AS we continue to examine ourselves and our involvement with this Citizenship by Investment scheme, our concern has always been that our passports, and therefore our identities, are not to be put up for sale as a commodity under any condition.
AS if by kismet, just when we thought America would finally do the right thing after having tried everything else, along comes an atrocity to puncture our complacency. With the election of Donald Trump as president, the future of leadership character and political morality in America is now a dark chasm of yawning uncertainty.
THE President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, is systematically implementing the pledges he made during the Presidential election campaign. Those who argued that limitations on Presidential power and the restraining hands of Cabinet and Congress, would cause many, if not all, of the President’s promises to fall by the wayside, are now becoming convinced of his determination.
TRADE between the US and other countries of the world, particularly China, was a major plank of Donald Trump’s campaign for the Presidency. He regarded all the trade deals as inimical to US interests. So, is there reason for Caribbean Community Common Market (CARICOM) countries to worry about their trade relationship with the US under the Trump Presidency?
LAST Thursday, had Mr. Ubaldus Raymond been introduced as the Honourable Dr.Ubaldus Raymond, I’d likely not have batted an eye. The following day we learned of his entanglements with an 18-year old student, her attempts to blackmail him, his refusal to pay the $700 she demanded and the online sharing of what appeared to be (and have yet to be denied by him) photos of him.
“IN Jewish history there are no coincidences”, wrote the Jewish writer and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel. So on January 10th this year, when Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid a three-day visit to the state of Israel, the timing was certainly no coincidence (realpolitik in the new zeitgeist) – in a year when Israel, through its Agency for International Development Co-operation (MASHAV), has forged numerous partnerships and signed several agreements with Asian and African nations in areas ranging from biological pest control and crop protection, to dairy farming and environmental technology.
POLITICIANS in this country have been extremely successful at letting down the people. Their moral and ethical rectitude leaves a lot to be desired and makes one wonder why they hold public office anyway? Who vetted and approved them and why is it apparent that they are not being held to the highest codes of conduct that befit leaders and statesmen compared to any other part of the world.
“WE are virtually at the crossroads. As an economist, I can tell you that it really requires a quantum leap in our thinking, in our focus and in our intervention through the kind of work that needs to be done. The fact is that we need to corral our forces – intellectual, economic and financial – and try to meet that proposition’’.
IN Part 1 of this series, we reminded ourselves of the reasons for rejection of this CIP scheme, and in Part 2 we drew attention to the fact that while the Opposition has demanded that DSH provide “financials” demonstrating proof of the project’s viability, neither the Citizenship by Investment Act 2015 nor the Regulations governing the Act give the CIP Unit the authority to make those demands.
FOR a while now it appeared that nothing much in the way of job creation and economic development was happening in Vieux Fort. Worse, with the economic recession that began in 2008 followed by the imposition of VAT, the opposite of what doctors would have ordered, businesses closed down, turning Vieux Fort into a near basket case. The popular song by RasIsley, aptly described the plight of young Vieux Fortians.
FROM Thursday evening, I have taken a backseat to observe the way St. Lucians as well as the media…local and regional have been revelling in the juicy scandal that has rained down on us all like liquid gold and has given tongues and thumbs some serious exercise.
TOMAS Regalado, the Mayor of Miami – long a hot bed for Cuban exiles – has described as a “parting gift” the decision of the waning Obama administration to end the U.S. ‘wet foot-dry foot’ policy toward Cubans seeking entry to the US. The question is: a parting gift to whom?
AS we discussed the soul of our nation in Part 1 last week, we reminded ourselves of the reasons for objecting to the sale of our passports no matter how immaculately that sale was packaged and promoted to us. Those reasons were firstly the loss of our identity, and then the social mayhem that the CIP will unleash.
THE Judge at the local District Court house, having heard the evidence in a case for theft of a bunch of plantains, said to the plaintiff: “What did you say you did for a living”? Through the interpreter he happily said: “I am a seer “(A gardeur). To this response the Judge then directed him to “go to the window and tell me what you see coming”. The old man dutifully went to the widow but returned with an “I see nothing” answer, even if the process had been repeated three times. The Judge in his usual emphatic and no-nonsense manner echoed: “So you mean to tell me that you did not see six months at Her Majesty’s Prison coming?”
WHEN Ronald Reagan – from behind the “Iron Curtain” in East Germany – called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down these walls”, the imperial and ideological dreams of the Soviet Union (an Ivinghoe beacon of despair), began to wink like a battery-drained flashlight in a horror movie. Nikolai Khrushchev’s “We will bury you” threat in the 1950s began to ring hollow as political history unfolded.
THE DSH project for the South is an opportunity which the SLP deliberated upon for over two years and never entertained the idea of sharing the concept with the public. More importantly, Invest St. Lucia spent over two years of expensive man hours with the concurrence of the St. Lucia Labour Party, simultaneously making empty promises to the investors – a practice which cost them the elections. St. Lucians simply had enough of an administration who could not or were terrified of making decisions based on their poor judgements like Rochamel, Grynberg, IMPACS and the Lambirds fiasco to name but a few.
DEAR Mr. Prime Minister, lend me your ear. I’d like to speak solely to you in my first Sounding Off for the New Year. How do you feel when you look at the state of our island today? I mean how do you really feel? Before we go further, I’m not blaming you for any of it, you’re only fresh off the boat and what is going on now is the result of decades of hard work…or lack thereof, But I just want to know how the current state makes you feel.
SINCE his sudden and unexpected passing away on December 22 at the age of 70 (he would have been 71 in two weeks’ time), tributes to the former long serving governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Sir K. Dwight Venner, have poured in from almost all over the world, culminating in the touching and moving testimonies from members of his family and close friends at his official funeral service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Castries on Wednesday.
SOONER rather than later, the “sleeping dragon” was expected to awaken from its slumber and take its place at the feasting table. In his book, The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria predicts the decline of the West and the Rise of the Rest. No doubt, Mr. Zakaria must have been thinking about China when he wrote: “Americans see that a new world is coming into being, but fear it is one being shaped in distant lands and by foreign people.”
I GREW-UP in the Faux-a-Chaud part of Hospital Road in Castries seeing Dwight Venner walking up and down the main road, to and from his family’s home, to town and from school (Saint Mary’s College). Much younger than him, I attended the Methodist Primary and RC (Roman Catholic) Boys schools in Castries — and knew more about his father than about the usually lone but friendly young ‘College Boy’ with all those thick school books.