Letters & Opinion

Tainting The Process

The Editor

I see that the government is moving with great speed into the realm of economic citizenship, and while for the sake of the country, it is my hope that the programme succeeds, I cannot help but make the point that it has started on the wrong foot.

One of the complaints that we have heard from countries in this region that have gone that route: Dominica, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis and Grenada has to so with the tendency to contaminate the process with partisan political and other considerations that serve to bring them into disrepute. Sadly, we in St Lucia appear not to have learnt anything from the embarrassments suffered by our neighbours.

The fact of the matter is that you cannot play politics with something as sensitive as economic citizenship, but staffing it with political appointees. We have already seen this in the appointment of the overall committee or Board that will supervise the process, now we are seeing it in the appointments to the Economic Citizenship offices.

Why in heaven’s name is the government going that route by selecting so many party supporters to man a new enterprise like this? Given the penchant for investors to try to corrupt every possible process that they can in small countries like ours, is this not a dangerous trend that the government is pursuing by appointing people whose principal loyalty would be not to their country, but to themselves, their government and their party?

The government seems to have learnt nothing from the economic citizenship scandals that have rocked this region of late. In St Kitts the government was forced to revamp the entire system following the defeat of the Denzil Douglas administration to the point of bringing in reputable international advisers to help them re-package it.

I do not want put goat mouth on our programme but I believe there are Saint Lucians who are not so heavily politically tainted and aligned who should be in the forefront of promoting our economic citizenship programme. I object to so many known party hacks and supporters being so prominent in the process in what appears to be a deliberate policy of the government given what it has done in other areas as well.

No one is fooled by the recent advertisements in the press inviting applications for various positions in the Economic Citizenship offices. Given the fact that the people so far appointed are so heavily partisan, it is not far fetched to conclude that they will now turn around and select only people from their party, the Labour Party to fill these positions. The Prime Minister always gives us the impression that he is such a nice man, but why is it that he is presiding over this blatant practice of partisanship. It’s the same thing that went on with STEP and the other programmes. It’s always a question of Labour Party supporters first, second and last. This is a form of corruption that not many recognize.

–Trescott Charlemagne

3 Comments

  1. If investors are able to get CARICOM passports at the right price, what effect does that have on CSME? I cant help but think that we are shooting ourselves on the feet with this one. Increase wealth for individual countries but more competition for citizens of respective islands…

  2. It is difficult to repose any confidence in any person who with a legal background did not have the capacity to do the ‘due diligence’ that would have saved this country to loss of so much treasure. The evidence is still growing.

    A law lecturer at that, we have been made to undertake financial obligations or equivalent outlays with no visible return for vast sums of $48 million for Frenwell. $86 million for Blackbay lands plus a needed repurchasing cost of yet another $86 million. For Grynberg, yet an additional $150 million plus legal fees for legal representation at the Tribunal on top of the other two Can you see the pattern? Assuming even that we were just talking EC dollars, count. Can you believe that this country has nothing to show for the original sums literally given away or has just gone up in smoke?

    Look again at the sequence. We have losses and financial obligations that have taken on an exponential growth pattern of financial waste. Conservatively we have 4, 8, and 15.

    Each succeeding blunder is nominally twice the value of the preceding one. We have a veritable bottomless pit and financial black-hole. Who pays for these losses? An unsuspecting population. How?

    More national debt to pay for the loans taken out to pay for those comical blunders plus a 15% VAT.

    Now if none of the two architects or midwives of CSME, had either the insight or the foresight to have protection mechanisms to guard the investing public against the potential for failure when companies merge and swallow others you get CLICO!

    Do you see why they can preach Paul, when people like Kenny tell you to sit, boy you had better put wings on your feet and fly. We are seeing his ‘better days’. Only those who continue slurping the red SLP Kool Aid cannot see that their bright and shinny SLP idol has feet of clay.

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