Dominica may cede Bird Island to Venezuela

Venezuelan outpost on Bird Island

Dominica appears to have all but ceded its claim of Bird Island to Venezuela, a diplomatic cable released this week by whistle-blower site Wikileaks, has revealed.

“It’s a  fact.  So there is nothing we can do from a legal standpoint  to reclaim Bird Island,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said during a June 26, 2006 press conference at the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana, according to Wikileaks.

The cable stated that Skerrit’s remarks came several days after he met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, “where the leaders agreed to establish a joint commission that will meet in July to examine the maritime boundary between the two nations.”

The cable, which was created in July 2006 by the US embassy in Barbados and was released yesterday (Friday, August  26) by Wikileaks, said that days after Skerrit made his announcement the government of Dominica announced that Venezuela will provide Dominica with US$29- million in new aid for housing construction.

“This latest Venezuelan assistance will be given in the form of a US$22-million grant and US$7-million soft loan, supplementing the estimated US$10-million combination of funding and in-kind assistance Venezuela currently provides to Dominica’s airport expansion program,” the cable pointed out.

However when confronted on the matter the cable stated a high level government official said Skerrit did not formally give up Dominica’s claim to Bird Island. “The PM’s remarks were not intended to recognize Venezuela’s claim of sovereignty to the disputed territory, but simply state the current legal situation,” the cable stated. “Dominica understands that several countries have previously recognized Venezuela’s right to Bird Island, and that if the matter goes to arbitration Dominica may very well lose.  The MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) official explained that the planned joint commission would not determine which nation’s claim to Bird Island is accurate, but simply allow legal experts to examine technical issues regarding the maritime boundary between Venezuela and Dominica.”

The cable concluded that the Prime Minister’s move was most likely “an attempt by the Government of Dominica to place itself in a position to extract some form of compensation from Venezuela. As the PM’s recent remarks indicate, the Government understood that it did not have a strong legal case for Bird Island and simply sought to get something from Venezuela in return for ultimately acquiescing.  The new US$22-million grant from Venezuela suggests that Dominica was successful.”

Bird Island, also called Isla de Aves, is 375 meters in length and never more than 50 meters in width, and rises four meters above the sea on a calm day. According to the UN Law of the Seas it is classified as a rock. It is located 140 miles west of Dominica and 340 miles north of the Venezuelan mainland.

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  1. July 19, 2022

    I know this is more than 10 years old, but I have to say it as a citizen of this beautiful country called Dominica.
    Size of Venezuela= 916,000 km2 – 353,841 mi²
    Size of Dominica = 750 km² – 289 mi²

    Population of Venezuela = 32,000,000
    Population of Dominica = 71,991

    Despite its crisis, Venezuela continues to be one of the most militarily powerful countries in South America, and is already on the verge of surpassing its neighbor Colombia militarily. Only the Venezuelan police exceeds the total population of Dominica!!! Imagine how many soldiers there will be in the Venezuelan army!!! 8-O 8-O 8-O

    Simple math we already lost (if we ever had) Bird Island, better focus on other more important things than fighting an island with such a country. :wink:

  2. Hard Times
    March 10, 2013

    Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 Pieces of silver. It is all in the bible.

  3. implications
    September 2, 2011

    I hope this gives the implications/Big picture:
    A regional block of nations(CARICOM / OECS) with tremendous potential (Human and physical resources) being prostituted/sold/ short changed and deceived.

    Prime minister of Dominica, while having his legitimacy challenged in court, admits to and attempts to justify having a spy unit monitoring the telecommunications of the opposition (most of whom are harmless senior citizens)and other concerned citizens.

    The island has been in a state of tension since December 2009 when it was revealed that Skerrit has secretly held dual citizenship and allegiance for a foreign power, France, a nation with a history of having fought many wars to gain access to the resources of Dominica and many other Caribbean islands.
    The questions being asked are:
    1. What conflict of interest implications for CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank being led by an illegal Prime Minister who had allegiance to France while he was chairman of CARICOM and Eastern Caribbean central bank?

    2. What losses has the region incurred by the Revelations of secret Regional Territorial deals were made by Skerrit favouring Venezuela’s territorial expansion agenda in exchange for campaign funds etc.?
    For example:

    Having facilitated such
    3. What are the Implications of increased military tensions in the Caribbean Basin?

    For example: Territorial water dispute simmering between U.S., Venezuela

    2. Were the CARICOM-EU Trade negotiations compromised by foreign/non Caricom allegiances?
    (See attached letter to French ambassador.)

    For example: “Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo has suggested that “the region was bullied”…

    3.Has the Regional security now been compromised with allies of Venezuela (Russian and Iranian)operating in the region and assisting in Venezuela’s military expansion?

    -Putin bolsters oil, defense ties with Venezuela

    4. Are there valid fears that Venezuela’s recent military advantage may prompt invasions into its numerous territorial disputes in the region? (OECS, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, the dutch and others)
    For example:
    wikileaks venezuelan invasion of Guyana a realistic possibility

    5. What are the implications on the cruise ship tourism, Shipping, fishing, oil and gas exploration now that an Arms race nuclear crisis has begun in Caribbean Basin?

    6. Have the cruise ships pulled out over safety issues?

    -Chavez says Venezuela jets intercepted U.S. plane

    6.Could we see another missile crisis in the Caribbean?
    For example:
    If FOX news has accurately reported: IRAN’S MISSILES IN VENEZUELA REVENGE FOR STUXNET virus against it’s nuclear program?

    Numerous secretive controversial issues keep coming to light since the legality of prime minister Skerrit since his eligibility is being challenged in court.

    The intellectual integrity of the head of his defence team is being challenged.
    For example:

    Dominicans are confused as to how a SC could defend the Breaking of the election laws that protect the nation from acts of treason in Dominica by candidates who hold allegiance to foreign powers yet that lawyer is recorded as saying “Candidates Must Sign Declarations That They Do Not Hold Dual Citizenship” as quoted by prime minister Skerrit’s SC in:

    See attached letter admitting to cooperating with the french.
    Are the following not admissions of allegiance?
    “It is with deepest regret that I make a Formal request for renunciation of my French citizenship”

    “Thanking you for your USUAL kind COOPERATION and assistance”
    Dominicans are asking, Does the French Government USUALLY provide KIND COOPERATION to citizens who commit crimes against the state (France) unless acting on its behalf?

    The people are asking What cost benefit analysis have been done for and are they in Dominica’s, the OECS and CARICOM’s favour?
    Supporting Venezuelan territorial claims while reducing the OECS and CARICOM’s territorial waters.

    Why are French citizens being granted quarry rights in Dominica?

    Why do Heavily armed French and Venezuelan fishers feel free to exploiting Dominican waters while local , fishers are being intimidated, some found dead at sea and many disappear on the high seas?

    Why are Chinese citizens are being imported, given unfair advantages over locals and are be encouraged to take over the merchant, construction and other road contracts in Dominica while the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the region?

    Why a poor nation has taken a EC $27,000,000.00 loan from china to build a state presidential palace? Why is a Chinese in military camouflage is supervising a team of all chinese workers in the state palace construction?

    Why is the public in the dark as to the MOU with both Venezuela and China?

    Most recently Skerrit’s admission to having a spy network which has been actively snooping on emails and telephone calls of the opposition and the press.

    Where as it is a crime against The republic of France for a citizen to hold a post in a foreign civil service or military without the permission of the government of the socialist republic of France.

    And whereas eligibility to hold the posts as chairman/member of CARICOM and The ECCB are to be held by (legal) legitimate heads of state…

    Should the Integrity in Public Office Commission, CARICOM secretariat and the OECS secretariat is to investigate a complaint that Prime Minister as Chairman of Cabinet and minister of national security and CARICOM chairman/member and ECCB chairman used his ‘official’ post/ influence to:
    1. request that France have an observers status seat in CARICOM meetings.
    2. Influence the outcome of the EU trade negotiations in which many CARICOM nations expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome
    3. Regional territorial deals and the consequences.

    Or should the CARICOM secretariat invite venezuela to join the CARICOM group?

  4. revolutioary
    August 30, 2011

    It is good to have people comment on various issues that concern their country, but alas, not when they don’t have a clue of what they are talking about.

  5. Born Free
    August 29, 2011

    I had practically given up on Bird Island which I once thought was subject to “squatters” rights given the lengths Venezuela had gone to own it while Dominica did almost nothing to reclaim it over the last three decades.

