Yesterday, May 3rd, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) issued a statement regarding the release of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report in the BVI and commented specifically on the recommendation to suspend the Virgin Islands Constitution.
The statement said “CARICOM supports the decision of the duly elected Government of the BVI to welcome the recommendations for improving governance and their commitment to work with the United Kingdom to address the weaknesses identified in the COI report.”
CARICOM also said that the organization “agrees that the people of BVI and their duly elected representatives have the responsibility to ensure good governance with full transparency and accountability and should work together to achieve mutually acceptable solutions to address the concerns highlighted in the COI report.”
Echoing the sentiments of the OECS as well as many Virgin Islanders, CARICOM also expressed concern for the most scrutinized recommendation—the possible suspension of the Virgin Islands constitution.
“CARICOM is however deeply concerned by the Report’s recommendation to suspend “those parts of the Constitution by which areas of government are assigned to elected representatives” and taking the retrograde step of restoring direct rule by the Governor in Council as existed in Her Majesty’s colonies during the colonial period. CARICOM supports the BVI government and people in their objection to this recommendation,” The statement added.
CARICOM also made the point that historically, such a rule has not been for the benefit of Caribbean people.
“The imposition of direct rule, and the history of such imposition in the Caribbean, was never intended to deliver democratic governance or to be an instrument of economic and social development of our countries and peoples,” CARICOM said.
The statement closes by referencing the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and remind the United Kingdom of the UN’s Declaration on The Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.