Joining ogranisations like CARICOM and the OECS, the University of the West Indies (UWI) has issued a statement condemning the United Kingdom’s (UK) suggestion of directly ruling the Virgin Islands.
In a statement released yesterday, Sunday May 8th, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said that UWI “joins with CARICOM in calling on Britain to retreat from stated political calls to subvert and subordinate the sovereignty of the people of the Virgin Islands.”
“We are committed to the decolonization of the Caribbean and deplore the persistence of colonial rule of the people in the region,” Beckles affirmed.
He also compared the situation to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, saying that “This is the second occasion in recent weeks in which we have called for respect of the national rights of a community; having done so following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Beckles also argued that Britain does not have the authority to teach democracy.
“Britain has no authority, moral or otherwise, to teach democracy lessons in the Caribbean, insisting as it does on dominating the people who are seeking Reparatory Justice for centuries of colonial brutality and continuing imperial rule.”
Additionally, the statement makes reference of the recent establishment of the coalition Government.
“The region is proud of the initiative by the Ruling Party and Opposition to come together to form a national consensus government. This is the spirit that forms the core of the independence sensibility now rooted in the region. It is precisely this consciousness that will enable the community to resolve whatever governance challenges are arising from the tragic, debilitating, recent events,” Beckles said.
The statement ends with a promise that UWI stands “ready to facilitate the national strategy of the Virgin Islands,” adding that it also “stands ready to assist Britain in curing itself from the persistent impulse and cultural addiction to dominate the people of this region by imperial edict.”