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"What Motivates Our Call for Independence"

"The quest for independence and self-determination is by no means exclusive to Nevis, in every respect it is a global trend. There are certain theoretical underpinnings that have and will continue to inform Nevis' quest for Secession. For one to better understand Nevis' secession odyssey these underpinnings-internationally, regionally and locally, must be thoroughly examined." Wakely Daniel (Wakely Dee): Nevisian Historian and author of the Book "In Pursuit of Sovereignty" A historial Documentation of Nevis' Secession Odyssey.

Political Versus Economic Integration

There is a massive confusion in the land regarding the differences between “political regional integration” which has been rejected by the People of Nevis, the People of St.Kitts, the People of Caricom, and the people of nearly every other country in this world; and economic integration which the People of Nevis and every other country on this earth have fully embraced.

There is a view expressed by a few who are either un-informed or malicious that somehow Nevis is out-of-step with the international trends towards global integration. This is patently false. Countries are coming together for the purposes of facilitating trade and commercial activity and for the creation of one economic space. This is the economic integration and coming together that the OECS and CARICOM represents and which the People of Nevis support.

This is the global economic integration that NAFTA represents. It is for the expressed purpose of facilitating the shipment of a truckload of timber from Western Canada, across the Western United States and into Mexico in an unhassled manner, with minimum tariffs at international border points of entry. This is the economic integration that the European Union and the Aesean Union represents.

In each and every one of these global integration movements, without exception, each country clings fiercely to its political sovereignty and its own flag; and the right for its elected representatives to speak for those who elected them to office.

Within the OECS region, Antigua and Barbuda do not speak for St.Vincent and the Grenadines, despite their weakened economic condition. The flag of a more prosperous Barbados does not fly over Haiti, our newest CARICOM member and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The Haitians, despite the deplorable economic conditions that exist on that land, fly their own flag and cling fiercely to their political sovereignty.

So too do the French, The Union Jack does not flutter over public buildings in Paris. Yet the economies of France and Great Britain are economically integrated with a lively trade flowing across the English Channel.

The People of Nevis are no different from anyone else. The Nevis Island Administration has carefully weighed the costs and have properly budgeted the requisite funds for our full participation as an equal partner and full member of the global integration movements that are represented by the OECS, CARICOM, the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and others. We are no different from anyone else and we must be accorded the same rights privileges and opportunities that are enjoyed by free people everywhere.

The Motivation

There is much that motivates our call for independence. But, in substantial measure, it is the funding allocation decisions that are made in Basseterre, and the structure that denies Nevis an independent standing among the Community of Nations that we believe handicaps our growth and progress and limits our ability to achieve our full potential. We do not for one moment believe that the lop-sided allocation of Federal funds occurs because the mind of man is inherently evil.

Our painful history and experience has shown that it matters not who sits in government in Basseterre or Charlestown. It matters not whether PAM, Labour, CCM or the NRP is in office. One thing is certain. That is, that the assistance dollars that flow to Basseterre will be corralled for the benefit of St.Kitts, making St.Kitts better off, while making Nevis worse off.

We believe that this fundamental problem derives from our stage of development, the overwhelming needs that exist on both St.Kitts and Nevis in relationship to the severely limited available pool of resources and the political realities that demand that you “dance with the one that ‘brung’ you”. There is simply no solution to this very fundamental resource allocation problem of unlimited wants that are constrained by the economic and political realities of the day.

You cannot repair this fundamental problem by moving bodies around, or electing new leaders. In the face of the current resource constraints, any policy action that would make Nevis better off, by definition, makes St.Kitts worse off. The only solution that makes both St.Kitts and Nevis better off and that makes neither worse off is to make a brand new start with a clean slate, with each taking full responsibility for its own separate affairs. WE MUST SPEAK FOR OUSELVES and for those who elected us to office. We must represent our own interests in the international forums of the world.

The Importance of Foreign Assistance

We are a developing country. Like our OECS AND CARICOM neighbors, we are heavily dependent on foreign assistance for financing our long term capital development. It is this assistance that has made possible the Kennedy Simmonds Highway. It is this assistance that has made Port Zante, and the state of the art JN France Hospital possible.

The independent voice of Nevis is not heard and the resultant flow of assistance dollars flows to Basseterre and for the most part stays in St.Kitts. We see this in the steady stream of dollars that flow into Basseterre each and every year from Taiwan, from South Korea, from Japan, from UNESCO, from the U.S. Military, from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Especially troubling was the joint vote that was cast by St.Kitts and Nevis on the Japanese whaling issue. When the Japanese showed their appreciation, all $24 million was used for the development of St.Kitts and none for the development of Nevis. When Hurricane Lenny struck and wreaked havoc on our fair isle closing our renowned flagship the Four Seasons Resort, we watched painfully while the millions of assistance dollars from the IMF and others flowed into Basseterre and used for the development of St.Kitts and only St.Kitts.

