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Independence not in best interest of VI- Conrad A. Maduro

- said selfishness & greed of elected representatives would be the destruction of VI
September 25th, 2016 | Tags: Conrad A. Maduro independence greed selfishness security
Talk show host Mr Conrad A. Maduro strongly believes the Virgin Islands is not ready for independence. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Conrad A. Maduro, at the end of the day it will be up to the people to decide whether they would like to break away from the United Kingdom. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Conrad A. Maduro, at the end of the day it will be up to the people to decide whether they would like to break away from the United Kingdom. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While admitting that the buck stops at the feet of the Virgin Islanders, talk show host Mr Conrad A. Maduro said severing ties with the United Kingdom in his opinion will not be in the best interest of the people since, among others, the economy cannot sustain the independent move and the cost to maintain the territory would triple or quadruple more due to selfishness and greed of elected representatives.

He was speaking on the Conrad Maduro Radio Programme on ZBVI 780 AM on Saturday September 24, 2016 on the topic: Is the VI ready for independence?

Mr Maduro pointed out that independence from Great Britain is on the minds of many and they strongly believe that the Virgin Islands (VI) should go independent and have a change of status from being a UK territory.

However, “In everything that we do we need to thoroughly consider taking into consideration the disadvantages of whether to remain a territory or become a nation and choose the lesser of the two evils or the one that benefits the most.”#

Considerations for Independence

The talk show host Maduro said he believes that some of the most important things for considering independence include the means of sustenance, the strength of the economy, the complete history of the territory particularly pertaining to the culture of the people, population growth, migration, immigration, internal security, good governance and the additional cost of being a nation as compared to that of a territory.

In addition, he continued, the basic functions of government are to maintaining domestic order, security and to defend the country from outside attacks; something that the government would have to provide. He said a government has three main branches- legislative, executive and judicial- and based on the importance of these three branches, it takes a good government to defend the people’s freedom, protect their rights, provide equal opportunities and execute justice; and these three branches of government must be kept clean and free from all corruption and dishonesty.

“As a people, the course to take is your choice is yours to make, put your house in order to what you see best but, according to my knowledge, based on the facts, it is not my opinion that independence  will be in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands. If Virgin Islanders as a people go independent today the fly would take us tomorrow,” he insisted.

Mr Maduro noted that presently the representatives are collecting an unnecessary $2,000 a month in house rent, which equates to over a million for one term. He said in addition to this is traveling allowance, entertainment, and other allowances, while properties are being lost to the banks.

Higher cost of living will be imminent

He said in proportion to the budget that is over 300 million, that will increase to over 1 billion and land, house and other taxes will also rise. Mr Maduro added that there will be a breakdown in law and order, seemingly beginning with the Ministers of government, pointing out to the recent illegal transferring of eight (8) million from the East End/Long Look Sewerage Project to the Cruise Pier Project.

Authoritative figures should lead by example

“If law and order are to be maintained, those in authority should show the example. If the laws are bent to suit the whims and fancies of those in authority then justice cannot be done,” he remarked.

“Because it is in accordance with laws justice is given and those who are to ensure that justice is done, become the servants of corruption and injustice, and misery becomes the norm of the day and wretchedness take hold of the lives of the people.”

End to secrecy

The programme host added that if the territory were to experience good democratic government by the people and for the people then the voice of the people should be heard and since the people are the government, government business is the people’s business.

“There is no such thing as a public secret with the exception of military secrets for security purposes,” he said.

No excuse by Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

Mr Maduro continued that every penny spent should be accounted for as the public business and the responsibility of that accountability in the Virgin Islands government is that of the Public Accounts Committee.

“There is no excuse for the dereliction of duties and every individual is entitled to equal rights, equal opportunities, justice, freedom, freedom of speech in their government and affairs of their country,” he stated.

Co-host of the programme, Mr Ulric Scatliffe was also in agreement, saying that it is public knowledge that he believes the territory is not ready for independence and they may never be ready for that leap to independence.

