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Letter: Is the call for reparations in SVG fraudulent?
Published on August 14, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

I understand that some black Vincentians are being told by their political leaders that they can expect $200,000 each from reparations. That is a lie and downright dishonest, it's most doubtful that they will ever receive a red cent, and these politicians well know that.

Some leaders of Caribbean countries are calling for reparations, in the main this is political rhetoric, making those politicians attractive to the ignorant and to help keep them in power. The call for reparations in itself is a kind of slavery, an attempt to resell and revalue the past. Some of these leaders, the instigators, are white men leading black populations, men of Spanish and Portuguese descent; we must ask are they deceitful frauds and users of the ignorant and uneducated among the people. I ask this because they already know what I write about here, or should know. Who should reparations be paid to? Not to Africans in Africa, they were deeply engaged in the trade of shipping fellow Africans.

In 2009, the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria wrote an open letter to all African chieftains whose ancestors participated in the slave trade calling for an apology for their role in the Atlantic slave trade: "We cannot continue to blame the white men, as Africans, particularly the traditional rulers, are not blameless. In view of the fact that the Americans and Europe have accepted the cruelty of their roles and have forcefully apologised, it would be logical, reasonable and humbling if African traditional rulers accept blame and formally apologise to the descendants of the victims of their collaborative and exploitative slave trade."

Many perhaps even most of today’s descendant’s of African slaves are impure in bloodline, mixed with indigenous Indians, Europeans, East Indians, Portuguese and free African immigrants, therefore just who should receive reparations?

The Portuguese and Spanish were responsible for destroying the indigenous peoples of the new found world. They killed them with overwork, brutality, slavery and European diseases, multi millions of the indigenous people perished, whole populations and nations disappeared. Almost as many indigenous Caribbean Indians died as were replaced by African slaves. The British tried to replace the Indians of the Caribbean and the Americas with white slaves, using prisoners, the poor, beggars, thieves, gypsies, captured military and political oppositionists, they shipped thousands from Scotland, Ireland and England. Then the Portuguese and Spanish introduced African slaves to replace those poor indigenous and white slave peoples who they wiped out. Other Europeans and in particular the English and French, joined the Portuguese and Spanish, joining with them and competing in the evil African slave trade. The Spanish and French were particularly wicked to their slaves, but so were many other nations.

Black African chiefs and kings sold black slaves to white traders, and white traders sold black and white slaves to plantations and mining conglomerates in the New World.

According to the writings of historian Walter Rodney, he estimated that by c.1770, "the African King of Dahomey was earning an estimated £250,000 per year by selling captive African soldiers and enslaved people to the European slave-traders".

Rodney was Gonsalves’ tutor in Jamaica, a Marxist-Leninist, was he telling the truth or was he telling lies. Can't ask him directly he has gone to great Marxist boneyard, he's dead, gone.

Social scientists agree that it is difficult if not impossible to reliably estimate the number of descendants of Africans in today's Caribbean, due to the process of cultural, ethnic and racial mixing.

Today’s black Vincentians are generally the descendent black Africans, with perhaps a very small mixture of Carib, but mainly mixed with European, ex African slave decedents and Kru African free men, the Kru who are most likely a close blood relation of today's Vincentian black population.

At the end of slavery many of the men just simply upped and left the island, some in fear of re-enslavement, some took better paid jobs in Trinidad and elsewhere. Most of these men abandoned their women in the villages and never returned.

With the ending of slavery in Saint Vincent and elsewhere, the planters needed labourers, most of the ex-slave men had left, the West India Committee started urging the British government to allow migration from the West African Kru Coast.

The Kru were generally a tall strong elegant and intelligent, powerful and proud race of West African people, who had proved difficult to capture in the times of the slave trade.

The Europeans discovered at a fairly early stage that the Kru did not make slaves, they were found to be totally unsuitable. Escaping at every opportunity, committing suicide sooner than being enslaved. The Europeans therefore found another way of using them in the slave trade.

The Kru became active participants in the slave trade, capturing and trading Africans of other tribes. Eventually they became involved in general trading with Europeans.

Kru traders became engaged in a surprising form of trade. Kru traders and their canoes would be taken on board European ships and would engage in trade on behalf of the Europeans along the West African coast, acting as a kind of on-board agent and translator. At some agreed upon point, the Kru traders and their canoes would be put off the ship and the traders would paddle back to their home territory, better off with some provisions, trinkets and tools.

The Kru were also great sailors, they were employed as crew on many European ships during the nineteenth century.

After the abolition of slavery Kru labourers left their territory to work on plantations and construction as paid labourers, some even worked building the Suez and Panama Canals and others migrated to the Caribbean as paid indentured labourers (free men) in places such as Saint Vincent.

The Kru, more than any of the other indentured immigrants to the West Indies, "felt themselves in a position to state terms" to their employers.

During 1840 Black African immigrants from Kru (Liberia) arrived to settle and work in St Vincent (about 1500 men).

