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£76 billion reparation to descendants of slaves: UWI Vice Chancellor

By JIS

Sir Hilary Beckles

(JIS) — Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has renewed the call for reparations valuing £76 billion be paid to the descendants of enslaved people of the Caribbean by former European slave-trading nation, Britain.

“The £20 million that they paid to the slave owners should have been paid to the enslaved. We have to make a claim to that money. We have an entitlement to that £20 million that was paid in 1834 (which) today values £76 billion,” he said.

Professor Beckles made the call while speaking on the topic ‘Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence, Reparatory Justice: A 21st Century Paradigm for Economic Growth’ at a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, yesterday.

The professor, who is also chair of the CARICOM Reparation Commission, further suggested that the Caribbean’s bilateral debt should be offset against the £76 billion.

He argued that the entire Caribbean domestic debt should be capitalised and turned into a grant for social investment in democracy development.

“In other words, the British left us to clean up the mess. When Jamaica became independent, 70 per cent of the Jamaican people could not read or write. They became independent and yet three quarters of them could not read or write and the British said go and develop,” he said.

Beckles informed that this resulted in massive illiteracy, little or no infrastructure, among other things.

“The result is that the Government of Jamaica, like other governments, had to spend millions and billions of dollars to build schools and health systems and that is one of the social democracies that have to be repaid,” he said.

Furthermore, Professor Beckles is calling for the creation of a Caribbean Sustainability Fund. “We need a fund, a Marshall Plan to help to clean up this mess that we inherited, that we have been trying to clean up; but we cannot do it by ourselves, because we did not create it, and despite our best efforts, it is overwhelming us,” he said.

“Britain needs to be brought to the table to discuss the process of reparation, and if we can take this conversation to the higher level and make these demands… then these should become the basis of a summit,” he said.

 

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8 comments

  1. That does not mean that millions are not illiterate in those developed countries. Beckles said that they said with most of the population "go develop yourselves." those countries also had mass illiteracy. What was and is still lacking in the Caribbean is leadership and discipline. Many other States which were enslaved and colonized have flourishing economies today. Look at our discipline with spending public monies its a situation where we know that we don't have much and we depend very much on foreign aid. Yet look how we waste the very little that we are able to source. Is it now because we are broke that we bring up this argument?

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  2. Shult has displayed total ignorance of the African continent and it's people. No doubt he has accepted the propaganda that has been fed to us all about Africa. He is yet to free his mind from mental slavery.

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  3. We should all be thankful that we were transported to this land by our slave-ship saviors. Imagine still living in that $hit-hole called Africa. Look up Somalia, and Sudan, and you'll know what I mean. We owe the slave ships money for thefare ride over.

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  4. In the same breath you may want to sue the blacks for selling their own too

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  5. That very true professor that's why we remain as enslaved as we are today the fight against the black. Those people stole a lot from us even our history. They even made us lose our identity to keep us enslaved, and you know today we face the worst part of enslavement. Its mental enslavement we face. My fellow brothers and sisters we need to start fighting for whats ours educate yourselves Read watch documentaries (hiddden colors) Economic hitman ect... Theres so much out there ...

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  6. Bravo bout tht wz start tlking bout tht ...dah sucks us dry took everthing n left use to suffer ...also they should return the stollen gold n the queens should not have no queen chain .... 100%..fake indépendant ..

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  7. A great voice ,

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  8. Move forward

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