I used to pay little attention to the politics of Caribbean island nations. All that changed when the dream crashed. In the 6 years since we’ve left St. Vincent, I’ve followed with great interest reportings on the Prime Minister of St. Vincent, Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves.

The Prime Minister, also known as Comrade Ralph, is making headlines yet again after an undisclosed source deposited US$1 million into the bank account of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. When questioned on the source of the money, instead of offering an explanation, the Prime Minister lashed out with threats of a lawsuit for defamation.

This occurs the same week the government decided to take disciplinary action against their own Anesia Baptiste, Communications Manager for the Ministry of Tourism, by slapping her with a lawsuit with 16 charges for criticizing Gonsalves’ administration.

This is only the latest in a long list of controversial doings of the Prime Minister including:

  • Accusation of rape by a St. Vincent female police officer performing security duties at the home of the Prime Minister. Never was this case, or those of other victims who stepped forward, allowed its day in court.
  • Threatening lawsuits and demanding public apologies and retraction of statements in addition to imposing hefty fines upon media, the opposition party, and individuals that make statements or share news that show the Prime Minister in a negative light. Does Freedom of Speech really exist in St. Vincent?
  • An attempt to rewrite the constitution which would give more power to the leader and less to the people
  • Increasing ties with Iran, Libya, Cuba, and Venezuela
  • Appointment of the Prime Minister’s son as Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations

The Honourable Prime Minister does not stand alone in questionable conduct of the world’s ruling leaders.  What do you think? Does power breed greed and fear?