Commentary: The British are coming! The British are coming!

Chris Famous is a Member of Parliament of the Government of Bermuda. Raised in several Caribbean islands. He has a keen interest in the development and unity of the entire Caribbean region. He can be reached via email: or via WhatsApp 441-599-0901.

By Christopher Famous

“Cup Match is an event which marks the day that Bermuda was discovered by Admiral Sir George Somers in 1609. It also marks Emancipation Day” ~ One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) 2018 Cup Match message

A wilful and racist distortion by the opposition party of Bermuda about the true meaning of Bermuda’s Emancipation and Cup Match celebrations.

Our Cup Match originated from black Bermudians, children of those formerly enslaved, taking two days to celebrate Emancipation at the beginning of August. The very first cricket match was played in 1902.

For their own twisted reasons, the OBA has attempted to make the emancipation of black people secondary to the exploits of an English privateer/pirate and colonizer.

The real George Somers

“Long before either was knighted for sea-going exploits in England’s service, George Somers and his friend Amyas Preston were professional privateers.

“They were among hundreds of Englishmen of that day who became involved in the privateering business because of its promise of adventure, glory and quick, substantial profit.

“They set off across the Atlantic, bound for the West Indies, arriving off Dominica in May. After a rest, they sailed southwest toward South America, arriving at a little group of three islands just off the coast of Venezuela, called Isla Margarita, Coche and Cubagua. Venezuelan Indians dove for pearls there. The raiders managed to capture a few Spaniards and their slaves at Coche, then headed across to Cumana, a town on the Venezuelan coast

“In the morning, they burned Caracas and some surrounding settlements to the ground, as they had threatened. Taking whatever, they could, they marched back to their ships and set sail for England. Preston and Somers arrived in September 1595, after six months at sea.”

Bermudian Magazine July 2013

European pirates/privateers and colonizers are not to be celebrated, much less to be celebrated during our emancipation observations.

The British are coming! The British are coming!

In the year 2018, the same set of British colonisers have voted for the Overseas Territories (OTs) of Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to open our books but have not imposed the same rule for the Crown Dependencies (CDs) of Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man.

The main difference between the OTs and the CDs are that the OTs are Caribbean islands/peoples whilst the CDs are European islands/peoples.

This reeks of systematic racism.

Seemingly, not satisfied with those actions, in July of 2018, the House of Lords in the UK debated forcing the Overseas Territories to accept same sex marriage (SSM).

“Lords in the UK have suggested that Britain should force Bermuda to legalise same-sex marriage in the same way it forced the island to adopt public registers.”

Royal Gazette July 25, 2018

So, the question that must be asked is this, how long before they decide to force their will on the Overseas Territories regarding our immigration policies?

Stand up

As Caribbean people, we will have to decide quickly if we are going to continue to be forced to accept rules from an empire built on piracy and colonization.

• An empire that compensated thousands of slave owners in these islands, yet gave the untold millions of the very same persons that they enslaved, absolutely nothing.

• An empire that just voted to damage/destroy our financial services within the next 18 months.

Over the next few weeks the British will attempt to interact with its OTs as a gesture of goodwill.

The unfortunate reality is this, the British Empire clearly has a 500-year history of; colonisation, enslavement, dictatorship and cultural imperialism that continues to this very day. We, the people of the Caribbean, will be foolish to think that they will suddenly change their ways.

Only we can truly emancipate ourselves from those shackles.

You can’t educate I
For no equal opportunity:
Talkin’ ’bout my freedom,
People freedom and liberty!
Yeah, we’ve been trodding on the winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!

Bob Marley



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