INO Podcast – To CARICOM and Beyond ft. Ambassador Comissiong – BLM, Response to Rex, CARICOM, BDS change to EC?

CARICOM Member states are still pursuing reparations from their former colonial masters.

This was made clear by Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong, as he participated in a recent podcast on the YouTube channel Information, Knowledge, Observation titled: To CARICOM and Beyond, BLM, Response to Rex, CARICOM, Barbados Change to EC?

Ambassador Comissiong explained to his hosts that CARICOM considered the call for reparations to be not just about making a financial contribution, but rather about facilitating development through health care, debt cancellation and cultural programmes, among others.

He added that reparations would not involve individuals, but rather target the national governments inclusive of their financial institutions, companies and universities, since they were the ones who benefitted from the proceeds of centuries of slavery.

“You [former colonies] committed a crime, you benefitted from that crime. You injured people as a result of that crime and you must not feel that you can simply walk away from the scene of that crime. So, we’re asking you to come back and to help repair some of that damage,” he explained.

He continued: “We now have a right to development and those countries that committed the crime and benefitted from syphoning off our resources [and] the fruits of our labour – they have a duty to facilitate our development.”

CARICOM established a Reparations Commission in 2013 to assiduously seek reparations for Native Genocide and African Enslavement, from the former colonial nations; the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. 

It has come up with a 10-point strategy that would see the former colonies assisting in socio-economic development of Member States.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

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