|St Vincent PM remains opposed to economic citizenship|
|Published on January 11, 2017||
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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, has reiterated his disdain for the economic citizenship programmes being operated by some member states of the OECS.
Gonsalves in his latest comment on the matter emphasized that his country’s citizenship is not for sale.
“The highest office in the land is that of citizen, higher than prime minister, higher than governor general. It is not a commodity for sale. The passport is the outward sign of the inward grace of citizenship and that too is not for sale,” he said.
However former prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Denzil Douglas denies that the CIP represents the selling of citizenship.
“The country’s citizenship for St Kitts and Nevis definitely is not for sale. As we continue to say to my former colleague, the St Kitts programme was an economic development programme. It was an investment programme that invited persons to invest in the country; no one was really selling the passport. I know of course it is interpreted in layman’s language to be the selling of the passport but one needs to look at the economic development benefits that have been derived from the programme at this time and one would understand clearly that it is an economic development strategy, it is an investment programme that allows the investor to be incentivized to become a citizen of a country that you have invested significant amounts,” Douglas said.
Gonsalves is not buying that explanation.
He contends that citizenship is too precious to be used as a bargaining tool.
“When people tell me I can make a lot of money from it, there are lots of things you can make money from which you would not necessarily get engaged in. But as I say, I am not criticizing any of my brothers in the other countries who want to go there, that is their right, we agree to disagree in this one,” he emphasised.
However regional broadcaster, Vincentian Jerry George, told WINN FM that Gonsalves’ position on the matter is hypocritical.
“You cannot have it both ways and that is the problem I have in our region. The people get up on one stand and make these statements and then you see what they are doing. There is no official programme in St Vincent of citizenship by investment but the prime minister (Gonsalves) feels he has a right to give passports to whom he wants to give passports to. How different is that? In fact because of that approach we don’t have a clue as to who has Vincentian passports. So yes, you go out front and say officially I have a problem with it, but you do it covertly. Does it make it any difference?” George asked.
George is supportive of regional states having economic citizenship programmes.
“The idea of citizenship by investment is a very good idea. It’s a difficult business to manage I would say, that because most of our Caribbean countries do not have the resources, especially to do due diligence but the idea is a good one. That is why countries like Malta and other countries recognized it and ran with it, it’s good. When some people come across by thinking that simply because a citizenship by investment programme means that it’s either illegal or flawed, no, it has to be managed properly,” he continued.
The CIP programmes of St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica were criticized in a recent edition of CBS’ 60 Minutes as not being transparent enough, and not paying enough attention to the due diligence aspects of the programmes.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network
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Anthony W Astaphan:
I must say I was delighted to read this [part
"George is supportive of regional states having economic citizenship programmes.
âThe idea of citizenship by investment is a very good idea. Itâs a difficult business to manage I would say, that because most of our Caribbean countries do not have the resources, especially to do due diligence but the idea is a good one. That is why countries like Malta and other countries recognized it and ran with it, itâs good. When some people come across by thinking that simply because a citizenship by investment programme means that itâs either illegal or flawed, no, it has to be managed properly,â he continued."
Jerry George is correct, Ralph Gonsalves cannot have it both ways! Jerry is correct when he says âThere is no official programme in St Vincent of citizenship by investment but the prime minister (Gonsalves) feels he has a right to give passports to whom he wants to give passports to.â
Ralph Gonsalves, SVG Dictator by default of its people, is a neo-colonialist and represents the interest of his immediate family and foreign colonialist by his actions since taking office. That is most obvious by his past actions and statements.
Though outwardly he is saying that he as the St Vincent PM remains opposed to economic citizenship, he however thinks that he reserves the right to dish out SVG Passports to whom and when he likes. David Ames developer of the now infamous Buccament Bay Resort, we know, holds an SVG Passport Why, how and when did he get it, we may well ask PM Gonsalves?
As a perceived Neo-Colonialist, Ralph Gonsalves realises that he is not alone in serving the interest of colonialist in the disposal of former colonial resources, be it the Lands, Seas or the People as consumers.
