PM Skerrit among regional leaders and organizations to condemn attack on St. Vincent PM

Various Caribbean leaders and authoritative bodies have spoken out against the recent violent attack on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who was injured by a demonstrator during a protest in his country last week.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, one of the latest leaders to denounce the attack, said in a live radio interview aired on DBS Radio and Kairi FM on Sunday August 8, 2021, that such behavior must be condemned from all sides.

Gonsalves was struck with an object in the head while making his way back to parliament in Kingstown on Thursday August 5, 2021. Bleeding profusely, he was rushed to the hospital and then flown to Barbados that same evening for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or head scan.

Fifty-six-year-old female vendor Anna May Lewis was arrested and charged with wounding in connection with the incident. She has since been bailed in the sum of $3,000.

“Clearly the person who sent this projectile intended to harm the prime minister. Every right thinking citizen of this Caribbean and this world should condemn such violence on anybody, whether it is a prime minister or an ordinary citizen,” Skerrit said.

He warned that while everyone has a right to protest, the law must be adhered to.

“Politicians must understand that debate can’t be won by violence. Debates have to be won based on your argument, on your point [and] on your ability to research and to articulate your point in the parliament. That’s what democracy is about. And politicians these days, when they believe they cannot win the battle [and] they cannot win by the polls, [or] they cannot win the debate in the parliament they want to resort to violence and every one of us must condemn this,” he stated.

“We’ve always maintained that people have a right to protest but your right to protest should not be a justification for your action of disobeying the law and causing harm to an individual and everybody must condemn this action…” he also said.

Skerrit took the opportunity to lash back at politicians whom he said are “glorifying” the violent incident instead of taking a stance against it.

“I mean, are we that uncivilized? Are we that desperate to be in power… they believe that is by violence that they can get into government?” he asked.

According to Skerrit, doctors have indicated that had the projectile hit Gonsalves a bit lower on the head, he could have been dead.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has issued a statement further condemning the attack “in the strongest terms.”

The organization said, “This reprehensible act is an affront to our democratic principles and practices. The conduct of peaceful protest is a fundamental civil and political right that represents a healthy element of our democracy. Its degeneration into violence and physical assault must be denounced unreservedly.”

Calling for peace and calm, CARICOM wished Gonsalves a speedy recovery and said that it looks forward to the perpetrator of this “aggressive act” being brought to justice.

The Christian Council in St. Vincent also lent its voice saying it was concerned about the recent development.

It said that while democracy allows for the freedom of expression, this freedom brings with it personal and social responsibility.

The council said that such an incident indicates an intolerance of divergent views opinions and positions, and added that it abhors violence and urged those who choose to protest to do so peacefully and responsibly.

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Chairman Dr. Keith Mitchel labelled the attack as heartbreaking and said it was not a true representation “of our true nature as Caribbean people, for this is not how we settle differences, political and otherwise.”

“Within the OECS, we strongly uphold the tenets of democracy and the right of citizens to protest and to have their voices heard, but to do so peacefully and in accordance with the law. The OECS Authority unequivocally condemns the use of violence of any kind and any expressions of protest, such as the burning of police barriers in the street, as was witnessed in St. Vincent on Thursday,” he said in a statement.

The OECS authority also called on the opposition forces to “unambiguously disassociate themselves from such anarchistic acts and to encourage supporters to keep their protest within the ambits of the law.”

Similar sentiments have been echoed by various other country leaders including Anguilla and Montserrat.

“As Caribbean nations we are interrelated, interconnected and mutually vulnerable to what grows when the roots of violence are allowed to spread.  We cannot afford for such to happen, if not for ourselves for the generations looking on,” Anguilla’s Prime Minister Ellis Webster said.

Montserrat’s Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph E. Farrell said that violence and personal assaults have no place in Caribbean politics.

He maintains “that there can be no compromise on this front as such acts of violence are a threat to national security and do not in any way help our democracies.”

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21 Comments

  1. August 12, 2021

    I sincerely apologize to % & Ibo France. It was not intentional but, I should be more professional and intelligent in my approach.

  2. August 12, 2021

    @ Ibo France, I give up. Thanks for your advice. I wish % well in all his endeavours.

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 11, 2021

    Citizens of the Caribbean, and the rest of the world should not condemned any actions, violent or otherwise taken against the corrupted politicians, across the Caribbean.

    People do get tired; and when frustration sets in; they get angry, and snap!

    The Gonzales’ and Roosevelt’s are shaking, urinating, and defecating in their shoe!

    Because Gonzales recently won an election in St. Vincent does not mean he is loved by the entire population, the same thing applies to Dominica where elections are bought and paid for.

