DUE DILIGENCE BEGINS AT HOME!
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
His replacement at the AG’s office assured me he shared my concern for the sorry state of local justice (obviously, there has been scant improvement). Alas, his discomfort was not nearly serious enough to pry him away from the bigger fish in his frying pan. What we both had deemed an aberrational legal proceeding was never exhumed. Not with the AG’s expressed determination to remain faithful to Luke’s “let the dead bury their dead.”
As for my calculatedly myopic friends and others similarly afflicted, their logic was unimpeachable. “De man dead arready; nothing anyone can do will bring him back. Why you want to saddle our government with the sins of its predecessor?” It didn’t help my ambition that the casualty of the latest “death by misadventure” adventure had sustained himself from the proceeds of grass disposal—albeit not the variety synonymous now with STEP.
As I say, the long dearly departed Parry Husbands came to mind this week. And not because of the troublesome relatively recent inquests related to the 2010-11 fatal police shootings of “twelve citizens deemed to be criminals.” (Fess up, that’s precisely what you were thinking!) Believe it or not, what returned Parry to life, in my head, at any rate, was the government’s Citizenship By Investment project—already signed and sealed and irreversibly delivered, whatever else to the contrary you may have read or heard. A done deal with no chance of being undone by any new out-of-thebox proposals. The demons of desperation inspire disastrous notions in the febrile minds of unconscionable men fresh out of options, especially with the silly season upon them!
It seems to me our best brains are less interested in the possible endless consequences of permitting ourselves to be sold to foreigners with nothing in common with us—who quite possibly secretly despise us for our demonstrated belief in nothing save survival by any means—than in the imagined profits to be gained from the devilish transaction.
Unlike our protesting ancestors, millions of whom were forcibly removed from their homelands by armed strangers to be sold to other strangers like farm animals and beasts of burden, we seem not to mind at all that our elected protectors have decided—in our best interest, of course— to pimp our souls out in the names of the notorious twins Progress and Development. (Remember when the official plan was to blow the top off the now heritage site Gros Piton to accommodate the installation of cable cars and a faux Amerindian village—the twisted tourism-related vision of a nutty American entrepreneur? Thank Derek Walcott and, yes, this newspaper, that the idea never went past the “approval in principle!” stage.)
When I expressed my concerns about the Citizenship by Investment program, an irrationally exuberant “connected” lawyer acquaintance suggested I peruse the official report on the subject, prepared for the government by former prime minister Vaughan Lewis and Invest Saint Lucia’s McHale Andrew (reportedly with assistance from two or three presumably think-alike individuals, none nearly as famous as the earlier mentioned dynamic duo).
I was soon struck by the following: “Like other countries in the region, Saint Lucia has now to earn its way to prosperity and that requires vision, innovative and purposeful policy formulation, and a skillfully executed national agenda.”
Deep. But seriously, dear reader, did the line make you blink? Did it make you, er, think? It certainly stopped me. After all, was there ever a way to prosperity that did not demand vision, innovation, purposeful policies and “a skillfully executed agenda?” According to Lewis-Andrew & Company Saint Lucia’s two most important attributes are “its natural beauty and the warmth and friendliness of its people.” By their presumed educated reckoning, the two attributes were responsible for the “natural allure that underpins the offerings and promise of this island state.” (What offerings? What promise?)
Lewis-Andrew & Company assure us that all of our successful enterprises, whether in tourism or in “smart manufacturing” or agroprocessing, “in some manner embrace those two attributes.”
However, the fruits of our allure were not nearly enough to keep the big bad wolf of