    We may already have sold out although it would be an amazing coincidence for just this particular spot (and no where close to it) in the Caribbean waters to have the level of oil and other resources that it is claimed to have. I could understand if Venezuela only wanted its fully-owned and operated stop point between itself and the USA…but it is really hard to buy the idea of this solitary area of oil deposits in the Caribbean sea.

    Nonetheless, the PM needs to consult with the People on matters of this nature. It would not be too much to expect him to hold a referendum when our territorial waters and air space are involved.

    The worse part would be if we easily gave up this alleged oil rich rock to Venezuela and then have her tell us how good she is to us for all that she is doing for us.

  6. patriotic
    August 29, 2011

    History has always had the tendency of repeating itself where the white assumed the blacks were stupid and bought their trust with simple pieces of jewellery, but not this time, we’re creating a new era in the books of history, let this be the time history has a new face when we would rise up and fight for our own. Remember people great victories come with great sacrifices. rise rise rise and lets stand as that small in size nation but powerful in spirit and heart. Onward to victory we go.

  7. @SMDFH
    August 29, 2011

    Are you Venezuelan? How about in 2011 Dominica “established” a police force to guard its island? Suddenly, 39 Million becomes 390 Million! Then again, if I were PM and someone offered me a few millions “Under the table”…I would take it an run, wouldn’t you?

  8. WTF
    August 29, 2011

    This little island is worth Billions, not millions, when Chavez imposes the 200 nautical mile maritime boundary of Exclusive Economic Zone…come on PM, have some cojones!

  9. Anonymous
    August 29, 2011

    we may have sold an island with billions of dollars in oil and natural gas for 22 million dollars … im just saying we may have !!! guess we will know later !!! then again it appears that we could not win in court …. but i would honestly prefer to try !!

  10. SMDFH
    August 29, 2011

    My people…stop passing off as arse holes, illiterate, country bookies…go red up on the bird island before u all come here an talk rubbish look up int’l maritime law etc…it was never ours…how can we now lay claim to wat britain never had…or never even fought for really…

    FYI….Birds or Aves Island – Upon gaining its independence from Spain in 1821, Venezuela lay claim to Birds Island, which lies approximately 600 miles north east of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. At that time however, no attempt was made to inhabit the Island. Approximately 1000 meters long and 400 meters wide, Birds Island is made up mostly of sand and coral. Several rare bird species survive on the Island and in 1972, it was named a Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary by the government of Venezuela.

    Birds Island has an intriguing history. In 1587 the Island was spotted by Spanish adventurer Avaro Sanzze, who claimed it on behalf of Spain and named it Isla de Aves (Birds Island). At that time however, no formal possession of the Island was made by the Spanish and it was not inhabited.
    The Island was later to change possession between the British, the Spanish, the Portugese and later the Ducth. In 1878 the Guano & Copra Company of America, inhabited the island, built up some wooden houses and mined guano ( a bird fertilizer) until 1912 when the bird manure was practically exhausted.

    In 1979, the Venezuelan government erected a coast guard station and listening post on the island. Today, it is used as a military base, and the Venezuelan military exercises strict control over the island, with visitors requiring a special permit from the Venezuelan military. For the most part, only Venezuelans have been allowed to visit the Island. Local Dominican fishermen have reported rich fishing waters around the island, which are regularly patrolled by the Venezuelan coast guard. from an article by T Fontaine

  11. August 29, 2011

    THE majority of dominican voters are ignorant of what’s happening out there and
    shame on the opposition for not educating the people. uwp ,labor, freedom they are all the same (corrupt sleazy greedy and easily bought.)yeah! the govt. has sold us for pennies.

  12. August 29, 2011


  13. August 29, 2011

    which country has ever given up it’s territory without a fight in the modern era??
    and we mustnot forget the international law of the sea which established our border 200 hundred miles to the west and 200 hundred miles to the east of dominica………….

  14. Me Again
    August 29, 2011

    From 1980 to 2009 we have had we have had 7 general elections in Dominica and not once an incumbent Government ever said to the electorate that Bird Island belongs to Dominica!!! Freedom, UWP and now DLP have all been in government at one time and are returning again and have never done anything about Bird Island!!!

    Why when these very same political parties are in opposition they tend to stir up emotions of the Dominican people about ownership of Bird Island?

    The answer is that historically this issue has always proven to be the beginning of the turn of events for any of the incumbent administrations that have occupied political governance of the Country.

    Persons become fed up and there is usually a ground swell of support for the Opposition.

    If Skerrit is Smart as Minister of Foreign Affairs he may summon the Ambassador of Venezuela to his office and call in GIS to show the commencement of dialogue on this important and emotional issue. He can succeed for Venezuela who has investments in Dominica via PDV and selling fuel daily to Domlec would not want to lose that business and foreign currency!!!!

    And so people knowing Skerrit as the brilliant tactician that he is he is giving Chavez a lot of rope and then just before the next general election he will flex his muscle and outwit the opposition on this pivotal issue.

    • Jose Luis Marcano Rodriguez
      December 23, 2015

      This Island is Venezuelan Island since 1869…and recognised by UN…then forget any comment…

      • Stoic
        February 5, 2022

        According to international maritime laws of the sea , Dominica Border is 200 Miles west and 200 miles east. Aves island is about 150 miles west of Dominica. Explain to me how Venezuela have ownership for a piece of land they are 340 miles away from.

      • John Paul
        February 6, 2022

        This should not be an issue as stated this has belonged to Venezuela for many years and if the argument is the distance from our maritime boundaries what about Martinique, Guadeloupe , the Saints even Montserrat!
        These boundaries intersect because of the proximity of these Countries

  15. And
    August 29, 2011

    Just because you cannot see the value of something, does not mean that the thing has no value. The oil and gas under Bird Island is more than enough to pay Venezuela back its money it has spent on Dominica and Dominicans. The Prime Minister should not be so short sighted. The oil and gas has been there for millions of years, who told Skerrit he is the one to make a decision on it. The Venezuelans are thinking about their future, what are Dominicans thinking about? The Prime minister could bring in an oil company to investigate and keep what is ours or he can step down as Prime Minister. It may have been Patrick Johns’ mistake but Skerrit does not have to copy him,

  16. Ukrainian
    August 29, 2011

    Let us remember that Venezuela has not been a particularly good Caribbean neighbour. Examine the following:

    Since the coming to power of the current President, Venezuela has revitalised its claim to over 150,000 km 2 of land west of the Essequibo River in Guyana.
    The Venezuelan government wants a share of the revenue that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago derives from the BP-Amoco discovery at the Manaquin 1 well, claiming that the well reserve crosses both borders,
    The Government of Venezuela objected to the granting of concessions by the government of Grenada to a transnational company claiming that the concessions were granted within its territorial waters and
    The establishment of on EEZ around Bird Island has caused serious problems to the territorial integrity of several OECS States, Dominica included.(Griffin St.Hilaire). We need help in this country. we need to read more. Educate yourself. I am Dominica, are you? Our leaders need to be educated about international law and policies..Small Island politics is nothing compared to International politics. Careful Dominicans. Educate yourself and make responsable decisions!!!! freeness is worriness…Chavez has a plan, that’s the only reason he is petting Dominica. Does Dominica Have a plan, order than accepting monies from kind givers. Education puts an end to poverty! I am Dominica, are you?

    • Jose Luis Marcano Rodriguez
      December 23, 2015

      Forget Chavez he’s dead. You don’t know nothing about Venezuela and Caribbean. All Faken Presidents of Caricom supported Chavez due to Oil Support to them and forget Human Rights of Venezuelan citizens – opposition to Chavez. Must of them are liars and corrupts…This is a Venezuelan Island since 1869…and recognized by UN.

  17. Prophet2
    August 29, 2011

    How ironic, it was Africans who sold their own people into slavery, I guess the tradition must continue…to the next level.

  18. Big Up
    August 28, 2011

    I am 37 years old and for so long I hearing bird Island have oil. Chavez and those before him have not begun drilling. Why? Is it too expensive or is it beause there is no oil/natural gas. Do we have the capacity to drill for the oil. I think it would be better to have venezuela drill and we get royalties, Better off in the long run.

  19. Truth
    August 28, 2011

    Dominica cannot even take care of itself, why are we trying to hold on to a rock that Dominicans have never been to or know very little of.

    • shy
      August 28, 2011

      What planet are you from?This small island is a gold mine.It is rich in oil and natural gases.Why do you think chavez wants it?He is just trying to fool your prime minister and is succeding at that.

      • forreal
        August 28, 2011

        do you know for sure that bird island is a gold mine?that is only speculation,brother the only reason bird island is worth fighting for is the fact that it is situated within dominica’s maritime boundaries.

