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Protect our borders! Re-engage barges -Claude O. Skelton Cline

- said borders need to remain protected to prevent human smuggling & possibly curbing COVID-19 spread in VI
July 14th, 2021 | Tags:
In the absence of a definitive source for the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases, one Government Consultant is advocating for the re-engagement of the barges to prevent human smuggling and in turn, curtail the virus spread. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, his sources inside the law enforcement departments are revealing to him that the Joint Task Force is not operating as it should. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, his sources inside the law enforcement departments are revealing to him that the Joint Task Force is not operating as it should. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI- In the absence of a definitive source for the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases, Government Consultant Claude O. Skelton-Cline is advocating for the re-engagement of the barges as a way to prevent human smuggling and possibly curtailing the virus spread.

The barges, which were used between December 2020 and January 2021, cost the government upwards of $300,000 for that period. It also came under heavy criticisms in the public domain as well as in the Commission of Inquiry being conducted by the United Kingdom appointed Commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom.

“The last time we had a flare-up, the source led to this,” he said, referring to human smuggling into the territory.

“Again, I have not heard definitively yet the source of this most current flare-up, but law enforcement, we need to know. Cut this thing off at its source! These borders need to remain protected. Since the removal of those officers on those barges, which now we are scared to revisit because of this CoI, look like it got us paralysed.”

'This is not how the Lord works'- Skelton-Cline

He then asked: “Why is it that we do not have barges back in the water? Why is it that the JTF is not functioning at the optimal level that it was intended to function so that these borders can be protected, lives and livelihoods can be protected until we get our heads and hands around what’s taking place in this country? Why are we so afraid of our own shadow that we cannot speak truth to power and speak soberly about things that are challenging us?”

The clergyman said his sources from inside the law enforcement departments are revealing to him that the Joint Task Force is not operating as it should.

“You would think that by not addressing these things, by not attending to them that somehow it is going to go away and if we pray God is just going to supernaturally just make it disappear? This is not how the Lord works! We have to do our part in partnering with God to set this country on the right path. I am calling on the head of Customs, Immigration, I am calling on the National Security Council, you all get together present the facts as you know them, and come to these people of the Virgin Islands with some decision about what’s being done about the protection of these porous borders.”

Skelton-Cline went a step further, saying that the Health Services Authority “needs to push law enforcement to tell us they suspect where this all start, an official statement needs to be made if it had not been made already, but I have not heard one so that we know what we dealing with.”

The Virgin Islands currently has well over 1000 actives cases of COVID-19. There have been five (5) COVID-19 related deaths.

