One Man and His Opinion – Barbuda

37
Fmr. Antigua Barbuda True Labour Party General Secretary, Vaugn Connor
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by Vaugn W. Connor

There are many of us who do not care about the Barbudans plight nor do we try to understand. There are also those of us who wish to have an objective point of view so we read enough of our history to defeat the ignorance many of our leaders tend to regurgitate.

In 1978, when Antigua began its Journey towards independence, Barbudans had reservations. These reservations were expressed in a letter to the then UK foreign Minister.

Strangely enough, Antigua’s independence was hinged on Barbuda being a part of the new independent Country. Barbuda wanted no part of independence based on their reservations. The funny thing is, however, that Antigua needed Barbuda so they could leave associated statehood. The elections of 1980 were in essence used as a form of referendum to move the country closer to independence. The Barbudans people voted overwhelmingly against it.

Once it was evident they didn’t have much of a choice in their future, however, the Barbudans asked for certain assurances from the Antiguan government (with the UK foreign office as the facilitator of these negotiations):

  1. Their own ports of entry,
  2. Their own police force,
  3. Their own utility company,
  4. Their own tax collection system and
  5. Their own land use policy

They foresaw a situation that after independence they would be alienated and left underdeveloped and having to fend for themselves as they are doing now. They told the Foreign Office these assurances were so that they could take care of their people and build their island and its economy. It was also agreed that Barbuda would be paid ECD $300,000 per year from stamp sales with the Barbuda name on it.

With that being said, I ask the loud voices ridiculing the Barbuda people (including our Prime Minister) as to what happened to all of these agreements that the Government of Antigua signed to so that they could achieve independence?

Before you make an idiotic statement, answer me this, is government continuous? Or it is only continuous when it suits your selfish purpose?

If these things were agreed to at Lancaster House in 1979, and if these things were put in place as it was promised, wouldn’t Barbuda and Barbudans be better off now instead of being treated as refugees in their own country?

As Antiguans, instead of reading and understanding the facts for ourselves, we regurgitate whatever propaganda the party we support feeds us and take it as gospel no matter if its true or false – a failing of our education system.

To offer a bit of advice to MP Trevor Walker… MP Walker, these are all parts of our history. The original agreement still exists and it should be brought back onto the table. It is time that you island brothers and sisters take the government to task and renew calls for the agreements to come to fruition so you can stop depending on central government.

If they refuse its time to take it to the international community – especially as the Prime Minister has already ridiculed the community for their slow response with aid to your Island. Aid, by the way, that no one is sure of and, in most part cannot be accounted for, especially given that the government has not made the sum total of all donations made to date public.

For all of you who can recite what happened on your favorite television shows, I beg you to please read the history of your country. It will serve you so as to not make a fool of yourself. As one people we continue to allow the political establishment to divide us for their own selfish needs. Have you forgotten that Barbudans pay taxes too? They are eating their tax dollars too. NOT YOURS, YOURS OR YOURS.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. My old friend Hilborn Frank told me about the Lancaster meetings. This was in 1985, know your history and your heritage, so you can protect yourself

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  2. Barbuda’s Representative Chides Residents For Dependency:

    Member of Parliament (MP) for Barbuda Trevor Walker yesterday lashed out at Barbudans for their dependence on the Barbuda Council.
    Walker accused Barbudans of not doing enough for the sister-island while relying too heavily on subsidies from the central government in Antigua.

    “It’s so amazing to me that 1,500 people cannot get together to try and organise themselves in a way that they can help themselves, and I take blame for that too,” he said. “All that we do is to go to this broke Barbuda Council that has no money, borrow everything that we want, and the same Barbuda Council depends on the central government every week every month for transfers. It’s just not sustainable.”

    “At the end of the day, we cannot have it both ways. We cannot want to live the Antigua life and want to have the Barbuda lifestyle … and so let us wake up,” Walker said. “I mean this might cause me some political problems but at the end of the day, I want to be recorded as the person that moved the country forward in a positive way.”
    The Barbudan MP also suggested that Barbudans have failed to make proper use of their land to empower themselves.

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    • Lol. From since when Trevor Walker care about the development of Barbuda. That is one big joke. After he file an injunction to stop the Pardise Found

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  3. I will say the blame in this instance should be shared between the Barbuda Council, Central Government and the Barbuda political leadership……. If they had all done their part we would not be having this conversation now….. I can applaud him for being forthright.. .

