|The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is today calling for reparation justice for its nations after centuries of slavery and racism perpetrated by several former colonial metropolis.
In the context of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and midway through the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), Caricom’s member and partner states are advocating through its Reparations Commission (CRC) a reward to the indigenous and afro-descendant communities after the legacy of underdevelopment caused by the colonial period – the native genocide, enslavement and crimes against humanity that hold back the progress of their populations.
Under the United Nations’ support, Caricom demands former colonial powers such as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark to apologize for years of oppression and discrimination without being forced to do so in court.
Adopted in 2013, the CRC justice program recognizes the role and special status of European countries as legal bodies for developing and sustaining these crimes, as well as serving as agencies in slave-based enrichment and crime.
The CRC action plan for reconciliation, truth and justice for victims and their descendants includes issues such as repatriation, the indigenous peoples’ development program, cultural institutions, public health crises, eradication of illiteracy, psychological rehabilitation, technology transfer and debt cancellation
Restorative justice in the face of native genocide
On this point, Ralph Gonsalves, President of Caricom and Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, urged the governments of the region to develop public education programs on the meaning and importance of restorative justice for the Caribbean.
Gonsalves called on the states of the community bloc to intensify the political, diplomatic and legal struggle with a view to preparing victims and sufferers for full admission with dignity into the citizenship of the global community.
In turn, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, pointed out in a virtual debate at the beginning of last July that the colonial regime and the slave system left the Caribbean area in very extreme social and economic circumstances, further aggravated by constant attacks in financial services.
Mottley said that the issue of reparation for the damage caused to the Caribbean countries is not “simply about money, but also about justice.”
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its abolition pays tribute to the insurrection of August 23, 1791. Then, men and women subjected to slavery in Saint Domingue claimed their independence and the western part of the island of La Española recovered its original Amerindian name: Haiti.