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File photo of an SVG passport.
File photo of an SVG passport.
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The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) continues to make a case for a citizenship by investment (CBI) programme in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), this time saying it is comparable to Vincentians seeking a better life by becoming nationals of other countries.

MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock, and NDP vice-president, made this case at a village meeting held by the NDP’s candidate for West St. George, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste in Cane Hall last week.

Leacock asked the members of the crowd to raise their hand if they had a relative in the United States, Canada or England.

“Everybody here has somebody living in America, Canada or England,” he observed.

He asked if every member of the crowd who has a relative in these countries would like to see that relative become a citizen of that country.

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“So all of us know and understand that if Trinidad were to send back the Vincentians here who don’t belong there, Barbados was to do that, Tortola was to do that, Antigua to do that, all the Caribbean islands, Trump say send back all we people, the Canadians say send back, we could hold them?

“So how come we want our people to become citizens of other people country but it is a big sin for somebody to become a citizen of St. Vincent? You explain that to me.”

Leacock also spoke of the nation’s ships registry, where a ship can pay for the convenience of flying an SVG flag.

St. Clair Leacock
Vice-President of the New Democratic Party and Member of Parliament for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock. (iWN file photo)

The opposition lawmaker said that at the last Independence Parade, SVG was proud to see its young Vincentian men and women return in uniform as British sailors.

“Not one of us objected to the fact that our people had gone to another man’s country, made something of themselves, came back here and made their family nose swell. So how we want it one way and not the other?

“So this stupidness, this dotishness, this falsehood that ‘Me nah sell passport. Me nah sell passport. Me nah sell passport. The passport ah de best thing yo’ ha.’ And yo’ belly hungry? And yo’ cyah feed yo’ pickney?

“Right around us, in Antigua their life is better off than us.  In St. Kitts, every December, they get an extra month salary,” he said.

“We loan Dominica $5 million from VINLEC. They pay we back with interest and now they gone pass and tell we, ‘Bye bye’…

“Every Caribbean country in the OECS is better off than us and I will tell you that. If the Caribbean, the OECS did not have the citizens by investment programme bringing in the foreign money to make up for the loss of the millions and millions and millions lost by banana, the EC dollar would’ve been in trouble today.”

Leacock said that the NDP said that the first order of the day when a party is in government is to protect the people of the country.

“And after that is wealth and health… But we have to find jobs for our people and the question arises of which of the political parties have a more practical approach for finding and creating those jobs for St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.

The Unity Labour Party administration remains opposed to a CBI in SVG and has said that such an initiative amounts to the selling of passports. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has said citizen is the highest office in the land and that the SVG passport “is the outward sign of that inward grace called citizenship” and is not for sale.

7 replies on “NDP likens CBI to Vincies seeking better life overseas”

  1. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has said, “citizen is the highest office in the land and that the SVG passport is the outward sign of that inward grace called citizenship and is not for sale.”

    Quite a misleading statement really when you consider the following.

    Why would you think a known international scrounger from governments who has been selling our UN votes and supporting very nasty communist regimes would turn down such a nationally lucrative scheme? Well, firstly, consider what kind of people would consider buying into a citizenship scheme.

    Before a foreigner would be considered for Vincentian citizenship, they would have to pass a thorough none ULP style NDP vetting called a due diligence inquiry. Not any old crook or political communist or left-wing nonse would get the privilege of Vincentian citizenship. Why do I say that? Well, when you consider there have been most likely hundreds of citizenships granted to Cubans and Venezuelans, also people like Dave Ames, whose company became a paying client of Mrs. Gonsalves, a very large summed contract indeed. Not just Ames but his brother-in-law and other Ames family members, they all got citizenship. There have even been accusations of at least one Iranian with Vincentian citizenship running around the world doing dirty money laundering business for the Iranian government. Also, Diplomatic passports have been issued to none diplomats, and Gonsalves is the final approval of diplomatic passports. In one case, perhaps you will remember how a man called Morgan was issued a diplomatic passport. He was not a diplomat; the government did not employ him, and in fact, he does not seem to have any obvious right to have had a diplomatic passport. He had an ordinary Vincentian passport and a Canadian passport because of his dual citizenship. But he was using the Vincentian diplomatic passport when he was stopped and found to be carrying a kilo of cocaine when entering the UK via a London airport. Lots of stuff about this in local, regional and international newspapers, also all over the internet, so it’s an old story. But this ultra-important matter has never been appropriately settled in any court or public inquiry. Morgan would have ended up doing time in a British prison of at least ten years had he of not been able to claim diplomatic immunity.

    People buying into a citizenship scheme would generally be of adequate financial means, and most would be running from political situations as we have in SVG. SVG is where the ULP regime and dynasty support nasty communist states such as Cuba and Venezuela. Cubans and Venezuelans who are given our citizenship would vote for the ULP, proper people from moneyed and right-wing backgrounds would never support the ULP, Ralph Gonsalves, communism or extreme socialism. So to allow moneyed people to buy our citizenship would mean that the ULP and Gonsalves would be bringing people to the island with voting rights who would almost certainly vote for and support the NDP, politically and financially. So giving citizenships to people who support the comrade benefits him, and the sale of citizenships to those right-wingers will be detrimental to his bid to stay in power forever.

    So you can be sure when Gonsalves says “citizen is the highest office in the land and that the SVG passport “is the outward sign of that inward grace called citizenship” and is not for sale.” That is just whitewash of the fact that he is trying to protect his political health and little more.

    All of the claims I have made herein can be found in newspaper reports, locally, regionally, and internationally. Much has also been written about the subjects on the internet, search, and you will find. Or ask me and I will supply all the references.

  2. Amos Greaves. says:

    Traditionally the Ndp is my natural home , however, l do not like two of their policies the Cbi and their policies towards Taiwan. Therefore, I am afraid of them.

  3. The US and the UK operate such schemes and have done so for years. Almost all of Europe do it and the rest of the Caribbean do it.

    Not to do it is the personal choice of one man who is frightened of the ensuing results and loss of power resulting from his Venezuelan style behaviour. No right minded person would select him to lead the party and no one wants to recognise his family dynasty.

  4. There is nothing wrong with citizen by investment. (even the USA does it) Except here, it is only the corrupt polititians who profit from this. About the comment on Taiwan. I think that SVG has much to be grateful to Taiwan for. That the government is made up of mostly unqualified people and looters is another story.

  5. The statement by Leacock isn’t comparable with the CBI program.
    These are the gentlemen you all want to govern St Vincent it seems that Vincentian want to be govern by a bunch of clowns, and power hungry.

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