    • Justme
      August 29, 2011

      Oil my friend, don’t stupid, think before you speak(write) and educate yourself.

      • shy
        August 29, 2011

        When i say a gold mine i mean that it is a rich piece of land.That dosen’t mean the island has gold.[Literaly speaking].

  20. littleboy
    August 28, 2011

    You are very late on this one DNO; we ceded long time-maybe five years ago when a person who was hired by us, to serve us sold Bird Island on us without telling us.
    DNO, I know you all have to be very careful when you put out information out there, but I feel your topic here which reads “Dominica may cede Bird Island to venezuela” is mis-leading somehow because our leaders did not discuss it with us. I feel therefore it would make more sense to say, Dominica’s leader may have sold Bird Island to Venezuela.

  21. shortboy
    August 28, 2011


    • shy
      August 29, 2011

      I forgive you, it seems that you are not educated.Seeing that we are a poor country,should we part with the little that we have?

  22. Q95
    August 28, 2011

    How many of you know Bird Island? All you know, is hear say…Get your facts straight before you comment.Id like to know what is so attracting or interesting about this rock,for years that the mystery about it can’t be discovered and solved. Think if this Rock was so rich,attempts would not have been made to attain that source of wealth by those who have the facilities to do so?All we do is speculate….So why make Bird Island a problem or issue.

    • FORKIT
      August 28, 2011

      the fact is we may not want it and want to sell it, but it should be done openly and the masses have a right to know it was for sale, maybe i could afford it or suki would buy it. skerrit has no right to sell without dominican permission

  23. August 28, 2011

    I live overseas, but at a very early age I heard of that fight between Dominica and Venezuela concerning Bird Island. But now that the President of Venezuela has made a poppet of Priminister R. Skeritt, it is not a fight any more but a hand over ceremony. What about our children who today is very much advance than we are in knowledge. May want to do something with their inheritance. Mr. Priminiter please listen to the voice of the Dominican Community. I do not believe that any Dominican in their right mind will want to part with Bird Island. May God fight for the people of Dominica. All gloyr goes to God.

    • shy
      August 29, 2011

      you are so right.

  24. Patat
    August 28, 2011

    Been busy enjoying d summer holidays and had a lot of fun.

    Turning on my tablet I seeing this story and the following things ran through my mind:

    1. Why are we fooling ourselves about Bird Island?

    2. Is it because the famous Peoples Action Theatre Group of the 1970s gave the impression in a song that we can end all our struggles in Bird Island?

    3. How many Dominicans have ever been to bird Island?

    4. When was the last time a Dominican Flag or the Old Union Jack Flag with Dominica Coat of Arms flew over Bird Island?

    5. The Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority administer all of Dominica’s Ports. Does any Dominican with a friend or relative working with DASPA ever been to Bird Island? Has DASPA’s Pilot boat ever escorted any boat to Bird Island?

    6. In 1982 Dame Eugenia Charles could not fight the French for Maritime boundaries for Dominica on three fronts the North of Dominica is Guadeloupe, the Northeast of Dominica with Marigalante and the South of Dominica is Martinique. We know from Lennox Honeychurch that the West of Dominica has a special challenge with Bird Island. And that is the fundamental reason why President Carlos Andres Perez of Venezuela in 1978 was the first Country in the World to have an Embassy in the Commonwealth of Dominica!!!! These days we have Embassies of Cuba, Brazil, and China. So what makes one think is Venezuela Dominica can take on that have a military and Air force as well?

    7. There is a myth that Bird Island has oil and natural gas!!! Do persons out there really subscribe to this myth? If Bird Island has Oil and Natural Gas then the Saints should have too as well as Antigua and I dare say Dominica!!!

    8. If it was ever true that Bird Island had Oil the United States of America would have been cozier with Dominica and would have used its might – military , economic , and Diplomatic and stand with Dominica at the United Nations and claim Bird Island for Dominica and no Dog would dare Back!!!!! Man d amount of Foreign Direct Investment it would have from the USA we in Dominica would be complaining of being second class citizens in our country because Da would be more developed than Lucia. We doh have geothermal yet and d amount of moves World Bank and other Funding Agencies that America have big influence over always coming to Dominica and hold meetings with Government and Diaspora Dominicans. Dem men vex European Union come in first and Skerrit doh give dem invite!!! My brother driving taxi and is not little conversation they does hear when they driving those big officials from US up and down d Airport.

  25. shy
    August 28, 2011

    If it’s in dominica waters, then it belongs to dominica.

    • Dominican Labor Day
      August 28, 2011

      LOL then you just proved its not ours… It’s not in our waters…

      The carib reserve is in Dominica can the Dominican government go there and just build or set laws?

      • FORKIT
        August 28, 2011

        yes the government can set laws because it is part of d/ca, they can even share the land to caribs and give them their certificate of title. the fact is bird island is in our territorial waters, so its ours

    • Just Thinking
      August 29, 2011

      Sadly, this is not the way the world works. The ones with the power control most of the resources. Why are we trying to blame Prime minister, Skerritt for something PM Eugenia, PM John, PM James and PM Douglas, who, by the way, was one of the premier advocates of obtaining bird island, could not do. Skerritt is only stating the obvious. The chances for Dominica obtaining Bird Island are slim. Does anyone remember the incident between Great Britan and Argentina over the falkland islands? In terms of distance, Britain is like a world away yet, they own The Falkland Islands, which are in Argentina’s territorial waters and when Argentina tried to claim them they threatened to go to war with them, so please people think before making some of these stupid comments. At least The Prime minister is trying to get something out of the deal.

    • Just my opinion
      August 30, 2011


  26. Rudolph Marie
    August 28, 2011

    Simple facts let’s do the maths ,140 miles to 340 miles.Did Dominicans go to school on Sunday while the man telling us there is nothing more, we as a nation can do to claim that piece of rock.Did he attend Monday thur Friday.Are we as developing nation going to agree with that.something to ponder Dominica.

    • ER
      August 28, 2011

      Question – When the queen owned Dominica was the rock part of Dominica? If she did not owne it how the hell does it belong to us.

  27. Mr. Plenty
    August 28, 2011

    yes Mr. Skerrit….. thank you.Rosie must be turning in his grave. “time will tell for you”

  28. shy
    August 28, 2011

    I am a dominican in overseas and i am saying some day soon i want to come back home, but when reading all those bullshit, i am afraid to come back home.

  29. looking in
    August 28, 2011


  30. JB
    August 28, 2011

    Found this research interesting. So the Venezuelans themselves are saying that Bird Island is rich in gas and hydrocarbons.

    • Jose Luis Marcano Rodriguez
      December 23, 2015

      Sorry for you, but This Island is Venezuelan island since 1869 and by the way Venezuelan never signed UN Convention on the Law of the Sea…Everybody is only talking about bull

  31. CIA
    August 28, 2011

    there’s is something fishy about that.

  32. Hotel Maintenance
    August 28, 2011

    You can only sell what you own. I guess the PM owns everything DA USED to own… WAW!!!! That is power.

  33. DFFG
    August 28, 2011


  34. Sout Man
    August 27, 2011

    Some leaders have made costly mistakes over the last 150 years and we seem not to have learnt anything from these mistakes. Notable among these is the sale of Alaska by the Russians to the United States for $7.2 million. Today, Alaska capitalizes on billions of barrels of oil deposits, natural gas, gold and copper in addition to the abundance of wild life.

    Another costly mistake was the perpetual lease of 45 square miles of Guantanamo by the Cubans to the United States for $2 000 per year since 1903. That lease was adjusted to$4 085.00 in 1934. Today, one American judge awards $2.8 billion to one family, for land confiscated by the revolution using its power of eminent domain.

    Our government now enters into secret agreements to cede territory, or rather, claim to territory without having made that an election issue or seeking our opinion in a referandum. There is no need to be at war with Venezuela, but we must avoid binding ourselves to any disadvantage without neutral arbitration. The international Court of Justice, (ICJ), should be asked to rule on the matter. We appreciate the assistance given to us by Venezuela, but our relationship must be based on mutual respect and respect for our territorial integrity.

    There are some colonial factors that do not fully support our claim to Bird Island. First of all Queen Isabella of Spain handed the rock to the descendants of her sons and daughters in Venezuela. Secondly, the United States, France and the Netherlands entered into agreement with Venezuela to set maritime boundaries with respect to Bird Island.

    Thirdly, the British did not include our ownership of Bird Island in our constitution as suggested by Comrade Rosie Douglas. Instead, they bind us to any agreement they have already signed, vis a vis Dominica. Premier John was too busy to accept any agreement that would make him the first PM while Hon Eugenia Charles was trying to deny Dominica its political independence.

    Today, our only hope is the Law of the Sea Convention which Venezuela did not sign because of disputes over Bird Island, two thirds of Guyana and even parts of Colombia. Chavez didn’t start those disputes but he is perpetuating them and flexing his military might.

    If Venezuela retains Bird Island, it prevents Dominica from expanding its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to 200 nautical miles westward. We are already limited on the north and south by France (Guadeloupe and Martinique). So the little 150 meters x 50 meters piece of rock, per say, is not the main concern for Venezuela; but the 200 mile EEZ from Bird Island westward, has significant fishing and strategic rights, even without the discovery of a single drop of oil. And what if there is oil and natural gas?

    Bird Island has already been declared a rock by the United Nations. Therefore, only 12 miles of territorial waters can be claimed. Furthermore, the rock was not inhabited and that’s what bolster our claim to possession in addition to economic activity by our fishermen. That’s why Venezuela now has military personnel stationed there. Being in our territorial waters does not make it exclusively Dominica’s since it is 140 miles (some say 90 or 70) west of Dominica but 115 miles (subject to confirmation) south west of Montserrat (Britain). So it’s not a simple matter but it deserves a fight.

    The United States and France sold us out to Venezuela in 1978 just when we were persuing our claim to Bird Island during the independence campaign. At that time Venezuela allowed US and other foreign companies to exploit its oil. Now that Chavez has nationalized the oil, they may want to give us a hearing at the ICJ since the permanent members of the UN have judges on that world court. The US does not recognize all the rulings of that court, so I guess Venezuela won’t either. The US also supported Venezuela’s claim because Venezuela conspired with the CIA to free the terrorists who bombed the Cuban plane off the coast of Barbados; making it appear like they escaped. Luis Posada Carilles and Juan Bosch worked for the CIA when they bombed that plane. The guy who got the $2.8 billion ruling confessed to flying terrorist bombing raids on Cuban civilians and hotels, yet, he is a hero in the United States.

    So, you folks are quick to express your hatred for Chavez while you support the imperialist empire. The colonialists gave Bird Island to Venezuela. They even gave Dominica to France; then England; then France and after 17 exchanges, they finally settled on England. That’s our history folks. But I agree with Francisco that we must stand up and fight for Bird Island.

    I wish I could have said that in fewer words but 400 years of colonialism can’t be condensed in a few words if the other half of the story has to be told. By the way, the USA tried the same claim to the Isle of Pine (now Isle of Youth) in Cuba. Cuba won after arbitration; but “nuff” said already!

    Peace and Justice!!

    • Sout Man
      August 28, 2011

      Omission: “….the permanent members of the UN ‘Security Council’ have judges on that world court”.

    • caribbean genius
      August 28, 2011

      wisely said….

      August 28, 2011

      South Man….,
      Great piece Bro…You are a very bright guy,who seems to know,and care about National Affairs and the People. I know for a fact that there are more Dominicans like you; at home and abroad…
      You don’t come across as a Politician,because most(if not all) Politicians in Dominica are not that bright…Or, if they are,when they are elected to Office,they become stupid…(except for knowing how to fool the People, steal and misappropriate funds)….(my opinion).

      My questions to you, my learned friend, is; why is Dominica,and the the Affairs of Dominica, are in such disarray?….

      In light of all what is going on ,i.e. the allegations of corruption, lack of accountability and transparency, mismanagement and misappropriations of funds,also wiretapping and eavesdropping, by this present Government, why isn’t there more urgent concerns on the minds of the People of Dominica?. And why isn’t there more outrage?…

      Why such passivity?. Don’t Dominicans recognize that they have a pivotal role in the shaping of their Country’s future?…
      Have Dominicans as a People(Nation)lost their sense of direction?.What ever happens to Nationalism?….and Patriotism?.
      Isn’t there none of great eloquence and oratory skills,who can elucidate these things to the People?.

      Am I wrong for saying that what Dominica need now, is not necessarily a Politician, but a Statesman?, who cares about Dominica and her People…And who will put Dominica and Dominicans first and foremost, instead of Party, Party supporters,friends and Party politics?…..
      All these questions linger in my mind, my learned friend…..
      Yes,I also know that Dominica has complex problems. And for every complex problem,there is an answer that is clear,simple and wrong.(smile)…

      Peace Profound….and…All the very best to you……
      The GANGSTA!!.

    August 27, 2011

    If birdisland was 340 miles outside dominica and 140 miles from venezuelaand being claimed by dominica, think of wat compeh chavez would be talking about.WAR!!!!I think we should fight in court even if it was a pebble sticking out of the ocean.Who knows wats under that pebble.Remember alaska how the russians didn’t think it was of any value?.Just saying.

  36. Pissed Off
    August 27, 2011

    The island was most likely discovered by Avaro Sanzze in 1584, though it was not settled. It was subsequently claimed for Great Britain, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the inhabitants of the Dutchislands St. Eustatius and Saba regularly visited Aves to collect turtle and bird eggs.
    In 1854 a US captain discovered the abundant quantities of guano on Aves and systematic collection started not long after. Both the Dutch and Venezuelan authorities found out and protested. The Dutch sent a warship to Aves. Its captain found Americans loading guano. He informed them that the Dutch considered Aves to belong to the Netherlands.
    The Dutch authorities on Curaçao under whom St. Eustatius and Saba fell, sat down with the Venezuelans and together decided to find a mutually acceptable sovereign to decide about the ownership of Aves Island. The Queen of Spain was accepted by both parties, and in 1865 Isabella II ruled on the issue, deciding in favor of the Spanish speaking heirs of her ancestors’ empire.
    However, Isabella’s judgment acknowledged the time honored rights of the inhabitants of the Dutch islands St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten to fish in the waters around Aves. As this was the main issue the Dutch had, they accepted the ruling. Later, some Dutch historians argued that Isabella’s advisors could have mixed up Aves with Las Aves Archipelago lying between Bonaire and Los Roques, just off the coast of Venezuela.
    In the meantime, in 1859 the Administrator of St. Eustatius granted a concession to collect guano on Aves to ‘Edward Green, Kean & Co.’ in Baltimore at f. 2.50 per ton. He decided that “even though Aves was never permanently settled by the Dutch, the inhabitants of Statia and Saba had made use of the island longer than anyone can remember,” which “constituted proof of possession.” He gave a provisionary concession and asked the Governor in Curaçao to confirm. The Governor meanwhile had received a request to mine guano on Aves from a group of business men on Dutch St. Maarten, “who had assured themselves that Aves was recognized as a possession of the Dutch government.”
    From 1878 to 1912 the island was again occupied by American guano miners until supplies were eventually exhausted.
    Isla de Aves was included in Venezuela’s territorial reorganization done by President Joaquin Crespo in 1895. By 1905, Isla de Aves was a municipality called “Municipio Oriental” part of Colon Federal Territory.
    In 1950, a Venezuelan Navy fleet consisting of two patrol boats and one transport boat were sent to take control of the island with a group of soldiers. On June 2, 1978, the Venezuelan Navy were sent to set up a scientific naval base named Simón Bolívaron the lee (west) side near the southern tip of the island, constructed as a platform built on stilts partially in the water, which was permanently inhabited by a group of scientists and military personnel.
    On March 28, 1978, Venezuela using Aves Island as its reference, agreed its maritime borders with the USA between Aves Island and Puerto Rico in the United States – Venezuela Maritime Boundary Treaty; this treaty came into force on 24 November 1980 after it was ratified by both parties. On June 17, 1980 Venezuela agreed with France that longitude 62D 48M 52S W should be the maritime boundary between Aves Island and Guadeloupe and Martinique.

  37. Pissed Off
    August 27, 2011

    How can sell what is not yours. Dominicans have had this obsession for decades that Bird Island is theirs. Dominica belong to England up until 1978. So when exactly did Bird island belong to DA. We were never a twin island state at least not to my knowledge. There is no historical documents tracing and mapping the existing of this island and very little of this history can be found in local history books. There is more info on Bird Island on Wikipedia but not in our registry or history books. The ignorance of our politicians will continue to be many people barometer. Since 1647 to this present day the island has lost 75% of its land mass. It can be predicted that there will no bird island in the next 10 – 15 years. Every hurricane season seems to taken a piece of the island with it by the process of erosion. Venezuela has done well in establishing a marine station there to study ways on reversing the effects of these erosions. The idea that a military base is there to keep Dominican fishermen away is so grossly exaggerated. Dominicans would be better serve by taking the opportunity organize excursion to the island as part of our tourist attraction. We so busy politicking everything we are missing the opportunity to make money on what can be a regular day trip for visitors and natives alike. Viewing the island from Google Earth and studying different maps it must be noted that the island is closer to Guadeloupe and Montserrat. Just a thought. It is interesting to note after reading a brief history of the island that Dominica was never consulted or mention in the many disputes over the last few hundred years. lets oraganize trips and go see for ourselves and form our own oppinions. Remember when August Monday was a beach day well lets make it Bird Island day before natural take away from us.

