Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, September 10, 2017

WILL THE EAST CARIBBEAN APPLY REFORMED CBI PROGRAMS TO AID IN DISASTER RECOVERY ?

Barbuda damage due to hyrricane.
  If there ever was a more appropriate subject for the application of revenue received by the nations of the East Caribbean who offer Citizenship by Investment programs, hurricane disaster relief is it. Some islands, such as Barbuda, have suffered catastrophic damage and, barring major US intervention, the CBI funding stands out as the best source of much-needed recovery capital.

There are a couple of problems, however, that should be solved, before the CBI Caribbean nations will be able to count on the funding actually be certain to be applied where it is needed most:

1. Substandard Due Diligence; while some countries are applying Enhanced Due Diligence to vet CBI applicants, to rule out those who are unacceptable, others, drunk with the prospects of cash, fail to protect their programs from the approval of high-risk, or even criminal, foreign nationals. The proposal , advanced by Antigua, of a unified program, administered by a master transnational entity, would probably eliminate that issue.

2. Corruption; the illegal diversion, of CBI payments, including padding the normal fees with additional "surcharges" that go right into the pockets of the consultancies, and their referring parties, must stop, lest the cost become so high that applicants look outside the Carribbean.

3. The illicit diplomatic passport programs; these passports, which seem to be generally affiliated with CBI consultancies, often through corrupt senior government officials, and which violate the requirements of the Vienna Convention on Diplomacy, must be publicly terminated and disavowed. They give CBI programs a bad name, what we call guilt by association, and they must be stopped.

Will the East Caribbean CBI jurisdictions step up, reform their programs, and having reaped the increased benefits, fund disaster recovery ? We cannot say, but we are hoping it will occur.   

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