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VI Premier speaks up for Caribbean people violated by UK

- asks ‘Who do we commission for Windrush, slavery & reparations?’
Pointing out the hypocrisy of the United Kingdom (UK) regarding their treatment of particularly Caribbean people, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has painted a grim but all too true picture of the atrocities that the people of the Virgin Islands and the rest of the region have faced at the hands of the United Kingdom (UK), including via slavery and the more recent Windrush scandal. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was summoned before the UK-sponsored Commission of Inquiry on Monday, October 11, 2021, when he was questioned, among other things, on the issue of Belongership. Photo: YouTube
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was summoned before the UK-sponsored Commission of Inquiry on Monday, October 11, 2021, when he was questioned, among other things, on the issue of Belongership. Photo: YouTube
Ex Governor of the Virgin Islands Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert had said in September 2020 that the Virgin Islands should not look forward to reparations for slavery as the UK has no intentions of paying. Photo: VINO/File
Ex Governor of the Virgin Islands Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert had said in September 2020 that the Virgin Islands should not look forward to reparations for slavery as the UK has no intentions of paying. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has always advocated for the Caribbean people to unite and this was also evident when one of the first things he did as Premier in 2019 was to boldly ensure some 1500 persons, including Caribbean expats, were granted Belongership status under a fast-track programme, having lived and worked in the VI for 20 years and above. Photo: Facebook
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has always advocated for the Caribbean people to unite and this was also evident when one of the first things he did as Premier in 2019 was to boldly ensure some 1500 persons, including Caribbean expats, were granted Belongership status under a fast-track programme, having lived and worked in the VI for 20 years and above. Photo: Facebook
WICKHAM’S CAY II, Tortola, VI- Pointing out the hypocrisy of the United Kingdom (UK) regarding their treatment of particularly Caribbean people, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has painted a grim but all too true picture of the atrocities that the people of the Virgin Islands and the rest of the region have faced at the hands of the United Kingdom (UK), including via slavery and the more recent Windrush Scandal.

Premier Fahie was at the time summoned before the UK-sponsored Commission of Inquiry on Monday, October 11, 2021, when he was questioned on the issue of Belongership.

The Premier made the point that Belongership was intended to bring some balance to the British Nationality Act, which has caused many persons born in the Virgin Islands to be stateless.

He then further delved into areas where Caribbean people and people of African ancestry were wronged by the UK but there is no CoI into those atrocities.

“You have been commissioned by the Governor to do a CoI on terms of reference that are specific, so Sir Gary Hickinbottom, you have to do what you are commissioned to do, but who do we commission for reparation? Who do we commission for slavery? Who do we commission for Windrush?”

The Windrush Scandal in 2018 saw hundreds of Caribbean immigrants living and working in the UK wrongly targeted by immigration enforcement as a result of the government’s “hostile environment” policies.

We have no rights! 

Premier Fahie said the VI has no rights to commission anyone to get justice. 

“These are century-old debates, and we cannot do it because the entity that sent you is larger than us, and there is no law that allows us to look into areas that concern us with them. So when this is finished, yes, you would have completed your terms of reference, and while I am concerned about the tenants of the terms of reference, but that’s nothing for you who’s going to look out for us?”

Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, Commissioner of the CoI, said he had to focus on his terms of reference, which did not include what the Premier was asking.

“You will appreciate that my terms of reference are, in that respect, very narrow. In terms of Belongership, I am looking at the process, that’s what we are looking at and these wider issues which are sensitive, some of them are very difficult, but I understand that you feel very passionate about them. But they fall entirely outside my terms of reference; it isn’t to say that I am not sensitive to them, they may be relevant background to the report, but what I am doing in the report is looking at two things, firstly governance, the way the state decisions are made and implemented, Belongership falls into that category and also in relations to serious dishonesty in public office.”

Double-standards

Premier Fahie also accused the UK of double standards, saying, “While some officials in the UK paint Belonger status in the Virgin Islands as a mortal sin, they cast a blind eye to the double standards that exists in the UK’s own statutes in the British Nationality Act, 1981.”

The Premier said because of this Act, which is also implemented in the VI, thousands of children have been made stateless because the current Act dictates that if a child is born in the UK, that individual can only apply for citizenship if one of their parents are already a UK citizen in the UK or in one of the Overseas Territories.

There are exceptions if a newborn child is found abandoned or if the parent is serving in the armed forces.

Honourable Fahie said in the territory, the Belonger status seeks to provide a balance “and I came here to defend what we are doing for our people and what we are doing for our Caribbean brothers and sisters who have been unfairly treated through Windrush, through slavery, and have not been through reparations.

“We know that this is not a court, it is an inquiry but based on when you go through our laws you will say what you see to you based on the evidence, what is lawful and what is unlawful and then you do a report but the very entity that you turn in the report to will have a decision to make to implement some of your recommendations from that report,” he said.

Advocate for Caribbean unity

Premier Fahie has always advocated for the Caribbean people to unite and this was also evident when one of the first things he did as Premier in 2019 was to boldly ensure some 1500 persons, including Caribbean expats, were granted Belongership status, having lived and worked in the VI for 20 years and above.

On April 28, 2019, in Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis where he was the Keynote Speaker at the People’s Action Movement’s (PAM) 54th Anniversary Convention, Hon Fahie said now more than ever the Caribbean region must think of ways to implement regional unity if it is to succeed as thriving economies in the future.

“For unity to succeed there must also be trust and mutual respect. Too many times in the Caribbean we spend more time tearing down, than uniting. We have to understand in this coalition, none is more important than the other. But you are not the least either, you must demand respect and you must give it,” Hon Fahie told those gathered.

