By Caribbean News Now contributor
NEW YORK, USA -- Hard on the heels of one St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) activist being named as a defendant in a US law suit
, another SLP political operative may be facing some legal issues in the US.
Rohan Roaks St Marthe
According to social media postings, Rohan Roaks St Marthe, a national of Saint Lucia, and believed to be currently living in Brooklyn, New York, is a “consultant” working for the Saint Lucia government and/or the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
St Marthe is (or was until just recently) the editor/administrator of the Facebook group page “St Lucians Aiming for Progress - S.L.A.P.” – a medium that is widely perceived as a vehicle for pro-SLP propaganda, especially in the lead up to the 2011 general election.
According to other sources, St Marthe frequently boasts to fellow Saint Lucians in the Brooklyn, New York, and Hartford, Connecticut, areas of being well connected to the prime minister of Saint Lucia and that he works as an intelligence agent for the government of Saint Lucia.
An email sent on Monday to the prime minister’s press secretary requesting a confirmation or denial of these reports or any other comment failed to elicit a response. However, according to sources in New York, within a few hours of our request for comment, there was a flurry of activity relating to St Marthe at the Saint Lucia consulate, through which St Marthe claims he is paid on a weekly basis.
If true, and St Marthe is being paid out of public funds to promote the interests of the SLP, this could result in a major political controversy in Saint Lucia, where many local people are hurting financially as a result of the current depressed economic situation.
The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) failed to respond to a request for comment sent on Monday.
Also, if St Marthe’s self-proclaimed employment by and connection with the government of Saint Lucia as an “intelligence agent” is true, he may have overlooked his statutory requirement to register as a foreign agent in the US under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
FARA was enacted in 1938 and is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Section in the National Security Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.
Given that the government of Saint Lucia is not currently regarded as being entirely friendly to US interests but instead aligned with the socialist and/or communist governments of Venezuela and Cuba, this is something that could well attract the attention of the DOJ’s FARA Unit and/or FBI Counterintelligence.
Neither the DOJ FARA Unit nor the FBI has yet indicated whether either agency is aware of these reported activities by St Marthe and/or has an existing interest in the matter.
A civil complaint
filed in Washington, DC, last month by attorneys acting for former Saint Lucia housing minister Richard Frederick on Tuesday contained details of an alleged conspiracy between George Deterville and other unnamed co-conspirators within the SLP, and certain named and unnamed US State Department employees to violate US law.
In particular, the complaint alleges that Deterville, a former police superintendent, who presently works in Prime Minister Kenny Anthony’s office, and is described as “an SLP operative who conspired to have Frederick’s visas revoked”, was involved in an improper personal relationship with another defendant Susan Chainer, a former United States Embassy official, who worked in the Bridgetown Embassy.