79.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, June 3, 2023


Dear Source:
While the Governor’s refusal to send the proposed territorial constitution to President Obama has caused most non native Virgin Islanders to breathe a sigh of relief for fear of the impending tax burden, it more importantly illustrates the fact that that the quest for justice for the ancestral native Virgin Islanders in regard to colonialism has been pursued in the wrong venue.
What happened to the indefinitely postponed status referendum scheduled for November 1989? This status referendum is the only route to self determination, and the right to create our own constitution, not subject to approval of the United States federal government.
A 1989 United Nations Resolution passed after Hurricane Hugo caused postponement of the referendum:
“Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of the United States Virgin Islands to self –determination and independence in conformity with the Declaration on Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples;” (and)
“Reiterates that it is the responsibility of the United States of America as the administering Power, to continue to create such conditions in the United States Virgin Islands as will enable the people of the Territory to exercise freely and without interference their inalienable right to self determination…”
Most continentals residing in the USVI look at the citizens rights no more deeply than “Native Virgin Islanders can go to the States and have full rights we should be treated the same when we come here.” This disregards the fact that forefathers of those states chose to convert independent territories into states which are subject to federal law. Forefathers of the Virgin Islands did not have any say in the Virgin Island becoming a territory of the United States.
If “naturalized “ Virgin Islanders are regard themselves as equal citizens in the territory they must accept the fact that the Slaves of the Virgin Islands are all of our forefathers. If we choose to live in the Virgin Islands as citizens with responsibilities and rights, rather than expatriate Americans in any sunny beautiful country, we must think beyond property values and UV protection and become participants, seeking a just and equitable future for the descendents of the forefathers in our community.
If the framers of the proposed constitution want to effectively pursue their goals, revival of the Status Referendum is the only route to take. If we go forward and choose our status in accordance with United Nations resolutions we can put divisive issues and injustices behind us work together as newly defined people.
We can either choose full rights as Americans such as voting for president, or enough autonomy to write a constitution that says whatever the majority of Virgin Islanders want it to say.

Todd Roskin
St. John

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