Beckles to European Parliament: ‘End colonialism in region and honour debt owed’

The UWI’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (Photo via UWITV)

(UWITV) The UWI’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, called upon the European Parliament to end colonisation in the region and honour its debt to the people. Invited to speak to the parliament (at a virtual international panel on December 2, 2020) during a special discussion on the poverty legacies of colonisation, he reminded the audience that Europe’s economic development was funded by a brutal and inhumane system of wealth extraction from the Caribbean, leaving the region impoverished and unable to meet its economic development targets.

Sir Hilary reminded the parliament that the Caribbean remains one of the few colonised regions in the world, and that Europe’s legacy is one of continuing economic exploitation, and the politics and policies of white supremacy. The Caribbean, he said, since pushing for its independence, has taken full responsibility for its future, but he noted that the responsibility and accountability relationship is a two-way process. Europe, he stated, walked away from its obligations after committing heinous crimes against humanity in the region, stripping it of its natural resources, and enslaving its people.

Left behind as the primary legacy is the horrendous social and economic mess that Europe has refused to clean up with a development plan, but the Caribbean has a right to economic fairness and justice.

Europe’s insistence on giving aid instead of economic development funding is reflective of an obsolete mentality that has no honourable place in the 21st century. It drives, for example, the impulse to blacklist the region’s financial sector, and to be unsupportive of economic diversification strategies.

Read more at: UWITV

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