BVI edges closer to CARICOM | Independence on the horizon?
With the historic opening of a St Vincent & the Grenadines’ consulate in the BVI, the question of whether the Andrew Fahie administration is looking to take concrete steps towards independence can’t be ignored.
As Premier Fahie mentioned, the establishment of a consulate makes sense as the two countries share a long and fruitful relationship. Premier Fahie also pointed out that Vincentians represent the largest group of migrants in the BVI, with more than 2,000 currently living and working here.
But the move to have the first-ever diplomatic representative office established in the territory raises several questions such as: Are there plans to establish consulates and appoint consuls to other CARICOM countries?
Is the new St Vincent consulate the first real sign of the BVI’s deepening relationship with CARICOM and is it the first concrete step towards a new and independent BVI?
On three different occasions, BVI News sought answers to these two questions from Premier Andrew Fahie. However, he refused to answer.
As an elected leader, Premier Andrew Fahie is undoubtedly one of the most vocal proponents of independence this territory has seen in recent times.
Just this month, he hinted at his hope for an independent BVI when he spoke of the territory having a governor-general, which is the ceremonial head-of-state in most Commonwealth countries.
These days, Fahie has also used speaking opportunities to remind BVIslanders of The United Nations’ Article 73, which supports the step-by-step move towards independence by countries that have not yet attained full self-governance.
In a recent interview with 284 Media, Premier Fahie reiterated: “Self-determination is in our future whether we want to hear it or not, whether we want to accept it or not, whether we want to believe me or not, just read Article 73 of the United Nations.”
Self-determination is defined as the process by which a group of people, usually possessing a certain degree of national consciousness, form their own state and choose their own government.
Premier Fahie is not wrong in stating that the BVI must one day become a fully mature, independent state. But are his latest actions clear signs that he is starting the process?
More importantly, is independence from Britain something the BVI people see in the near future?