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      • I am not Alex- But I deny that the Lands are literally owned by the Barbudan’s.. Who purchased the lands for the Barbudan’s? What is the difference between the Crown Lands here in Antigua and the lands in Barbuda? Are there Documents to show that the crown gave them the lands?

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  4. I have never seen such selfish bunch of people as Barbudans,you guys should try and eat the land ,take you’re independence and let have all of our services back over here and all the investment, I’m sure Antigua would be like a bed of roses ,get the rid of all the expense, all the ungrateful, lazy ,selfish people

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    • I am sorry you feel this way, take some time out of your busy schedule and read the Termination of Association of Statehood and it may allow you to understand why Barbudans. Behave the way they do

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    • Nonesense u talking about these people have to protect what little they have is they land u think gaston brown stupied all he want to do is make sure barbudian people get a piece of the land for 1 dollar and after the goverment take control of the rest of the land so any développement taking place over barbuda is the goverment have full say not barbudian that plan. By gaston brown was a smart one but thank god barbudian people is not stupied like we people over in antigua fall for everything they stand up for what they believe in so tell gaston brown weel and come again

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      • you all are gonna be forever left behind and when u all done dont blame us in antigua. you all need to trzavel to nevis, angullia and see how far behind u all are. Shame on u all bigger than nevis and just a little smaller than st kitts and they way ahead of u all

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  5. Thank you for your comment Alex, I would like your help in identifying the one sided facts of this article, it would serve me well when I am writing my next article….

    Yours

    Vaugn

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    • What would be interesting to know, is what other agreements/changes were made since the “Lancaster Agreement”.
      I am only guessing but I am thinking that many of those ideas/proposals/promises were not feasible for a variety of reasons.
      Everyone is already familiar with the “wicked Antiguans who only want Barbuda land”, I’m interested in the efforts to date of the past leaders of Barbuda and what they have done other than wait for handouts.
      Things in Antigua may not be the best, we have lost a lot in our quest for independence, many have become consumed by greed and selfishness. That being said, the fact remains you cannot build a house without laborers, there is no investment without investors (whether local, or foreign or yourself), there must be sacrifice. Learn from our mistakes, but don’t think for a second you will be able to gain everything and lose nothing. Everything has a cost.
      You talk about enforcing the agreement, will that be in addition to the salaries that Central Government now pays?
      You speak of taxes, give us numbers, how does it compare to the cost of social services provided?

      Once you eat your cake its gone!

      I support Mr. Walkers quest for an independent Barbuda, you definitely have my vote.

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    • I will join with Alex to say your article is infact a bit one-sided.. In all fairness don’t you attribute any blame whatsoever to the Barbudan’s themselves as for most of the underdevelopment of the Island? Had Antigua taken the same position in terms of Land,just think of where we would be today,we are small Islands with no natural resources except for our Sun/Sea/Sand,those are the resources given to us,and we must find ways for those to work for us.The over protection of their lands and the backward mindset that everyone wants their lands,has been their greatest hindrance to their development not just now but for as long as i can recall. Their objection to anything called development and their rebellious attitude towards any authority leaves much to be desired. I think it is past due that they be given what they wanted forever,”Their independence” And for anyone to insinuate that the government has not done all they could as Humans for them after Irma,is a burning shame. Irma should be a lesson learnt,it seem however to only serve to bring out the innate trait of most,that Antigua owes them everything for nothing.. After all where in the world has there been a natural disaster and the government is held responsible for rebuilding the personal homes of everyone thats affected? That to me is very irrational thinking.. I do not see the need for anyone to be digging up documents of any sort,to prove what? That Barbudan’s has a right to continue to protect their land and fight down any development because it is perceived that they were neglected over the years? Well,this is today,and the position they found themselves in after Irma is no one’s fault except their own.. Either they get with the program of the 21st century,or let them do it their way on their own,they either sink or swim..

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      • If you want to see one-sided arguments check ABS the state owned media. Whether or not Antigua appreciated or liked the conditions put toward by the Barbudans in dragging them along to independence, they did agree to it. Antigua is obligated to uphold this agreement. If they knew they didn’t want to, the best thing was to leave Barbuda alone.
        Nobody is against development but should it come at a cost of the natives culture and way of living? Should it not be beneficial to all and just a few? I think development comes at a price, why not allow the Barbudans be apart of the discussion and decision that they would be sacrificing?
        In terms of the people expecting the Government to rebuild their homes NO! The people are expecting the Government to stop holding on to the international donations and give them what was donated to them.

