gone away with the success of the WI cricket team?

    I wish the Vincentians a new prime minister whose name does not rhyme with Bonsalves.

  3. “Now, comrade, I know in the past you and others have tried to equate Indentureship to slavery, and the ships that the Portuguese arrived in, to slave ships.”

    frauds always try to change the narrative and rewrite history to promote their CORRUPT AGENDAS against Black/African populations….portugues are murderous, RAPING, GENOCIDAL SAVAGES…and so are ALL their descendants…

  4. St. Vincent And The Grenadines


    There is always a point in time when someone says ,”Enough is Enough”. Let us hope that it will not be too disruptive and accompanied by an avalanche of collateral damage.

    Ralph Gonsalves

    Originally those who listened, respected him for his intellectual insight and generosity?

    The natives have doubts that the upcoming elections will be partial.

    Formally ask the international community to monitor the process via UN observers ?

    If they are denied access you know what that entails???????

  5. Some strong language from Gonsales as he stumps.

    Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, on Saturday, restated his claim that supporters of citizenship by investment are financing the main opposition New Democratic Party’s campaign.

    And using language that in local parlance is often interpreted as threatening, Gonsalves said that if these alleged financiers set foot in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, they would not leave.

    “I tell you, the NDP campaign is controlled, paid for and run by foreigners based in Switzerland and in Hong Kong. Run by passport sellers. They hire the successor to SCL to try to steal up the mind of Vincentians,” Gonsalves told party supporters in Georgetown at the opening of his campaign headquarters for North Central Windward, which he has been representing in Parliament since 1994.

  6. @ David BU

    People will continue to vote for party, personalities or both.

    The introduction of ‘term limits’ will only solve the problem of one man being prime minster for several terms, but not the political party.

  7. @ David BU

    I agree. Term limits and the right of constituents to recall their representatives are ‘steps in the right direction.’

    I could understand some Vincentians suffering from ‘Gonsalves fatigue’….or some Dominicans, ‘Skerritt fatigue,’ after all, he has been PM since 2004. There was a time when Antigua was called ‘Bird Land.’

    Sir John Compton (Vincentian by birth) of St. Lucia enjoyed the support of successive generations. He was Premier of SLU for a week short of 12 years, from 1967 to 1979 and PM for 5 months in 1979; 13½ as PM, from 1982 to 1996; and finally from December 11, 2006 until his death on September 7, 2007.

    I’ve heard the argument being advanced Barbadians shouldn’t have voted in such a manner to allow the BLP to win all 30 seats. Pray tell, unless voters collaborated on election day, there isn’t anything that could be done to have prevented it….. or prevent it from reoccurring.

    Despite ‘Jolly’ Green’s weekly tirades against Gonsalves, whether he uses the ‘Searchlight,’ ‘The Vincentian,’ I-Witness News’ or BU, it seems as though the ‘Comrade’ is well loved in SVG. Judging from the crowds and yellow ‘T’ shirts seen at political meetings, especially in Sion Hill, during the last elections and people singing ‘we pressing gas,’ I thought New Democratic Party would have won and Arnhim Eustace the PM.

  8. Browne is asking barbados govt to help pay severance pay to Liat Workers
    He should not hold his breathe cause barbados govt having a hard time paying national Insurance to workers

  9. @ Mariposa

    But the government of Barbados gave him its 49 per cent shares in the company. Can someone tell Browne where to go?

  10. Gonsalves brings basket of ‘goodies’
    KINGSTOWN – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves yesterday outlined a series of promises, some new, to the nation, as St Vincent and the Grenadines celebrated its 41st anniversary of political independence from Britain, days before voters elect a new government on November 5.
    Amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a relatively small crowd turned out at Victoria Park to witness the military parade in celebration of the event.
    As has been the norm in recent years, Gonsalves used the occasion to announce a series of “goodies” for the citizens.
    “First, as of January 1, 2021, provision will be made in our budget to ensure the appointment of all public servants who are university graduates, as we have been doing year by year for all the graduate teachers. This initiative will benefit directly over 100 persons,” he said.
    The prime minister said that from January next year, all people employed in the public service as temporary workers would be appointed permanently, so long as they had the entry qualifications for the position.
    “This is a complicated but just exercise. It is the right thing to do and it will be done,” he said, adding that his government had “recognised that a wrong, of sorts, was done to some former nursing assistants who retired before October 27, 2005, when nursing assistants were accorded pensionable status.
    Pensions coming
    “I am correcting this. Thus all former nursing assistants, who retired before October 27, 2005, will begin to receive their pension from the Consolidated Fund in accord with an effective date January, 1, 2021. The pandemic of COVID-19 has brought this vexing matter to the fore.”
    Gonsalves also announced that those on public assistance (welfare) would receive
    an increase of EC$25 in their monthly payments, beginning January.
    “Those under 65 years, who currently receive EC$250 monthly, will receive EC$275 and those 65 years and over will have their public assistance rise from EC$275 to EC$300 monthly. This is in keeping with our government’s policy to strengthen the social safety net for the poor and the elderly.”
    He also restated his government’s policy that 600 people who were added to a special COVID-19 list for an EC$200 monthly payment up to the end of December 2020, would be made permanent on the public assistance list from January 2021.
    The prime minister also announced that 15 000 eight-inch table computers would arrive in the country today for students and teachers, as well as naming three new sports ambassadors and four cultural ambassadors.

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