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Community meeting report: Residents don’t want independence

The majority of locals across the four main islands of the territory do not want independence from Britain.

That was from a report arising out of a series of community meetings held to document residents’ opinion on what they want the future of the relationship between the BVI and the United Kingdom to become.

“I don’t recall even one person advocating for independence at this time. Many people were saying we need to prepare for that eventuality but I think constitutional advancement isn’t something that … will be necessary at this time,” said local attorney, Jamal Smith – a member of the Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie-led committees that organised the meetings.

The attorney told journalist on Monday that while residents are not eyeing constitutional advancement, they are interested in the BVI getting constitutional reform.

He said several residents wanted such constitutional reform to reflect ‘better governance’.

“What people want to see is a reformed system of governance that puts the proper checks and balances in place and ensures that we have better systems,” Smith added.

“Although all of that didn’t specifically relate to the relationship between the UK and the Overseas Territories, it was tied to it because of that trust that the people place in Her Majesty to act in our best behalf. And so, we got a lot of comments in relation to what people perceive as the current mismanagement or apparent dissatisfaction with the current leadership,” Smith explained.

He continued: “I suspect a constitutional reform must be something that the British government sees as important out of this report.”

The responses of residents in relation to what they want the future of the BVI/UK to be was submitted to the United Kingdom on Monday, September 3, as part of an inquiry being conducted by Britain.

The inquiry is assessing how effectively the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office manages its responsibilities towards the BVI and other OTs.

Persons were given until September 3 to submit responses for the inquiry but the UK recently extended that deadline to September 18.

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28 Comments

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  1. Hmmmmm says:

    —— —— is the same l—– who they said would take —- to court if he wins because his mother and Father isn’t from here? It look like this whole g— who were in on this were working together on the UK consultation… hmmmmm

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    • Never had a say! says:

      Come out of the Commonwealth VI, we never had a say in this relationship with the colonists, just like we never had a say when they made us SLAVES!

      We settled for what they offered us after slavery, which was to keep us back and limit us by placing us in their Commonwealth!

      We are a free and independent people, we must strive for equal dealing with all other nations. UK don’t know us like we know us. We don’t need crumbs from their tables.

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  2. Reality says:

    Unfortunately the Dr Pickering and Dr Smith brigade (not the premier the other methodist preacher one – Angel Smith) won’t agree and they will continue to push for Independence then they can do absolutely what they want without any governance or proper controls (much as it is now actually!)…prepare for a country soon that resembles Haiti!

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  3. resident says:

    yes we do at some point but not under the ndp

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    • Kinte says:

      Independece under either party is lose lose situation. The B.V.I. now nor in the future cannot survive. We are an importer not an exporter.

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  4. Simalo says:

    What community redidents? The community residents are dominantly folks from other countries ,immigrants with little or no status,education ownership of any kind.little knowledge of history,their own or the VIand no stake in the future of the vi.
    They need to go back home and put their 2cents opinion in the concerns of their own country which they have destroyed and abandon.
    Freedom for the mellanated in the Caribbean is the goal.Colonialism is out!!!

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  5. Brad Boynes says:

    Independence on/with what?

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    • @Brad Boynes says:

      Your exact question was asked by the enslaved repeatedly 100 plus years ago and continues to be asked by victims of abuse as an excuse for their fears and uncertainty and insecurities.
      Freedom is now,if not now when?

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  6. Cudjoe says:

    With What?

    With your pride.
    With your dignity.

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  7. VPS says:

    What? the proud people of the BVI who cry down other Caribbean residents and call them island people don’t want independence? they too afraid to stand on their own? such a shame…I would have thought that such a proud group of people would be happy to say that they are independent…I guess not.

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    • VGB says:

      We don’t have to make the same mistakes as so many of you have? When going independent, we need to know how we are going to have the same or a better quality of life – not independence for the sake of saying that we are independent. (Too many of you seem to loathe the BVI, yet you stay on. Why not try to enjoy life where you have chosen to come and let the people know that you are happy to live among us? Try speaking to the older folks who came here many years ago and ask them how they managed to get along with the locals. Take a page from their books!)

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  8. Ancestor Spirit says:

    Freedom of the mind will continue to be negligible amongst our people.

    Our people are still ignorant; still brainwashed and mentally blind.

    Proper evolution of the mind will take another thousand years, and even after the passage of that time they will still be bowing to their slave master.

    Their sense of nationhood, self determination and master of one’s own destiny has died with their ancestors.

    Sad to know that so many of our people still wants to be ruled by the slaver and hater man. What a pitiful people!!

