Guyana, Caribbean will continue to press Europe for apology, compensation – Granger

first_imgReparations for slaveryPresident David Granger on Sunday reassured local African leaders that Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean will continue to fight tooth and nail to get Europe to apologise to People of African descent for enslaving their foreparents, as he emphasised that the battle for compensation from Europe will continue unabated.President David GrangerIn 2013, Caribbean Community Heads of Government established the Caricom Reparations Commission (CRC) with a mandate to prepare the case for reparatory justice for the Region’s indigenous and African descendant communities who are victims of Crimes Against Humanity (CAH) in the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading and racial apartheid.In March 2014, the leaders endorsed a Ten-point Action Plan for Reparatory Justice which is being used as the basis for discussions on reparations.Addressing the opening of Cuffy250’s 4th Annual State of the African Guyanese Forum at the Critchlow Labour College Sunday morning, President Granger said while Britain has apologised to the Mao Maos for torture, and Germany to the Jews for the Holocaust, Guyana and other Caribbean countries would continue to press for Europe to apologise and compensate people of African descent for slavery.“This is a hard thing and the Caribbean governments are insisting on an apology because a crime has been committed and they must say we are sorry,” he said.The Guyanese leader, a trained historian also reminded that the United Nations-designated International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) creates the ideal opportunity more than ever for Guyana and its Caribbean counterparts to take the fight for repatriation head on. However, he warned that “the clock is ticking” with already 20 months lost since the UN declaration. The President therefore urged that the remaining 100 months be utilised wisely.The Decade is expected to be used by former colonies to press Europe for an apology and compensation from for the inhumane and criminal act of slavery, provision of education, provision of jobs and the promotion of equality, and an end to discrimination.“We have to make the decade work for the people of African descent,” the President declared, adding that, “We have an obligation just as our illiterate foreparents 178 years ago saw the benefits of education, we their educated descendants, then to ensure that every single child goes to school and stays in school.”He also urged the African leaders to mobilise themselves to achieve specific, measurable targets.“I ask that some forum be created so that nobody will be left out, everyone could feel involved, everyone could be consulted if we are to achieve the objectives of this International Decade (of People of African Descent),” he said.Then UK Prime Minister David Cameron who visited Jamaica earlier this year had declared that he does not believe reparations or apologies for slavery are the right approach.However his successor Theresa May has not yet made her position known on this particular issue.Turning his attention to home, Granger said ethnic discrimination and lack of equal access to public services contribute to inequality, adding that people of African descent have in the past alleged such acts of discrimination in the public and private sectors.“There is evidence that there was discrimination. We must now correct that situation because discrimination against anyone promotes insecurity and social exclusion and that can lead to disorder,” the president said.last_img read more