Caribbean nations seek $33tn in reparations from Europe's slave trade
Caribbean nations are set to collectively demand $33 trillion in reparations and an apology from European governments for their involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.
A bloc of 15 Caribbean nations seeks $33 trillion in reparations and an apology from European governments for participating in the transatlantic slave trade during the colonial era.
The countries will push for negotiations under a ten-point plan with Britain, France, Spain, and Denmark that would include a formal apology, funding for health and education, and the cancellation of debt and direct payment owed to European governments.
According to the plan, the UK owes these countries $19.6 trillion followed by France with $6.5 trillion in due reparation. The enormous figures extend to Spain which just falls short of France at $6.3 trillion, according to a report produced by an American consulting firm that calculated legal damages for the enslavement of 19 million people over a period of 400 years.
Verene Shepherd, a Jamaican professor of history and vice-chairperson of the reparations commission for Caricom, which is the union of the 15 Caribbean states demanding reparations, said calculating the real impact of the damage caused by the slave trade was almost impossible; however, the figures provided by the American firm will act as a starting point for negotiations.
"We need a figure to begin with, a negotiating figure," she said. "The crime is huge. The responsibility for what happened is huge."
Caricom has been working on a reparation plan since 2013 when it first established a commission.
Recently, London-based attornies hired by Caricom have advised the bloc to file a case in the UK to claim financial reparations. However, Sheperd said the bloc first seeks negotiations before filing a lawsuit.
The official also said Caricom seeks to lobby and pressure European countries into paying for their crimes through the United Nations.
Caribbean countries to demand apologies from UK's Royal Family
Earlier on Sunday, reports indicated that Caricom is preparing official letters requesting that the British Royal Family apologize for slavery and make reparations.
National reparations commissions in the region will also approach Lloyd's of London and the Church of England requesting financial compensation and reparative justice for their historical roles in the slave trade.
In August, a senior judge at the International Court of Justice stated that the United Kingdom would no longer be able to ignore rising requests for compensation for transatlantic slavery.
Judge Patrick Robinson, a Jamaican prosecutor, said the global tide on slavery reparations was rapidly moving and asked the United Kingdom to reconsider its present stance on the matter.
According to The Telegraph, the commissions want to send the letters to the institutions involved before the end of the year.
The Guardian discovered earlier this year that direct relatives of King Charles III and the Royal Family purchased and exploited enslaved people on tobacco plantations in Virginia.
Moreover, Desirée Baptiste's research uncovered a document directing a ship's captain to bring the enslaved Africans to Edward Porteus, a tobacco plantation owner in Virginia, and two other men. Robert Porteus inherited his father's inheritance before relocating his family to England in 1720.
Frances Smith, a direct descendent, later married the aristocracy Claude Bowes-Lyon. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late Queen's mother, was their grandchild.