Barbados US Embassy WikiLeaks: DLP-BLP no difference. Alan Chastanet “brown species, Mulatto, not loyal to anybody”

Racist Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves quoted extensively in new WikiLeak

The things people say when they don’t know that the US Intelligence and Consulate personnel are recording every word!

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Have you seen the latest WikiLeak attached to my email?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves doesn’t like mixed race Mulattos like me and my children?

FUCK HIM. FUCK EVERYONE from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who supports Gonsalves.

Please excuse the language, but sometimes it’s justified and this is one of those times.

(Name withheld by BFP editor)

Gotta love WikiLeaks

The latest release of secret cables from the US Embassy in Bridgetown to Washington should set the mongoose amongst the chickens. So much to read, so little time because I’m off to an early night shift, so I’ll pick out a few quotes and throw in the whole cable so our readers can find more…

Barbados’ two main parties are so similar that “differences will have to be manufactured to keep the party faithful happy.”

And then there is this…

“Chastanet talks a lot of rubbish when it comes to regional air transport.”

He (Gonsalves) further criticized St. Lucia’s Alan Chastanet as among “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money” who are “not loyal to anybody”.  Gonsalves continued by noting that such people, whom he described as “Castries mulattos”, believe they are “oracles” and represent a “break
in the social advancement in the Eastern Caribbean.”

Read it all…


DE RUEHWN #0063/01 0321800
P 011800Z FEB 08




E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2018


Classified By: PolOff Arend Zwartjes for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: In a wide-ranging discussion over breakfast,
Ambassador Ourisman and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime
Minister Ralph Gonsalves covered the crime situation in St.
Vincent, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA),
the state of the region’s primary air carrier (LIAT), the
IMF’s involvement in the Eastern Caribbean, and cultural
influences and preservation.  PM Gonsalves reiterated SVG’s
gratitude for American military and law enforcement
assistance, and offered to investigate the handling of a
court case involving a Peace Corps Volunteer who had been
stabbed mid-2007.  End Summary.

¶2. (SBU) On January 29, 2008 Ambassador Ourisman hosted St.
Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for
breakfast at the Embassy before his first official meeting
with new Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson.  Initially
meant to focus on the recent trial involving a Peace Corps
Volunteer (PCV) who was stabbed in St. Vincent last year, the
discussion soon wandered to cover a variety of issues.

“Daniel, My Brother”

¶3. (C) Much of the discussion focused on Gonsalves’
participation in the sixth Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas (ALBA) summit just days before in Caracas (septel).
Gonsalves was quick to deny any military and intelligence
agenda or component to ALBA, and appeared to generally want
to disassociate himself from Chavez’s ideologies.  He was
quick to thank the United States for is continued military
and law enforcement assistance.  Gonsalves opined that
Nicaragua’s Ortega (who he described as his “brother”) is
“less strident” this time around, and noted that Chavez and
Ortega plan to visit St. Vincent, Dominica, and Antigua in
late February.

Barbados Elections

¶4. (C) On the subject of Barbados’ newly elected government,
Gonsalves stated that he did not expect any significant
differences in the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s policies,
as both major political parties in Barbados are “steeped in
social democracy and committed to regional integration.”
Echoing Grenada PM Keith Mitchell’s comments in the press,
Gonsalves dismissed the notion of “winds of change” sweeping
through the Caribbean with the recent change of governments
in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Bahamas, and Barbados.  According to
Gonsalves, Barbados’ two main parties are so similar that
“differences will have to be manufactured to keep the party
faithful happy.”

Investment, Macroeconomics, and the IMF

¶5. (C) The Ambassador then mentioned USAID’s recent support
for Investment Promotion Authorities (IPA’s) in St. Kitts and
Antigua, and asked Gonsalves if SVG had interest in forming
an IPA as well.  Gonsalves replied that while St. Vincent
currently has a type of investment authority now (the
National Investment Promotion, Inc.), he conceded that it
needed modernizing and expressed interest in partnering with
the United States to pursue an IPA.  Expanding on the theme
of economics, Gonsalves noted that SVG farmers had “taken a
beating” as a result of the loss of European trade
preferences.  He noted that SVG had begun importing sugar and
using the profits from selling the sugar to the private
sector to subsidize agricultural inputs.

¶6. (C) Gonsalves emphasized that while SVG currently receives
good marks from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the
organization is not generally constructed to understand the
“peculiarities” of small island economies.  Saying “you
cannot use general economic theories” with countries such as
SVG, Gonsalves cited his use of “counter-cycle fiscal
policy”, which the IMF originally opposed, and then later
praised but added that it should be discontinued.  Speaking
philosophically, the PM noted that “the peoples in these
islands are wedded to good governance,” and have a “devotion
to the rock but not necessarily to the government.”

