President Anthony Carmona: Pay for slavery

By Sean Douglas
August 01, 2017 – newsday.co.tt

President Anthony CarmonaPRESIDENT Anthony Carmona yesterday publicly supported a call to have European governments, whose countries benefited from slavery in the West Indies, to pay reparations to the descendants of African slaves.

In his Emancipation Day message, Carmona said TT should support the efforts of Caricom governments as expressed by Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the Caricom Reparations Commission, in an address to the British House of Commons on July 16, 2014.

Carmona quoted Sir Hilary’s address, saying, “That the Government of Great Britain and other European States that were the beneficiaries of enrichment from the enslavement of African people, the genocide of the indigenous communities and the deceptive breach of contract and trust in respect of East Indians and other Asians brought to the plantations under indenture, have a case to answer in respect of reparatory justice.” “As a former judge and a firm believer in reparatory justice, I am of the view that as we celebrate Emancipation Day 2017, we must examine affirmatively the case for reparations as adopted by Caricom Governments and advocated by Sir Hilary and other spokespersons.

“We in TT must view the call for reparations in the context of the duty we owe to our forefathers who made the ultimate sacrifice and whose contribution to our present well-being must be recognized in a world which now accepts that compensation and reparation are prerequisites in the dispensation of justice.” Carmona recalled that the United Nations in 2007, declared March 25 as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

“I wish to call on all citizens to take time out during the Emancipation Holiday to focus on their life’s journey: from whence they started, where they consider themselves to have reached and what is to be their life’s achievement.” Carmona said, “Emancipation Day must therefore, be a moment of regeneration, to renew in our lives a purposefulness to lead a life of quality, of sustainable ambition, independence, personal self-worth and vision.” He hailed those who laboured for Emancipation Day to be named a public holiday, as he referred to the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) and the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC).

Source: www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,247114.html

5 Responses to “President Anthony Carmona: Pay for slavery”


  • The slave trade was an abuse and racist inclined towards the African people. Would the colonialists acknowledge the extent and own up to this crime? This article may help in digesting the approach to bring about reparations: https://www.hrw.org/legacy/english/docs/2001/07/19/global285.htm

  • Wishing the African brothers and sisters a very special and auspicious occasion of Emancipation Day that should open up new vistas and horizons worthy of exploration and appreciation as you chart the way forward to a new janaam of even greater successes to the benefit of the heritage carved open by ancestry worthy of remembrance and adoration for conquering adversity and paving the way for universal recognition and praise per ardua ad astra.

  • Carmona quoted Sir Hilary’s address, saying, “That the Government of Great Britain and other European States that were the beneficiaries of enrichment from the enslavement of African people, the genocide of the indigenous communities and the deceptive breach of contract and trust in respect of East Indians and other Asians brought to the plantations under indenture, have a case to answer in respect of reparatory justice.
    I have never come across any statement made by any East Indian leader calling for the issuance of a claim for reparation for the injustice spawned by the indenture system. His Excellency may wish to tread more carefully and indeed more diplomatically in including the Indian diaspora in the Caribbean in any reparation litigation without having themselves articulated any position on this matter firstly and then providing the bases for making such claim for reparation.

  • The slaves had 45 years to pillage the treasury. What more do they want? Over $200 billion passed through their hands. So much so that slave owner Eric boasted “money is no problem”. Funding Burnham racist and oppressive regime with over $500 million US in oil credits and giving the Jamaicans over $300 million US similarly. None a cent paid back.

    Slavery in Trinidad was about 50 years. That is no significant time for them to start making repatriation demands. Other parts it was over 200 years. Certainly deserving.
    The majority of the slaves were not from Africa but from Barbados and America. And it was not too bad here.

    The British rescued these slaves to create a nation far better than any African nation. For that alone we should be thankful. Instead of making all these demands Africans should be thankful. And to show that gratitude stop the killings.

  • Slavery still exist today in Trinidad. It exist in human trafficking where young girls are sold to the highest bidder. It exist in the Chinese Labour force where the Chinese mafia bring labourers and business operator here, where they are slaves until they repay vast sums of money. Often their family is under severe threat. It exist in the brothels of TNT increasingly as girls are promised jobs then moved into brotels to serve the lust of men. Columbians, Dominican Republican, Venezuelans, Guyanese are engage in a massive underground economy protected by the TNT police. Slavery right in the republic. It exist in the drug trade where young men once they get in the only way out is by a bullet. Yes drug mules are slaves they live under the fear of death everyday.

    Whilst slavery ended to better define it is to say one form of slavery ended. The end of servitude to the British crown signaled a new form of slavery. Apart from the afore mentioned, the worst form of slavery came about in the form of “mental slavery”. This slavery still exist today. We see it in the way people behave, treating their own with contempt whilst obeying the Massa. The best way to treat this kind is to lay burdens on them and crack the whip. The more you abuse them, the more they will love you. The present administration understands that, not a dog bark since 2015 but prior to that everyday it seems there was a protest of some kind. One union leader amusingly got so confused when he mentioned massa, the poor man almost bite his tongue. Give he nuttin and he will love you.

    Stop the mental slavery and free yourself or die as a slave!

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