21 Responses to “Independence not in best interest of VI- Conrad A. Maduro”

  • 111 (25/09/2016, 10:02) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    connie is on to something good here!
  • corruption? (25/09/2016, 10:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is he calling his niece from the (z6ne) selfish and greedy?
  • voter (25/09/2016, 11:13) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    A blind man can see what Conrad is saying is the truth!
  • E. Leonard (25/09/2016, 12:00) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    As many of its regional sister countries, who though they had the right to self determination, were not prepared for independence, so too is the VI, a tiny, 59 square miles, 36+ islands, islets, cays and rocks; 40,000 population and resource-poor dot in the Cariibean Sea, also not ready/prepared for independence. The VI boasts of having one of the highest standard of living and quality of life, along with one of the highest per capita income-$41K-, in the region. Per capita income can be misleading. Nonetheless, independence cannot be based on a small percentage of the population earning a high income. Independence has to be based on national wealth, not income. Moreover, one of the VI obstacles to independence is its small size.

    Its small size( 59 square miles, 40,000 population) comes with many disadvantages and vulnerabilities(DV). These DVs include, i.e., small population, high cost of governing, high import/low export, narrow economic base, small domestic market, limited ability to influence prices, limited opportunities for economies of scale and scope, narrow economic base, relative remoteness from major markets, high transportation, communication and energy cost; susceptibility to external shocks, high exposure to natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes), threat of global warming (rising sea levels), protecting and preserving environmental resources. Lacking the resources on which to construct either a primary( fishing, precious metals, forestry, agricultural production) or secondary (manufacturing) economy, it has a fragile service-based economy that is anchored by tourism and financial services.

    Moreover, independence would require the VI to fund and provide for its external affairs and defence; the UK currently cover the cost for these services. Additionally, as a precursor to even seriously thinking of self determination, the VI has to build sustainable infrastructure (physical, social....etc), strong and sustainable economic base, strong and competitive education system........etc. In the end, it is up to Virgin Islanders to decide if they want 1) to continue the current relationship with the U.K. (with some tweaking), 2) linking up with another developed country, 3) linking up other regional sister countries or 4) taking the plunge for independence. Should the VI let voters decide now by putting it to a referendum? It should so that the issue can be settled (at least for now) and it can get to work to plan the path forward. The VI is not ready/prepared at this time for independence.
    • voter (25/09/2016, 12:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The only purpose of these independence calls is to remove the external scrutiny by the British that we so need given the crookery that passes for government these days
    • soso (26/09/2016, 10:29) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      We are not ready and prepared, so what is wrong in start preparing? While we say we are not ready, there are those who are readying themselves for our take-over. Wake up tomorrow and you have no UK, then you will hear the umfang!! Prepare, prepare, prepare!
  • Hell no (25/09/2016, 12:16) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
  • street reporter. (25/09/2016, 12:34) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Now, soon or later. Independence is inevitable. It's a costly venture, we will be responsible for our own national security. First. We will have to double the police force, create a small Army, then we will need war tanks. And coast guard boat with big guns attached.. Then we may end up with a real dictator as leader..other part of the Caribbean is an example..
  • frustrated (25/09/2016, 15:45) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    we need independence but certainly not under an NDP
  • Bushmaster (25/09/2016, 19:05) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Streups. Not under NDP

  • John (25/09/2016, 22:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Frustrated, can you or someone tell us why we need independence? Too many people are asking for something without an understanding of what it entails.