    • Sout Man
      August 28, 2011

      That’s the problem bro/sis. It’s not our tourism attraction; it’s Venezuela’s, unless we reclaim it. You now require a Venezuelan visa to go there. The Venezuelan coast guard is now stationed there to bolster their claim that it is inhabited. That gives them a claim to 200 miles of EEZ instead of 12 miles as an uninhabited rock or zero miles if Dominica’s claim is successful.

      • king man
        August 28, 2011

        are you saying that the americans and french unlawfully demacated their boundries by negotiating with the venizuelans when bird island is dominica’s??.
        i think some of you are TOO SMART, YOU START FOOLING YOUR SELVES.

  38. Comforther
    August 27, 2011

    Venezuela has a military installation on birds island. Whenever the dominica coast guard passes by the island guns are drawn. The island is known for it’s turtles, fish, and birds. I know ……..

  39. coup
    August 27, 2011

    More evidence we have had a coup.
    Bird isle & st croix are tops of submerged mountain chain (parallel to lesser antiles) extremely rich in fisheries oil&gas. Shallow water compared to Deep water gulf oil spill (that showed most deep h3o reserves inaccessible by today’s technology)=> treasonous prostitution of caricom territorial waters for personal& campaign$ and French allegiance.

  40. honeybee
    August 27, 2011

    am someone lives there man , am seeing electricity lighting

  41. DAdontrelinquish
    August 27, 2011

    Venezuela has always had expansionist tendencies, and has sustained border disputes with almost all it’s neighbours. There is an island just off the coast of Guyana and Venezuela called Isla Aves (Bird Island). We all know of the border quarells between the British, (and later Guyana) and Venezuela. Could it be this Island off Venezuela’s coast that was being referenced in the 1800’s bargains? Does Venezuela have claim to any and all Bird Islands in the reigon?

  42. only
    August 27, 2011

    Maybe we will find out the truth one of these days.

  43. observing
    August 27, 2011

    who care about a piece of rock?

    • caribbean genius
      August 28, 2011

      chavez care about it from 340 miles away… i am ashamed of being dominican

    • Germain
      August 28, 2011

      U obviously don’t care about your country or your’e not a Dominican at all

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2011


      That piece of rock has tremendous significance such as the 200 mile EEZ from Bird Island westward and an abundance of fishing and strategic rights and benefits. This is in essence an infringement on the territorial waters of Dominica.

      As a Dominican you must be concerned. It is time for Dominicans to take back our island from this corrupt government. Not as it was done in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya….but how we have done in the past.

      We the people must shut down this government. Walk out of offices that is vital for sustaining this government… thus paralyzing it effectiveness.

      Rise Dominicans…Rise.

  44. Me YO
    August 27, 2011

    The more you talk to them, they doesn’t listen. At one point in time, it was a chavez chavez chavez talk all over the media with “assistance”. You all think it was a free? There is oil on bird island, lots of oil. Chavez aint dumb, and skerrit and the DLP being in desperate need for anything from anybody for them to say “we voting labour”….they sold the country…lock stock and barrel. Parties come…parties go….the country remains….but alas….after the DLP is gone….will we even have a country?

    Think about that…

      August 28, 2011

      Do you really think that this PM sold/gave away Bird Island?

      There has been talk from former PM’s about the ownership of Bird Island, but it was only talk, nothing concrete. No formal claim was ever made.

      The Spanish lay claim to the island after discovering it in 1587.Venezuela claimed the island when they became independent from Spain in 1821.

      They do say that there is oil on Bird Island, if so, then thats obviously one reason why Chavez wants it.

      As Bird Island is eroding, will there in 10 20 years even be a island?

  45. TJ
    August 27, 2011

    It was said that bird island is rich with oil and that is why chavez is after it. he is also claiming part of Gayana. sn’t he our friend? Give us Bird Iland friend

  46. talented
    August 27, 2011

    before skeritt was born the uncle of dr severin
    was arrested in venezuella because the boat he was travellig on went adrift and the da govt. at the time could not get him released. does honeychurch know that? the eunicia used to visit bird island and bring back turtle and eggs for dominican consumption .ask your red backers have memoire poule.

  47. da massive
    August 27, 2011

    so why dosnt venezuela claim all the other islands from trinidad all the way up the island chains

  48. Not a patriot
    August 27, 2011

    I am not interested in Bird Island and even less interested in Dominican. I am a Dominican but that is exactly the way I feel

      August 27, 2011

      So why are u even on here reading about Dominica?

    • Dubique767
      August 27, 2011

      If what you are saying is true, then you must not be interested in yourself. Common, mate. You don’t really feel that way. You must have gone through some really traumatic experience to harbour such resentment about the soil from which you came. That’s ok, though. Sometimes we lose ourselves, and even curse the foundation upon which we were formed. I am sure you will find your way back to Kubuliville.

    • to the bone
      August 28, 2011


    • Hotel Maintenance
      August 28, 2011

      What causes you to feel this way? Is there a specific event(s) that caused you loose interest in your country? Please explain.

    • Humanist
      August 28, 2011

      I would suggest that this go under an article more directly related to patriotism, although you would need to present something more than a vague condemnatory feeling before doing so. You’re free to dislike Dominica, but you need to have a reason(s) why.

      August 28, 2011

      Only you know why you lack interest in your country of birth.

      You sound so bitter and despondent.

  49. FYI
    August 27, 2011

    There are aliens on that island. Please do not disturb the inhabitants.

  50. Dubique767
    August 27, 2011

    Congrats to DNO for keeping all Kubulians abreast of all things Kubulians.

    Ok!ok!ok! For those posting about the history and territorial rights, we all know what they are. All one has to do is google the thing. Big deal. When are we going to look at the meat and potatoes of something instead of sucking on the bone all the time…

    What is of greater concern are the following: (1)If Venezuela claims a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, and DA is 140 miles from Bird Island, and many other islands are within striking distance of this 200 mile zone, what does that mean for shipping, military mobilization of French and U.S forces, and sovereignty?(2) If Venezuela succeeds in building a strategic military post (even though it would be a floating one at that, because the land is often covered during high tide), what does that mean for the region? Are there oil deposits? If there are, what does that mean for the region? What of the scientific expeditions to study marine life? Instead of jumping up and down, why don’t we think of the strategic things that Chavez has done to ensure that he has locked every corner of ownership if this is ever tested at the Hague (ICJ) – like taking a few pregnant Venezuelans there to give birth so that they can claim citizenship status. How would the political and economic paradigms shift if Venezuela becomes an OECS member? These are the questions we should be asking – instead of all the jibby jabba, and karkabeff that I see so often on this board when something as important as this comes into play. You guys keep looking at the tip of the iceberg…

    • Anonymous
      August 29, 2011

      And you are the only on intelligent enough to ask the right questions, why don’t you just add your opinion and respect that of others?

    August 27, 2011

    Dominica! SOLD……..TO CHAVEZ

    • only
      August 27, 2011

      The Chinese too….
      That should make for an interesting fight.

  52. Dominican
    August 27, 2011

    Venezuela owns dominica so no sense in fighting for that little island. Secondly if in fact there was a fight then one could argue all the islands belong to venezuela.Dominica is so dumb I wish I was born anywhere else but here.

    • hmmmmmmm
      August 27, 2011

      I so agree with you. That is exactly my wish. I hate being a Dominican………

      • Sout Man
        August 28, 2011

        I’m sorry to say, but you can end it!

      • Empress D-vine
        August 29, 2011

        u can give up ur one’s beggin u to be a dominican u kno..

        jus lettin u kno..

      August 27, 2011


    • ( NYC)
      August 27, 2011

      well get your ass out of there..u ppl so stupid and negative…AM a proud Dominican

      • caribbean genius
        August 28, 2011

        If you so proud why you not there working and making a contribution. It sounds nice saying it but you wont come and contribute…. lol

    • Sout Man
      August 28, 2011

      “Dominica is so dumb I wish I was born anywhere else but here”. Wow, with a statement like this you set the standard. Wise men know the difference between the things they can change and those they cannot.

