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Caribbean govts unite to demand reparations for slavery

COMPENSATION CLAIMS: St Vincent and Grenadines president Ralph Gonsalves

MORE THAN a dozen Caribbean countries have united to gain compensation from three European nations for their part in the negative legacy of the Atlantic slave trade.

Comprising 14 Caribbean nations, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has taken on the mantle of pressuring the governments of Britain, France and the Netherlands to pay for the genocide of millions of Africans.

Led by the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, Caricom has enlisted the help of a prominent British human rights law firm and is creating a Reparations Commission to press the issue.

The group has stated the transatlantic slave trade has led to widespread poverty and the lack of development that characterises most of the region.

"The apology is important but that is wholly insufficient," Gonsalves told Associated Press.

"We have to have appropriate recompense."

A specific monetary amount has not been specified but Gonsalves and Verene Shepherd, chairwoman of the national reparations commission in Jamaica.

Both have mentioned that Britain at the time of emancipation in 1834 paid £20m to British planters in the Caribbean, the equivalent of £200bn at today's currency rate.

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