Finance minister blasts foreigners for celebrating their culture in Turks and Caicos


Minister of Finance and former chief minister Washington Misick.


PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, Monday June 1, 2015 – The finance minister in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has told foreigners living in that British overseas territory that if they want to celebrate their native countries’ festivities they should go back where they came from.

Washington Misick, who also served as chief minister in the 1990s, chastised immigrants for celebrating their culture publicly, according to the TCI Sun newspaper.

“We have something coming up here called Haitian Flag Day. We have got Haitian Flag Day. We got Jamaica Day. We have got Bahamas Day . . . If these people want to be part of us, we cannot encourage, we can’t support them with all these days,” the newspaper quoted him as saying in the House of Assembly last week.

“We should not be supporting these splinter groups with their different days. You would never see me appear at one of them. I would not. This is Turks and Caicos. If you are here, this is Rome, do as the Romans do! If you want to be here, you contribute here. If you don’t want to be here, if you want to be somewhere else, then American Airlines flies here many times a day.”

Misick also pointed fingers at those in the private sector “who encourage this kind of stuff”, saying that they were “part of the problem”.

“We, as a people, have to make sure that we do the right thing by our country, and by the same token we have to make sure that people who come here do the right thing by our country,” he insisted.

“If you are going to be in this country, be in this country, be part of this country. If you want to be in Jamaica, if you want to be in Haiti or The Bahamas, stay there.”

At the same time, Misick said people who do the most volunteer work in the TCI “are not from this country”.

According to official figures quoted by the TCI Sun, of the TCI’s population of 31,458, less than 40 per cent were born there.

It said that 12,030 are citizens and/or belongers, 10,981 are Haitians, 1,768 are Jamaicans, 1,476 are from the Dominican Republic, 818 are from the United States, 524 are from The Bahamas, 403 are from Canada, 381 are from the United Kingdom, 374 are from Guyana and 2,062 come from other countries.

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