  53. One Love
    August 27, 2011


  54. For a few $$$$$ MORE
    August 27, 2011

    For a few dollars more. Dominica’s sovereignty at stake. Foreign domination and control persist. Mental Slavery still engulfs many. A new colonialism is deepening.

    Was Rosie Douglas not speaking the truth about Bird island belonging to Dominica? So we were being fooled by him all the time? Did Skerritt and the other DLP operatives dismiss Rosie’s claims as nonsense?

    How many Dominicans know what entails in the relations with China and Venezuela? Who cares? Mentally enslaved. Many have not learnt any lessons from those years of colonial domination and control. As a result our leaders and politicians repeat the same mistakes and are willing to sell our beloved country to the highest bidder. They are dazzled by the dollars dangling in their faces and tend to act irrationally.

    Foreign relations must be established on the basis of mutual respect for the sovereignty of both countries. It should never be based on personalities, friendship between leaders or adopting a begging mentality. What trading links are being established with those countries AND MOST RECENTLY BETWEEN DOMINICA AND VENEZUELA OR DOMINICA AND CHINA? What about the Coffee Plant that was dumped on us? What about the $27,000,000.00 Govt. borrowed from China for the building of the State Palace/ Malace, but is Chinese constructiuon co. who have been awarded the contract while our people remain unemployed? Such foreign relations and policies are absurd in this 21st. century.

    • Facts
      August 27, 2011

      Yes, Roosie fabricated this dramatic story in 1976 – 1978 to create an issue to add pressure on the Patrick John DLP during the lead up to independence. Roosie had such a hold on people and he was so convincing that they believed everything he said!Remember Roosie was not with the DLP then. He was not even a member of the House although his brother Mike was.

      Check the Hansard of the House of Assembly (the verbatim word by word business of the House)and you will see where PJ exlains the whole facts about Bird Island with documents on the table.

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2011

      I am tired of hearing of that $ State Palace/Malace.There is a building under construction, when it will be completed, it will house the President’s office and resident, the Electorial offics ,the IPO, the Public Service Commision and the list goes on. On another note, I wolud like some one to inform me :under who’s administration, the fountain on the Dame Euginia Charles Boulivard was built: That cost our Tax Payers and myself $ 00. That amount could build 5 houses for the low income people on island, tell me,was any of that money placed back in the Govt’s Treasury by the contractor? Now I see that the fountain is being used as a flower pot I know for sure a flower pot like this could be be built with funds less than $25.000.00 . I would like to know whether that money used on the fountain was’nt wasted? I would like to reassure the writer that something possitive will be coming out of the State Palace/ Malace. I know ofcourse you readers will ask the question, why I strayed away from the Bird Island issue but while reading and noticed the writer commented about the State Palace/ Malace, I had to make a comment.

      • just start
        August 28, 2011

        Who cares if you are tired of hearing about the $27,000,000.00 State Palace/Malace? Do not stifle yourself because you just startto
        hear. something positive will come out of that State Palace/Malace? You’re nuts or what? a tourist attraction? Will the staff of the Electoral office use the structure to work on cleaning the bloated voters’ List and provide Voter ID cards so Dominica could enjoy FREE and FAIR elections?Skerritt and his DLP Govt. has ridiculed and disrespected the INDEPENDENT Electoral Commission by refusing to give the money for them to do their work. Of course you had to stray because you fail to see that Dominica’ssovereignty is at stake

      • Reon
        August 28, 2011

        So because there was a stupid decision made to build that Fountian, this some how justified the building of the state house??

        Back in the day i opposed the building of the Charles Boulivard and still opposed the State House!!!

        What is your point

  55. Ted lewis
    August 27, 2011

    Look how long i been saying so.

    And that is why ,
    i make my decision,
    to take seat ,
    on the bench of oppostion
    libow.( king nico)

  56. Amazed1out that g
    August 27, 2011

    I understand what everyone is saying but i have heard about this bird island from my grandmother and even my very own parents. the whole talk the old folks are giving is that there was some sort of treaty in the old days stating that venezuela owns bird however it is in Dominica’s waters? people plz dont bash me i am only trying to get the facts and understand as everyone else. Also i came to understand that the venezuela knows that bird island is harbouring oil? is this true

  57. For a few $$$$$ more
    August 27, 2011

    Establishing relations with a foreign country should be on the basis of mutual respect for each others sovereignty. The relationship should never be about being subordinated to or under the control of the country that we entered a relation with. Foreign relations should never be about personalities, about friendship between the leaders, but more profound than that.

    It must be about mutual respect for the people of both countries. Foreign relations must be about establishing trade links between both countries, as opposed to one country totally dependent on the other’s economic aid.

    We have seen Dominica’s foreign relations recently as one of new colonialism. Note here, that our foreign relations with Cuba has been totally different. Cuba, at least in practice over the years, have developed our human resource base without expressing any of a neo-colonial policy.

    Dominicans knew all along that the present Govt. has not told us the true details of its foreign relations with Venezuela nor China. The article confirms our fears about Bird Island and part of the deals that were possibly agreed upon by the leaders. Dominicans are yet to be informed or have access to the MOU between China and Dominica.

    Dominicans, do you care if you, your brother, sister, family have been or are being sold for a few dollars more? Do you care about your sovereignty? Do you really love this Nature Isle? love what? but you agree for Dominica to be sold to or to be bought by those with dollars, oil, charisma and god knows whom? Chavez just dumps a coffee plant on us. Govt., the Minister of Agriculture, PS in Agriculture never requested such. They cannot even tell us what acreage is planted in coffee to justify that plant from Venezuela. All now Dominicans do not know about the status of that plant and coffee production.

    Govt. borrowed $27,000,000.00 from China to build a State Palace, irrespective of people’s concerns, Govt. awards the contract to build to a Chinese constrution Co. while local Construction Cos. are cast aside. Even though our local cos. have the capabilities and our masons, carpenters, plumbers, engineers are able, they have to watch the Chinese build while they remain unemployed.

    Such relationships, aided and abetted by politicians with lack of foresight, hinge on NEO-COLONIALISM, A NEW KIND OF SLAVERY with different foreign MASTERS. How else could one term what we are seeing on the ground in our country with those relations? Sections of our society, as well as other Third world countries refuse to learn any lessons stemming from all those years of foreign, colonial control be it by the British, US, France, Dutch, Spain or other colonial powers.

    The country is doomed unless the agenda and policy change. The sooner, the better. Dominica is no ones Plantation with House and Field slaves. Or is it? Is so Dominica come? Mental Slavery still engulfs many in our country.

  58. Facts
    August 27, 2011

    Please educate yourselves folks. Spain held Aves Island until agreeing to hand it over to Venezuela. Aves Island has never belonged to Dominica. It is just romantic, nationalist, emotionalism that makes us believe that. See notice below in the Official Gazette of Dominica, 1904:

    It is hereby notified for general information, that the sovereignty of Aves Island, which lies to the westward of Guadeloupe and Dominica, has been claimed by the Government of Venezuela, and this claim has been recognized by His Majesty’s Government.
    Government House, Roseau, 16 December 1904”

    In our Independence Constitution Order (The Dominica Modification of Enactments Order 1978)(Section 5-1 &2) it makes it clear that “any enactment of the Parliament of the United Kingdom or any Order in Council….that…applies in relation to Dominica, to the law of any other country or territory to which that Order extends” shall apply “as if there had been no change in the status of Dominica.” So that any agreement made by Britain with another country in relation to Dominica stands after independence.

    And so it stands. Ni Patrick John, ni Dame Eugenia, ni Edison James, ni Roosie, ni Skerrit could/can do anything about it. Take your claim to Aves Island to the international court and it will be thrown out.

    Whether it is a rock or an inhabited island occupied by Venezuelan Navy personnel is another matter, but the fact is it still belongs by international law to Venezuela.

    • Patat
      August 27, 2011

      Been busy enjoying d summer holidays and had a lot of fun.

      Turning on my tablet I seeing this story and the following things ran through my mind:

      1. Why are we fooling ourselves about Bird Island?

      2. Is it because the famous Peoples Action Theatre Group of the 1970s gave the impression in a song that we can end all our struggles in Bird Island?

      3. How many Dominicans have ever been to bird Island?

      4. When was the last time a Dominican Flag or the Old Union Jack Flag with Dominica Coat of Arms flew over Bird Island?

      5. The Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority administer all of Dominica’s Ports. Does any Dominican with a friend or relative working with DASPA ever been to Bird Island? Has DASPA’s Pilot boat ever escorted any boat to Bird Island?

