By Demion McTair Updated 4:55 a.m., Saturday, 11 April 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4)
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ON SVG) – Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, on Friday April 10, issued an invitation to the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to come to St. Vincent to get supplies if they are having difficulties getting them.
His call, however, comes amidst concerns expressed on April 6 by Grenadian Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell that St. Vincent’s borders are open, a reality which he says poses public health concerns to the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have to protect our brothers and sisters in Carriacou and Petite Martinique from what is taking place in the Grenadines at this particular time” – the Grenadian Prime Minister said
But, at a ceremony to receive Covid-19 rapid test kits from Venezuela, Dr. Gonsalves said “I want to say to the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique that if you are having difficulties getting food, we can help because we have a lot of it in Union Island and we can get to Union Island. I want to tell our brothers and sisters that”.
“If you want to get cooking gas, we can help you, but let us do it in a structured and organized manner” – Dr. Gonsalves added.
Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell had said “A lot of people get food stuff from St. Vincent and therefore, one has to be careful. The borders between St. Vincent, The Grenadines and Petite Martinique is almost open. The Commissioner and his people would have to be doing a lot more work”.
According to Now Grenada, the next shopping day for Carriacou is Tuesday, 14 April 2020 between 8 am and 4 pm, as Grenada faces a lock down.
Both Carriacou and Petite Martinique belong to neighboring territory, Grenada, but share part of a territorial space comprising of an archipelago of islands and cays called The Grenadines, most of which belongs to St. Vincent.
There is deep integration between Grenada’s islands – Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and the Grenadine islands belonging to St. Vincent, in terms of family ties, tourism, and trade. The two islands are also closer, geographically, to St. Vincent’s borders at Union Island and Petite St. Vincent than they are to mainland Grenada.
Regarding his comments on the issue, Prime Minster Mitchell said “I know it’s controversial, but I am not the type who like to hold my mouth when I see something is absolutely necessary to speak about”.
Grenada, as at press time had recorded 14 confirmed Covid-19 cases, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines had 12 confirmed cases.
Since March 30, 2020, Grenada has been under a full lock down.