CNW- Steven Golding, the president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), is lobbying the Holness administration to pursue reparation by levying a special tax on foreigners from countries with a background of trading in chattel slavery.
He made the remarks after a floral tribute to National Hero Marcus Garvey at National Heroes Park to commemorate the 135th anniversary of his birth.
Despite steps taken to initiate the process, Golding expressed that the government has not taken a serious approach in its pursuit of reparation.
Golding, whose UNIA was founded by Garvey in 1914, further suggested that to minimize the impact on the tourism industry, the tax be implemented in collaboration with other Caribbean Community, (CARICOM) nations, as all of the CARICOM states have reparation commissions.
John Briceño, Former CARICOM Chair who is the prime minister of Belize said his government is prepared to assess the feasibility of the proposal if it is presented by the regional bloc.
Meanwhile, Culture Minister Olivia Grange said her ministry is actively working with the Attorney General’s Chambers to seek avenues to pursue reparation, as she believes it is never too late to seek reparatory justice.
However, Golding contended that the Government may be too late in petitioning the Queen, with plans to cut ties by 2025.
On the other hand, Garvey’s son, Dr. Julius Garvey, who was also present at the wreath-laying ceremony, stated that a wrong was done to millions through chattel slavery and that restitution is required.
He further expressed that for people to live together peacefully, compensation for the damage must be done.