“I come to you today as a friend, and as an observer, but also too as a member of the wider Caribbean fraternity… I come to you also as one of the strongest believers in regional unity, and so I also want to allude to the concept of unity on a regional basis,” he said.

According to Hon Fahie, for Caribbean leaders to truly deliver on the promises of a better way for its people, “there is no better way than to act as one united Caribbean.”

23 Responses to “VI Premier speaks up for Caribbean people violated by UK”

  • yea right (12/10/2021, 12:25) Like (49) Dislike (5) Reply
    Expats in the BVI are Caribbean people too - look what he is doing to them. Damn hypocrite government.
    • HAHA (12/10/2021, 16:16) Like (10) Dislike (14) Reply
      Talking abouty hyprocrite. One of the first things he did was Fast tracking belongership that allowed people that lived here all their life and only been to a BVI school to get residency and belongership. You may have forgot but I bet the over 1500 residents appreciate it. You got to be one of those belongers that were fuming at the mouth talking about expats will take away their livelihoods if they got status.
      • @HAHA (13/10/2021, 06:38) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
        Stop calling it a fast track it was overdue that is why he did it and he still didn’t do what he was supposed to do what happened to the persons that were eligible from the 10 years
  • lies lies and more lies (12/10/2021, 12:36) Like (28) Dislike (2) Reply
    playing the race card
  • All I can say is (12/10/2021, 12:43) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    OY TO THE VEY, VEY. Do you want a standing ovation now?
  • 4 REAL ? (12/10/2021, 12:50) Like (45) Dislike (6) Reply
    IS THIS THE SAM PERSON WHO IS DOUBLE TAXING OUR CARIBBEAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHEN THEY SEND A FEW DOLLARS TO THEIR FAMILY FROM WHAT THEY WORKED HARD AND HONEST FOR AND PAID TAX ON ALREADY , AND THEN BRAGGING ON HOW MUCH HE MADE BY TAXING THEM A SECOND TIME , * THE LORD WILL DEAL WITH YOU AND YOUR PUPPETS IN DUE TIME
  • Xxx (12/10/2021, 12:51) Like (6) Dislike (51) Reply
    The uk hates black people bottom line
    • @xxx (12/10/2021, 18:49) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply
      I am a black woman that have lived in the UK for ten years and have never had any problems in the UK with any hatred.
      • josiah'sbay (12/10/2021, 23:40) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
        While you were there did you read any news papers or listen to the news or media. One person's experience does not tell the story of the collective.
  • Say it ain’t so (12/10/2021, 12:52) Like (45) Dislike (6) Reply
    I am one of the Caribbean people who was born on the Island of Tortola that you have to speak up for that have been violated by the UK. The UK DID NOT VIOLATE US, OUR OWN PEOPLE HAVE VIOLATED US AND THEMSELVES. COI AND THE UK, I WELCOME YOU WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN.
    • @ say it ain’t so (12/10/2021, 21:50) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Go pick up a book and a reflect on what your saying because it’s purely ignorant. You have Stockholm syndrome and self esteem issues get some help.
  • Now 125pm Oct 12th, 21. (12/10/2021, 13:22) Like (41) Dislike (4) Reply
    Fahie started out good, I was impressed, but he has become boring and monatonous....He is now sounding like a child that screaming and shouting and stamping when mommy says no candies for you.. its now an unnecessary delay...All of his Vague and irrelevant, non factual prauncing will be used against him and his govt....
  • Lucifer (12/10/2021, 14:19) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    When so called 'down islanders' start getting treated fairly by the local populace here, I think this conversation can be had. Given that Government policy for belongership here is in breach of its own statute, it would be wise for our honourable premier to keep quiet on such things. Alternatively, he could show himself to be a true friend to his Caribbean brothers and sisters by easing restrictions for those that have been here for years and still cannot attain belongership status
  • brian (12/10/2021, 18:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Romani Ite Domum ✊✊✊
  • my2cents (12/10/2021, 18:56) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    playing the race card = why don't the disadvantaged and oppressed descendants of my family's slaves get over it already, I didn't do it I just benefitted from it, they can work hard in our rigged system and adopt our pt of view & then they'll be ok...doesn't matter I didn't have to work as hard as them, I'm winning b/c I come from a good family of slave owners and found generational wealth & opportunities but it's not my fault.
  • from buckingham palace (12/10/2021, 19:04) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    british colonization saved the caribbean people after slavery was abolished.thats how many caribbean west indians are in uk and bvi.it is immigration treating expats like trashh
  • hgfdtrefgfdsfdgg (12/10/2021, 19:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

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  • we (12/10/2021, 20:17) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    We only want Asians and spanish in the BVI ,no island man
    • @wewe (13/10/2021, 16:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you want the ones you can make slaves. you a massa. cheap labour you want
  • big show (12/10/2021, 20:44) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Sir Gary if I may add I will like ask you to stop allowing this man to come to this COI wasting precious time talking about wind rush this is like a man arrested by the police taken before the court on a court of theft and when a question is put to him he begins to talk about a story he read Sir Gary after December I don’t want to hear you asking for mor time stop this wind rush bull
  • facts (13/10/2021, 06:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So is the Windrush is what Mr Vincent trying to copy
  • hmmm (13/10/2021, 09:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Blackpeople carry the curse of life ....let them burn...in of ignorances of them self as sheep...
  • Windy (13/10/2021, 12:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI, blaming all their faults and inadequacies on racism since 1847


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