Hurst Says Request For Barbuda To Separate Is “Nonsense Talk”


Chief of Staff Lionel Max Hurst has dismissed a request from the Barbuda Council to separate from Antigua.

The Barbuda Council wrote to the Cabinet on Monday to requesting the start of the process towards separate futures for the two islands.

However, Hurst said today that the Barbuda Council cannot be serious.

“These guys they are not interested in any secession, don’t pay them any mind. They know that they can’t run a country because there aren’t even enough people to form a civil service or a police force and so on,” Hurst said.

“It is just nonsense talk. It’s a nuisance and they want to make themselves a nuisance.”

He said the letter penned by the Barbuda Council Secretary borders on treason.

“The Secretary of the Barbuda Council is treading on treason. I should tell him that and you can be hung for treason,” the Chief of Staff said.

In addressing the matter at Thursday’s post-cabinet briefing, Nicholas described the letter as ‘without merit’ and accused the Council of dwelling on matters of the past.

He acknowledged however, that the management of the environment in Barbuda is one area in which differences exist between the Barbuda Council and the central government.

“The Barbuda Council often assumes that it has equal authority and powers as the central government and until it is willing to accept its subordinate role in the governance of Barbuda we are not going to get very far,” he remarked.

Nicholas holds the view, however, that the tone of the dialogue needs to change. He recalled a cordiality between the two entities once existed in the past.

The information minister is recommending that this be revived as part of efforts to improve the relationship between the Council and the central government.

On August 31st 2020, the Barbuda Council wrote the Secretary of the cabinet of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda expressing dissatisfaction with the treatment meted out by the Gaston Browne led government. It claimed that since the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017 government neglect has intensified.


The council listed a number of grievances including:


  • The repeal of the Barbuda Land Act of 2007


  • The declaration by the Prime Minister that Barbudans are squatters


  • The derogatory name calling by the Prime Minister in reference to Barbudans


  • Threats from the Prime Minister to remove the Barbuda Council by way of referendum from the constitution of Antigua and Barbuda


  • The fact that no audited statement or accounts has ever been generated by the government for relief items received on behalf of Barbudans after the passage of Hurricane Irma


  • The lack of a proper functioning hospital almost three years after Hurricane Irma


  • Permission given by the government of Antigua and Barbuda and its agencies to allow PLH to destroy a RAMASAR site with impunity by constructing a golf course on wetlands in the Palmetto Point area


  • The sale/assignment of leases to PLH for millions of dollars without the knowledge and consent of the Barbuda Council and the people of Antigua


  • Withholding of funds transfer grants, subventions and lease payments from the Barbuda Council which as a result causes the council to fail to meet its financial obligations


  • A total abdication of their responsibility to the Primary school in Barbuda, leaving the task to the Barbuda Council to complete.


The letter concludes by saying: “We have therefore concluded that the relationship between Antigua and Barbuda isn’t working. In addition, the fact that Barbuda is being used as a bread basket for Antigua is testament of the use and abuse of our resources without benefit to our people. It is against this backdrop that Barbuda council is requesting of your government to initiate the necessary steps to discuss a separate future for Barbuda and its people.

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  1. How is Barbuda raising the question of secession from Antigua and Barbuda treason? Max Hurst I dearsay that you are the one talking pure nonsense. Anyway, I must give you a little bit more credit than Gaston Browne since unlike him, you did not say that Barbuda cannot secede because Antigua and Barbuda is a unitary state. Now that is what I call utter nonsense. You are a historian and therefore should know better so please educate your leader.


      Such expressions appears to be nothing short of;

      (a) ‘…Callousness; (b) …Inflammatory; and (c) …Recklessness.’

      Making a ‘…written request’ could never be considered ‘…treasonous.’

      There were;

      (a) …No threat of force by the use of arms were ever made;

      (b) …Neither were there any attempts made to secede from the twin-island nation.

      • Pompey. Hurst said”He said the letter penned by the Barbuda Council Secretary borders on treason.”
        if you understood what treason is and whether their action borders treason you wouldn’t state the above.
        Do you know and understand what the Oath of Allegiance is all about. All parliamentarians has to take that Oath. Calling for cessation is against your Oath of Allegiance. And therefore ‘borders to’ Treason. Getting close to. Not that it is.

    • You should seek the wise advice of a professional lawyer with expertise regarding this being a “unitary state”. Prime Minister Browne is correct. Antigua and Barbuda is not a federation. It is a UNITARY STATE.

      • A Friend of the Constitution you are very misinformed and Prime Minister Browne is dead wrong. Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda was not always a unitary state. The country became a unitary state at independence in 1981. Barbuda is now very unhappy with that arrangement and wants to secede. You and Prime Minister Browne can show me why this is impossible other than citing simply that Antigua and Barbuda is a unitary state. And by the way, even unitary states break up into separate entities (states) sometimes.

        • In many countries separatists are tried with treason. Look what happened in Spain and many other places. It normally is a very bloody confrontation. I guess you won’t mind.

