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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, left, and Pastor Clive Dottin. (IWN montage)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, left, and Pastor Clive Dottin. (IWN montage)
Former deputy consul-general at the SVG Consulate in New York, Edson Augustus. (Internet photo)
Former deputy consul-general at the SVG Consulate in New York, Edson Augustus. (Internet photo)

The Trinidad-based Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) pastors who recommended that now disgraced envoy, Edson Augustus be appointed as SVG’s Deputy Consul General in New York in 2011, came under scrutiny on Wednesday as a journalist asked probing questions of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves at a press conference.

The pastor, Clive Dottin, has told journalists in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that Gonsalves consulted him ahead of Augustus’ appointment in May 2011 and he supported the move.

Augustus, who was appointed three months after he resigned as an SDA pastor amidst certain allegations, was recalled last month after admitting that he took money from persons in New York and promised to help them source U.S. Permanent Resident Cards, commonly called “Green Cards”.

At the press conference on Wednesday, a journalist noted that former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell, had said Italian Dr Aldo Rolla had conned his government in the failed Ottley Hall Marina project.

“You think Mr. Dottin conned you, too?” the journalist asked Gonsalves.

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“Mr Dottin conned me? No! That’s an entirely different matter,” Gonsalves responded.

“What Mr. Dottin gave was a recommendation knowing him (Augustus)” Gonsalves further responded.

(Read also: Dottin ‘almost traumatised’ by Augustus’ actions)

Pastor Dermoth Baptiste, head of the SVG SDA mission, has also told I-Witness News that he supported Augustus’ appointment when Gonsalves contacted him.

“I know Clive Dotin, I know of his work; I know Mr. Baptiste. Neither of them saw anything — and I am sure if they saw that Mr. Augustus would have functioned outside of the scope of his employment they would have drawn that to my attention,” Gonsalves said.

“And if that has happened, I would have taken that into account and bring it to the attention of Cabinet; and we make these decisions very soberly,” Gonsalves further said.

(Read also: President of local Seventh-Day Adventists recommended Augustus for diplomatic post)

The government has fired Augustus, saying that in offering to help persons source Green Cards, he acted outside the scope of his employment.

Gonsalves said that he had a report prepared by the Special Branch, the intelligence arm of the government.

“I talked to other people too, but I am telling you about these two churchmen,” he further said.

“Now, what is passing strange, I hear those with 20-20 vision — perfect vision, hindsight — say that it (the appointment) should not have happened … because there were, quote, unquote, allegations about him.

“Why didn’t anybody at that time when the appointment was made make public the allegations? Why didn’t they?“ said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security.

3 replies on “Did Trinidad pastor ‘con’ Gonsalves into appointing diplomat?”

  1. Alfred Huggins says:

    NO! The Trinidadian Pastor did not “con” Prime Minister Gonsalves!

    Why was this particular headline selected with a slant towards embarrassing the Prime Minister?

    Wouldn’t a more appropriate headline have been: “Did Trinidadian Pastor lie to Prime Minister Gonsalves?”

    Even then, I still do not believe that the Prime Minister was lied to, nor was he “conned.”

    All that happened here is simply that a “good” man made AN AWFUL MISTAKE.

    One could even say that this probable ‘evil, greedy streak’ in the Deputy Consul General simply lurked beneath the surface of his public personality, awaiting an opportunity to manifest itself.

    …..SO, NO!….Prime Minister was not “conned!” …..NO WAY!

  2. Peter Binose says:

    ALFIE , whats it all about, you pop and talk rubbish in support of Gonsalves.

    Whats it all about Alfie
    Is it just for the moment we live
    Whats it all about
    When you sort it out Alfie
    Are we meant to take more than we give
    Or are we meant to be kind
    And if only fools are kind Alfie
    Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
    And if life belongs only to the strong Alfie
    What will you lend on an old golden ruler
    As sure as I believe theres a Heaven above Alfie
    I know theres something much more
    Something even non-believers can believe in Alfie.

  3. Peter Binose says:

    All you readers know very well that I have said hundreds of time here and elsewhere that because I do not believe anything that Gonsalves says, I cannot believe anything he says since he told us he is a liar.

    Now that’s not just something I observed, as I have, its something he him very self told us. From the horses mouth as they say.

    I do not believe there was any due diligence undertaken by Gonsalves. I do not believe him or even this Pastor that is supporting what he is telling us.

    When a man admits he is a liar, from that moment on, how do you prove what is truth and what is lie. A basically truthful statement with a spattering of lies in the content make the whole matter a lie.

    As far as I am concerned telling lies is also theft, a liar is a thief, why? because when you tell a lie you steal the truth.

    As far as I am concerned telling lies is also an act of deception, a liar is a deceptionist, why? because when you tell a lie you do so to deceive.

    This whole matter should be submitted to a committee of enquiry, with the members being chosen by an outside referee.

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