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Jimmy Cliff calls for slavery reparations

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Mar 13, 2014 | 7:18am EDT

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff has backed calls for European nations to pay reparations to Caribbean countries targeted by the slave trade. The issue hit headlines this week (beg10Mar14) when the leaders of 15 Caribbean states issued a demand for official apologies and compensation from countries including Britain and France for their part in the barbaric practice. Cliff, who hails from Jamaica, has now waded into the debate, insisting Caribbean communities have the right to be reimbursed. He tells the London Evening Standard, "You know, you have all these bredren (sic), they were saying, 'Look, the Queen is supposed to pay us back.' There were lots of them who were very serious about it too and they have a logical point to prove. But look, the Jews have always highlighted what has happened, their plight, what has happened to them, and also say, 'Ok, you did that, you're supposed to pay us something back.' So why not other people, like my ancestors? I think it's a fair deal." Cliff's classic hit Many Rivers To Cross is partially inspired by slavery.

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