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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, December 7, 2023


Fred DuVal, deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and leader of the federal group meeting Friday with top Virgin Islands officials, warned in advance of the meeting, "We are not miracle workers."
DuVal said in a release from the Office of Insular Affairs, "It should be remembered it took years, decades really, for the U.S. Virgin Islands to get into the current situation, and no one should expect that these deep-seated problems can be solved easily and quickly."
A delegation of 10 federal officials led by DuVal are to meet at 9 a.m. Friday with a Virgin Islands delegation led by Dr. Orville Kean, president of the University of the Virgin Islands and head of the V.I. delegation to the federal-territorial task force.
James O'Bryan, spokesman at Government House, said the press will be notified when the meeting is over and a press conference will be held.
DuVal said, "While President Clinton has a strong interest in helping the Virgin Islands, the islands have been self-governing for a long time, and the problems —- such as the payless payday -— are local ones, which require primarily local solutions."
The group, according to the release, is expected to study both long- and short-term solutions to the islands' fiscal problems.
But DuVal's statement appeared designed to forestall any hope of a federal bailout or federal intervention.
"It should be borne in mind that any major federal relief of the islands requires congressional action, which usually takes time," DuVal said. "Further, the Congress and the administration both will want to be assured that the territorial government is taking serious, measurable steps to meet its own problems, and that these efforts must proceed if any external relief, of any kind, is to become available."

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