UN Voting Record

¶7. (C) When the Ambassador reiterated USG appreciation for
SVG casting the deciding vote in December’s UNGA human rights
resolution on Iran, Gonsalves admitted, “we have not been
consistent in the past in voting on these matters.”  He
followed this surprising admission by blaming SVG’s former
Ambassador to the United Nations, Margaret Hughes Ferrari
(2001-2007) for previous UN votes on human rights, saying she
was “cynical in her view that so-called Western nations used
the human rights issue selectively.”  (Note: Gonsalves
replaced Ferrari with his son Camillo Gonsalves in late 2007.
End note).

Peace Corps Stabbing, Crime, and Medical Schools
——————————————— —

¶8. (C) The Ambassador then raised the recent dismissal of a
criminal case against a Vincentian who had stabbed a Pace
Corps Volunteer (PCV) in June 2007.  According to USG
representatives who attended the recent rial, the case
against the perpetrator was withdawn by the police
prosecutor without calling allthe witnesses, and despite
overwhelming evidencethat had been collected by local
police.  Saying I am very sorry about this,” Gonsalves
promised o order investigations by te Police Chief, the
Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General into
the handling of the case.  Based on his knowledge of the
legal system, the PM said that a retrial is very unlikely,
given SVG’s laws against “double jeopardy”; however, he noted
that a civil suit was still possible.

¶9. (C) When the Ambassador expressed general concerns about
the crime situation in SVG, Gonsalves downplayed any
concerns, and in reference to the closure of Kingstown
Medical College (Ref B), denied that crime was truly a
deciding factor.  Instead, he noted that the College had
demanded “exclusivity” (a guarantee that it would be the only
medical school with access to SVG’s hospitals) while
negotiating the renewal of its contract with the government.
Gonsalves claimed that since the closure of the college,
school officials had since offered to open a four-year
medical school on the site, but that the government had
decided (but not yet announced) to go with an offer from a
different institution to found a four-year medical school in
St. Vincent.  Recognizing the potential of so-called
“educational tourism”, Gonsalves noted that SVG was seeking
additional medical schools that would be interested in
attaching themselves to the medical center currently being
built in the nation’s second-largest city of Georgetown.

LIAT, Race, and Culture

¶10. (C) When asked about recent claims in the Eastern
Caribbean that the sole regional air carrier, LIAT, was
inefficient and guilty of price-gouging, Gonsalves replied
that (St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism) “Chastanet talks a lot
of rubbish when it comes to regional air transport.”  Noting
the lack of air transport regulation in the Eastern
Caribbean, and  in regards to governmental efforts to
increase competition in the region, Gonsalves stated, “we’ve
been down that road before”, citing the failures of Carib
Express, BWIA, and Caribbean Star, among others.  Gonsalves
said he was “not against competition” but wants “fair

¶11. (C) He further criticized St. Lucia’s Alan Chastanet as
among “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money”
who are “not loyal to anybody”.  Gonsalves continued by
noting that such people, whom he described as “Castries
mulattos”, believe they are “oracles” and represent a “break
in the social advancement in the Eastern Caribbean.”

¶12. (C) Continuing on the theme of culture, Gonsalves
lamented the influence of “U.S. prison culture” on his
country in the modes of dress adopted by young people.  On a
positive note, the Ambassador expressed her desire to provide
cultural preservation funding to the GOSVG to refurbish wood
panels depicting the indigenous Carib population that are
currently housed in the dilapidated Fort Charlotte.
Gonsalves expressed gratitude and promised to provide the
appropriate contact so that such a project could proceed


¶13. (C) While the friendly nature of the meeting reflected
the Embassy’s generally good relations with St. Vincent and
the Grenadines, Gonsalves was at his legalistic best,
downplaying both SVG’s involvement in ALBA and the crime
situation (which by most accounts has severely escalated of
late).  Still, he was extremely responsive to the
Ambassador’s concerns regarding the incident involving the
Peace Corps volunteer, and was quick to offer extremely frank
views on a variety of subjects.  Gonsalves remains a master
of contradictions, who continues to court whatever foreign
government he can in order to secure financial and other
benefits for his country.  End Comment.


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Politics, Race

30 responses to “Barbados US Embassy WikiLeaks: DLP-BLP no difference. Alan Chastanet “brown species, Mulatto, not loyal to anybody”

  1. I don’t see what was racist about what he said. Seems to describe a group of people. He didn’t imply any sort of inferiority or superiority.

