Wednesday 12 August, 2020

The British Virgin Islands divided on the issue of independence

[iStock/Nataneal Ginting]

[iStock/Nataneal Ginting]

Is the British Virgin Islands capable of self-governance?

That's the question being asked by many citizens the debate rages on in the House of Assembly.

Fourth District representative Mark Vanterpool is among those in favour of independence.

He said he does not understand why so many citizens are of the view that the territory is incapable of self-governance.

The legislator said for some strange reason there seems to be a negative stigma attached to the word independence, in the British Virgin Islands.

He said even in the House of Assembly legislator shy away from the word, preferring instead to use the phrase self-determination.

According to Vanterpool, there appears to be a double-standard when it comes to the BVIs quest for political freedom.

“What is baffling to me about colonialism is that the great United Kingdom felt that they were under a burden of something called the European Union and they fought to get out. But when we raise our heads to try to get out from what we are under, we are villains. When we raise our heads and say we don’t want anybody in the Foreign Commonwealth Office telling us how much money we should spend and how much we should borrow and how much road we should build and where we should go… when we raise our head and say that, we are demons.”

The District Four representative claims he was victimised for speaking in favour of independence back in 2013.

On Wednesday Minister Vincent Wheatley said the pursuit of independence could be a very dangerous thing.

He said what the BVI really wants, is autonomy.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: