PM Skerrit with the Barbados leader

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has called on those responsible, to stop the verbal attacks leveled at Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados following the relocation of the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) to that country.

“I wish to call on all who are accountable, to cease and desist from the unwarranted verbal attacks on the Government and Prime Minister of Barbados and by extension on all Barbadians. The decision to relocate to Barbados was a decision taken solely by Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM),” the prime minister said in a statement issued today (Saturday 11, 2018). “The relationship between Barbados and Dominica is longstanding and amicable. The people and Government of Barbados have always stood with us both in good times and most recently in difficult times.”

Mia Mottley has come under fire by her own Barbadian people and some across the region, for “poaching” RUSM from Dominica, forcing her to issue a response in which she stated that “the hands of the Barbados Government are clean in this matter.”

One of her harshest critics has been Herbert Volney, former Supreme Court Justice of Trinidad, who has Dominican and St. Lucian parentage. In an article published on August 6, in Caribbean News Now, Volney condemned Mottley’s decision for allowing her country, according to him, to be used as a pawn of imperialist capital for maximization of profit for Adtalem. He labelled Mottley’s move as “cruel and a declaration of war against Dominica adding, “It runs against the grain of everything that is CARICOM.” Seeking to stop the move, the former supreme court justice sent a public letter to Caricom asking for intervention in the matter.

But in her response, Mottley made it “absolutely clear” that Barbados came into the picture, only when, for Ross University, returning to Dominica for the start of the January semester in 2019, was not an option.

“This is not and has never been a case of poaching or enticing anyone away from Dominica,” the Barbados prime minister stated emphatically.

Prime Minister Skerrit, in the release, reminded Dominicans that Mia Mottley was part of the Barbados government that first assisted Dominica with a US$10 million loan on concessional terms in 2002 “when we were at the mercies of the IMF.” He recounted the tireless involvement of Ms. Mottley, then in opposition, in relief efforts for Dominica after Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria.

“I do not think it is right, neither do I support any attacks on Prime Minister Mottley and the Government of Barbados,” Skerrit declared. “I reiterate my call to all Dominicans, including those who support me, that these attacks are not in our best interests nor to our benefit. It is not the Dominican way. It is not who we are!”

The full release from Prime Minister Skerrit is posted below.

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