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Author: Sal Gagliardi

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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Light returning to the US Virgin Islands

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It seems only fitting, then, that this past January, a month we recognize and celebrate the birth and achievements of MLK, the United States Virgin Islands is making good on its promise to keep the lights on. Roughly a year and half after hurricane Maria devastated the territory of the US Virgin Islands, descending it into some of its, both literal and metaphorical darkest days, the light is returning. Hopefully, ushering in a brighter and more sustainable future for the territory. The territory’s...

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Bryan administration to focus on delivering promises, reducing debt

Last November, the United States Virgin Islands elected a new governor. Democratic Party nominee Albert Bryan Jr. and his running mate Senator Tregenza Roach won the gubernatorial runoff election on November 20 against the Independent incumbent Kenneth E. Mapp The Bryan-Roach ticket finished first, ahead of Mapp during the General Election on November 6, with roughly 38% of the vote to Mapp’s 33.6%. The runoff election was precipitated by the territories election law stating a candidate must secure 50% of the vote outright if he/she is to win the general election. Once Bryan and Mapp advanced to the runoff,...

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US Virgin Islands Senate considers loan to finance hotel construction

For islands situated in the pristine Caribbean Sea, tourism constitutes a large, if not the largest, portion of their economy. This is especially true for the United States Virgin Islands. According to one report published in 2014 by the World Travel and Tourism Council, in totality roughly 30% of the territory’s GDP is tourism-generated. And almost a quarter of the territory’s employment, both directly and indirectly, requires a thriving tourism industry. These estimates are actually on the low end, because according to another report published in 2014 by Euromonitor International at least half of the islands’ inhabitants are dependant...

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