Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Circular accuses UK of wanting to take over HM Customs

Circular accuses UK of wanting to take over HM Customs

As Caribbean nations continue to call for reparations, there is a brewing conspiracy over the recent UK Royal visit of Prince William and Duchess Kate as a smokescreen of the United Kingdom's and its role in the region.

In mid-march 2022, several Jamaican activists, as well as prominent professors, politicians and other leaders, had rejected a visit by the duke and duchess, calling on the UK to apologise and pay reparations for the British’s role in the slave trade.

C'bean calling for reparations


The call has been similar in Belize, Jamaica, and Barbados, and the [British] Virgin Islands for the UK to pay reparations to the ancestors of slavery who now live in the Caribbean region.

A circular on the region’s stance against the UK’s actions in the region, has pointed out that in a recent news conference, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith C. Rowley called on Britain's Prince William to do more than just offer words of acknowledgment that his country played a significant role in the slave trade.

Rowley said he was pleased to have heard Prince William acknowledge that slavery was wrong during his visit to the Caribbean last week.

“Recently I was very pleased to hear Prince William say that he acknowledged that slavery was wrong and that the British government, the British people have some responsibility in that piece of unforgettable history," he said. "But tonight, I want to say to Prince William, having said that, I believe you. But I will believe you more if you do what you must now do, which is the offer of some reparation to the people who were wronged in the way that you have acknowledged."

Jamaica calls out British Colonial rule


In Jamaica, the royal couple’s trip has coincided with the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

It also came at a time of growing scrutiny of colonial-era British conduct in the Caribbean and elsewhere leading to an open letter published, where 100 Jamaican leaders said they saw “no reason to celebrate” the Queen’s coronation “because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, have perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind”.

Virgin Islander E. Benito Wheatley in a July 4, 2021 article on the same topic has pointed out that as the United Kingdom (UK) confronts the issue of racism in British society and the country's longstanding problem of injustice toward people of African descent, it should not be forgotten that the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) are also victims of Britain’s dark legacy of slavery and colonialism.

No amends made by UK - E. Benito Wheatley


“The local population is primarily descended from the enslaved Africans brought to the colony to work on plantations by the British via the slave trade. The VI also remains tied to the UK under the political designation of British Overseas Territory that is a modification of its earlier colonial status.”

He continued, “The UK has not made amends for its longstanding wrongs toward the people of the VI. When slavery legally ended in 1834, the UK compensated British slave owners on the mainland and throughout the British Empire for the cost of each person of African descent they owned as a slave. However, no compensation or reparations were paid to the newly freed people or their descendants who were left poor and to fend for themselves.”

Elected VI Gov't ambushed by UK-sponsored CoI


The Virgin Islands has been facing its own neo-colonial conflict with the VI, as the Andrew A. Fahie (R1) administration was ambushed into a Commission of Inquiry with open terms of reference, one that the Government has complained was broad and had ulterior motives.

With the final report now completed and in the hands of the UK appointed Governor for review, it is being alleged that the BVIslanders now fear direct rule from Britain, with the governor causing a great deal of uneasiness among the populace.

UK wants to snatch HM Customs from VI Gov't?


There is also a fear that the UK wants to control VI waters and borders, using a number of successful drug busts in the territory as justification, according to the circular.

"In all its Overseas Territories, national security, which includes the police force is placed under the governor, which represents the Crown. However, in the British Virgin Islands, the UK wants to snatch the customs department from under government's watch. The move by the UK to take over that department is being attempted under the guise of the Crown wanting to tackle drug trafficking," the circular from an unknown source stated.

Up to publication time, Governor John J. Rankin CMG had not responded to inquiries from our newsroom over the allegations. The entire circular was sent to the Governor's Office for a response.

After a 2008 CoI, The Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory suffered a faith of direct rule, after its Commission of Inquiry recommended that the elected Michael E. Misick government be booted from office, and an interim administration set up by the British, took over the reins of the country.

During the period, a new constitution was established that gave the governor reserve powers he could use to override any decision taken by the Cabinet if he deemed that the government’s decision was not in the best interest of the country.

As Caribbean nations continue to call for reparations, there is a brewing conspiracy over the recent UK Royal visit of Prince William and Duchess Kate as a smokescreen of the United Kingdom's and its role in the region.


In mid-march 2022, several Jamaican activists, as well as prominent professors, politicians and other leaders, had rejected a visit by the duke and duchess, calling on the UK to apologize and pay reparations for the British’s role in the slave trade.


Virgin Islander E. Benito Wheatley in a July 4, 2021 article on the same topic has pointed out that as the United Kingdom (UK) confronts the issue of racism in British society and the country's longstanding problem of injustice toward people of African descent, it should not be forgotten that the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) are also victims of Britain’s dark legacy of slavery and colonialism.


The Virgin Islands has been facing its own neo-colonial conflict with the VI, as the Andrew A. Fahie (R1) administration was ambushed into a Commission of Inquiry with open terms of reference, one that the Government has complained was broad and had ulterior motives.

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