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NRC says Royal expressions of sorrow and regret are not enough, calls for full apology for slavery

CASTRIES, St Lucia, (NRC) – The Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC) welcomes the public interest generated over the visits of members of the British Royal Family to member-states of the Commonwealth Caribbean to observe Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, after 70 years on the throne.

The Queen was represented by Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton on earlier visits in March to The Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica, during which, in each case, they came face-to-face with reminders of the outstanding call by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments for Reparations from Britain and European states that benefitted from Slavery and Native Genocide in Europe’s West Indies.

The second royal Caribbean visit, starting next week, will be by the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, where NRCs are also planning to ensure they see and hear the Reparations message.

The Saint Lucia NRC has undertaken to do likewise, as well as to welcome the opportunity to continue its Reparations advocacy, during and after the visit, through related public education actions.

The NRC will explain why the Royal family and the British government owe apologies and reparations to Caribbean descendants of enslaved Africans and the intrinsic historical relationship between the Royal Family and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), of which the NRC is a member, holds that the Royal Family and Britain owe every former West Indian colony “A Full and Formal Apology” for their roles in Slavery.

Prince Charles expressed sorrow for slavery in Barbados in November 2021 during the island’s republic celebrations, and Prince William did likewise in Jamaica in March 2022.

But CARICOM’s leaders insist that expressions of royal sorrow and regret do not represent the equal will to repair that comes with an apology.

“A Full and Formal Apology” is indeed Number 1 in the CRC’s 10-point Plan for Reparations, which outlines what CARICOM Leaders first called for in their 2013 joint call on the UK and the European Union (EU), 180 years after supposed abolition in Britain, for which slave owners were compensated with 20 million pounds (sterling), but not one cent for the enslaved, who thereafter provided six years of free labor through apprenticeship.

Britain, the Royal Family and the European nations that built empires from off the backs of enslaved Africans are avoiding making full and formal apologies because they still don’t want to plead guilty despite the United Nations declaring Slavery a Crime Against Humanity in 2001 and because they are simply not committed to Atonement and Repair.

The NRC holds that CARICOM leaders must now press Buckingham Palace to lead the way with The Queen making the first apology for the Royal family’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and urging the British government to follow suit.

Any change in Saint Lucia’s constitutional status will only be decided by the government, but the NRC welcomes the ongoing discussion on Republicanism sparked by the Royal Visit and the opportunity to help Saint Lucians better understand the differences between Independence and Republicanism within The Commonwealth.

During and after the visit, the NRC will host activities to provide answers to questions about why Saint Lucia and all other CARICOM member-states continue to call for “A Full and Formal Apology” from the British and European governments that enslaved Africans and benefitted from the transatlantic Slave Trade.

The NRC will also elaborate on the CRC’s 10-Point Plan, which is CARICOM’s blueprint for Reparatory Justice to be adopted according to the political and economic template presented by Sir Arthur Lewis over 80 years ago.

The NRC will also take the opportunity of the royal visit to disclose its “100-Day Plan” to continue the Reparations Messaging between May Day and Emancipation Day, with activities also planned for August (including Marcus Garvey’s birthday) and the rest of 2022.

Meanwhile, the NRC will also host two press conferences, during and after the royal visit, to address all issues related to Reparations and The Royal Family.

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