Above: St Lucia
By the Caribbean Journal staff
United States Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh visited St Lucia this week.
The trip included a meeting with St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, covering “ways and means to strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation between St Lucia and the US Virgin Islands,” according to a government statement.
The two sides also discussed the impact of the closure of the HOVENSA refinery on the economy of St Croix.
Anthony and de Jongh also discussed the issue of Caribbean rum, which has proven to be a hot-button issue between the Caribbean territories of the United States and CARICOM.
The governments of CARICOM have expressed their concern over what they see as “protection” extended to US-based rum producers using funds from the US’ rum cover-over tax.
US Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen addressed the issue in a Caribbean Journal Op-Ed at the end of 2012.
De Jongh reportedly explained the “importance” of the rum industry to the USVI, while Anthony discussed a range of factors influencing CARICOM’s approach to the issue.
De Jongh returned to St Thomas on Friday.