      6. In 1982 Dame Eugenia Charles could not fight the French for Maritime boundaries for Dominica on three fronts the North of Dominica is Guadeloupe, the Northeast of Dominica with Marigalante and the South of Dominica is Martinique. We know from Lennox Honeychurch that the West of Dominica has a special challenge with Bird Island. And that is the fundamental reason why President Carlos Andres Perez of Venezuela in 1978 was the first Country in the World to have an Embassy in the Commonwealth of Dominica!!!! These days we have Embassies of Cuba, Brazil, and China. So what makes one think is Venezuela Dominica can take on that have a military and Air force as well?

      7. There is a myth that Bird Island has oil and natural gas!!! Do persons out there really subscribe to this myth? If Bird Island has Oil and Natural Gas then the Saints should have too as well as Antigua and I dare say Dominica!!!

      8. If it was ever true that Bird Island had Oil the United States of America would have been cozier with Dominica and would have used its might – military , economic , and Diplomatic and stand with Dominica at the United Nations and claim Bird Island for Dominica and no Dog would dare Back!!!!! Man d amount of Foreign Direct Investment it would have from the USA we in Dominica would be complaining of being second class citizens in our country because Da would be more developed than Lucia. We doh have geothermal yet and d amount of moves World Bank and other Funding Agencies that America have big influence over always coming to Dominica and hold meetings with Government and Diaspora Dominicans. Dem men vex European Union come in first and Skerrit doh give dem invite!!! My brother driving taxi and is not little conversation they does hear when they driving those big officials from US up and down d Airport.

  59. doctor love
    August 27, 2011


    August 27, 2011

    Hahaha! It has begun. I will leave you people to fry in your own oil. No matter how much we say open your eyes you choose to close it. It has begun. We will never know till it is too late, what else has been prostituted.

  61. wow
    August 27, 2011

    Quitters. All of them. But then again Venezuela is so much bigger and powerful than DA it would make sense.

    One more thing accomplished by Venezuela against Dominica…

  62. Nohogwash
    August 27, 2011

    This DNO like o sanction me eh! I tell you! I wonder who else they sanctioning? and WHY! And please duh give me that see our regulations nonsense what you are sanctioning in no way violates your regulations, you just don’t want certain things to be read here! Who or what are you protecting DNO?

    ADMIN: Our own tail.

  63. caribbean genius
    August 27, 2011

    Nothing surprises me anymore; as long as it happens in Dominica. 140miles east of Dominica and 340 mile north of Venezuela, so i dont understand why our leader will think we have no legal claim to bird island and Venezuela do. Its just a matter of Venezuela buying support from other island to recognise it claim to bird island.

    He who have the gold make the rules, and seeing that our pm always begging chavez he have to give chavez something in return. We could be giving away hundreds of millions or even billions in resources for a few millions.

    I think i am no longer able to be proud of my country. We as a country have lost our ambition, progressive drive and desire for overall betterment. We have ceded to mediocre, low standards and downright idiocy…

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2011

      geni-ass, it’s due west of Dom

      • caribbean genius
        August 28, 2011


        Whats the difference, whether it was due east. Blind idiot, 140 is 200 miles less than 340. Or you dont know numbers or understand what you read. You want me to put it in nursery rhymes for you to understand???

  64. August 27, 2011

    The idea of ceding or relinquishing Ave’s (Bird) island to Venezuela is wrong!

    Bird island is in Dominica’s territorial water, and have been used by Dominica fishermen for centuries.

    I believe rather than taking the easy way out; our nation should be fighting for what belongs to us.

    Our nation should challenge Venezuela in the international court of law, in order to settle this more than a hundred year old dispute of the island once and for all!

    The British know for a fact that the island belongs to us, and should have settled the more than a hundred year old dispute prior to forcing Statehood on us which eventually led to a force independence.

    If the story is true, the world shall note us as cowards, for whatever it is worth, we should not be prepared to simply bury our head in the sand, and allow Chavez and the Venezuelans to rail road us, and swindle our nation out of that speck of land.

    The Venezuelans have used gun-boats for years; shooting at Dominicans, thus preventing us from utilizing the resources of that island which rightfully belongs to the people of Dominica.

    This is a matter which I believe should be resolved in the International Court in the Netherlands, and if the dictator Chavez who claim to be a friend of Dominica has any morals left in him, he should have long come to realize that Bird island belongs to us, therefore he is the one who should cede the Venezuelans claim to our Bird island.

    I would much prefer to have Bird island , than receiving the pittance that Chavez hands out to us on any given day!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  65. slurdem
    August 27, 2011

    Show us on paper where bird island was ever Owned by Dominica.. Show us on paper!! Who gave bird island to Venz? That island was never ours england never pass it on to us again who owned it n gave it to Venz? Skerit should have taken an airport insted

  66. yah
    August 27, 2011

    According to the UN Law of the Seas it is classified as a rock, which would only give Venezuela a twelve mile economic zone. However, Venezuela claims it is an island which grants it a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone.

  67. legit
    August 27, 2011

    a rock? that is never afloat ..stupes!!

  68. Donald Tusk
    August 27, 2011

    Are we to just seat by and allow this man to sell our land, what about our children?

  69. On the Internet
    August 27, 2011

    Bird Island, OECS and the potential Venezuelan Membership

    The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.
    It was reported on December 10, 2008 that Dominica’s Trade Minister Dr. Colin McIntyre has confirmed that Venezuela has applied to become a member of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) but no decision had been taken at a recent regional meeting.

    However when I began my analysis of how Venezuela becoming a member of the OECS would impact these small island sovereign states, my research indicated that OECS Director General, Dr. Len Ishmael stated that media reports that gave the impression that the inclusion of Venezuela as a member of the OECS grouping is under active consideration at this time is incorrect. The statement however leaves open future consideration.

    Should Venezuela become a member of the OECS in the future? How would that affect the nine member – maybe 10 members if Trinidad and Tobago were to join the OECS grouping?

    Since February 3, 1999 when President Hugo Chavez Frias came to power, Venezuela has developed strong bilateral relations with individual Member States especially Dominica, under the youthful, dynamic and egoless (as compared to recent former PMs) leadership of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

    When compared to previous Venezuelan administrations, Chavez is spending the petro Bolivar (VEB) generously throughout the Caribbean. Thank you. But is that enough for Venezuela to become a member of the OECS?

    Maybe not! Why? Venezuela’s EEZ/continental shelf claim of up to 200 miles north of Bird Island of the Caribbean Sea. Known by some as Aves rock – Bird Island is located 90 miles off Dominica’s north western coast and 350 miles north of the Venezuelan coast.

    The origins of this vexing question go back to colonialism & imperialism.

    In 1857 there was a Convention to submit the question of the dominion and sovereignty of Bird / Aves Island to the arbitration of a friendly power. Although Queen Isabella II of Spain had a conflict of interest – due to the fact that her country considered Venezuela part of its sphere of influence even if Venezuela became independent from Spain on July 5 1811, the child Queen was chosen.

    Under today’s standards Spain would not have been a contender to be a fair arbitrator in this case. Thus the petulant Queen Isabella II in a vaguely reasoned decision, arbitrated the dispute of Aves rock i.e. Bird Island.
    The imperialist Queen awarded Bird Island to her former colony – then an imperial arm of the colonial power. The US, France, and the Netherlands today recognize Venezuela’s granting full effect to Aves Island.

    In 1982, an expansionist Venezuela, under right wing leadership, voted against and did not sign the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention while many of the social democratic OECS countries are current members.

    Bird Island effectively moves the Venezuelan coast 350 miles north from its South American sea shore, thereby the Venezuelan EEZ/continental shelf claim of control extending over a large domineering portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea; According to the United Nations, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – all member countries of OECS – protest Venezuela’s full effect of the EEZ claim.

    If Venezuela became a full member of the OECS – with a single economic and soon a single political space – would it not lead to the country with dominant economic power taking over the political space? Neo-colonialism? Imperialism? Venezuela as Colonial Master?

    If the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela really desires to join the OECS – the leaders of the OECS should consider the request with at least the following conditions in order to prevent any future domination by Venezuela under a different (after all Chavez will retire someday) leader; and, Brother Chavez, the great anti-colonial, anti imperialist and revolutionary President he is – should grant these request to his brothers in solidarity with the OECS.

