Monica Samuel, a businesswoman who has been residing on Virgin Gorda for the past 25 years, made the revelation on Sunday, September 27, 2020, during a live discussion with Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9).
She said she chose to allow her child to be born in the Territory, as opposed to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI), because of her love for the VI.
“When he started to go school, it was hard for me because they started calling him, ‘Spanish boy’, ‘Spanish this, Spanish that’. Many times my child coming crying… I said [to him] honey, just tell your friends you are proud to be Spanish, but you are proud to be English,” she said.
She informed that she raised the issue with the school, because her son was not feeling ‘welcomed’.
“It’s very hard …even [if] they [were] born here, it’s very rough,” she added.
Minister Wheatley said it "really hurt my heart that as human beings, we can be so cruel sometimes with children.”
Monica Samuel, a native of the Dominican Republic who has lived in the Virgin Islands for many years, has claimed that although her teenaged son is born in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI), he is often teased about his Dominican heritage and made to feel unwelcomed by his peers.
He then called for unity and a halt to the practice.
The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has been pushing for a spirt of unity among all people of the Virgin Islands.
In December 2019, the Government gave Belonger and Residency status to some 1500 expatriates who had been living and working in the Territory for 20 years and more.
Premier Fahie had noted that the certificate was more than just a piece of paper, “it is our Government’s statement and the people of the Virgin Islands’ statement that we recognise you as a member of our community and as a person that is now a Virgin Islander.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has condemned the discrimination of persons because of their nationality and heritage.