    There is something some need to know; most of the time the abuse victims usually cleave to the abuser, that is what has happened in Dominica and St. Vincent, it is not love for the corrupted Roosevelt.

    “President Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government. Compiled and edited by Eyler Robert Coates:

    Sr. “A Little Rebellion Now and Then is a Good Thing: A Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison.” Early America Review.”
    Gonzales getting his…

  4. LifeandDeath
    August 11, 2021

    They fail to see the symbolism in the burst head and blood stained shirt. Although Ralph looks pensive (shocked, more likely) in that picture he, like many of the other Caribbean leaders including Skerrit are devoid of vision, consumed and deceived by their very own in vindictiveness and Glutton.
    Their modus operandi is to continue to play with the emotions of the people while they enrich themselves. How many citizens have suffered much more from the arrogance and poor management style of these mis-leaders? Who are they fooling to come talk like they hold some high level of esteem and respect?
    There is a lesson in the burst head and the blood stained shirt!!..#wakeup #takenote.

  5. Jonathan Y St Jean
    August 11, 2021

    Is Skerritt implying that the woman who threw the projectile is a politician or that some politician directed her to throw it at Gonsalves? What a rediculous statement for him to want to rebuke opposition politicians for the misguided actions of one individual. Why hasn’t he painted with such a broad brush regrading the behavior of the few misguided police who killed Slobbie. He knows it was not the entire body of the police force who are responsible for that atrocity, so why does he go there when one person acts crazy and hurts Gonsalves. He should exhort his Caribbean colleagues to act with wisdom and not provoke angry citizens by seeking to walk through a crowd protesting against a law which they find infringes upon their rights. This crop of leaders in the region are using the police to repress the rights of citizens who don’t agree with them and this needs to stop. Nothing wrong with safely burning things to dramatize disagreement, it happens all over the world.

  6. MI17
    August 11, 2021

    You can condemn as much as you want, its like the fox who condemns the hunter whose fowl he killed. All you guys will pay for all your dead…

  7. Ibo France
    August 10, 2021

    Comrade Ralph, the man with the Hitler moustache and the Apex Dunce in Dominica have proven that:
    *Politics and Honesty are eternal enemies
    *Politics and Lies are identical twins
    *Politics and Selfishness are bosom friends
    *Politics and Empathy are fierce rivals
    *Politics and Corruption are an inseparable couple
    *Politics and Self-enrichment are bedfellows

    Politics changes a man with honorable intentions to an egotistical, villainous, unloving infidel.

  8. Jonathan Y St Jean
    August 10, 2021

    What level of leadership did Gonsalves display when he decided to get out of his vehicle and walk through a crowd protesting against his proposed legislation? It reveals a pig headedness and arrogance by a moronic leader. Ralph Gonsalves got what he deserved. Where were the voices of the other leaders and the regional bodies when Salisbury residents were tear gassed in their beds by OECS power hungry military wannabe types? This cult of like-minded thinking politicians and technocrats who they have put to staff these organizations to help them achieve their misguided missions of riding roughshod over a majority of their citizens, deserve nothing but scorn. None of them expressed an opinion on the issue of forcing people to take a vaccines which only have emergency use authorization and have not been fully approved yet. We will look back and realize that this period of our history is a troubling and backwards looking one for governance. Gonsalves bears blame too.

  9. Talking in tongues
    August 10, 2021

    I too agree with PM Skerrit because in Dominica we must go all the way and make it to the finish line. Is only when we get to the finish line we are true winners

  10. Mag way ca
    August 10, 2021

    Uncle take a lesson from that. People won’t accept nonsense for much longer. Don’t try to force people to take anything they don’t want to . People will object and u won’t like the outcome

  11. %
    August 10, 2021

    Caricom has condemned the attack on Gonzales??? OMG!!!
    What a disgraceful grouping Caricom is..This same grouping (Caricom) knew that Jovenel Moise was a dictator, plundering the wealth of Haiti, his police and special gangs were killing opposition supporters, kidnapping was going out of style. As a member of Caricom those atrocities were never condemned by Caricom. Caricom knew of the alleged kidnapping of Choksi, and the two countries, Dominica and Antigua allegedly invoved. Caricom knew there was no place for RSS in Dominica on the eve of the 2019 general elections. Caricom knows about the dictatotial tendencies of Skerrit, Gonzales,etc. Caricom knows that in both St Vincent and Dominica most of their important institutions of state are dysfunctional..
    So CARICOM is a big farce. A boys club, serving themselves, not the people. SHAME ON CARICOM!!!
    Do you know its Gaston that’s the present chair of Caricom..OMG!!!
    😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄�

    • August 11, 2021

      Did you apply to head one of the dysfunctional Institutions and you were rejected? I am not surprised. You probably would not know where to start.

