Hon Vanterpool was at the time speaking on the topic of self-determination for the VI and the way forward during the Emancipation Service held by the Virgin Islands Heritage Month Committee at Sunday Morning Well on July 31, 2022.
“I no longer believe in this Commonwealth nations thing... the Commonwealth nations thing is a reminder of all of the nations that the United Kingdom enslaved...and we are not going back there,” he said.
The legislator added, “We are going forward. I am not celebrating the memory of us being enslaved as a nation.”
Hon Vanterpool called for the VI to move forward and work closely with the United Kingdom as partners with mutual respect and collaboration to make the Virgin Islands better for the people of this territory.
Founded on December 11, 1931, the Commonwealth also known as the Commonwealth of Nations is a free political association of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire.
The former dependencies who are members of the Commonwealth have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation and also acknowledge the British monarch as the symbolic head of their association.
Meanwhile, the senior legislator called for the conversation on self-determination to continue as the VI must be able to survive and grow as a people.
He reminded the VI that everywhere is now interdependent, including the UK, US, and other larger countries.
“As so it must be in the Virgin Islands, we are no less, we must be able to make our own destiny and our own self-determination,” he added while reminding us that the UK should continue to be a partner in spite of the history.