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Author: Sal Gagliardi

US Virgin Islands officials angered after federal government delays funds due to Puerto Rico crisis

It has been roughly 2 years since Hurricane Marie struck the islands of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, yet both continue to haggle and fight with the federal government over the much-needed federal relief aid funds to assist in their recoveries.  At the end of July, President Donald Trump announced he would delay over $8 billion in funds destined for Puerto Rico over worries of misuse, and roughly $770 million in funds destined for the US Virgin Islands due to capacity issues. “Recovery efforts in jurisdictions prepared to do their part should not be held back...

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Carnival season kicks off in the US Virgin Islands

Carnival season is officially underway in the United States Virgin Islands. The St. Thomas Carnival, the first of three occuring on the territories three main islands, began back in early April and concluded with a jam-packed week of events, games, and music in early May. Carnival celebrations within the Caribbean date back several hundred years. The Europeans who colonized territories like the US Virgin Islands, brought with them their own kinds of Carnival celebrations and traditions. As the plantation industry began to take root on the US Virgin Islands, the slaves shipped over from Africa brought with them their...

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US Virgin Islands could benefit from rift between Carnival Cruise Line and Antigua

Carnival Cruise Line’s slogan is fairly famous: Choose Fun. However, away from all the drinks consumed, shows attended, and all-around debauchery had aboard their cruise ships, Carnival is engaged in a not-so-fun war of words with the government of Antigua. It all started after the Antiguan government agreed to a deal with Global Ports Holding, a London based private firm that touts themselves as “the largest cruise ship port operator.” This agreement is for 30 years and will see over $80 million invested into St. John, Antigua’s largest port-town. What appears a harmless, run-of-the-mill public-private investment opportunity quickly soured...

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US Virgin Islands celebrate their history month

In 1493, just one year after Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered the Americas—by accident—he returned for his second voyage. After creating a settlement on Hispaniola during his first voyage, he traveled and discovered what we know today as the Greater Antilles. During this second voyage the first skirmish or insurrection between the Indios or Indians—a term created by Columbus himself—and Europeans in the New World occurred at Salt River, now a part of St. Croix island within the Virgin Islands. Here, the peoples of the Virgin Islands proudly trace back their lineage. The Indio peoples were...

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US Virgin Islands grapple with European Union blacklisting

The United States Virgin Islands has been blacklisted. The European Union in mid-February added the territory to its ‘dirty money’ or money laundering blacklist. After a recent string of major scandals and investigations involving money laundering and what the EU deems ‘lax controls on terror financing’ at some large European banks, the block is tightening regulation and oversight on money coming into the Union from certain countries. According to the EU Commission, “banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these...

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