September 24th 2017
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts– The recent decision by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris to, announce a drastic fifty percent cut in the investment requirement for its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, ostensibly to create a “hurricane relief fund”, has drawn widespread condemnation, including one CBI consultant who described the move as shameful.
“This is a truly shameful move by St Kitts,” said Mahdi Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer of Guide Consultants in a comment carried by Caribbean News Now.
“This is simply a ploy, a blatantly opportunistic move to improve the competitiveness of the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI programme at the expense of their Caribbean neighbours,” he continued.
“What offends me more than anything is that St. Kitts and Nevis is fully operational, having escaped any major damage from the two recent hurricanes, whereas having been in Dominica during Hurricane Maria, I have witnessed firsthand the complete and total devastation of the island, with its people wandering amidst the ruins of their lives trying to find the basic necessities to survive – food, water and shelter. It truly resembles a scene from an apocalypse movie,” Mohammed said.
“Dominica is not a wealthy country but following Hurricane Irma it was willing to share what it had with other Caribbean islands, for example by sending water and telegraph poles, two commodities that it is now in desperate need of itself. It even pledged EC$500,000 to St. Kitts and Nevis after Irma,” he noted.
“Now Dominica has lost every source of government revenue except its CBI programme and St. Kitts and Nevis is attempting to undermine even that,” Mohammed said.
He noted that the tourism, communications and transportation infrastructure in St. Kitts and Nevis is back to normal. Dominica on the other hand has suffered billions of dollars of damage.
In response to a request for comment on the St. Kitts and Nevis announcement, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, said: “Putting it mildly, this is a most unfortunate development. If it is implemented, it will hurt the relief and rebuilding efforts for Barbuda and Dominica, both of which were devastated. What is needed now is solidarity and joint action, not opportunism. It is to be sincerely hoped, that the decision will be reviewed and overturned in the interest of solidarity with neighbouring states that are truly struggling in the wake of these monstrous hurricanes and need every cent they can get.”
“The international and regional community is finally discovering the greed, dishonesty, insincerity, deceitfulness and untrustworthiness of Dr. Harris. His silence for days after Hurricane Maria destroyed Dominica is an indication of playing for time to hatch his diabolical plot,” said a Caribbean personality who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Photo 1 – Mahdi Mohammed, CEO of Guide Consultants
Photo 2 – Sir Ronald Sanders