  2. I would move any day with the Barbudans, it’s about time for Barbudans to decide their own future, not a bunch of land grabbing Antiguans who done sell off and grab up majority of the lands on Antigua. Secession is the way to go Barbudans. It’s people like Max that have Antiguans in mental slavery with their lies everyday of the year. Power to the Barbudans. I can see the frigate bird on your flag.

  3. Hurst you should really know better. Barbuda has been wanting to rid itself of being associated with Antigua since 1966 when Antigua and Barbuda was seeking Associated Status under the West Indies Act of 1967. So stop fooling off people. They have always wanted their autonomy. Why you worrying about the infrastructure that they have to put in place or have in place to sustain themselves? Stop the misinformation that the Barbuda Council has to be subservient to the Central Government. Nutten y’all go so. Max go back and read the Antigua Termination of Association order. As a matter of fact the entire cabinet and it’s members need to acclimate themselves with the document. And of course the seater at the head of the table. Talk of treason is “nonsense” on your part Mr. Hurst! Set them free! Ask the former PM who has lineage to Barbuda. What are his thoughts since he’s one of the few remaining that was at the Constitutional Convention for Independence in London.

  4. This is all one big joke. It’s an attention grabber. They got the headline they sought. They want better communication between themselves and the Government, and that is reasonable. Nobody going anywhere. To just declare independence would be treason, and nobody in the world would recognize them. That would be pure stupidness.

  5. Why is it nonsense Max hurst, come live a day in our shoes. We tired of the insults, land grab, the hospital still not fully functional , no hospital Lab,No dentist office, our Schools don’t have a Food program and the lists goes on.what happen to the sand money? Since BARBUDA don’t bring nothing to the table ,Separation is the way out.

  6. Wake up Barbudans and smell the coffee! Slavery days are over…. Trevor Walker is not your Massa…. I am sure you would like to live an upscale life style like him…… What resources do u have to stand on your own, to maintain your economy? Going on your own will certainly plunge Barbuda in the pit of hell….. The time is now to get Trevor & the BPM members to humble themselves, I can assure you that with a cordial relationship with the central govt, Barbuda will be transformed from the primitive state you are in now, to a civilized & upscale economy within the very near future.

  7. Why are Politicians on Antigua and their family members,leasing lands on Barbuda.Only to sell those leases to other persons for a hefty financial profits.Is that legal to do in Antigua and Barbuda.Because if I leased a property from a landlord.I could not sell that lease without the landlord say so.If the Cabinet is approving those leases.Are they also giving the authorization to sell those leases.So I am at a loss in regards to Antigua and Barbuda leased laws.I would like to peruse one of those contracts.Because it smells fishy,so it must be steak.LOL.A father and daughter paid EC$15,000 for a lease on damaged Hotel in Barbuda.They then turned around and sold that lease for about US$5 million.What do the people of Barbuda gained from the swapping of those personal leases for millions of US$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.Are those Politicians and their families using insider information for personal financial enrichment?

    • Well….if they received 5 million dollars it hasn’t reached their bank account yet. You need to send them all your information.

      • @Observer:My guess you do not know how money moves within a system.Persons set up what is known as an LLC to move funds around.They use that system as a cover.So you would not see those monies in any of their accounts.They could buy houses and businesses through that LLC.You would not know the individual owners of such things.I hope this enlightened you.

      • You are so stupid. You expect the money to go into an account with a name that can be traced back to them. And how would you know the money hasn’t hit their account? Are you one of the perpetrators? Certain people have been getting away with their thieving ways for a long time. These people think they are too smart to be caught.

    • @BLACK MAN. That is my problem with the Barbuda’s land arrangement. Those politicians have been making use of the loophole of Barbuda ancestry, which the council supports. The council had hoped that they could regulate it from their end but where are the laws to support such? So without law and power, the Barbuda council is powerless to stop this land grab.

      To them I say change tactic! Try something else, not secession. Demand your rights as a part of the state of Antigua and Barbuda with the same energy you are now expending on talks of secession.

      • @ZACKIE.
        Don’t agree with you. By the time they get to that point the whole of Barbuda will be shared out to foreign land grabbers. Immediate action is needed. Barbuda needs to firm up its secession agenda and petition that all land grab and projects on the way must be halted until a decision is made as to their request for secession. A yes vote would mean that the Government must stop all its imperialist expansion into Barbuda.
        Shame on you, Gaston Browne.You will go down in history as the leader who succeeded in returning slavery to Antigua and Barbuda. Don’t understand why you hate us so! Wha we do yuh? Your grandchildren will be forced to sit in shame in classrooms with other children as this is read from their history books. Think of their shame, you greedy Lannybozo.

    • Why doesn’t the Barbuda council take these people to court? Certainly this would be corruption and theft to the tenth degree.

  8. slavery days are over, Trevor Walker is not my massa, I can think and speak for myself. Time for the separation.

  9. The council should say to the government that they don’t want any resources from them. Is there any truth that some of them owns property in Antigua? You blind followers of the UPP and BPM should demand answers.

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