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        • First-The Government isn’t holding on to any funds,where are you getting that nonsense from? There are donations given to the government to rebuild Infrastructure-any donations made to Barbuda for personal use of the people are in the hands of NODS,get your facts.. Second, Antigua was forced to go along with Barbuda towards Independence because they had no choice,England knew they ( Barbuda)could never go it on their own,and they did not care to keep them.. I fail to understand your point about development coming at a cost, What is the cost involved here? The government giving a plot of land for $ 1.00 in order for them to have real ownership of the lands ? What’s the cost there.. It is about time that people just face the facts ,and accept that the Lands in Barbuda are no more owned individually by any Barbudan anymore than the lands here in Antigua were owned by Antiguan’s (ie) before the Father of the nation in his wisdom purchased most of the Estate lands from the crown. Barbudan’s are not Indigenous to Barbuda,they were slaves just as us.. The lands were owned as anyplace else in the region by England.We are now an Independent nation,the Crown no longer has any Jurisdiction over any lands in Antigua/Barbuda.The same Codrington’s who managed the Barbuda estate also managed places like Betty’s hope and about 12 other estates in Antigua,most of which is now fully owned and occupied by Antiguan’s .Can you tell me the difference between the lands in Barbuda and those on the mainland. Barbuda has found itself in a crisis,what more discussions can there be? I would think that offering them freehold title to the Lands is involving them in their development.. It is okay for everyone to come up with theories and all sorts of legal jargon ,but where are the solutions? Do you have a better idea of what should be done in Barbuda as an immediate remedy? If you do ,then please share with the Public. Your argument about not keeping agreements after 1981 so
          the status quo should remain really does not cut it.

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      • well said couldn’t have said it no better. it just show the people they are. Dont know how far they think they going with that. God gave them Irma as a big lesson and for them to see theirselves but they still holding. Barbudans be careful and get real. The land act gonna pass and they go have to life with that. PM take the bull by the horn.

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  6. Mr Connors, I know how the Barbuda Council came into being and I know what has changed since, unfortunately for the worse, and far from the positive vision of that time. I have lived in Barbuda.
    Sorry to have to tell you, but you don’t understand a thing about what’s happening in Barbuda.

    Have you ever heard the Barbudans or their leaders speak at any time of having a vision, let alone an intention for economic development in Barbuda? Not with all the idiotic and malicious claims that they have been making lately in the international press.

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    • This article never claimed to know Barbua or Barbudans!!! If you have read and truly understood the message I was trying to put over then you would have not made that statement, I was simply saying that instead of speaking without knowledge on the Barbudans go back to the history of how the state of Antigua and Barbudans came into being….. And that is exactly what I did….. Read for yourself……. Understand for yourself….. Think for yourself

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  7. I totally agree with treavor walker and believe me I don’t trust a word that Treavor walker says. But he is absolutely correct in this case . Too much dependency on central government. Barbudans need to help themselves. Barbudans cannot have it both ways we need to be more organized as a community and find ways to empower ourselves.

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  8. Sorry to say but I view Barbudans as dunces, idiots, ungrateful and a very selfish set of people…. It beats as to why do they want to be on their own…. Are they trying to seek diplomatic relations with other super powers? Truly, I am really at a lost…. Barbuda has nothing to offer; they have no natural resources to rely on but yet still they want to be their own…. I am confused!!

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    • As Trevor Walker & Hilbourne Frank since the people allow them to BRAINWASH them thru and thru. No wonder they will forever be stuck in the dark ages. No progress. No development. They will take “arwee land” to their graves and come judgement day, they will accuse the Most High of trying to take their land too.

      Even Old Road neargah more civilized than dem. At least they allowed the “moonlight pan tick” to enter their community. Old Road has the fabulous Carliske Bay Resort & Spa. What do Barbudans have?

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  9. One basic reality. No Barbudan has the right to “special rights” not enjoyed by born and bred citizens of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. This is ONE country and constitutionally speaking no class, race, colour, creed can demand rights not enjoyed equally by ALL Antuguans and Barbudans. One basic reality.

