The territory has since moved on from the ignominy and embarrassment of last year’s arrest of former Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Chairman and Premier Andrew Fahie on charges of drug smuggling and money laundering.
That was the sentiment shared by Deputy Premier Kye Rymer when he appeared on the VIP Let’s Talk show yesterday, March 21.
Rymer expressed that the BVI had experienced trying times in the aftermath of Fahie
’s arrest, but said it is in a better place now, winning global recognition for Virgin Gorda as the number-one Caribbean destination for 2023 and for having some of the best bars in the Caribbean.
“When we went through what took place on April 28 (Fahie
’s arrest), you know, we thought that the BVI was at its worst and we understand it was really bad,” Rymer said. “But you know, we are a praying people and we’re happy to see now we are gone from shame to fame.”
Rymer added: “We were on the world stage and we are now recognised now, after these [Commission of Inquiry
] reforms are in place and you know we were at a crossroad then but we have moved forward.”
According to Rymer, the territory’s reputation has since rebounded as well, particularly in terms of its relations with the United Kingdom (UK), which threatened to institute direct governance after the Commission of Inquiry
) report was issued.
“Persons are speaking about the relationship with the United Kingdom. That relationship is the reason why we’re here today, that we are now able to have our elections,” Rymer stated. “Because the leadership of [Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley] at the time, he maintained that relationship. He maintained that relationship, that partnership that they speak about.”
Rymer suggested there have been times of disagreement in Cabinet since the Government of National Unity was formed, but commented that there has been a mutual and respectful relationship among the various parties to the degree that the UK government has deferred a suspension of the territory’s constitution.