St. Vincent Journalist warned US about decaying freedom of the press under PM Gonsalves, wiretapping of news media
Kenton X. Chance is a Vincentian journalist living and studying in Taiwan for the last five years. He also runs the excellent I Witness News blog and today he had the unpleasant duty of reporting on his own WikiLeaked conversations with US Consulate personnel.
Chance and other journalists in the WikiLeak were concerned about PM Gonsalves using his power to curtail freedom of the press. They spoke confidentially to the US diplomats and now it’s all over the place.
At least Chance has the courage to publish his own words from the WikiLeaks cables. Unlike some folks who are trying to convince everyone that they said not one word of what was reported in many cables for many years, Kenton Chance is not going that route: he’s standing behind what he said.
It’s called “integrity and character”…
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – While Glenn Jackson, murdered press secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, was the main contact here for U.S. officials in Barbados, according to WikiLeaks, several other Vincentian media professionals were also contacts for American diplomats in Bridgetown.
A classified U.S. diplomatic cable dubbed “St. Vincent: A Democracy Under Stress” lists two journalists among “an increasing number of Vincentians” who in 2006 warned that “the PM’s fondness for the leaders of Cuba and Venezuela is indicative of his autocratic nature”.
“Legislation recently proposed by the Government would increase Gonsalves’s power to silence his critics, warn several Vincentians including the [Human Rights Association’s president] Nicole Sylvester and journalist Kenton Chance,” the 2006 cable said…
…The cable also relate a conversation that Shelly Clarke, editor of The News newspaper allegedly had with U.S. diplomats.The document cited Clarke as saying that the United States should have funded the opposition New Democratic Party in the December 2005 elections.
… Read the full article at I Witness News: Journalist asked Americans to intervene in St. Vincent: leaked cable