Letters & Opinion

CIP And The Juffali Affair

We at “Not for Party but Country” were perhaps one of the first entities to call for the examination and possible implementation of the Citizenship by Investment Programme. This was clearly based on the fact that it seemed to have been a success for the sister OECS country of Saint Kitts from what we had learnt of it at the time.

Much evidence has been unearthed that such a programme has been a hotbed for corruption in Saint Kitts and Nevis and seemingly more so in the Commonwealth of Dominica. It is pellucid that not too upstanding persons around the world have availed themselves of that programme to mostly shield themselves from prosecution for various crimes instead of sticking to the original intent of such programmes – for creating investment and consequently jobs for the people of the issuing countries.

There seems to be a greater focus on the sale of passports and citizenship, wittingly or unwittingly, to nefarious characters and charlatans than in attracting bona fide investors.

Instead a cottage industry of companies which operate mainly as purveyors and facilitators for those who would like to purchase passports has sprung. There is also evidence that income derived by such companies is funnelled to various persons, even those in the echelons of the administrations of these countries, who pretty much act as co-conspirators in the racket.

It is clear to many in Saint Lucia, and contrary to the prevailing sentiment they are not only opposition supporters and sympathizers, that the appointment of Dr. Juffali to the post of permanent representative to the IMO serves as an omen of what is to come in the operation of our own CIP programme.

No dye-in-the-wool supporter of any party appreciates accusations of corruption being levelled at their party or the government formed by the party they support. Additionally no party who shouted themselves hoarse about the corruption of the previous administration relishes that kind of scrutiny for the same thing.

They will deny, deny, deny and savage anyone who makes that claim even to the point of questioning their patriotism. When in fact it is those who are brave enough to question and call their government to account on such matters who are the true patriots. Those who choose to adopt a “see-no-evil” posture in such matters are not doing our country any favours as enablers of corruption.

So they take succour in the fact that those who suspect corruption, in the form of a quid pro quo, in the Juffali affair have no evidence. Like my late mother used to say in Creole “koulkoutla ah dlopaka kite’ mak”. But does that mean that the surface of the water was not chopped with the cutlass?

CIP will present many opportunities that will test the probity of our elected and administrative officials. The government claimed that their deliberative posture in the adoption of the programme was to study the pitfalls and challenges the programme presented to the previous adoptee countries.

Judging from what transpired in the Juffali affair it is clear to me that if they succumbed to the first temptation that presented itself, evidently they didn’t learn a damned thing. Either way this is not a good augury for CIP in Saint Lucia.

– Not for Party But Country

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