BVI News

Premier draws on shared heritage in Emancipation message

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Commonalities among Caribbean nationals and the shared legacy of those enslaved during the trans-Atlantic slave trade were just some of the themes underscored by Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley in his message at the traditional Sunday Morning Well Service yesterday, July 31.

A reflective Dr Wheatley recalled the horrors that took place during slavery and warned that the hard-fought freedom won by slaves at that time should never be taken for granted by their descendants today.

A people who do not have a history, the Premier said, have no identity. “It is as if they do not exist and never did.”

He continued: “They have nothing to connect them and nothing to feel connected to. And throughout history, we have seen this happen to people.”

“We must never take their fight for granted. We cannot observe Emancipation without referring to what the Emancipation is in relation to,” the territory’s leader said.

An ardent student of history himself, Dr Wheatley said that during the time of the slave trade, more than 12 million men, women and children were stolen from their homes and shipped to plantations in the so-called new world.

But the Premier was also keen on striking a chord of unity in his message, noting that there is much similarity among countries with a shared heritage of enslavement.

“There’s much that is similar, there is as much that is similar as our differences,” Dr Wheatley stated.

According to the Premier, while we can be proud of our uniqueness and passionate about our unique identities, we must also appreciate, celebrate, and leverage our similarities.

He urged people to join hands in an effort at advancing all the people of the region.

“I say this, not just in terms of advancing development and self-determination and so forth, but also in meeting challenges we are facing such as dealing with food supply and food price issues, and climate issues,” the Premier said.

Dr Wheatley said the chances of success are greater; and faster results can be achieved by coming together rather than by being divided and distant.


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  1. Wheatley says:

    Wheatley please remember that your relatives sold the 12 million into bondage. Perhaps they should be paying reparations? Always the negro doing hateful shameful shit to each other but they always blame the clears.

  2. YES TO UK says:

    Hear is a man that is always talking about slavery and in the past put down the UK but can be seen kiss up to prince charles while in the UK a bout a week ago.

  3. Roxane says:

    This man is confused. Can’t wait for May 2023

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  4. Shame says:

    The enslaved Africans suffered under the colonisers, and now the children of enslaved Africans are enslaving each other, insulting them with terms such as downislander, denying their rights to nationality, demeaning them through starvation wages, claiming superior status even though many of them cohabit and marry their relatives, steal their hard earned wages through a remittance tax, pass legislation that disrespect and Rob them of dignity and the list goes on. Sir you are no better than the colonial enslavers. You treat your colour own with utter disrespect and you have no shame.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  5. Well sah says:

    Is now he knows we all share Caribbean roots . I though if you were not 3rd generation VI you were down island folks . Too much hate red in this small place . That is why there is so much exposure of wrong doing . But nothing is changing much . People in high position still practicing cronyism and nepotism

  6. Uh huh says:

    So let’s find our identity in slavery? How about our identity as a friendly, smart, get it done people?

  7. vi says:

    what an cl**n of a Premier

  8. YES TO UK says:

    @Shame No one has a right to nationality in other mans country.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  9. YES says:

    @Shame If you don’t like all of these things why don’t you leave.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. @Yes to Uk says:

    Take time and read the UN Convention on citizenship, nationality, and statelessness. I saw a post on them a few days ago and reading them opened my eyes. You want the UN as a resource on independence and self-determination but not on the items above. Isn’t that the definition of hypocrisy?

  11. @Yes says:

    Obviously your literacy level is showing. No where in the post was the emotion of like or hate expressed. What was stated was the uncomfortable truth of equivocation and double-dealing which when exposed causes the reaction you displayed.

  12. @@yes to UK says:

    No one should consider themselves stateless we were all born some place.

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