Sé que el tema de las reparaciones siguen siendo un tema incómodo para muchos pero como gobierno tenemos que afrontar la cuestión de la reparación”, dijo ayer el ministro de Cultura, Familia Juventud y Deporte, Stephen Lashley, en un acto por el Día de la Emancipación
“In order to complete [the] circle of economic freedom and the quest for political and economic enfranchisement … as a government, we have to confront the issue of reparation … this issue, as you know, remains an elusive quest for justice.”
This is the suggestion of Minister of Culture, Youth Family and Sport, Stephen Lashley, as he spoke at the end of the Emancipation Day Freedom Walk from the JTC Roundabout in Haggatt Hall – the site of the Emancipation Statue, to Independence Square in Bridgetown.
“I know the issue of reparations remain an uncomfortable subject for many. [That] may be because of what you perhaps were told. I will simply say reparations, within the context of the mission being pursued by the Commission for Pan African Affairs (CPAA), by the Task force on Reparation and by the government of Barbados, is to look squarely at the historic, social, economic and political wrongs which have been inflicted on our country by those who oppressed and suppressed our ancestors; and that we are on a mission to have those wrongs righted,” he told scores of participants in the event, which was also attended by British High Commissioner, Paul Brummell.
Lashley further noted that compensation for the drudgery of the slave trade and for enslavement remains a burning issue on the agenda and, unless purposeful dialogue and discussion on the issue is engaged, the issue will never go away.
“I can assure you that the way that we believe this ought to be addressed is a peaceful one. Once based on dialogue engagement, but one that will have a focus and a targeted agenda. Recently at the CARICOM Head of Government meeting, the leaders took what I believe to be one of the most important decision [that] will send strong signals not only to our respective communities across the globe but certainly one that ought to conjure up in our ancestors, a sense of pride and dignity that at the very highest level of our nations, our CARICOM heads have decided that the issue of reparations must be given a key priority.
“That decision is one that is historically gratifying and certainly
must speak to the strongest of those leaders within the pan African
community in Barbados and beyond.
You have walked a lonely road in my view in Barbados. The Rastafari
community in particular, who have been championing the cause of black
awareness within this country and beyond for many many years and we
have leaders in Barbados who have taken up the vanguard of Africanism
and black identity,” Lashley said.
He also revealed that Prime Minster, Freundel Stuart had been chosen
by his CARICOM counterparts to chair a regional task force on the
issue of Reparations.
“The decision established a region task force on reparations is part
of a journey that is in my view will never be completed unless we do
more within out Caribbean region to foster a sense of unity dignity
and pride, not as an isolated Caribbean countries, but as one.”