“The most dangerous man to any Government is a man who is able to think things out for himself, without the prevailing superstition and taboo. Almost inevitable he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable.” – H. L. Mencken
There are some things that just don’t surprise me anymore; unfortunately, three of those things are the truthfulness of Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, the truthfulness of male members of his Ralph Gonsalves’ family and the truthfulness of the ULP cabinet. Anyone who choose to develop a long term professional or other relationship with a person who publicly declared that they are a liar and has consistently exhibited their ability to lie every opportunity they get — at times for no rhyme or reason — the person has either got to be a liar or they have to be a quick and willing understudy. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.
It was an admirable gesture for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his son Camillo Gonsalves to inform the public of details as it relates to former deputy Consular General Augustus’ alleged illegal activities; or did they? The question is, can we honestly believe that Ralph and Camillo Gonsalves are honest enough to do what is right because it is the right thing to do?
What makes the Augustus issue so important (attitude changing), that Prime Minister Gonsalves and his son will voluntary step out of character and do the right because it is the right thing to do? Well folks, I smell a rat, and, as Margaret London would say, “It stinks to high heavens.”
It seems as if the Gonsalves’ willingness to inform the public of the activities as it relates to Augustus’ alleged dirty dealings was just a cover up of a scandal that is extremely bigger than we can ever imagine or will ever believe, and this scandal engulfed other key untouchable players of the ULP. Ralph and Camillo Gonsalves’ actions were just what many believed it to be: a smoke screen that was designed to distract us from the truth, the truth of alleged government sanctioned diplomatic corruption.
If it was the intention of the Gonsalves’ to be honest and transparent why is it they refuse to provide us with more details as it relates to Augustus’ dealing; details such as:
1.How many of Augustus’ victims come forward to date?
2.What is the value (in U.S. dollars) of the racket Augustus was running?
3.How many people have recovered their monies from Augustus?
4.How many people are still waiting to recover their monies from Augustus and what is the value (in U.S. dollars) of the uncovered amount?
It is interesting that even before the investigation began, the authorities (government) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were convinced and publicly declared that Augustus did not commit a crime or break any laws in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But what are the facts? Here we have a state appointee to a foreign post, whose responsibility it was to look out for the interest of Vincentian aboard, but instead of doing that, he used his position of trust to convince individuals that he is capable of making them eligible to be green card holders when they are not. The unfortunate thing about this scheme is that the man of the tattered (a rough member of the clergy) cloth was asking up to US$7,000 for this service. It is not that Augustus did not commit a crime. However, his diplomatic immunity prevented him from being arrested, charged, and prosecuted in the United States of America.
I will like to inform Ralph E. Gonsalves of a simple fact: if Edison Augustus carried out any of those (complete) transactions or any part of the transactions on the property that is the Embassy or Consulate of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, then Edison Augustus is eligible to be criminally investigated and persecuted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
We all know that each foreign embassy and or consulate is the sovereign of the country of claim, and the only law that is enforceable in any such foreign mission is the laws of the country of claim. That is, unless the country of claim gives the host country the permission to intervene in an incident that occurs on the property that is the foreign mission.
However, if the St. Vincent and the Grenadines investigators can prove that any part of Augustus’ unlawful negotiation, was conducted on the grounds or premises of any foreign mission as named above, then ex-pastor/ex-deputy consular general Augustus has committed crimes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and he is therefore eligible to be prosecuted within the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines or such a criminal trial can be held on the premises of the foreign mission. If after Edison Augustus was duly summoned to attend any such trial and he refuses, then the trial can be heard ex-parte if it is necessary.
If the Government prosecuting team decided to hold such trial in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in an effort to cause a miscarriage of Justice, a quality the current Director of Public Prosecution and his team have become synonymous with, then evidence can be given at any embassy or consulate office of St. Vincent and the Grenadines via Skype, as was done in the Trayvon Martin’s case or in the same manner the commission of inquiries went about taking testimony/evidence under oath outside of SVG, in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ottley Hall Marina Commission of Inquiry. In this case, a magistrate, the prosecutor, and the clerk, can travel to the USA and convene a sitting of the magistrate court at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines embassy. This can be either a criminal trial or a preliminary inquiry (PI) base of the outcome of the investigation.
I know there must be the cutting of some administrative, legislative and legal red tape to get this done, but with a little effort, it can be done. There is nothing in this scenario that a little elbow grease, legal and legislative maneuvering cannot handle.
Taking into account the credibility of senior members of the government and after considering the fact that dishonest acts and behavior are often celebrated and called master stroke, and taking into account that some members of the government cannot be trusted to do the simplest of things because it is the right thing to do, is one justified in believing that persons were aware of and technically encouraged the dishonest, unethical, and criminal behaviors of Edison Augustus long before the complaints against him (Augustus) surfaced.
I am directing these questions to Ralph E. Gonsalves:
1. Prime Minister Ralph E Gonsalves, is the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines prepared to make restitution to Edison Augustus’ victims, he (Augustus) having been a diplomatic agent of the government, who use his position of trust to entrapped the poor desperate unsuspecting illegal Vincentians in the USA?
2. Prime Minister Gonsalves, is it true that in February 2014, when Augustus returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for his debriefing and left the island on the same day, that he was allowed to keep his diplomatic passport?
3.Mr. P.M is it true that when a nation changes passport as St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently did, that the first people to get any such passports are members of the diplomatic corp? And is it true that Edison Augustus was issued with the upgraded diplomatic passport, before he was recalled?
4.PM Gonsalves is it true that in an effort to deceive Vincentian, Edison Augustus left St. Vincent and the Grenadines using a regular SVG passport, but every leg of his journey after St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the disgraced ex-deputy Consular General Augustus used his diplomatic passport?
5. PM Gonsalves, is it true that Augustus does not have a diplomatic portfolio, but he is allowed diplomatic privileges at all ports of entry when he travels?
6. Mr. Prime Minister is it true that all of the people who were swindled out of their hard own monies were ULP supporters, who have been making tremendous sacrifices to donate to the Argyle International airport and your reelection?
7. Prime Minister Gonsalves; is it true the only reason why you recalled Edison Augustus is because a large number of your contributors, some of whom are your big contributors in NYC, threatened to cut you and the ULP off if you don’t get Augustus out of New York and out of his diplomatic post?
If Gonsalves fail to answer these questions, as I know he will, is there any journalist in St. Vincent and the Grenadines or the Caribbean who is bold enough to ask Gonsalves these questions. I am hereby challenging all journalists with a news interest or a stake in St. Vincent and the Grenadines including: Kenton X. Chance the Editor-in-Chief of this News Journal, a man whom I know personally, to make the opportunity to put these questions to Ralph E. Gonsalves; the truth must be told!
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].