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Regional News: Digicel Chairman develops proposal to assist CARICOM countries in the fight for reparations for slavery

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2022. 9:57 am CST.

Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty

By Benjamin Flowers: Founder and Chairman of the Caribbean-based telecom and media provider Digicel, Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, has taken actionable steps in his support of CARICOM countries receiving reparations from European nations by developing a proposal on how those reparations can be delivered.

Making a presentation at the recent meeting of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) in Guyana, O’Brien made a presentation titled “Repair” which he says could advance the region’s push for reparative justice for the genocide, economic exploitation, trauma, and the other negative impacts of the slavery, which have left lasting impacts on people and countries all over the Caribbean.

The CARICOM Secretariat explained that the plan seeks to persuade the British and European governments and institutions to establish a new long-term fund for reparations, which would set clear five-year targets with respect to annual financing coming into the region.

“O’Brien said the proposal supports the CRC Ten Point Plan for Reparatory Justice in which reparation is defined as an economic and social development strategy for the region,” CARICOM said.

O’Brien’s “Repair” plan also speaks to facilitating multisectoral investments in several areas, giving priority to agriculture, health, and education. He suggested that such a multi-sectoral investment and trading plan was critical to the successful recovery of the region from current international economic crises, and called for the establishment of a team of regional economists from UWI and other partners to prepare a report on what the development program would entail.

The CRC meeting was held on October 27. The CRC was established in 2013 and has the support of all member states. Belize currently does not have a representative on the CRC.


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