42 Responses to “Protect our borders! Re-engage barges -Claude O. Skelton Cline”

  • Crs (14/07/2021, 08:43) Like (47) Dislike (3) Reply
    Thank you for my morning giggle
  • Question ?? (14/07/2021, 08:57) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    How many radar towers (fully staffed) and with the needed equipment could be erected for 300K ?
  • trevor (14/07/2021, 08:58) Like (77) Dislike (0) Reply
    So this advice is worth $96,000?
  • Concern Citizen (14/07/2021, 09:08) Like (33) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Skeleton Cline it’s not every time you open your mouth the Government have to jump. Let the Government make collective decisions, but not by you dictating to them. It is not everything they decide you have to air it on the radio before they get a chance to do so. Most times you are miss stepping, and it gets under the public skin.
  • SMH (14/07/2021, 09:17) Like (30) Dislike (11) Reply
    dont you think Mr. sc that this upsurge started because people entered the territory lawfully..fully vaccinated, but who were not tested on arrival...vac persons can still carry this potent virus. it is pointless accepting persons who have tested within the last 5 days prior to travel...unless they isolate on the day of that test and until the day of travel.
    instant testing must be done on arrival.
    make no mistake here...the only way to have any chance of irradicating this from our borders is for the majority of us all to be fullt vacinated.
    What needs to be done right now is to lock us down so we cant continue to spread this. it seems that the only thing we have adhered to as a people/ residents is when we are told to lock down..we do it properly. do it now government...dont wait for it to climb more.. give us 4 days notice abd shut us down. this spread isnt going to stop if people dont listen and think they are immune to spread.
    Please Mr. SC...soread that word...not conspiricy theories...please..please ..please
  • The only people (14/07/2021, 09:20) Like (4) Dislike (21) Reply
    The only people who will have an issue for that are the drug Committee massive! Why would anyone be upset about we protecting our boarders ?
  • school teacher (14/07/2021, 09:30) Like (26) Dislike (3) Reply
    Seems to me that there was a strong correlation between the change in protocol and the unfortunate outbreak. It was only after fully vaccinated persons were allowed to enter without being screened and quarantined that we saw the dangerous increase in positive cases. I believe the government recognized their error and subsequently reversed this part of their vaccine pushing strategy. I wonder which government consultant(s) offerred/agreed to that strategy in the first place?
    • To School Teacher (14/07/2021, 11:58) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
      There is also a strong correlation that unvaccinated people were entering the territory, many insufficiently or haphazardly masked, and there is a largely Unvaccinated population here.
      Just look at the statistics of who is being hospitalized.
  • Source (14/07/2021, 09:31) Like (19) Dislike (10) Reply
    CSK is almost certainly correct, the main source of this COVID outbreak is likely to be human trafficking. The solution however is not the barges. The barges, at a huge cost to the taxpayer, only resulted in the arrests of 2 fishermen and 4 yachtsmen who stayed into BVI waters. No arrests of any smugglers or traffickers were made as a result of the barges.
  • homegrown (14/07/2021, 09:31) Like (46) Dislike (2) Reply
    Take the help the UK offered to send the Navy to assist in securing our borders. Why is there an aversion to taking this free offer, but is so attracted to engaging barges at a hefty monthly rent? Something is amiss.
  • Do those that rearly follow good advice be trusted as good advisors?on't (14/07/2021, 09:32) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla. You advice, in mine and many others honest opinion is incompetentĺly devisive.
    I honestly and strongly urge our goverment leaders to stop wasteing the people's well needed money on you. Especially in a cashstrap time as now. Your suggestions are like wornout shoes. Tired of hearing them.
  • open your eyes (14/07/2021, 09:33) Like (2) Dislike (37) Reply
    This COI is preventing us from running our country as we should. These people are doing more damage than good. They do not care anything about us. See what they are doing tying our hands and feet so we can die. And some people cannot see any further than their nose
  • Silence Claude (14/07/2021, 09:33) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wonder what sort of incentive he has to say something so ridiculous
  • AOC (14/07/2021, 09:34) Like (29) Dislike (0) Reply
    Enough already with his ongoing bs! Cannot believe that this guy is still allowed to speak. Anyplace else and he would be like toast/ finnished. Clueless and irrevelant. Shut him down.
    • Currupt Mentality (14/07/2021, 11:44) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why not call for the Police and Customs Marine Patrol to step up....U all are so accustomed of getting easy money... That currupt Mentality will never go away until someone goes to Jail..
  • Eagle Eye (14/07/2021, 10:07) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Too late now. Only a fool would visit the BVI during these times. Unless the person plans on dying. Thanks for your advice but it's isn't needed.
  • Lucifer (14/07/2021, 10:24) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Missing the quote about Claude holding another of his gangster summits. Maybe the COI need to get him back in to ask more questions about his gangster contacts.

    Better option than the barges would be to get the Royal Navy back out here. I believe this was offered without cost to the territory last time and so makes more sense that splurging $300k on some ineffective barges
  • The UK Navy Ship (14/07/2021, 10:44) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you very much, is preferred.
  • Tongue Fu (14/07/2021, 10:51) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    I hope allyuh paying attention.

    The Government made a decision to exempt vaccinated persons from testing and quarantine from the 15th June 2021. Three weeks later we see the result of this fatal mistake. They have attempted a half baked attempt at reinstating the testing requirement but still no quarantine.

