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Statement by Chairman of the OECS Authority, Prime Minister The Right Honourable Dr. Keith Mitchell

Statement by Chairman of the OECS Authority, Prime Minister The Right Honourable Dr. Keith Mitchell

On behalf of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), I wish to express our deep dismay with the incident which occurred outside of the House of Assembly of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, August 5, 2021, resulting in injury to Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

What we witnessed was heartbreaking and not representative of our true nature as Caribbean people, for this is not how we settle differences, political and otherwise.

Within the OECS, we strongly uphold the tenets of democracy and the right of citizens to protest and to have their voices heard, but to do so peacefully and in accordance with the law.

The OECS Authority unequivocally condemns the use of violence of any kind and any expressions of protest, such as the burning of police barriers in the street, as was witnessed in St. Vincent on Thursday. 

Further, the OECS Authority calls on the opposition forces to unambiguously disassociate themselves from such anarchistic acts and to encourage supporters to keep their protest within the ambits of the law.

It is even more disturbing that the injury to the Vincentian Prime Minister occurred outside of the House of Assembly, the seat of Vincentian democracy and the location where all political differences are to be freely debated, discussed and resolved.

We extend our prayers to Prime Minister Gonsalves and wish him a speedy recovery from the injuries sustained, and we call on all Vincentians to opt for rational debate over animosity and extreme behaviour. This is a line, which once crossed, it may become difficult to return.

Given the demonstrated resilience of the Vincentian Government and people, having experienced a series of crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the volcanic eruption, we are confident that St. Vincent can rise to the higher challenge of national unity.

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Philomena Robertson Press Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Grenada
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Philomena Robertson Press Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Grenada
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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