    Give up the sovereignty of Bird Island to Dominica with the condition that Bird Island would be administered by the OECS authority for the benefit of all members (including newest member Venezuela), and thus drop Venezuela’s imperialist EEZ/continental shelf claim to the common Caribbean Sea so its resources maybe more equitably distributed among all the Caribbean nations.

    The Caribbean dollar remains the currency for all members with the Central Bank to remain in St. Kitts. The common OECS passport should not give voting rights in member countries where the OECS citizen was not born unless naturalized in the country.

    OECS headquarters to remain in St. Lucia. The OECS court to remain in Grenada. Maybe a new Development Bank could be headquartered in Caracas. The first condition of giving up sovereignty to Aves Island, reminds me that on the recent anniversary of the Falklands War of a speech made by brother President Hugo Chavez Frias.

    The speech called on Britain to give up sovereignty to the Falkland Islands to Argentina, end British colonialism and give up imperialism. Act what you say Brother Chavez. OECS citizens will welcome you with open arms.

    Domination of OECS by Venezuela would not be an issue. You would lead by example, and, not just words. Thank you.

    • DFFG
      August 28, 2011

      How can you call this horrible Dictator a “brother” ?

      • Anonymous
        August 29, 2011

        DFFG – the Sarcasm, the tone in the article seem to escape’s you?

  70. Trinity
    August 27, 2011

    Why is the article titled Dominica “may” cede Bird Island when this was apparently done 5 years ago?

    • Goat mout
      August 27, 2011

      Because we like to bla bla. Nobody know what they talking bout.

  71. Economist
    August 27, 2011

    Based on information from Wikipedia – On March 28, 1978, Venezuela using Aves Island as its reference, agreed its maritime borders with the USA between Aves Island and Puerto Rico in the United States – Venezuela Maritime Boundary Treaty; this treaty came into force on 24 November 1980 after it was ratified by both parties. On June 17, 1980 Venezuela agreed with France that longitude 62D 48M 52S W should be the maritime boundary between Aves Island and Guadeloupe and Martinique.

    My take on this is simple – If taken to The Hague or any other court Dominica most likely will loose. USA has agreed the Island is within Venezula maritime boundries. France has done the same. Not withstanding Dutch have altogther given up on the island.

  72. simple mind
    August 27, 2011

    I very much agree with the “Laws of the Seas Conference,but rock or minerals is’nt it within our territorial limits?or is it that Dominica itself is within Venezeula’s boundry.Let’s start the discussion from here.

  73. undercover spy
    August 27, 2011

    @ jaime lewis…OIL

  74. khastro.
    August 27, 2011


    • caribbean genius
      August 27, 2011

      Are you for real?? Or just plain stupid

      • khastro.
        August 27, 2011

        That’s what you all voted for.
        Who cares?

  75. Neutral
    August 27, 2011

    I would not be surprise if there are oil deposits on Bird Island. But as always that would be too good for Dominica.

  76. Anonymous
    August 27, 2011

    In Dominica ignorance is surely bliss. The young leadership is selling our country to the Chinese and Venezuelans and even Haitians for their personal benefeit and all we doing in Dominica is “sewoing”. The younger generation will own nothing in Dominica, colonisation is back, we have began serving our new masters. I have my French passport.

    • Dominica gal
      August 27, 2011

      KEEP IT !LOL

  77. Nohogwash
    August 27, 2011

    DUH!! Surprise! Surprise!! It is only Bird island Venezuela has control over, they have control over Dominica Island! Zort de Zort Sort!! Oh, the blind that cannot see!

    • block 44
      August 27, 2011

      no one can take your country this are not the bays

      • :-)
        August 27, 2011

        It’s already sold… we just don’t know.
        Don’t be ignorant “BLOCK 44”.

  78. Dominican
    August 27, 2011

    @ Jaime Lewis:The monetary value is that any territory is sourrounded by an “exclusive economic area” which gives a country rights over marine (fishing) resources and underwater resources. Nobody is excluding the possibility of having oil around Bird Island. Details of the dispute (if it still exists todate)are not known to me so I cannot express any judgment.

    • block 44
      August 27, 2011

      when we complete the development of dominica we will claim bird island, but for now keep your eyes on dominica.we have enough sand at clark hall. :lol: :lol:

    August 27, 2011

    AS I WAS SAYIHNG: Were the people of Dominica ever infoermed of this development?… Can one man just sell to “who knows” what belongs to we the citizens of the counntry,before informing us? What was there in it for the seller? Can Wikileaks blow out the answer? The biggest failure of this regime is the dependency syndrome which it has created, and which will soon return to have a debilitating effect on the citizens of this country very soon…WHY HAVE SO MANY ADVISERS AND YET STILL SO MANY IRRATIONAL DECISIONS…Why treat us with such disdain Mr PM !!! Is it because to many of us are asleep?

    • Gabriel
      August 27, 2011

      As I understand it, The U.K. and Miss Charles ceded it publicly to Venezuela a long time ago. We would be negotiating to have it back.

  80. pool bwah
    August 27, 2011

    Technically, Skerrit sold Bird Island for 22 million us dollaz

    • block 44
      August 27, 2011

      and thats a dam good price for a pile of sand

  81. D/a Massive
    August 27, 2011

    Could someone really and truly be very explicit and explain to me what is the fight over this “PIECE OF ROCK”. Honestly, I don’t see why the two countries are still fussing over that. What interest in it is there for Dominica anyway! It’s just a rock out there in the sea, if the Government of Venezuela wants to claim it, let them do so. After all Dominica and Venezuela are benefiting from the relationship that exist between them both.

    • Gabriel
      August 27, 2011

      I would try to negotiate for the “Rock”.

      The benefits? Extention of our EEZ; our fishermen would have additional and uncontaminated waters from which to draw fish that may enhance our exportation of fish capacity; perchance there are oils and minerals there we would come up trumps;
      who knows, we could even probably cultivate pearls there.

      Has anyone done a survey of the island for Dominica? Who would ever give away something without knowing the value of it?

      I believe that Mr. Chavez is magnanimous enough to cede to us if we made the case in a none-threatening but practical way showing that Dominica has very little exploitable resources, and need every bit of what is available to it.

      On the other hand we must consider the cost and problems associated with monitoring and maintaing such an isolated spot.

  82. Jaime Lewis
    August 27, 2011

    Has any government official ever visited Bird Island? From childhood I have heard about this dispute between Venezuela and Dominica and Bird Island. Who has visited the island? fishermen? people on vacation? What is our interest in that island, or piece of rock? Are there minerals there? What is the monetary value to us? Or maybe Venezuela knows something that we do not know.

    • Homeboy
      August 27, 2011

      It has a strategic location. For one it can house military equipment for Venezuela. For Dominic it is more about respect! The island is located I think within Dominica’s
      Maritime boundary. But if what this article is saying has some veracity, The current administration would have given up Bird island without a fight, and it appears, ha e sold out to Hugo Chave!! Wow

    • DA to the Bone
      August 27, 2011

      This little rock has billions of oil and gas reserves.

    • D1
      August 27, 2011

      the value to Venezuela is it expands its maritime border. But I have yet to hear of any one visiting the rock. I have only heard of fishermen spotting it.

  83. Bull Crap
    August 27, 2011

    let me see if you Dominican will not do something about this.

    • 1979
      August 27, 2011

      Nothing will be done.

    • block 44
      August 27, 2011

      we need to ask shavez to set a drill in the sand and take the oil to dominica for us,because we will never be able to do sh** with it on our own.

  84. NG
    August 27, 2011

    Another word comes to mind “war”

    • August 27, 2011

      The Venezuelans have long declared War on Dominica over Bird Island.

      When I was a kid, I heard stories by my step, grandfather, who was a fisherman , who often fish in the waters around Aves island, he would come home and talk about the gun fire and bullets they had to dodge in order to leave Bird island alive, for years that has been the behavior of the Venezuelans, fighting the defenseless weak chasing us from our bit of land.

      The war has been physical for a long time; We like to talk about survey in Dominica to prove things, well I suggest that now is the time our nation should conduct a geographic survey to prove if indeed Bird island is in our territorial waters, and if proved correct, that will be the evidence we need to fight this dispute in an international court of law.

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    August 27, 2011

    Oh boy! What a damn @as move .nothing out of nothing is nothing, I would have gone for ownership. Like we did for Layou river hotel

  86. Anonymous
    August 27, 2011


  87. warma
    August 27, 2011

    One word comes to mind – treason

      August 27, 2011


    • Fairplay
      August 27, 2011

      One word comes to mind-illiterate

    • Jayson
      August 27, 2011

      One word comes to mind – ‘Utter Rubish’!

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