Domminica’s Parliamentary Opposition Leader and the Head of the United Workers Party, Lennox Linton, has made a number of demands from the governing Dominica Labour Party, following the Dominica/Syria Diplomatic Relations issue.
“We demand immediate discontinuation of the corrupt practice of holding billions of dollars through the sale of Dominican citizenship under private foreign control and the placement of all such revenues in the consolidated funds of Dominica,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We also demand the unequivocal revocation of diplomatic relations with Syria, publication of the instrument of revocation in the news and social media and a public apology to the people of Dominica. We do not call for the resignation of these disgraced employees of the people. Rather we call on the people of Dominica to take decisive action to get rid of these modern day pirates of Dominica who place greater value on enriching themselves than on promoting the interest of Dominica and its people.”
Linton expressed great concern over the diplomatic Relations decision that was taken at a time when it was clear that Dominica should have stayed away from such a development.
“Syria sends troops to fight for Russia, in its invasion Ukraine, not only is Dominica stone-cold silent, it shockingly agrees to diplomatic ties with a murderous al-Assad regime,” he stated. “Diplomatic relations, my brothers and sisters, come with potential economic and other benefits for both sides. Dominica’s benefits is increased sales of passports in a country under a regime that supports all forms of terrorism, then it is entirely possible that Syria’s benefit is support for the atrocities the al-Assad regime from Dominica’s CBI funds being held unlawfully outside the consolidated fund.”
The Opposition Leader Observed that with the government being heavily criticized by many for the action taken, it was attempting to smear the Parliamentary opposition in relation to the CBI programme.
“Under pressure from global leaders for his despicable conduct, the prime minister plays the CBI sympathy card to influence the people of Dominica. He says, and I quote, I am still at a loss to understand how this clear lapse in judgment could have been associated in any way to the management of our Citizenship by Investment Program. Some persons appear so bent in undermining global confidence and ultimately the destruction of our CBI program that they would seize every opportunity to bring it into global disrepute, end of quote.”
Linton continued, “For the avoidance of doubt, Dominica’s CBI program has been brought into global disrepute by the indiscriminate sale of CBI passports and diplomatic passports to rogues and vagabonds, especially in the terrorist hotspots in the world. The international image of the program is also adversely affected by corrupt misappropriation of CBI revenues.”
According to Opposition Leader Linton, current efforts by the European Union and the United States that could see the end of CIP programs in the Caribbean, can be associated with Dominica’s approach to its CBI program.
He stated, “Unfortunately, the DLP regime’s endless assault on the integrity of Dominica’s single largest money earner has attracted the interest of the European parliament and the United States Congress. They now only seek to eliminate the threat the CBI poses as a facilitator of travel for criminal elements across international borders. Given the sharp focus on the CBI program in Europe and the US, along with planned measure to remove visa-free access to the Schengen Area of Europe, diplomatic relations with Syria will contribute to further isolation and black listing of Dominica in the international community. This unfortunate situation has nothing to do with critics advocating for transparent, accountable, corruption free management of Dominica’s CBI program. It is all about the unending lapses in judgement of an administration that has egregiously abused the CBI program for private gain and therefore refuses to operate it in the public interest of truth, righteousness and justice.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said last Friday that Ambassador for the UN Loreen Bannis-Roberts had gone ahead signing the agreement for relations with Syria without his knowledge and consent, based on a lapse of judgement, and has resigned.