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  10. Mr Connor what make up history is this? Let me point you to a document from the UK government on this same issue http://fc95d419f4478b3b6e5f-3f71d0fe2b653c4f00f32175760e96e7.r87.cf1.rackcdn.com/0752862313A540D497105F13BDAFE17B.pdf . It points out:
    1. That Barbudan’s wanted to stay a colony
    2. The UK had a study done, in response to those who argued for a separation, which concluded that Barbuda could not be on its own
    3. Barbuda could not secede without Antiguan agreement due to covenants in the West Indies Federation 1967 agreement
    4. The Barbuda counsel though they still did not want to be a part of our nation the UK government felt satisfied that they needed to be with Antigua
    5. It makes clear that if Barbuda has decided to secede, even before 1981 that central government was within their legal right to use any measure to quell any uprising

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  11. This is where I got the information from, if you really would like to be enlightened go ahead and read for yourself.

    Hansard.millbanksystems. com……reference termination of associated statehood Antigua and Barbuda 1978 to 1980

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  12. Please for Heavens sake- Whomever the powers may be that can approve Barbuda’s secession,please do so ASAP.. Why should Antigua be taking such a nasty negative wrap from around the globe from an obviously ungrateful backward set of 18th century minded people? What do they have in Barbuda that we dont have here? ..They will die with their LAND,be buried on it and achieve absolutely nothing from it,because land is worthless,unless it can work for you..Please end this mockery and let them go.

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  13. If Barbudans want to be independence from Antigua, please give it to them. Why keep fighting with them just set them free.

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  14. While the writer engages in the usual fairy tales, here is an article which speaks of life in Barbuda back in 2012, a time when the counsel there during the 2009 elections, claimed all was well with the then UPP government, their partner:

    :“It’s like being in a tunnel with no light.” That is how Barbudan businessman and political activist Lindy Burton describes the current state of affairs on the sister isle.
    Barbuda, Burton said, is “gone”. Referring to the Barbuda Council as “a lost cause,” he referenced a laundry list of woes (lack of unity; a failed economy; non-existent tourism; the absence of proper docking facilities; the awful environmental and economic rape called sand-mining; and inadequate sea and air links).
    Characterizing the island as being “caught in a downward spiral,” Burton laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of the members of the Barbuda Council – past and present. The Council, he insisted, is non-functional to the point of being an embarrassment to the island. ..
    Burton also made a strong case for changes to the land-holding laws on Barbuda. He identified the inability to sell land outright to investors as the greatest hindrance to economic development on the island. He also wants to see agriculture rise, and sees freehold ownership as one way to empower farmers. A Tunnel With no Light, 25 February 2012 02:30 by Colin Sampson

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    • Tenman, I guess that the actual minutes of the debate in the house of commons holds no merits on the truth….. However insignificant it may appear to you I do not expect anyone who have been wearing blinders for the majority of his or her life to say anything different! The Barbudan reality is a fairytale to you and others that have continue to disagree with factual evidence! As my article pointed out and it is evidenced that the government of Antigua is the main cause of Barbudan being the way it is……. That is no fairytale that is the stark naked reality….

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  15. What a set of ungreatful people. If them.want go.mek them go. Why should the taxpayers of Antigua continue to be burden with a set of backwards thinking people who refuse development cause of some worthless bulls***t argument about land. What use is the land if it can work for them. They hardly contributing in terms of tax collection. The just go sign in at the council and then go under a tree to smoke marijuana. The governament tried to make it so easy for them to own land but them so backwards and stupid and brainwashed by the “Council” they can see it is for their betterment. Just hand them back to England let them.bare the responsibility for them.

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    • @Gigi-In total agreement.. They love been recognized as the remnant of Sir Codrington,so why not let them be.. Just allow those who would want to remain as Antiguan citizens to do so, if they so desire they can move over and be apart of us,the rest can remain on their plantation with their black overseers who are,the few families that owns anything substantial on the island.

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  16. Imagine a marriage where one partner gets all the benefits. Imagine a wife saying to her husband “I can spend your money but you cant touch mine” Or a husband saying “Let me have my kip woman, but you (wife) must remain faithful to me”

    Barbudans are the selfish spouse in this”union”

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  17. Mr Connor and tenman, thank you both for the history lesson. I am ashamed to say that I did not know this bit of history about my own country. This helps me better understand how the present state of affairs got to this point. It is painfully obvious that from the very start Barbudans did not want to be part of an independent Antigua and Barbuda. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is trying to force someone to stay who doesn’t want to stay. So let them go and fend for themselves, Antigua will be fine.

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