  2. John

    … in all probability given the history of the islands he may be one too!!

    He is just ignorant of the past like so many regional politicians.

  3. Johnny Postle

    His comments are obviously discriminative and racial. I do not believe that he is the only who holds such a view concerning the mix racists around the Caribbean. Even the ones who are mixed believe that they are so white that those even darker then them comes in for serious criticism and insults. Remember people in the region who are off mixed race believe that they are not black but white and act accordingly.

    I wonder what politicians in Barbados behind closed doors say about their own people particularly when it comes to the issue of corruption.

  4. HM

    Maybe he should visit northern Europe. People will soon let him know how ‘white’ they think he is…..he would be in for a shock.

    Hope the people that voted him in will use their next vote effectively!

  5. Sunny Knight

    Who de cap fit, let them where it … multicultural paradise, my arse! An honest, open discussion on the races is long overdue in these parts. Shadism is as virulent as it was in the past. It’s just ‘subtler’ in these times, but when people stop being politically correct, and their true colors start to show – which is usually when they are concealed behind partitions and closed doors, or high off ‘libation’ – you get the other side of paradise, the side that does not make the press in neat, tourist brochures.

  6. Pot calling the kettle mulatto

    definitely looks sort of white to me!

    what an opportunist hypocrite

  7. Pingback: Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Racist Comments? · Global Voices

  8. AP

    What was racist about the comment; “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money”? Is it the use of the word species would people on here be more comfortable if he had said “a group” instead. There is nothing in that statement to say that he does not consider himself of the “brown people” or has animosity towards people who are “mixed”, perhaps if anyone were to look into his background and his upbringing they might say his problem is with people “with money” (who use it to further selfish gains).

    The man is, after all, ‘mixed’ and so is his second wife and of course all his children.

  9. Pingback: Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Racist Comments? | Sao-Paulo news

  10. Kamal Wood

    Ralph is himself a “brown” person: he’s mostly of Portuguese indentured labourer descent. He’s talking about a group of brown people who he thinks are not loyal to anyone etc, not brown people as a whole. His comments may be inaccurate or imprecise, and they will probably ruffle some feathers given his position as a PM, but they’re well within the bounds of acceptable regional discourse (though they’re probably outside the bounds of acceptable discourse in certain countries north of us).

    At 10:35 am on June 25, 2011 Johnny Postle said, “His comments are obviously discriminative and racial.”

    Well, they’re obviously racial (and what’s wrong with that? is something obviously wrong with all racial talk?), but discriminative? To say what may be the truth about a subgroup of a particular race, in countries where A LOT of wealth and privilege are still divided along racial lines? Nah.

    At 3:53 am on June 25, 2011, John said that, “He is just ignorant of the past like so many regional politicians.”

    If there’s one regional politician who isn’t ignorant of the past, it’s Ralph E Gonsalves.

  11. Mr Wood would you tell all of us Barbadians what would happen if you openly criticized Dr Gonsalves?Speaking to Vincentians,I know you guys or your family would be politically victimized if you spoke out against the Mad Doctor,so we take your contribution with a grain of salt.Perhaps you will lose your scholarship if you are on one,or your family will be fired from their public servant job. Did your pm not say something about being portuguese means he is good with money?Did he not also say if President Bush met Him and the Oppostion Leader(A black man) in the night,he could see only one of them?Dr Gonsalves maybe unconsciously racist which would be expected given that he came of age in colonial times

  12. Kamal Wood

    I’m not sure what would happen to me, but you’re right about your general point. Many people are afraid to talk because of fear of political victimisation of themselves or their families. And maybe that’s at play here, but I don’t think it’s hugely influential. I just think that, as far as the things released in that cable go, him calling Chastanet a ‘Castries Mulatto’ is probably the least significant thing.

    Far more significant are: the possible ramifications of that statement (rather than the statement itself) given the fact that he did this in 2008 (which is when the cable dates from) and now, just a few years later, his government has sold the national Food City supermarket to Chastanet’s family; the reason he gives here for the Kingstown Medical College leaving — I’m not sure how well it meshes with the reason he gave publicly at the time it happened; the Americans’ first-hand experiencing of our inefficient judicial system; Gonsalves’ continued denial of the severity of our crime problem; and the Ambassadors’ impression of Gonsalves as a “master of contradictions.”

    But you’re right about what he said about meeting him or Eustace in the dark; it reminds me of the colour jokes we’d make in secondary school and it probably reflects some racism on his part as it did on ours. (Plus it’s a really inappropriate thing to say as the PM of a country.) And you may be right about him being unconsciously racist. Maybe that sort of racism was at play in these comments, but given that Gonsalves is a brown man talking about another brown man, I think there’s probably more to it than some have made out here.

