An island of the Caribbean, being one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin.
Like American Samoa, Anguilla is theoretically a self-governing island, with a parliamentary system based on representative democracy. In reality it is a last vestige of Empire, listed as a British overseas territory and also as an overseas territory of the European Union; the British acquired it in the 1830s, against the wishes of the islanders, compelling it into a union with St. Kitts and Nevis, where it was permitted just a single freeholder representative to the House of Assembly on the Island of St. Kitts, and then ignored and neglected by the tri-island legislature. In 1958 it became part of the Federation of the West Indies, only for that august body to collapse in 1962. Five years later the House of Assembly voted to make the three islands an independent entity, despite the rejection of this utopianism by the Anguillans - or Malliouhanans, as their forefathers had been called. The outcome of this historic decision would make a wonderfully comic scene in a Monty Python movie: three islands, with a total population of less than seventy thousand people between them, engaged in war on sea and land, through their representative forces; which is to say, a gaggle of Anguillans standing by the jetty to prevent the landing of a motor boat, sent with police on board to require submission to the three-state-solution. The islanders said no, and with the help of British peacemakers and negotiators acquired, five years later, that uncertain independence which is the status of a British overseas territory. This heroic defence against invasion is described as the Anguillan "Revolution", and commemorated every year on May 30th as Anguilla Day. Nobody commemorates December 19th 1980, the day on which the symbolic British motor-boat took possession of the jetty.
Anguilla is nevertheless one of the few islands in the world, one of the few countries indeed, that will never declare war – for it has no army. On the other hand, it comes under the protection of the UK, so who knows, one day there might be a Malvinas on Anguilla. In terms of its meaningful contribution to human society, progress, art, science and culture, there is absolutely nothing and no one that can be named, unless you count white beaches and seafood restaurants; on the other hand, its official government website, homepaged with a personal welcome from the Chief Minister, offers what may well be the closest we will ever get to El Dorado and the Kingdom of the Messiah - click here to read it.
Marks For: 0
Marks Against: 0
Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press