    Those ministers who are asking for independence are asking for it because they think it can get them off the hook for financial mismanagement and outright theft; so they don't care about the consequences. But independence or not, the truth about their misdeeds will be revealed. Lets hope its before their socalled independence.
  • Not2Sure (25/09/2016, 23:04) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    With leaderz like frazer funny man the cuban and the sleeper i say HELL NO ON INDEPENDENCE BAM
  • geoff (26/09/2016, 05:54) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    You are assuming that independence will be a BVI choice Conrad! UK are already a long way down the line in their plan to jettison OT's. OT's don't add any value to their "go it alone" strategy and they can not afford to keep them any longer. You should be commenting on how the country should be sucking up to the UK and accommodating their wishes whilst the current status quo lasts. Don't you read the international press? You need to start getting ready for the inevitable, its coming and soon.
  • wize up (26/09/2016, 07:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Before independence regulations must be in place for the politicians some of them only have their self interest while in office especially those holding ministries: independences is a serious move that will take good honest leadership: independences is far more that a conversation we have to take a good hard look at regional and international affiliations: national security and food: banking relationship and currency spending: the key to developing under independences is leadership.....
  • poor people (26/09/2016, 10:24) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Some are always on here saying we are not ready for independence, but we were independent already and are independent now. When then white boys left your ancestors here and gave you the land, you were independent then. What did our ancestors do? They managed the best they could, fed themselves and fed other islands. When Willard Wheatley got us out of granting aid, we were independent then and we are still independent now. What does UK give to the Virgin Islands to pad their budget? Nothing! If UK decides to leave our tails again high and dry, what will we do, say we are not ready for independence and hold on to the tail of the enslaver? People, wake up, the best thing to do now while we have time is prepare for independence, least it is thrust on us instantly. So, Virgin Islanders, start the independence planning. Let me give you a few ideas.

    1. We have a Territorial Song
    2. We have a Territorial Pledge
    2. Work on a design for a Flag for the Territory
    4. Work on a Constitution
    5. Work on plans for internal and external security
    6. Work on emergency plans if we have an economic crisis
    7. Work on a five year plan; ten year plan and 20 year plan for the Territory.

    People of the Virgin Islands, stop being "young tings who cannot leave your mother." All men and women leave their parents one day. Only the indigent stays under mother's wings and then what happens one day, Mother dies and leave the indigent.
    Do not be in the position of the indigent, Virgin Islanders. There is nothing to fear about independence. It is only those who do not understand how we got here in the first place would want to continue to be under the UK's wings forever. Look at what is happening in the UK now. She got time to study us? Look around the Independent Caribbean countries, are they dying; is anyone taking them over? Learn from them and chart a better course for yourselves. We are Melanin, indestructible, and come what may, for richer or poorer, the Virgin Islands will survive. We are more educated now, we are hard working and will make it. Do not listen to those who have no faith. I have more faith in any of my people than those the enslaver may appoint. Take a look at how we were colonized before and see the treatment of the indigenous people. Any of our leaders that you call bad is not even a percent as wicked, deceptive and brutal than an Overseer. Please, put trust in our own people. Do not keep my grand children forever under the hands of the same Colonial Master who enslaved their ancestors. How in the name of the Father, Son and "Make Up Holy Ghost" can such a position be better for us? People, chart your own course and your own destiny. The God of our forefathers and ancestors will ever be with us. So let it be!
    • Disinterested (26/09/2016, 18:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @poor people, we were independent already and are independent now. Really!!! Leave that stuff alone before it cause further damage.
      • BoiBoy (29/09/2016, 00:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Too true.

        I hope these people are ready to pay the cost of independence. We need to move on from bad history and grow up.
        We can't afford proper ferries or airport... how can we afford independence. We are the size of a neighborhood in Miami. Get real people.
  • WTF (26/09/2016, 17:04) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Conrad we need you back
  • wize up (26/09/2016, 18:29) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ poor people....the facts that you laid out in your blog are great but I must pay particular attention to point you made about Hon W Wheatley and granting aid and this done in the early 70s however by 2011 the United Kingdom has given the territory the protocol for effective financial management because of poor political leadership: a number of other facts in your blog which our forefather work to accomplish are slowly slipping away from us again because of poor political leaders....we are talking systemic independence liberation as a country and top notch leadership is important

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