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Hasten your footsteps on reparations, constitutional review

Hasten your footsteps on reparations, constitutional review

The Virgin Islands government has been called on to act swiftly to review the territory’s Constitution and move forward on the issue of reparations from the United Kingdom (UK).

That advice is coming from Government Consultant and host of the Honestly Speaking Radio Programme, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline.

“I want to call on the government to hasten their own steps in the formation of this constitutional review; to hasten their steps of what the Premier said he would do some weeks ago about forming a Reparations Committee that can be joined with our Caribbean brothers and sisters that we can together be a force in representing our position to the so-called powers that be, France, the United Kingdom, all of them,” he said on his show aired on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, on ZBVI 780Am and live-streamed on Facebook.


The matter of reparations was raised on September 7, 2020, when Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert told 284 Media in an interview that despite the United Kingdom recognising that the transatlantic slave trade was a horrific period, the UK has not committed to paying up.


Skelton-Cline said, referring to reparations that “it is together we are stronger. Unified we can put forward a more effective case on these matters. We must hasten the steps.”

Plans have commenced to review the Constitution with a view of identifying loopholes in the existing document and reviewing the vision of the people of the territory.

Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said he too backs the rest of the region in its attempt at seeking reparations from Britain.

He also said the territory should consider renaming the Sir Francis Drake Channel and the like as the territory moves away from its dark past to become a more independent jurisdiction.


Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has said he too backs the rest of the region in its attempt at seeking reparations from Britain

Slave masters were compensated!


Premier Fahie bemoaned that the slave masters were compensated by the United Kingdom in the sum of £20 million in 1833, yet the descendants of slaves, have yet to be paid.

The matter of reparations was raised on September 7, 2020, when Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert told 284 Media in an interview that despite the UK recognising that the transatlantic slave trade was a horrific period, the UK has not committed to paying up.

He said: “That’s not a position that the United Kingdom has taken.”

In response, Premier Fahie had said, Mr Jaspert’s comments are reflective of the perception of how the UK views the people of the territory.

He then wrote to Minister for the Overseas Territories Baronness Elizabeth G. Sugg on the matter on September 14, 2020.

However, Sugg said she was in support of Governor Jaspert’s statements.

“The British government expresses deep regret for this country’s past role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We recognise fully the strong sense of injustice, and the legacy of slavery still felt in the most affected parts of the world. We feel that the most effective way for Britons today to respond is to ensure that future generations do not forget what happened and to work to ensure that slavery has no place in today’s world,” Sugg replied on September 18, 2020.

In commenting on the letter, Fahie said, it was disappointing that it is apparent that the UK believes a “statement of regret” is sufficient for the enslavement of people.

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