By: Dr. Charles Warner,
For both the CBI and SIDF the process of reform has begun and, according to PM Harris, this reform will be taken to the conclusion. Such reform is highly desiderative because on taking government the nation was facing a crisis. In fact a crisis which is not yet over.
The recent visit of the Canadian prime minister shows the degree of difficulty caused by Douglasism. It was good that the present administration respected the privacy of the Canadian prime minister and his family. Of course the opportunity would have been taken to introduce the Visa matter to the prime minister. Prime Minister Trudeau no doubt would like to reestablish the status quo. Canada and St. Kitts & Nevis have been friends for too long. The actions of Denzil Douglas did severe damage to a long-standing friendship.
The dilemma for us in St. Kitts & Nevis and for the Canadian prime minister is that the opposition in Canada has pounced on the issue. They have noted the nefarious characters and the money laundering by those who hold St. Kitts & Nevis passports. While the visit could have taken us two steps forward it has indeed not achieved this.
Prime Minister Trudeau now has to watch his step. He would not want to remove the Visa requirement too soon. If he was to do so and one of these holders commits a crime, his time as prime minister would be very short. Of course he has seen San Bernadino and Paris. Canada is not like the St. Kitts of Denzil Douglas, politicians have to resign when mistakes are made. They cannot make statements saying that they take no responsibility for crime and national debt me ass. Or that they can run the country from a blackberry.
Essentially the actions of Douglasism continue to haunt our people. When Douglas makes a mess, it is a well-made mess. Sadly, it seems that the Visa matter could be on hold for a while. There are still crooks out there with passports issued by the renegades who recently held government.
ISIS is known to be sneaking its members among the thousands of refugees. What will stop ISIS (if it does not already have) from trying to get hands on St. Kitts & Nevis passports? A country already facing a crisis of homicides cannot have the problem which the passport sale can cause. It is clear that ISIS has connection in the region. Trinidadians are out there fighting for ISIS.
Crises are very interesting phenomena. Some happen while some are made. By whatever means, there are people who benefit from crises. Aspects of the CBI /SIDF crisis affected St. Kitts & Nevis but thankfully it did not get to the point of nuclear fission. Recent measures by the Unity government have brought a cool down, avoiding a meltdown. Did Douglasism really believe that it could survive the might of the USA, EU and their allies? There has always been an element of madness associated with Douglasism.
There is clear evidence that while some persons were creating a crisis for St. Kitts & Nevis they were becoming immensely wealthy. People say the Republicans in the USA like to wage war because their business and corporations make massive amounts of money. The number of war deaths and casualties do not touch their hearts. The same basically holds for those of the past regime who conducted the Douglasism version of CBI/SIDF.
The prime minister in his latest press conference spoke of the conduct of the SIDF and the conduct of some players. One person on two boards requesting money from the SIDF for the other board. He spoke of the willy nilly and foot loose and fancy free behaviour applied to the SIDF. As an example he mentioned how without proper oversight 10 million dollars can be shifted to the Bahamas or Bermuda.
The Unity government has promised to refashion the SIDF, making it subordinate to the constitution. “Only in St. Christopher” can there be the sale of a National/Federal asset, the returns out of the consolidated funds, the auditor general and the Prime Minister (Dr. Douglas) having nothing to do with it.
The crisis is not yet over and the players are still wallowing in the benefits of the Fund. There are no recognisable benefits to the people and the State. Yet EC 1.4 billion dollars have basically gone with the wind.
At a microscopic level the typical example of the crisis relates to Moghadam. He created major diplomatic problems for St. Kitts & Nevis; the Canadian government placed Visa requirements on our people, many of whom have families/relatives in Canada.
The bitter part is that for all the problems caused for St. Kitts & Nevis, somebody/somebodies got one million dollars. NB. Those transactions are not usually in EC money. In the same manner that the SIDF money was out of the consolidated fund, this one million dollars never saw the fund.
There are many other examples of the state finding itself in great difficulty or embarrassment while some people make millions. They create the problem and benefit markedly at the expense of the State and the people.