By Richard Coulson
The wind of reparations has been blowing throughout the Caribbean for several years and will soon begin to flutter feathers here in The Bahamas.
The background and the objectives of reparations make a fascinating story—reparations for slavery of African blacks and, a related issue, the genocide of Caribbean indigenous peoples.
Reparations were a major controversial issue and according to one participant “bred enough vexation and anger to fill the city beyond the plenary walls. There was palpable rage in some places,” directed at European nations who stonewalled against admitting slavery as a crime against humanity. The Caribbean delegations left the Conference feeling they had been betrayed by African states like Nigeria and Senegal who gave only luke-warm support to reparations .
The hard-line position taken at Durban by the British Government, as directed by Prime Minister Tony Blair, continued until 2007, with the celebration of 200th Anniversary of abolition of slavery within Great Britain.