More Africans from the Kru coast (present day Liberia) arrive in St Vincent in 1841 as indentured labour. These workers were free to leave St Vincent as soon as their indenture contracts expired, most stayed.

In 1860 ship ’Tartar’ arrived in Saint Vincent carrying 600 free African men, Kru (Kroo) and Sierra Leone Africans, immigrant workers from the West Coast of the African continent, having boarded ship and departed from the Island of St. Helena. The cost of passage was £9 per head for passengers above 12 years.

The ship “Akbar” arrived in Saint Vincent in 1861 carrying about 527 African free men, Kru (Kroo) and Sierra Leone Africans. Immigrant workers from the West Coast of the African continent, having been loaded and departed from the island of St Helena. The cost of passage was £9 per head for passengers above 12 years old.

A ship named ‘Castle Howard’ landed 14 Kru African men, and East Indians immigrants in 1862 at Kingstown, St Vincent. The Africans were taken on board at St Helena much to the protest of the Indian government who had paid for the voyage for its citizens. Later numbers of around two thousand Kru men arrived in Saint Vincent, they brought no women.

The Kru were influenced by their new home in Saint Vincent. They started acquiring land in the villages and cohabited with abandoned Vincentian village and estate women who bore children for them.

This was not a small number of people; they became a major participant in the black Vincentian blood-line. The Kru numbered almost 3,000 when they arrived during the 1800s.

In later years almost everyone black with a tinge of other colour wanted to be known as Garifuna, in most cases they are not. They are a melting-pot of all those races that came after the deportation of the Garifuna, and more latterly by the Kru.

Unfortunately, the Vincentian black population of the 20th and 21st century forgot or were never reminded that the Kru immigrants are in many cases their closest ancestors.

Most of Saint Vincent’s black population in the 21st century are bred from these Kru Africans and the released British African plantation slaves that stayed on, and other released slaves that arrived from other islands.

With today's technology we can carry out DNA tests on everyone in the world and decide if they have a claim to reparations; that is just how silly the reparations subject is.

European African Slave Trade Totals by Destination 1500 - 1900.

Brazil/Portuguese: 4,000,000 35.4% (Four Million)
Spanish Empire: 2,500,000 22.1% (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand)
British West Indies: 2,000,000 17.7% (Two Million)
French West Indies: 1,600,00 14.1% (One Million, Six Hundred Thousand)
British North America: 500,000 4.4% (Five Hundred Thousand)
Dutch West Indies: 500,000 4.4% (Five Hundred thousand)
Danish West Indies: 28,000 0.2% (Twenty Eight Thousand)
Europe: 200,000 1.8% [excluding Britain and France] (Two Hundred Thousand)
Total 1500-1900: 11,328,000 100.0% (Eleven Million, Three Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand)

We must stop this reparations nonsense; it’s a re-election ploy by the ULP.

Peter Binose
Self appointed keeper of the whistle.
Reads: 10852

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I am a bit familiar with that Castle Howard vessel, Peter. When doing some research on the SVG East Indian indentured servants, I met up on that record of the Ship Lists. A native St. Lucian gentleman was instrumental in publishing his exhaustive findings in a great many of these exciting Ship lists. But, only the Indian records were assumed, probably from the other documentation. Of course, CASTLE HOWARD made several such voyages --- though probably only TWO to then COLONY OF ST. VINCENT, British West Indies.

HOW about the non-European traders of our BLACK AFRICAN ANCESTORS AND ANCESTRAL COUSINS? Will those communistic ideologues INCLUDE THEM ALSO in their propagandic harassments?

Numeroous of my Black African brethren in Europe and North America have profusely apologised to me for the part played by THEIR ANCESTORS in that nasty trade in humans, despite my heartfelt protestations. More later, perhaps.


Ralph Gonsalves is related to the Gonsalves family of Madeira, a former Portuguese owned island off the West coast of Africa. One of his predecessor's was Antonio Gonsalves the sea captain who took the first African slaves from a beach in North West Africa, this very action was the start of the African Atlantic slave trade. In my view this man, and his extended Maderian family and the Portuguese government should pay the first reparations. After all they started it and they shipped almost as many slaves as the rest of the Europeans put together.

I f a call from Britain for reparations is based on what their ancestors did, then let the same be applied to Gonsalves and the Portuguese government. After all like the British, there ancestors are responsible for the whole beginning.

European African Slavery Totals
by Slave-Trading Countries
Britain: 2,600,000
Denmark: 50,000
France: 1,250,000
Holland: 500,000
Portugal/Brazil: 4,650,000
Spain: 1,600,000
U.S.A.: 300,000
Others: 50,000
Total: 11,000,000

We should ask Sir Hilldred Bollocks to write about that.

I hope you are aware that these demands will get no where, but the side effect will be the destruction of our tourism. No one wants to holiday in a country where they are stirring the hatred pot.


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