Gonsalves’ open letter for help
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has sent an open letter to Caribbean people urging them to support his administration against attempts by foreign groups and individuals to “undermine” his government and the “sovereignty” of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The letter, sent to the editors of various Caribbean media organisations, claimed that over the past 11 months “foreign elements out of Britain and the United States of America have aligned themselves to the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) . . . in an insidious campaign of defamation . . .” .
Gonsalves, whose Unity Labour Party (ULP) is seeking a third consecutive term in government, said the latest campaign by two American consultants was to ask people both here and throughout the region to contribute $5 towards safeguarding democracy on the island.
“Their damning falsehood is that there is no democracy, no freedom and an absence of a guarantee of civil liberties in St Vincent and the Grenadines under the ULP government,” said the letter, which was also sent to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments.
Gonsalves said that the campaign indicated that he had aligned himself with Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez and as a result “should be removed from office”.
“They assert that they are doing what they could to give ‘the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines back the democracy they painfully miss and we feverishly cherish’.”
“What imperial, what colonial arrogance,” Gonsalves wrote, adding that it was his administration that had strengthened democracy and freedom in the country over the past few years.
“All this has been recognised by the governments of Britain and the USA, by the World Bank and by non-governmental bodies such as Freedom House Foundation and the Caribbean-Guyana Institute for Democracy, both based in the USA.”
Gonsalves said that what was occurring in his country should not be seen merely as an opposition party hiring foreign consultants to aid in conducting an election campaign.
“This has gone much further. It involves defaming the good name of St Vincent and the Grenadines, attempting to destabilise a democratically elected government and seeking to exercise foreign control of our country, its democratic institutions and people.”
Gonsalves said he was calling on his “brothers and sisters” in the Caribbean to show solidarity with his country “and to resist those from outside our region who defame us and who seek to control us”. (CMC)