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    • Django says:

      What’s really pitiful is that you cannot see that if you are also a BVIslander and we are ” still ignorant; still brainwashed and mentally blind” then you too are ignorant; still brainwashed and mentally blind. So the likelihood of you being wrong is really high.
      Alternatively we may be smart people who know that having the British governing us is better than the Muppets we have here governing us.

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    • To Django says:

      No one, it is not yet known, with the house negro mentality has ever contributed to the upliftment, progress and freedom of the Black man.

  9. dude says:

    I am already independent in my mind body & spirit so until they pay reparations we can be part of their world order. Why reclassify ourselves over someone’s false pride? & why is the NDP pushing for this when they themselves wish their own ppl no good? We good right with our status as is. We have other more local battles to fight b4 we fight that one

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  10. E. Leonard says:

    The VI(BVI), though one of smallest countries in the region, boast of having one of the highest standard of living, quality of life, per capita income (~$38K), and having an approx $1B GDP (2018 GDP lower due to 2017 devastating storms) in the region. Nonetheless, BVI, a resource-poor (primary and most important resource is human capital), tiny dot of 59 square mile, and comprising of 36 islands, islets and rocks spread over the Caribbean Sea and with an approximate population of 30K (100+ different nationalities) is not at this juncture ready for political independence. In my opinion, the BVI needs to pursue economic independence before attaining political independence that it has the right to without obstruction consistent with UN charter.

    The VI lacks the natural resources to establish either a primary (forestry, fishing, oil, precious metals, strategic minerals) or a secondary (manufacturing) economy. Its economy is service-based; financial services and tourism, two fragile sectors, formed the twin pillars of the economy. Both sectors are susceptible to external shocks, ie, weather systems, poor economic conditions.etc. While strengthening, deepening, improving and sustaining these two sectors, it must work aggresively to diversify its economy. Diversifying the economy is insurance that prevents the stumbling of one sector causing the tumbling of the whole economy. Further, its small size poses some disadvantages to its economic and political independence.

    Moreover, though the territory is not curently economic independent nor ready for political independence, it should still have a national discussion on self-determination and/or independence. It should take a 3D approach to independence: Discover, Debate and Decide. Additionally, it needs to collaborate with the UK on more autonomy. It currently shares joint governing responsibility with the UK. Local government is responsible for internal affairs and finance; UK, external affairs, internal security, defense, civil service, police, jail (partial) and the judiciary.

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    • Socrates says:

      Interesting take on independence and food for thought:

      1. Political vs Economic Independence

      2. Twin Pillar Fragile Economy vs Diversified Economy

      3. Small Size vs Disadvantages

      4. Resource-poor vs Natural Resources

    • BVI Enclave says:

      Ok. In this blog, along with other writings, ie, article on BVI independence in the VI Daily News……..etc, you are not supporting BVI political independence at this juncture. You are advocating for economic independence b4 political independence. Further, you have rightly proclaimed that the BVI is resource-poor without the resources to develop either a primary or secondary economy. Its economy is geared towards service, ie, tourism and financial services. But you tagged both of them as fragile. So what do you suggest the BVI do to pursue economic independence?

  11. Fuselage says:

    Playing the mind game by the colonisers and their debtor with a soul for sale sale is tired and predictable. As someone previously mentioned,VI communties are made up mostly of transient immigrants who outnumber BVIslanders and have little or no stake in the future of the VI.
    Not surprisingly,this attempt at international embarrassment and collusion with the colonisers is spearheaded by the F
    and is apropos of his actions in destroying the VI and its Gov.
    Pay Attention ! Things are not what they seem.

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  12. Idea says:

    Give all the OTS representation in the U.K. Why not move the relationship to countries within the united kingdom with equal status just self governing provinces or special administrative districts

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    • Quiet Storm says:

      @Idea, nice try. But it is not highly probable that the UK will be granting each of the 14 OTs an individual seat in Parliament. It is more likely that it may grant OTs a single rep in Parliament. The question is how will the rep be elected?

  13. Haiti says:

    Like haiti if independent

  14. Interested says:

    Much food for thought E.Leonard.

  15. Idea says:

    Curacao is practically an independant country it governs its own affairs it just have the netherlands for cutizenship,international representation and defense. It operates as an independant country within the netherlands. They have their own local laws and can deport anyone even people from the netherlands. If the bvi does decide to go independant this is the only way it would work sensibly. But the better option is the have a representative from each ot send a minister or have one based in the u.k to voice the concern of their territory. Another option is to integrate the ots as special autonomous self governing integral parts of the u.k.

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