A political blog about Bahamian politics in The Bahamas, Bahamian Politicans - and the entire Bahamas political lot. Bahamian Blogger Dennis Dames keeps you updated on the political news and views throughout the islands of The Bahamas without fear or favor.
Bahamian Politicians and the Bahamian Political Arena: Updates one Post at a time on Bahamas Politics and Bahamas Politicans.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
The Bahamas with 13 other CARICOM member states are suing Britain, Holland and France ...for slavery compensation payments ...Members have emphasised that genocide, slavery and colonialism ...had negatively impacted the Caribbean’s developmental path
THE Bahamas is one of a group of countries in the region suing Britain, Holland and France for slavery compensation payments.
The country is aligning itself with 13 other CARICOM member states demanding what could be hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations for slavery.
During a CARICOM (Caribbean Community) conference on ‘Regional Reparations’ in St Vincent and the Grenadines, a decision was made to pursue legal action against the former colonial powers.
CARICOM has hired the British law firm Leigh Day, which recently won compensation for hundreds of Kenyans tortured by the British colonial government during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s.
CARICOM has not specified how much money it is seeking but Britain paid slave owners £20 million when it abolished slavery in 1834, which would be the equivalent of £200 billion today, or $318 billion.
Fred Mitchell, Foreign Affairs Minister, said yesterday: “We haven’t defined a position beyond the general position taken at the last CARICOM meeting. We weren’t represented there. However, whatever was the decision that came out of the last meeting, that would represent our position.”
Speakers at the conference in St Vincent and the Grenadines emphasised that genocide, slavery and colonialism had negatively impacted the Caribbean’s developmental path.
A communiqué released at the end of the conference said the goal of CARICOM’s Reparations Commission was to “establish the moral, ethical and legal case for the payment of reparations by the governments of all former colonial powers and the relevant institutions in those countries, to the nations and people of the Caribbean community for the crimes against humanity and native genocide, the Transatlantic slave trade and a racialised system of chattel slavery.”
Dr Ralph Gonsalves, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister, told a recent meeting in New York, where he was present for the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Debate: “When I take over the chairmanship of CARICOM in January I hope to get letters to Europe.
“We’re going for reparations because of state-sponsored genocide and state-sponsored slavery”, he added.