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Region can use similarities from slavery to unite & address challenges– Premier

- Says chances of success are greater if Caribbean can stop being divided & distant
Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has called on the Caribbean region to leverage the similarities of slavery to foster greater regional integration among countries. Photo: GIS/Facebook
Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley said different geographies and resources, and exposure to varied cultures, influence the differences among the people in the different islands, however, there are some convergence zones. Photo: Internet Source
Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley said different geographies and resources, and exposure to varied cultures, influence the differences among the people in the different islands, however, there are some convergence zones. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has called on the Caribbean region to leverage the similarities of slavery to foster greater regional integration among countries.

Dr the Hon Wheatley made the remarks while speaking during a Virgin Islands Heritage Month Committee Emancipation Service at Sunday Morning Well on July 31, 2022, on the topic of the plantation society, unity and heritage across the region.

Slavery created division & distrust - Dr Wheatley 

“One of the characteristics of the plantation slavery system was that of creating distrust and division among the slave population. People who are disunited, and who are fighting and clawing over each other for table scraps pose no real threat to the plantation economy and the structures of the system that holds them down.”

He said today, even as the VI and other countries find themselves having deep discussions about our identity, heritage and our culture, the people on all the islands of the Caribbean and other places have histories that make them unique in their respective ways.

“But among those countries that have the slave era in their history, there is much that is similar as there are differences.”

He said different geographies and resources, and exposure to varied cultures, influence the differences among the people in the different islands; however, there are some convergence zones.

Blood relatives spread across islands 

“The first thing we have in common is that our ancestors were slaves. We share that. Secondly, it was not uncommon for families to be broken up and members shipped to different plantations, different colonies, and different islands – often as a simple business decision, as punishment to someone, or as a suppressive measure.”

He said as descendants of the former slaves, persons have lots of blood relatives spread across the islands and just do not know and he reminded that after slavery, our fore-parents began to travel between the islands to barter and trade with one another.

“Persons began to travel between the islands – this time by their own choice, and they formed relationships. Some resettled, some started families, and we have examples we can relate to with our family in St Thomas, St John, St Croix, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and so forth.”

More success in unity 

Dr Wheatley added that while the region can be proud of its uniqueness and passionate about its identities, there must also be an appreciation to celebrate and leverage their similarities.

“If we can recognise this and join hands we would be amazed at how huge our family is, how huge a network we have to advance all the peoples of the region,” he added.

The Premier said his thoughts are not just in terms of advancing development and self-determination, but also in meeting regional challenges such as food supply and price along with the climate change issues.

“The chances of success are greater and we can get faster results by coming together than by being divided and distant. And I say this for us to consider as a region and at a national level,” he added.  

 

12 Responses to “Region can use similarities from slavery to unite & address challenges– Premier”

  • resident (02/08/2022, 15:59) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    It’s funny hearing this with the whole long standing discriminating nation against down Islanders and other expats in the BVI. If residents got the vote it might be different.
    • Shem (02/08/2022, 20:29) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Thanks for saying this so clear .you are so right.the descrimination against expat is very strong right in his eyes and u think he dont see or knows .hypocrite .just trying to impress
  • WTF (02/08/2022, 17:10) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    slavery being in bondage with no rights and nothing owned and worked till death. You equate that to a territory making billions of dollars over the past 30yrs with poor infrastructure but some local families with very healthy bank accounts, get a fucking grip.
  • HERE WE GO AGAIN (02/08/2022, 18:03) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    EVERYTHING IS THESE DAYS I BLAMED ON RACISM - SLAVERY - COLONIALISM - MR STOUTT MUST BE SHAKING HIS HEAD / INSTEAD OF A SMILE ON WHAT PROGRESS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE AFTER ALL HE DID TO DEVELOPTHE COUNTRY WITH THE LITTLE HE HAD TO WORK WITH , AND IT IS AS IF HE DIDN'T KNOW OF ALL THESE NEW DISCOVERIES THAT HAS BEEN DISCOVERED LATELY ,
  • Eagle Eye (02/08/2022, 18:35) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    If you was around to get a whip across your back you would have spoken different
  • pop (02/08/2022, 18:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    30 years of having a lucrative financial services industry raking in paper dollars is nothing compared the profits of precious metals including gold and lasting effects of world wide European domination. Everyone with a sane mind should work together to right these wrongs, not sweep it under the rug to be repeated in the future.

    Everyone learns about Nazis & Hitler but slavery we sweep that under & deny it.

    The worst kinds of atrocities included spreading plagues among native Americans, the first slaves. The natives died due to over work and European diseases, then Africans from the old world were introduced as disease resistant, hard backed slaves.

    The kings & queens of Europe plotted to enslave brown people from south America to India based on skin color & their perceived superiority. Disenfranchised for centuries. The money they print as if its gold is currently used to control people. A tax to live is what they want to place upon the world.

    The best part of all of it is that the best plans go hay wire. The signs are clear & im waiting with my popcorn for the rest of the world to wake up. Our children will profit. Stay home, buy land & build your countries economically, socially & spiritually.

    Spiritually the globe was robbed of keys to open your eyes, robbed of love and filled with hate.

    All under the guise of Christianity which was blasphemy. While Christ taught love & gave his life, his teachings were twisted by men as a means of control and excuse to commit mass murders.

    Globalization was against the majority of the globe. Now use it to your advantage post your products & services online to reach foreign markets from the tropics.
  • Yes to UK (02/08/2022, 20:28) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Natalio D. Wheatley, You really need to find somewhere to sit down and stop all the crap you been talking for the last 3 years, the UK nee to put you in your place and take over the BVI for the 2 years the COI recommended.We are sick of you talking the same Sh1t.
  • PT (03/08/2022, 00:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Slow wander is the biggest sell out
  • redemption (03/08/2022, 04:41) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have been sitting by the rivers of Babylon crying about those that took us captive and making demands of us too long. When are going to sing a redemption song? Listen look at what we have achieved in spite of being descendants of slaves. The only thing that is keeping us in captivity is our minds. While colonization and the horrible slave trade should not be forgotten we should pass it on to our children as a shackle to their minds. We should be celebrating our achievements. Furthermore we should visit West Africa. People are still suffering as a direct result of this trade. People who lost their forefathers, brothers, fathers, mothers sisters, etc who would have provided a better future for them. Their lives were ruin. These are the people who should be compensated not us. Compare them to us. It is time to leave the Rivers of Babyon and take up our drums and celebrate triumph.
  • ALL YO JOKERS (03/08/2022, 11:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    JUST LOVE LOVE TO QUOTE CERTAIN PARTS OF HISTORY TO CREATE FRICTION / SO IT SAYS HOW TWISTED SOME OF US MINDS ARE , TRY SPEAKING THE TRUTH FOR A CHANGE , IT WILL HELP IN CLEANSING OF YOUR PETTY MINDS ????
  • E. Leonard (04/08/2022, 12:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Caribbean region has a shared history, heritage, culture, challenges, concerns and a common identity.. The region is relatively small, resource-poor, and widely disperse, stretching form Guyana to the Bahamas to Belize to Jamaica to Barbados to Bermuda; thus it must and should leverage its limited resources to benefit the most people in the region. The region must move from aspirational unity to actual unity. One of the greatest obstacle and fear of national unity is country leaders/people unwilling to yield some national sovereignty to a central body. This fear is hamstringing the region and will continue to do so until there is a change. Unity is strength and power.


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