  13. @Mr Wood,since you are here in Barbados you may also want to investigate the conditions under which Mr Gonsalves fled Barbados.In the Caribbean we have a tendency to worship as heroes people we barely know.Dr Gonsalves is fallible as is any politician/human being

  14. Kamal Wood

    Is that how it works? I suggested a few things from the cable for which I think Gonsalves may deserve criticism, but because I said a few things in his defence you think I worship him?


  15. Isn’t it true that the son of Dr Gonsalves was appointed UN Ambassador?Isn’t it true that his cousin an unelected member of parliament holds more power than any minister except for the doctor?Things like that will never pass here in Barbados,we also take rape allegations very seriously,I do not know if it’s the education level of Barbadian society,or the number of churches,but we hold our politicians accountable,because there are many persons capable of being prime minister.I would suggest you talk to a certain former pm of Barbados,you will find that what appeared to be a riff between him and the doctor on the political level,has many personal undertones,and has more to do with things your pm did before he was elected,be curious my friend,ask around.Be careful who you choose to respect

  16. MysticMan

    I read no racism in Dr. Gonzalves comment. I think that he spoke frankly and I share his opinion on the “Castries mulattoes”. They are the ones who think they are more people than other people. I also agree with his comment about my Minister of Tourism, Allen Chastanet and his operations in the civil aviation sector. Myself and many St. Lucians are very suspect of his motives.

    What I was most impressed with was the closing sentence “Gonsalves remains a master of contradictions, who continues to court whatever foreign government he can in order to secure financial and other benefits for his country.”….A man who is working for his country, which ironically is what we elect politicians to do! Bravo Ralph

  17. The supermarket in St.Vincent being sold to Chastanet’s family is just ironic.Dr Gonsalves is currently the biggest leader in the region,not due to performance but due to weight.Dr Gonsalves is reminiscent of Stephen Seagal,someone who was once highly charismatic but due to weight issues became someone people make fun of.Dr Gonsalves is your leader regardless of whether his party lost in all the urban areas of your country,and won using the rural areas,he still needs to look like a leader.Frankly if our pm ever became that obese we’d be embarrassed ,because it would reflect on us as a people.

  18. Gonsalves will sell Vincentians to Satan himself if Satan offered enough money.The great thing about being barbadian is that we stand on principle,when our colleagues were selling out Trinidad for Venezuela,a non caricom member we spoke out.Granted St.Vincent doesn’t have our economy,and you have to have a certain standard of living before you can make truly principled decisions.St.Vincent is allied to Iran,Libya and most nations branded as terrorists,it would be far easier for them to try to develop tourism/agriculture,than selling their souls to whoever gives them enough money.

  19. Pirate of the Caribbean

    Vincent your Barbadian take on things is welcome by your fellow Bajan. Gonzalves will be rembered by Barbadians for his impotency some say unwillingness to stop the flow of illegal drugs exported from St. Vincent to Barbados and the multiple charges of rape levelled against him. In the court of public opinon he is guilty on each count. Gonzalves is an obese blow hard the Caribbean would love to see leave the scene.

  20. NewYork Vincy

    Gonsalves usually sues any Vincentian who says anything bad about him,he has the most lawsuits of any leader inside or outside the caribbean.It’s a scare tactic that every dictator uses,but it backfires since every bad thing people say about him is true, or if it wasn’t he’d sue them.If you could start an industry on lawsuits alone SVG would be the richest country in the caribbean,but unfortunately you can’t.So Doctor G does what he does best,he just talks on,and on and on and on and on…..
    The rape allegations are a funny thing,the court of public opinion found him guilty because Gonsalves didn’t do what he usually does, sue.He has sued people for far less yet he never sued the 2 women who accused him of rape.St.Vincent is caught between a rock and a hard place a stupid govt/leader but a weak opposition.The govt has its lackeys at the head of every school and union,there are ex police men,and teachers sitting on the boards of their national insurance organization,and their former bank which had to be sold to avoid the collapse of the country.Simply put your party card is your bank card,and your get out of jail free card.I’m glad I live abroad for most of the year.As per the ganja situation,the people have no choice,you can’t build an economy on nonsense,and that’s all their government offers..Although some may say he was a defense attorney and defended the drug folks for a living,I doubt the youths who plant ganja could have afforded his services.

