Former Prime Minister and National Hero Sir Lester Bird is of the opinion that Barbuda is unable to stand on its own as an independent nation.
Sir Lester, speaking in parliament, said Hurricane Irma’s wrath on the island last week has demonstrated this.
Ninety-five percent of the island was destroyed, and it has been declared uninhabitable.
Sir Lester said the notion of some Barbudans that Barbuda can sustain itself is a myth. He added that the time has come for Barbudans to stop pushing for separation from Antigua.
“I could not help pondering now what would have happened to the Barbudans if Barbuda had been given independence as a separate state. Where would they have sought refuge; who would have taken them in and who would have financed the rebuilding of the island?” Sir Lester asked.
The former prime minister said a three-month study was done on Barbuda which concluded the island “is not a financially viable entity, and the Barbuda Council could not provide for the island’s inhabitants without the support of the central government”.
Sir Lester added that over the years the central government has paid for the survival of Barbuda and its people.