Although the Privy Council is primarily a British institution, officials from other parts of the Commonwealth are also appointed and in the past have included the Prime Ministers and Chief Justices of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It appears that the opportunity for Barbuda to have a fair and just decision about communal land ownership can only happen in that arena, particularly when Caribbean judges make bad decisions based on their political allegiances, or simply misunderstand the facts.
On Barbuda we have learned that leaders with a bigger world view and a better understanding of history might make a better decision. It stopped the sand-mining. We have raised the issues of our relationship with Antigua in the past – to the UN and the Commonwealth – and we have had regular visits from officials from those countries since the hurricane.
As the world is learning, it is time to look seriously at reparation for the trade in slaves. Economist Robert Browne stated the ultimate goal of reparations should be to “restore the black community to the economic position it would have if it had not been subjected to slavery and discrimination”. This is the freedom communal land gives us on Barbuda. Barbudans, their tenacity for hundreds of years and their way of life should be celebrated around the world. It should be a privilige to be an investor in Barbuda. But Antigua’s own Prime Minister is still trying to give it all away.