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Guyana's president calls for 'meaningful' apology over slavery after meeting Boris Johnson

After meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Guyana’s President has demanded an apology from Britain for its involvement in transatlantic slave trading.

Sky News spoke with Irfaan Ali, who explained that all Caribbean countries must make a decision to demand reparations for “one of the most atrocious acts in human history.”

“That suffering was not just immense, but it was also generational. President Ali stated that a lot of wealth was created from this suffering.

His remarks come after the Earless and Countess de Wessex visited Caribbean. There, they were confronted by anti-colonial protesters demanding apologies for UK’s involvement in the slave trade.

Image A performance in which the island’s youth was celebrated by The Earl and Countess Of Wessex

Even though politicians and royalty have admitted the “atrocities”, they have yet to apologize.

This needs to be addressed, President Ali said. He believes that “the conversation is moving closer to an apology”.

“It must be more than a simple apology. It should have depth and meaning. He said that he was adamant about the position and had seen announcements in recent weeks.

Guyana: More

CARICOM is an intergovernmental organization that represents the interests and calls for reparations. The president stated that CARICOM’s continued efforts are what fuel his optimism.

He said, “We have set up a committee within the region that is studying this because we recognize that the region requires a common position.”

He said that it was better for the Caribbean countries to unite to “advance this process”.

Antigua and Barbuda, along with Saint Kitts and Nevis had declared their intent to disengage themselves from the British monarchy at the end of the Wessex Tour.

It is interesting because Belize and Jamaica expressed similar interest in the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s visit a few weeks prior to.

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Kate and Will’s Caribbean Tour Ends

Guyana was one of the first Caribbean republics to be established in 1970s. Mr Ali stated that sometimes it is best to change.

“The colonial past is part and parcel of the history that made these countries, all of our countries. He said that we cannot separate ourselves from history.

He said that more countries were “moving to Republic” to show their full independence and are deciding to “walk a new path”.

President Ali clarified that the intention was not to cut all ties, but to treat everyone as equals.

He said that he hopes for a stronger relationship between CARICOM, the UK and CARICOM in the future and that Britain will be more attentive by “working with small island developing countries”.

He said, “There is recognition that there needs be a resetting of the relationship in order that gives more prominence Caribbean, Guyana and the UK.” “And that is happening. That is a work-in-progress.”

Boris Johnson meets President Ali to discuss UK investment

Although relations between the UK and some Caribbean countries have been strained, Ali still hopes to strengthen his relationship with the UK.

The president met Boris Johnson earlier this week to discuss how the UK could invest in his country.

Image: These two leaders met previously at the climate summit, known as COP26. Pic: AP

He said that even though there has been a lot of oil and gas offshore, it is important to invest in the country.

The president stated that oil and gas revenues are not transformative if they are not used to create transformation.

He stated that Guyana’s economy must become multifaceted and believes this is where UK investment might come in.

President Ali stated that the transformation taking place in Guyana will require a lot investment and new technology. The UK has been actively pursuing these opportunities.

He called the meeting with Johnson “excellent”, and added that they discussed a variety of issues, including climate change, energy security, forest management, and energy security.


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