    Their solution: Protect borders so more money could pass yet you put a plaster over the real problem which is vaccinated persons coming in without quarantine.
    • Lucifer (14/07/2021, 11:35) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
      While I don't necessarily disagree that the quarantine exemption for vaccinated persons is a likely issue in asymptomatic infections coming in, what would you propose is the long term fix? Can't have quarantine rules in place indefinitely if you want to encourage tourism back here and so the only obvious solution is to get the vaccination levels up which in turn will help limit the strain on the health services in dealing with symptomatic cases.
      • Angiilla (14/07/2021, 13:47) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        Go check the Anguilla model. Yes, visitors making noise but the world have sufficient tourist so who have a problem with Anguilla rules keep away from Anguilla. Simple!!
    • Hmmmm tooo... (15/07/2021, 08:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Tongue Fu.. Think carefully of what you are saying!! whether vaccinated persons came in and were exempted from testing, this still does not explain the upsurge in COVID infections. what is clear about the upsurge is that (1) Too many person are not vaccinated and (2) persons are not adhering to the health protocols like wearing face mask and washing their hands..this is believe is the main factor and it is due to complacency. since persons are not getting vaccinated then i would imagine that they will fall under the herd immunity category ..the thing about herd immunity is that in order to be effective some person will and must die and this is the hard truth. so people please get vaccinated and play your part in protecting the little ones who at that time are not able to be vaccinated!!
  • That ship has sailed (14/07/2021, 11:03) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    While securing our boarders against trafficking, human and contraband, is always a good idea, I’m afraid it’s too late for that to make much difference regarding our current covid outbreak — coronavirus is now so widespread in the community at large that you can’t stop it by simply locking the borders. Proper mask wearing, avoiding crowds, staying at home and, yes, getting vaccinated are the only way out of this. Stay safe and God bless.
    • Tongue Fu (14/07/2021, 11:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ That ship has sailed.


      Get the borders under control so we can at least stop more cases from coming in UNDETECTED.
  • Idiot (14/07/2021, 11:09) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lol who is this guy? Doesn't think the source of covid might be.... opening tourism? how would the barges stop that
  • E. Leonard (14/07/2021, 11:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Coronavirus (Covid-19) has/is demonstrating the vulnerability of the VI porous and relatively unprotected border. The highly porous, unprotected border is a threat to the VI’s national security, sovereignty, public health and safety, economy……….etc. It is especially vulnerable to its west. Despite lack of sea and air assets ( navy, coast guard) to provide 24-hour comprehensive coverage of its porous border, it must urgently and effectively invest in resources in the short-term improve surveillance, monitoring……etc. In the longer-term, it must take measures to protect its 12 mile territorial sea and 200 mile exclusive economic zone, protecting resources for developing a Blue economy.
  • jus sayin (14/07/2021, 11:58) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Waste of money....& jus givin pple ting to tek dem aint kno bout, dem barge man & dem boat is one once a boat man always a boat cant put a rat to mine cheese
  • Unconventional leadership (14/07/2021, 12:04) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    When we recoup we would re engage. As soon as the COI is completed and orders are made to recoup we will re engage.
  • Wize up people (14/07/2021, 12:19) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    So who is to say that the Navy ship won't be running their own racket given the opportunity. I remember the days when the Navy ships use to visit the BVI regular. What we had was a bunch of drunken sailers reaking havoc through the place. Vehicle accidents and deaths. Please you all do not know what you are begging for. They are no saviours only more problems.
  • Hardtimes (14/07/2021, 12:33) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Mr. Skelton and while you are it why not suggest that other barge owners be given the opportunity to have their barges be used instead of making only one rich family richer?
  • See (14/07/2021, 14:09) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    The outbreak happened after the cruise ship visit . Why are people afraid to say it . ?
    • @ see (14/07/2021, 15:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stop tell lie tht ship ran it's full cruise itinerary so come again is we who had want to be on the beach with them
  • No Claude (14/07/2021, 14:48) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    What we need is the UK Military Boss
  • TruDat! (14/07/2021, 15:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm just going to leave this here - This was announced via a statement from the Governor today, July 14.

    “I wanted to update you on the Commission of Inquiry (CoI), launched by my predecessor because of increasing concerns about poor governance and possible corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty within the British Virgin Islands.”
  • WOODWORK (14/07/2021, 15:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Really? (14/07/2021, 20:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pastor Claude with all due respect that does not make sense. The virus is already in. Financial Resources need to be spent on the much needed medical help our people desperately need right now.

  • well well well (14/07/2021, 21:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What's the problem with the boarders? Pay more money again for your friends
  • Beep beep (15/07/2021, 10:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pocket change getting low?
  • Per Cline (15/07/2021, 14:04) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    So Cline was the very first to make a point offidobeying the very first precautions and instructions to mitigate tragedy resulting from this panemiv
    Hid defiance was recorded by a photo op fortis, his well publicized and documented crime..
    Ii was in defiance of the then Governor's urgent announced mandate for the VI.
    Cline set the tone for the tragic deaths illness and economic bust that is now occurring.

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