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Letter: The Russians are coming; look out, look inward!
Published on April 7, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

The St Lucian community in the United States read with much interest that the government of St Lucia invited the "top tier" of Russia to our island to participate in a Russian yacht regatta.

According to a press release, this initiative will foster economic growth through the possible investment from Russia by "top tier" businessmen from that country.

It is interesting that St Lucia is reaching out to Russia for this type of event and purpose when there are several other specific friendly countries with equally "top tier" businessmen in the yachting business who may be invited to invest in St Lucia. In this regard, perhaps we need to examine our past experiences with regattas.

It is no secret that some "top tier" Russian businessmen are supporters of President Putin, his questionable international activities, and their role in internal political affairs of other countries.

It is no secret that the United States and the European Union are deliberating on the imposition of sanctions on Russia, their banking community, and targeting of some "top tier" Russian businesses for the imposition of sanctions in various forms.

The flirtation of the government of St Lucia with Russia at this time must be of interest to all St Lucians and our world at large. We presume that this will be followed by an invitation from this red state to functionaries of our red label/attired government in the name of investment promotion activities. Are we neglecting our friends in the United States, Canada and Europe in this regard "with many project proposals on the table" which will be presented to the "top tier" from Russia?

In the interest of transparency, will it be made known to our public and private sectors, and to our political parties, who are the "top tier" Russian yachtsmen with investment potential who are to visit our shores and what are the proposals to be tabled? What will be the nature of those investment proposals that is not achievable from our traditional friendly countries?

The St Lucia Reds may perhaps be looking down the line for political, perhaps monetary support. Perhaps the "top tier" from Russia, pro- or anti-Putin, may be of assistance. They are worth billions of dollars. We are given the impression, according to a St Lucian press release, that all it will only cost us a cocktail party at our prime minister's residence for "a few pieces of silver" and no doubt vodka.

Look out for "citizenship for investment" and other such sale of patrimony. Do we have laws and regulations on our books to save us in this regard? No need to speculate on this, but we need to learn from examples in our sister territories.

Let us extend, expand and strengthen comparable friendly yachting engagements to the "top tier" of our traditionally friendly countries -- the United States, Canada and Europe. The yachting business and "top tier" potential investors in some of those countries should be well known to our government. Other countries are taking advantage of such a relationship. They are watching our flirtation.

Let us monitor this situation very carefully and not get caught up in what may be construed as the sale of our patrimony (in its various forms) to "top tier" yachtsmen from any country.

Look out! The Russians are coming, perhaps through Red denominations.

This will need close monitoring.

Gregor Polius
Brooklyn, NY
Reads: 3533

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mark laporte:

Polius...there are many many Russians living in the U.S
they are human like any body else

friendship does not necessarily mean political or ideological affiliation

money talks garcon and SLU needs all the help it can get.

I've hardly heard any yachtie being in a political drag-drag. May we apply a little balance in all this big power political talk?

Why are you afriad that the U.S is watching?? Of course they are watching,and so are a lot of other nations.


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The Caribbean Writer 2014

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