Antigua: UPP distances itself from video

Antigua Observer:-The Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP) has stated categorically that the party’s executive did not give prior approval to the controversial video featuring gunfire and public officials as targets and will not attempt to defend its creation.

However, D Gisele Isaac stopped short of condemning the UPP caretaker for St George and former Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force Captain George Wehner, who has claimed responsibility for the video in which he is a central figure.

Isaac declared, “The UPP did not make the video. It was not a UPP promotional video. No official approved or defended the video. What we want is the safety of George Wehner who manfully owned up to the video.”

When asked whether she would condemn the video in addition to not defending it, Isaac replied, “What I will say is that the video was disturbing out of the context in which it was made.”

According to Isaac, the video, to which Prime Minister Gaston Browne moved a motion for Parliamentary condemnation, last week, has been taken out of context.

The party chairman said, “George Wehner has been the host of a programme called ‘In the Trenches’ for almost a year. That video was made, I believe, in June … If you listen to the show the audio from the video is used as promo for the ‘In the Trenches’ show.

“It starts with the prime minister saying ‘we must not relent, we must fight them’ and it continues with Asot Michael saying ‘blood will flow’… The audio is used almost as a call and response.”

She also argued that while she and the UPP “decry violence of any sort in the political realm” she thought it was “disingenuous to pick this out as if it is unusual” and said that such harsh political rhetoric has become the norm.

Isaac was speaking on Sunday’s Big Issues alongside political analyst Peter Wickham and former Ambassador of Jamaica to the United Nations (UN) Curtis A Ward.

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