It is these types of capital funding decisions and the associated disparate treatment of Nevis that has troubled this union from the very beginning. It is as divisive today as has been the case 40 years ago. Again we experienced another shut-out as we watched painfully and helplessly as another Taiwanese check, this time in the amount of $810,381 made payable to St.Christopher and Nevis ended up in St.Kitts to be used for the construction of a co-ed Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in St.Kitts.

Cast Your Vote Below
Do you support Independence for Nevis?
 No - Nevis is too small
 Yes - The time is right
 Yes - but not with CCM
 Undecided - Don't know enough

[ Results - Comments ]
3352 Total Votes
Fairness and justice demands that if we allow ourselves to be bought with money for supporting Taiwan’s pursuit of membership at the United Nations, that we should support with equal force our own brothers and sisters who seek respect and an independent voice among the Community of Nations. We are not less than them.

We are a Determined People

Our liberation struggle has been long, but please be assured that our quest for independence goes much deeper than the deeply-rooted concerns regarding the allocation of resources. Of even greater importance is the assurance that we are a hard-working proud and determined people. The firm determination of the People of Nevis to reclaim our own separate political identity is as strong today, as on the day when our islands were first joined as the Colony of St. Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla, more than 100 years ago.

The People of Nevis protested then as we are protesting today. Our people are as determined today as was Wilmoth Nichols, a humble school teacher from Combermere, as was Ivor Stevens, a business man from Charlestown and Dr. Simeon Daniel Nevis the father of Nevis Nationalism. These were the fiery patriots and early stalwarts of the Nevis Reformation Party who led the struggle for an independent Nevis.

In the Year 1961, when approximately 4,000 Nevisians from all walks of life assembled at Grove Park for a demonstration sponsored by the United National Movement, they passed a resolution calling for a separate political identity for the People of Nevis. At that time, the issue was the imposition of an additional five cents tax to the existing one cent per pound tax on cotton, then the chief export crop of Nevis.

That tax was as harmful to the welfare and aspirations of the People of Nevis as was the denial of the IMF assistance for hurricane relief to our displaced Four Seasons workers. We are as determined today as we were then to bring justice to the People of Nevis, to have our own elected representatives represent our own interests in the international forums of the world, and to have our own voices heard.

No Economic Tests for Independence

Although there is no economic test for independence the record shows that we have governed well. More than 40 years ago, the United Nations rejected all tests of income, wealth and poverty status as a determinant of political freedom and independence. Resolution 1514 (XV), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14th. December 1960 stated very explicitly that:

RECOGNIZING the passionate yearning for freedom in all dependent peoples and the decisive role of such peoples in the attainment of their independence,….

CONVINCED that all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory,

    DECLARES that:
    1. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

    2. Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.

It is for this reason that each and every country in the vast continent of Africa, with the single exception of Western Sahara is political independent today. It is for this reason that every country in South and Central America is independent today. We are not less than any one else.

We Have Governed Well

The record shows that Nevis has balanced its budget on current account in 9 out of the last 11 years, missing the mark in the two Lenny affected years, 2000 and 2001. There are few if any countries in the CARICOM region that can boast such an outstanding record of fiscal performance. Our ratio of the cumulative public debt-to-GDP stands at an estimated 60.3 percent and roughly at the median for all CARICOM countries.

We have taken deliberate steps to diversify our economy that would enhance our ability to withstand periods of severe economic stress. The benefits of this diversification policy was clearly revealed during the dark days of Hurricane Lenny. It was the off-shore financial services that served as an automatic stabilizer that helped to soften the impact of that devastating storm which closed our flagships Four Seasons Resort for one full year displacing, more than 400 of our people..

Although there are no economic test for independence and although there is no other country in the CARICOM region has been called on to pass any such test, we have gone to great lengths to solicit the assessment of an independent expert in providing an estimate of the economic viability of a politically independent Nevis.

The independent Caribbean Development Bank estimates the additional annual gain in revenues that are associated with an independent Nevis to be close to $17 million, and well above the estimated $13 million annual increase in discretionary that we anticipate will be incurred following our declaration of independence.

Again, I caution that this is a statistical exercise, there is no economic test that any CARICOM country has ever been called on to pass following its declaration of independence. Nevis today, enjoys a higher per capita income than each and every country in Africa, with the single exception of South Africa. It has a higher per capita income than each and every country in South and Central America, with the single exceptions of Brazil and Argentina; yet each of those countries flies their own flag in the UN floor and the elected representatives of these countries speak for their respective countries in the international forums of the world.

The global map of politically independent countries is, for all practical purposes, everywhere dense. The People of Nevis are no less than the Peoples of this world and we demand the right to speak for ourselves and to chart our own destiny. We will accept nothing less.