  21. NewYork Vincy

    A drug dealer was released in St.Vincent as “a matter of national security” that alone should tell you the joke the country has become.Even in Jamaica where releasing Dudus Coke was a matter of national security they stood by our principles,and international agreements.Even there politicians couldn’t just release a drug dealer from jail cite “national security” and there wouldn’t be hell to pay politically.Nor could our government put more money than is allowed in their own account in the bank and it wouldn’t be investigated.Most Vincentians keep quiet about half the crap that goes on in St.Vincent.Bananas are gone yet my country has become a banana republic.
    Freedom of speech?As a public servant you can call in on any govt program and say the Comrade(Gonsalves) is Jesus,and the opposition is the devil,but should a public servant dare criticize the government ,they will be fired or transferred within the week,because Gonsalves is the public Massa while they are just public servants.So why would Vincentians sell their souls so readily?For an international airport,the country will be sucked down the drain for this one project,everytime there’s an election he just stars digging dirt and promising airport.Vincentians are either innocent or stupid/gullible,an international airport is no panacea,it will not fix all their economic problems,and to make matters worse they already have a huge debt burden and the airport is far from completed.Looking at my country is like looking at a train just before it’s about to crash,you pity the people,but as the ulp/govt motto goes “we naaaah tunnnn back”.The leader just says words for the sake of saying words,most of what he says is pretty meaningless.He is trying to copy the education system Barbados has had for the last 20 years but he’s calling it “The Revolution in Education” as if it’s not an initiative almost all caribbean countries are doing.The whole Chavez song and dance routine is ridiculous,they behave like a bunch of bromosexuals,yet Chavez doesn’t put pen to paper,he just promised Gonsalves stuff,any competent Lawyer would make an official agreement,but he wants to give the impression that the deal is between friends,so if you vote him out you wont get the airport.He even has island scholars talking about Gunsenomics,educated people making fools of themselves,what’s the point of education if you’re just gonna be some puppet expousing beliefs you know to be wrong and contrary to all laws of economics and common sense?

  22. R

    As an SVG Labour party supporter, I would have to be very uncomfortable with a leader who flaunts diplomacy for the sake of making himself look like the only fowl cock capable of governing ninety something thousand people. Then he sells his nation’s bank & supermarket to brown skinned mulattos. Very inconsistent and quite frankly, sounds as though he’s skating on thin ice. The current economic climate demands that we build.. not teardown.
    Ambassador Ourisman’s offer can be interpreted as a diplomatic pinch (by) providing cultural preservation funding to refurbish wood
    panels depicting the indigenous (Yellow) Carib population that are currently housed at Fort Charlotte: described as “dilapidated”.

    The whole story reads like a comic strip, the only missing piece of the superman comic story is the number of “offer cards” the Ambassador could have had in his pocket at the meeting….and deciding to make a careful choice based on their exchange …to preserve our culture on behalf of us Vincentians black, white, yellow and presumably brown too!
    Political Cabaret. Never what u say…always ‘How you say it”

  23. Heartattack

    A least SVG has a PM with balls, we in Barbados on the other hand have Fruendel.

  24. S

    @heartattack you believe Ralph Gonzalves able to see over dat big belly to make out if he has balls wuh lawd you like you is a idiot.
    Fruendel dont beg Gaddaffi or chavez for money like your boy heartattack

  25. 209

    I am a VINCENTIAN and I do not vote for RALPH GONZALVES party but he is my prime minister and the person who is cursing him for st.lucia I would also like to tell that person fuck you also, when it comes to my prime minister you do not go off on him like that fuck you

  26. 209

    To the person whose name was held back, I would like to tell you also f*** you and everyone in your country, if you are form barbados it’s even more for me to go off on you all, what the hell you all think he should of said that you all need to stop being g..

  27. 137

    I am from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I was born and raised there. I was in secondary school at the time that Ralph Gonsalves made his political grand-debut over 10 years ago – and to this day I will never be a supporter of that man because I remember all the nasty things he said while contesting his first general elections in St.Vincent. Over the years I’ve watched him grow and embed his views into the minds of select individuals in our society – sometimes I wonder – how can people listen to Ralph Gonsalves speak, listen to the things he says – and still be supporter of his. As a Vincentian I can attest to the the many rantings of Prime Minister Gonsalves on the local scene – but reading these clips and imagining that this man is the Prime Minister of my country who is going abroad to represent my country and say such things just makes me sick. I hope that regional and international pressure is placed on him to resign his post promptly

  28. Pingback: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves: How many travel writers will you jail? | Barbados Free Press

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  30. Anonymous

    So what race is this man? Looks very much, mixed to me…..needs to check his family tree,