To Quote Kwame Nkrumah
âIN order to halt foreign interference in the affairs of developing countries it is necessary to study, understand, expose and actively combat neo-colonialism in whatever guise it may appear. For the methods of neo-colonialists are subtle and varied. They operate not only in the economic field, but also in the political, religious, ideological and cultural spheres.
Faced with the militant peoples of the ex-colonial territories in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, imperialism simply switches tactics. Without a qualm, it dispenses with its flags, and even with certain of its more hated expatriate officials.
This means, so it claims, that it is âgivingâ independence to its former subjects, to be followed by âaidâ for their development. Under cover of such phrases, however, it devises innumerable ways to accomplish objectives formerly achieved by naked colonialism. It is this sum total of these modern attempts to perpetuate colonialism while at the same time talking about âfreedomâ, which has come to be known as neo-colonialism.â
The spoils in the region, as revenue for Passports, are going to other jurisdictions, leaving Ralph Gonsalves to compete with the white sandy shores of elsewhere. Not Good for a grubby Dictator and his family who has to compete as Colonialist decides which and how many Passports they should hold! Not good when your personal fiefdom is not unique!
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has no economic citizenship by investment scheme. But Ralph does have his very own citizenship by investment scheme. Does he not grant citizenship's without any reference to anyone but himself? I have said on many occasions that he is operating a regime that consists of his own family dynasty whilst treating SVG as his own plantation. Him giving out citizenship's to the Ames family is as far as I am concerned direct evidence of that.
How many citizenship's has he granted during the last sixteen years? I am sure no one knows except those involved in the paper work and certification and himself.
I would much sooner see the state grant these citizenship's to bring much wanted wealth into our island. Bring wealthy people here who will spend and employ and pay for the right of citizenship. Of course with proper due diligence which with all due respect Ralph just does not have the know how or ability to do. Dave Ames is again direct evidence of that he should never have passed the test.
Or perhaps he does have the know how, because what worries me is a statement he made when he said âI do not expect investors to be angelsâ. What does that tell us, or was it just another of those silly statements he makes from time to time when his mouth is not in sync with his brain? âI sometimes tell liesâ âshow me a liar and I will show you a thiefâ, âWe will hunt them down until they exist no moreâ, âI am here to finish the work of Maurice Bishopâ âIf I work Obeah I only work Obeah for the Lordâ. He may mean what he says but if he thought about it would he say such a thing that could bring self defamation for the rest of his lifetime?
Ralph was warned about Ames long before he granted him citizenship, but still granted him citizenship, why? We will never know because it is a personal thing like the granting of baronies a thousand years ago in Britain. He likes it that way because it gives him power which I believe he craves for, both for himself and his family dynasty.
So what is the answer, its simple really, get rid of him and his dynasty. The opportunity may not be as far away as we all may think. If the Appeal Court works out we may have another election some time soon.
Well said, Peter, and others, the PM wants to control this programme, like everything else in the country, out of his office.
Peter, the PM allegedly made the assertion:
"âThe highest office in the land is that of citizen, higher than prime minister, higher than governor general. It is not a commodity for sale. The passport is the outward sign of the inward grace of citizenship and that too is not for sale,â he said."
I wonder when he came to that conclusion? President Obama also quoted that statement about citizenship being the highest office in the land in his farewell speech. And it appears that several politicians have made similar statements over the years. So is it just a nice-sounding theme of convenience for the PM?
Considering the "You Must come Back to Papa" and other vitriolic statements alleged to have been used by the PM and his cronies against ordinary Vincy citizens over the years, it would appear ludicrous and disingenuous of the PM to say that he hold ordinary Vincy citizenship in such high esteem. After all, respect for ordinary citizens does not appear to jive with political power in our homeland.
Hmm .... I wonder how many foreign rascals now hold Vincy passports?
