Jamaica Demands Slavery Reparations From Britain Ahead Of Cameron’s Visit To The Country

JohnThomas Didymus - Author

Sep. 29 2015, Updated 12:36 p.m. ET

Jamaica has renewed calls for Britain — ahead of the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to the country on Tuesday — to pay billions of pounds in reparations for slavery.

But Downing Street has responded, saying it does not believe that financial compensation or apologies for slavery are the best way to address the issue.

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In an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, published in the Jamaica Observer ahead of Cameron’s first official visit to the country on Tuesday, Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, who chairs the Caricom Reparations Commission, has renewed demands that the U.K. agree to talks on how to pay reparations and issue unreserved apology for the centuries of slavery during which Britain “extracted wealth” for the island and its people.

Caricom is the organization of 14 Caribbean countries demanding reparations from Britain, France, and Holland.

Beckles called on the U.K. to acknowledge its historical responsibility, reminding Cameron that his family, through General Sir James Duff, was involved in slavery in the 1700s and benefited from it, having owned slaves in Jamaica.


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