Former Education Minister Myron Walwyn heaped scorn on the Virgin Islands Party’s (VIP) high-profile endorsement from current US Virgin Islands (USVI) governor, Albert Bryan Jr over the weekend during the party’s Fifth District launch.
Walwyn is currently running for elected office in the Sixth Electoral District as a member of the National Democratic Party. He is competing against the incumbent candidate, Alvera Maduro-Caines of the VIP.
In endorsing the party, Governor Bryan said the VIP has been through the proverbial wringer and has remained standing and going strong.
He also professed admiration for the VIP government which he said didn’t have a United Kingdom government’s support in “sending down billions and trillions and millions” of dollars as the territory endured two catastrophic hurricanes in 2017 and navigated the global pandemic two years ago.
According to the USVI governor, the BVI has been through tough times over the past few years and has forged tough men and women in leadership.
But Walwyn, while pouring cold water on his endorsement, argued that the governor was perfectly in order in praising the VIP’s leadership over the past few years.
The former Education Minister claimed that the territory lost a significant portion of its tourism market share due to VIP’s poor handling of the COVID
-19 pandemic in 2020.
“Yes, it was a difficult period for everyone. But many of our policy decisions that were poorly made without any planning, and without consultation with the industry stakeholders drove our tourism business to other neighbouring Caribbean Islands and left the local business community on life support,” Walwyn contended.
He continued: “If I was [Governor Bryan], I would endorse them too. Because if they can’t get the job done, it’s more business for him across the waters. He’s quite right. I would want them to stay forever.”
According to Walwyn, the USVI’s economy would simply continue to improve because the VIP can’t handle the job.
“The NDP can be trusted to get our tourism industry back on track by engaging the industry stakeholders and finishing the work to have a national tourism plan in place,” Walwyn argued.
Walwyn said his party will change the direction for the country for the next decade, arguing that the NDP has done it before and can certainly do it again.