Consider this old saying: âThe five colors can blind. The five tones deafen, the five tastes cloy. The race, the hunt, can drive men mad and their booty leaves them no peace. Therefore, a sensible man prefers the inner to the outer eye; he has his yes, he has his no.â That's our comrade PM!
The comrade PM knows best, most times! Thatâs why heâs the âFour Inna rowâ Prime Minister.
Moreover, according to PM Gonsalves: âAs far as this government is concerned, there is one class of citizenship: citizenship. And you can acquire that citizenship in the well established ways: by birth, by descent, through marriage or through one of the ways of naturalization.â
In the case of David Ames, he lived out his five years before qualifying for citizenship. And you all wonder if there are others...!!??? Well don't sit there and wonder! Go get it! Go to it man! Get the evidence! Put up or shut up!
Hence, Georgie Porgie pudding and pie kiss-up to the NDP and lie and lie. When the ULP come out to play, Georgie Porgie will bad talk in any and every way, even up to this day. What else can you expect?
Astaphan, wipe yo sweat, go take a rest! PM comrade Ralph knows best! Yeah man!
Wow! Vinciman don't you have a lot of inside information.
No wonder you know that Ralph is frightened that the Volcano will erupt before the Airport opens.
By Vinciman telling us the following ( PM Gonsalves: âAs far as this government is concerned, there is one class of citizenship: citizenship. And you can acquire that citizenship in the well-established ways: by birth, by descent, through marriage or through one of the ways of naturalization.â ), Vinciman here puts up before us a âstrawmanâ only to knock him down later.
But since we do not have access pertaining to relevant the data and he does, perhaps Vinciman could answer for us the following questions;
During PM Gonsalves Primer Minister ship could Vinciman say;
a) How many individuals obtained SVG citizenship by âways of naturalizationâ?
b) What other nationality did they hold prior?
c) What were their immigration status in SVG prior to obtaining residency in SVG?
d) What if any business are they engaging in, in SVG?
d) What degree if any, land holdings or other asset do they have in SVG?
All of us in SVG now know the disastrous results of the case of David Ames and have to take Vincimanâs word for it that David Ames had lived in SVG for five years prior to embarking on a request for SVG citizenship.
We further know that due diligence could not have been carried out by Ralph Gonsalves or his office on David Ames prior to granting David Ames citizenship of SVG or if it was, its conclusions were quietly ignored for expediency of the Prime Minister.
Indeed, from all the evidence now before us today, it would appear that David Ames was ânot a fit and proper personâ to be granted SVG citizenship. Therefore, the question we now need to ask, is the one that Vinci Vin is asking, and that is, how many other foreign rascals now holds Vincy passports and how did they get them?
Vin I actually know Dave Ames from a time past when I met him in Southend Essex in the 1960's. At the time he was working for Southend United Football club as junior scout. He was going around schools finding future socca talent.
At the time the club was owned by two Jewish brothers, forgot their names for now but they were related to my company chairman in New York.
Small world as they say.
I can tell you now unequivocally that he never lived in SVG for more than 3 days in the month, and he never owned his own private dwelling here.
He lived in a huge mansion in Essex England and that is where you can find him today. He was only an occasional visitor to SVG.
But when I first knew him he lived in a low income council house in Essex.
He in fact lived in fairly crap house by UK standards up until the money started to swamp him from all the proposed projects which he was selling from artists impressions.
Ralph knew all that because I wrote about it several times before he even got citizenship.
Peter, by now you should know that a person whom some writers on this site call the "smartest man in SVG" does not take the time to listen to those he perceives as detractors. Look at all of the failed and incomplete projects in SVG and you will be forced to conclude that the ULP venture into developments with reckless disregard for future outcomes. Perhaps this might be because profits to the party and its owners are skimmed offed at the onset of the projects implementation, that is, a percentage of the funding is consumed for non-project-related purposes.
Never-the-less, you must not give up on the potential for legitimate development of our homeland. We have seen the errors and are now halfway prepared to find solutions. After all, only fools and liars believe that SVG is undevelopable due to intractable problems.