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Commentary: While Gonsalves is promoting reparations, the US, France and Britain want to strike Syria

Thursday, 12 September 2013 12:00 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

By Hudson George

Some people take a long time to understand the real world we are living in and others understand it very quickly. Those among us who have political motives and have a good understanding of the real world will always use their knowledge to make great success during their lifetime by misguiding others who admire them for various reasons that sometimes cannot be explained.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ activist role to get reparations for the enslavement of African people by European colonisers is just a big political stunt to make him more popular in the political limelight and to give false hope for black folks who think our former colonisers will pay us some kind of monies as compensation. Comrade Ralph cannot even influence the British to buy Windward Island bananas and sell the product on the European market, more or less, how can he influence them to pay us any reparations for slavery?

Intellectuals like Ralph Gonsalves know that, for various reasons, most black people do not read a lot educational books, except the holy Bible, after leaving school, so he thinks that he has a God given right to speak on our behalf. He thinks that we do not have qualified men and women within our various communities capable of analysing global issues. He seems to be underestimating black people’s ability to fight for our right.

However, there are black folks who have an understanding of global politics and they know full well that our former colonisers do not have any intention of paying us any money for the inhumane treatment our ancestors endured for centuries during slavery on the tobacco, cotton and sugar plantation in the Americas. For example, instead of France compensating Haiti for the enslavement of Africans they brought to Haiti as slaves, France demanded money from Haiti’s revolutionary government for taking their freedom by force of arms.

Presently, Britain, France and the United States are busy trying to expand their political interests in the Middle East with their superior military armies, as the civil war in Syria escalates. They do not have any time to pay attention to Comrade Ralph and his anti-imperialists and anti-colonial struggle. In addition, Comrade Ralph cannot explain to us what strategic plans he has to influence the former colonisers to compensate us.

Marcus Garvey had his Black Star Liner to take us back to Africa and that did not happen. We are still living in the Diaspora and we will be here for thousands of years to come.

With this present global crisis that is affecting both rich and poor countries, there is high unemployment in Europe and North America and black folks are the most affected wherever the unemployment rate is very high. For example, in Detroit, which is a populated black American city, more than half of the population migrated to other cities in the United States looking to find meaningful employment.

In addition, former colonial powers such as Spain and Portugal are being plagued with high unemployment. And due to the difficulties that citizens of those two countries are faced with, thousands of Portuguese are migrating to former colonies such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique, in the hope of finding employment opportunities. The Spaniards are migrating in their thousands to other European countries and South America. Therefore, it will be interesting to see where Spain and Portugal will get money to compensate us for slavery, if Ralph Gonsalves and his reparations movement champion the cause successfully.

Spain lost its colonial influence in the Americas when liberation movements in the various colonies challenged its domain in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the Spanish influence diminished, the United States began to spread its influence and take control of those former Spanish colonies with military invasions of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba. Presently, Puerto Rico still remains a colony of the United States. On the mainland of Central and South America, for many years the US administration infiltrated and organised military coups and supported friendly dictators for economic and political reasons.

The United States continues to have great political and military influence in the region and Britain, France and Holland continue hold on to some of their colonies. However, the effects of slavery and colonisation have become a part of our social living conditions in this part of the world and it is impossible for us to change them.

As black people in the Diaspora, we do not have the influence and resources to force our former colonisers to compensate us for the wrong things they did to our ancestors. As a matter of fact, our mentality and the way we govern our countries is more colonial than France, Britain and Holland presently. We have not made any changes in the English-speaking Caribbean countries. For example, the old British colonial rules are still implied within the laws and constitution, while the British have made changes to their laws and constitution.

In addition, the black population in Africa and the Diaspora is about one billion people, but not even one BLACK COUNTRY has a top vote in the United Nations Security Council to seek the interests of black people. However, France, Britain, United States, Russia, China have veto wielding powers rights in the UN Security Council.

Traditionally, Russia always opposes the United States, France and Britain, so it is expected that the reparations movement will get Russia's support. China’s role in global politics is all about trade and the Chinese will only support the movement, if it is the interest of continental African countries. It is no hidden secret that China wants good relationship with Africa because Africa is the richest continent in terms of natural resources and China wants to get piece of the African pie.

In conclusion, I personally believe that, even though the old method of slavery in the Caribbean has been abolished, the old colonial system is not defeated and will not be defeated in our time. Capitalism is still alive and kicking. The capitalists create global capitalism. There is no need for the rich industrialised counties to import slaves from Africa and indentured labourers from India and China anymore. With global capitalism as the new system for creating quick wealth for the very rich business people, all they have to do to make more and more profit is to set up their giant manufacturing companies in India, China and Singapore, where labour is cheap and nobody cares about workers’ rights.

But as Comrade Ralph pushes his reparations movement for black people in the Diaspora, the countries that are supposed to pay us reparations are getting ready to fight a new war in Syria.
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