(NEWS784) – Young opposition senator, Ron Redhead, has suggested: “that what Grenada Should seek to do, is to sign a trade agreement with St. Vincent on behalf of the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique instead.”
During a special sitting of the Upper House of Parliament on Friday, 17th April 2020, at Mt Waldale, St. George’s. Grenada’s COVID-19 Stimulus package was among the three items discussed on the order paper.
In responding to the exchanges between the Leaders of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, Senator Redhead thanked Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for his offer. Labeling it as “a kind gesture” and reminded the sitting of the role St. Vincent played in assisting Grenada with Agricultural produce in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan (2004).
Redhead stated that due to the necessary but sudden restrictions and measures imposed on Grenada through a State of Emergency to combat COVID-19, many residents throughout the island, particularly Carriacou and Petite Martinique, found it difficult at some points of the lockdown to access food.
He said that “Comrade Ralph was simply offering assistance in a structured and organized manner,” and what was needed was just some diplomacy from Grenada. The historical exchanges of goods and inter- island-travel between Grenada’s two offshore islands and St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a normal part of life that citizens have grown customary to in Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
He argued against allocations outlined in the $50 Million Stimulus package presented by the New National Party Government. Stating that “rather than allocating monies for small businesses such as barbershops and Hair salons to take Government loans post COVID-19,” the allocations could have tackled the productive sectors so that, for example, jobs and export in the small manufacturing industry could expand.
“The hand sanitizer and face mask business could produce and start to export to St. Vincent through a trade agreement,” he said. The opposition senator also urged his fellow parliamentarians that a new type of thinking should emerge post-COVID-19 in the Caribbean and praised Cuba for their Medical Internationalism around the world during the pandemic.
“Mr. President in future the region can certainly draw from Cuba’s knowledge and leadership in their Public Health Infrastructure and this has nothing to do with ideology but the new thinking that must emerge in the region post-COVID-19.
“Instead of just crying and wailing to lift an embargo, we should place Cuba in a position to lead, and then the world will have no choice but to accept them.”
The 28-year-old senator is a student at St. George’s University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in the area of Management and Business.