Caribbean countries unlikely to see slave-trade reparations from Europe

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ROAD MAP FOR REPARATIONS FOR NATIVE GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY
IN THE CARIBBEAN

FULL SPEECH

A coalition of Caribbean nations is threatening to sue 11 European countries over the lingering effects of the Atlantic slave trade. But while they have a slim chance of seeing reparations granted in court, they could gain political leverage by elevating the issue at the United Nations. The controversial move could have widespread repercussions for countries that facilitated the slave trade — and benefits for those who suffered from it.

The 15 countries bringing the lawsuit are pressuring governments that participated in the slave trade, including those of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France, to come to the negotiating table with the aim of agreeing on what they believe to be fair restitution. But the nations say they are not looking to be compensated for slavery itself — rather, they are contending that the present-day underdevelopment of the Caribbean islands is a result of the lasting legacy of the slavery trade, and they are attempting to claim benefits for present-day injustice, rather than historical suffering.

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