Virgin Islands, US
Like the other
islands in the Caribbean, these were also originally
inhabited by the Cariber and Arawak people. The
islands did not possess more gold than its residents
used as jewelry, and the islands did not immediately
arouse covetousness among the colonial powers.
Nevertheless, the massacre of the locals began as
early as Columbus's first visit in 1493, and by the
second half of the 16th century the entire original
population had been eradicated.
The western part of the archipelago was sought
after by other countries as the Spaniards left the
area. It was the Danes who in the 18th century ended
up empowering the islands. They organized plantation
operations. First of sugar cane and then cotton. To
this end, African slaves were imported, and during
the economic "glare" period of the islands there
were 40,000 slaves.
During Abraham Lincoln's second presidency, the
United States made attempts to acquire the islands -
either by purchase or occupation. But it was not
until after World War I that the United States aimed
to consolidate its hegemony in the Caribbean and
decided to buy. Denmark received $ 25 million for
the islands. The United States got the islands and
their residents in the form of 26,000 former slaves.
The transfer took place in 1917.
From the takeover of the islands, the United
States implemented a series of successive changes in
their administration - from the application of
Danish case law to the new law passed in 1969.
Residents were given the right to elect a governor,
a deputy governor and a representative to the United
States Congress - without vote. At the same time,
residents were given the right to participate in
elections in the United States. In 1981, a
constitutional proposal was rejected by a referendum
where the voting turnout reached only 50%. In
December 1984, the UN General Assembly stated that
the islands have the right to self-government and
that the people should have the right to decide
whether the country should be independent or
continue as an associate to the United States.
The economy is completely dependent on the United
States. It is largely based on Ameranda Hess
Corporation's oil refinery at St. Croix. The
refinery is the world's largest of its kind and
processes 700,000 barrels of oil daily. The
company's influence on local politics is
significant, as it employs 1,300 employees, has an
additional 1,700 contract staff and also covers the
islands' energy consumption. At the same time,
however, the main source of revenue is the thriving
A referendum was scheduled in November 1989 to
determine the future of the country, but it had to
be postponed when the area was ravaged by Hurricane
Hugo in September. Acc. Official records show that
80% of the buildings were destroyed. The disaster
triggered looting and general chaos. Armed gangs
ravaged and members of the police and National Guard
also took part in the looting. The United States
sent 1,000 soldiers to the islands, but when they
arrived, the looting had ceased, according to. the
locals were no longer much to steal.
The United States government declared the
disaster zone area and released $ 500 million in
humanitarian aid. But the devastation ran up to over
$ 1 billion. The subsequent rebuilding reduced
unemployment for a period of time - especially in
the construction industry.
An aluminum oxide manufacturing plant was closed
in 1985, but in 1989 it was acquired by an
international commodity group. The plant had an
annual capacity of 700,000 tonnes and the first
shipments in the direction of the USA and Europe
took place in 1990.
Alexander A. Farrelly had been governor since
1987, and was replaced in 1995 by Roy L. Schneider.
The November 1998 election was won by Charles
Turnbull, who got 58.9% of the vote against
Schneider's 41.1%. In the Senate election,
Turnbull's Democratic Party got 6 seats, Republicans
2 and ICM 1. Independent candidates sat on another 6
of those seats.
In November 1999, Hurricane Lenny ravaged the
islands. It cost 4 people the life of St. Croix and
serious material damage.
In March 2000, Judge Ive Swan brought charges
against former Governor Schneider and other
high-ranking officials for fraud, forgery and abuse
of credibility during his administration.
The US Virgin Islands are among the 16 areas in
the world that remain colonies. In May 2004, the UN
launched a campaign for the self-determination and
equality of the peoples. But neither the British nor
the North American Virgin Islands have shown an
interest in independence. They believe it can reduce
their lucrative tourism industry and cost them
duty-free access to the North American market. The
islands receive around DKK 2 million annually.
tourists - almost everyone from the United States.
They are responsible for most traffic accidents on
the islands as they are inexperienced with left-hand
In 2006, the government declared that it wanted
to increase its budget discipline, support private
sector building projects and improve tourist
infrastructure. In addition, the biggest challenges
were reducing crime and protecting the environment.
In June 2007, the United States passed a law that
gave the islands greater power over tax revenue. The
new law replaced a 1936 one that tied the governor's
hands and feet to the use of financial resources.
Since 1954, the US Virgin Islands has implemented
5 constitutional conventions. At the 2009
Convention, a constitutional proposal was drafted,
however rejected by the United States Congress in
2010. At the same time, Congress called for the
Convention to meet again to discuss the criticisms
Congress and Obama had of the Constitution. The
Convention met again in October 2012, but failed to
draft a revised draft constitution by the deadline
of October 31.
A U.S. Virgin Islands court is currently
processing a case on the islands' lack of democracy.
According to the plaintiffs, the racism of the
racially segregated North American Congress in 1917
was due to the fact that the predominantly
African-American majority of the islands were not
entitled to any representation in the United States
Until February 2012, Hovensa was the oil refinery
on St. Petersburg. Croix is one of the world's
largest and accounted for 20% of Virgin Islands GDP.
But Hovensa was closed and has since thrown the
islands into deep economic crisis.
In August 2016, the UN Special Committee on
Decolonization recommended the UN General Assembly
to contribute to the decolonization of the Virgin
Islands and to help the island population determine
their future political status. The Committee called
on the General Assembly to head an "awareness"
campaign to assist the people in understanding their
indispensable right to democracy and
self-determination, as well as to gain a better
understanding of the possibilities for
In spring 2017, Denmark celebrated the centenary
of the sale of the Danish-West Indies to the United
States. However, it did not trigger either a Danish
excuse for hundreds of years of slavery or
compensation for hundreds of years of plundering,
which financed the king's and bourgeois lavish
buildings in Copenhagen and North Zealand. In the
discourse of the Danish state, it was sad centuries
that were "hard for both slaves and slave owners".
Despite hundreds of years of cruel oppression, the
state and its citizenship were still unwilling to
stand up and abandon the horrific system they had
Category 5 Hurricane Maria struck in September
2017 Croix, where it caused enormous havoc. Nearly
900 people were subsequently evacuated from the
island. The colony was already in deep economic
crisis with a public debt of US $ 2 billion.