By Demion McTair Updated 8:11 p.m., Monday, 13 April 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4)
St. Georges, Grenada (ONE SVG) – Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell said today that the matter involving St. Vincent’s Prime Minister’s ‘invite’ of residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to get supplies from St. Vincent if they have difficulties getting them, will not be swept under the carpet.
The Grenadian Prime Minister was responding to a question posed by a Journalist at a press conference as whether he would raise the question at an upcoming Caricom meeting, to which Dr. Mitchell replied “there is no need to raise that issue at that time with the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director’s presence”.
The 9th Special Emergency Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be conducted online on Wednesday and, will be hosted by Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, according to Caricom Today.
“That sort of issue could be raised on a one-on-one basis among leaders, between leaders, or at Heads of Government at Caricom when we do meet” – he added.
Dr. Mitchell further stated of Dr. Gonsalves “invite’ that “It’s something that I think has raised the eye-brows of a lot of people, so, it would not be swept under the carpet”.
Meanwhile, Ashbert News Network -ANN reported today, that in an exclusive interview, Dr. Gonsalves said “I have absolutely no interest in a village dog fight with Keith Mitchell. That’s what that is. The truth is, he initiated this village dog fight, but I don’t think he initiated it out of any malice, I think he was badly advised because for about ten days now if you come here from any country you’d be required to go under quarantine for 14 days”.
“He probably listened to the old propaganda that Ralph have the borders open. In any case Union Island was closed to everything except legitimate trade. But if you came ashore you had to be quarantined for 14 days. So that’s the first big mistake that Keith made.
The second one is that clearly he did not hear what I said; somebody must have told him because I said that they are our brothers and sisters in Carriacou and Petite Martinique and if they need food or gas or medicine we will help. But it has to be done in a structured manner,” Gonsalves told ANN on Sunday.
The issue came to the fore on April, when Dr. Mitchell decried the open borders of St. Vincent, declaring that he has to “protect” the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique “from what is taking place in The Grenadines at this time”.
On April 10, St. Vincent’s Prime Minister, 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.
Then on April 11, Dr. Mitchell, in a scathing response described as “alarming” and “grossly irresponsible” the offer made by Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves.
There is strong integration in the Grenadines and people from Carriacou and Petite Martinique are accustomed to getting supplies from St. Vincent.
Since the incident, authorities in Grenada have stepped up their attention to the needs of people in Carriacou and Petite Martinique, sources in both locations have said.
Tomorrow, April 14 is the next official shopping day and police are expected to announced measure to allow fisher folk and farmers to ply their trade.