  12. Die Hard Dominique
    August 10, 2021

    :lol: :lol: :lol: Skeritt said that? WOW!!! What is worse Mr. “AM” I mean PM? A little burst head? (well deserved) or to tear gas men, women and children in the wee hours of the morning while they slept?? This guy Skeritt, is unbelievably evil and has no qualities of any kind of a leader. What a deplorable human “bean head.” You have no shame, no dignity, no human decency, no morals, no qualifications for the post you cheat to keep, no remorse for the evils you continue to Demon – strate, no intellect for reasoning and understanding, no manners, no guilt for cheating the poor people and country….you will find no pardon down here, up there, or nowhere. You are a lost soul. My name is: Die hard Dominique, and I approve this message.

  13. Ibo France
    August 10, 2021

    I don’t condone the physical attack on Comrade Ralph. However, we should use discernment, at all times, especially in volatile situations.

    I didn’t read all of Skerrit’s statement on this issue. I knew he would want his five (5) minutes of attention in the media. Can’t take his smelly cow pie. These roguish occupants of the highest office of government ( Gaston, Roosevelt and Comrade Ralph) blame the Opposition in their countries for everything wrong., even for the bad weather.

    In any incident, I don’t focus on the main issue alone. I also look at the peripheral issues. Why would Comrade Raphie choose to walk through a sea of very livid protesters? No intelligent person would even attempt such. Many people conflate education with intelligence. They are not the same. That was not an intelligent thing to do.

    You don’t deliberately walk into trouble. The sensible thing to do is to avoid it. I hope Comrade Ralph has learnt a valuable lesson from this unfortunate incident.

  14. RandyX
    August 10, 2021

    Skerrit, once you guys learn to behave in a way that is expected of leaders, then you might get some sympathy. You guys always forget that you got ‘elected’ to SERVE your country and not the other way round. By law you are required to account properly for state funds and state expenditures. How often have you been asked and reminded to do so? How often have you been asked to deliver fair and transparent elections? How often have you been asked to conduct yourself in a professional and law abiding manner in Parliament. How often have you been asked to refrain to use the police force in a manner that is at best questionable and at worst breaking the law? How often have you been asked not to interfere with court matters wether that be directly or indirectly? You see all these things I just mentioned should not have a place in Caribbean politics but unfortunately they do. With it comes violence eventually, when people feel they haven’t got a voice anymore or a being taken for a ride. Stop!

  15. %
    August 10, 2021

    Skerrit is by far the emptiest, duncest and most poorly lettered politician in the region. 99.999% of his speeches are confusing and directed to his base. He also butchers the english language. What the Vincentians are frustrated about is 20 years of Gonzales rule that have impoverished St Vincent, the missing hundreds of millions that they want, the lack of health care, the bribing at election times, etc,etc. In fact Gonzales is so wicked after 20years he still cannot trust healthcare in his own country. He is a corrupt politician like others in Antigua, Dominica, etc.
    His idiocy almost caused his death. Among charged up demonstrators be has impoverished, he wanted to walk amongst them???
    Political office must always be transient.. It’s only dishonest leaders who cheat, lie and steal rule for more than at least 2 terms..

    • August 10, 2021

      I am wondering whether you have a good command of the English language. I wonder what you mean by butchering the language? Did you take some remedial courses in English since you became an older person? Every Prime Minister today has impoverished their country. At least, that is the way % see it thru his lenses. They also cheat, lie, and steal – something % cannot do and will never do in the highest office of the land. Why? He simply does not possess what it takes to be a PM. All he gets is vicarious thrills out of watching and listening to Skerrit. He is a batiman.

      • %
        August 11, 2021

        Go read a book to enlighten yourself.
        It’s summer time!!!

        • August 11, 2021

          I still read a lot of Mills & Boons and Barbara Cartland. Should I change my books. Which ones do you suggest? Help your brother. I guess what you cant do for self, you cant turn no one else.

          • Ibo France
            August 11, 2021

            Why don’t you refrain from stalking %? Stalking is a crime. Your obsession with another man is unnatural. Go and stalk a member of the opposite sex. Stop harassing the man. He’s not that inclined.

            Only a dunce stalker (ds) would be fatally attracted to another person like you’re to %. Every statement the man makes you feel compelled to criticize because you compulsively yearn for his attention. Leave the man alone.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  16. Mike
    August 10, 2021

    Yes we too condemn violence on anyone whether its the PM or a garbage man. But one must ask the question, that is light of the death of the Haitian President what was Gonsalves doing walking into an angry protesting mob? That arrogance is jus too much knowing that people are hurting so much + Covid and more.
    Lessons anyone?

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