SINCE his sudden and unexpected passing away on December 22 at the age of 70 (he would have been 71 in two weeks’ time), tributes to the former long serving governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Sir K. Dwight Venner, have poured in from almost all over the world, culminating in the touching and moving testimonies from members of his family and close friends at his official funeral service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Castries on Wednesday.
SOONER rather than later, the “sleeping dragon” was expected to awaken from its slumber and take its place at the feasting table. In his book, The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria predicts the decline of the West and the Rise of the Rest. No doubt, Mr. Zakaria must have been thinking about China when he wrote: “Americans see that a new world is coming into being, but fear it is one being shaped in distant lands and by foreign people.”
I GREW-UP in the Faux-a-Chaud part of Hospital Road in Castries seeing Dwight Venner walking up and down the main road, to and from his family’s home, to town and from school (Saint Mary’s College). Much younger than him, I attended the Methodist Primary and RC (Roman Catholic) Boys schools in Castries — and knew more about his father than about the usually lone but friendly young ‘College Boy’ with all those thick school books.
ON January 1, “60 minutes”, an investigative programme aired by the US television company, CBS Corporation, ran a segment on “Citizenship by Investment Programmes” (CIP) that are operated by several countries around the world. For reasons best known to itself, “60 minutes” focused on three Caribbean islands after paying merely a passing glance at Malta, a Mediterranean island that is part of the 28-nation European Union (EU). It let pass other countries in Europe and North America that also operate such programmes.
Nearly twenty years ago Gypsy spoke to us eloquently of the growing scourges of drug addiction, prostitution, teenage pregnancy and the increasing incidence of the rape of women in his homeland, Trinidad & Tobago, and pointed to the reason for this. According to him that reason was: “Politics for one and politicians for the other.” Nobody listened, and today we know the result – those scourges now threaten to overwhelm Trinidadian society.
SIR Dwight Venner was finally laid to rest this week, but still the tributes to this outstanding son of the sub-region continue to pour in and we are beginning to hear talk about ways in which he can be immortalized. One suggestion that is being advanced, which we heartily endorse, is having his image printed on our EC currency.
THE St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has taken issue with comments made by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet during his Thursday night press conference studios of the Government Information Service about how he could prove the veracity of an applicant for St. Lucian citizenship claiming a net worth of US$3 million or higher.
CITING the ‘desecration’ of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) by government, the leader of the opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip Pierre, has accused the Allen Chastanet administration of attempting to turn the measure into a ‘cash cow’.
MAYOR of Castries, Peterson Francis, has responded to comments made via social media and elsewhere that despite making huge sums of money from managing the three-day Assou Square event, the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) did little to make the event a pleasant experience.
A confidential letter from the former administration to a prospective investor in England almost a year ago is today turning out to be a subject of debate between the government and the opposition St. Lucia Labour Party. Both parties made mention of the letter at separate press conferences Thursday. Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called it “an interesting letter” while Philip J. Pierre, SLP and parliamentary opposition leader, called it “a letter of comfort”.
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC -The Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Authority, Glen Beache, who has the task of trying to attract airlines to fly to Argyle International Airport says he is “tired” of the project that started in 2008 and has missed multiple completion deadlines annually since 2011.
Caracas– The Venezuelan Government has built 1,360,621 decent homes since the creation of the Great Housing Mission Venezuela (GMVV, Spanish acronym), five years ago, Minister for Habitat and Housing Manuel Quevedo said Tuesday.
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Russia is hinting at further debt relief for Grenada after the island signed an agreement on settlement of its debt to the Russian Federation through the Paris Club in November 2015. A government statement said that the debt amounting to US$266,000 was signed on November 19, 2015, and that St. George’s has been assured “that there may be even further or total relief of the debt owed by Grenada”.
CARACAS — Venezuela’s opposition, still smarting from its failure to remove President Nicolas Maduro last year, installed a new congress head on Thursday who demanded across-the-board elections and sought military help to end “dictatorship.” In a renewal of Venezuela’s bitter politics after the holiday lull, the ruling Socialist Party responded that the National Assembly was in contempt of the law.
THREE persons including a student are currently fighting for their lives after taking harmful substances in apparent suicide attempts. A 16-year-old student from Choiseul is being attended to at the St. Jude Hospital after ingesting the deadly weedicide, gramoxone.
MIAMI, CMC – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) says the owner and operator of a Florida-based telecommunications company has pleaded guilty and a West Palm Beach, Florida, resident have been sentenced to 52 months in prison in connection with a sophisticated global cellphone fraud scheme linked to the Caribbean.
UNITED NATIONS, CMC – A new study has predicted that if current trends continue and the world fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly all of the world’s coral reefs, including many in the Caribbean, will suffer severe bleaching – the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems – on anannual basis.
ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Wednesday said that Opposition Leader Lennox Linton had lied on several occasions when he appeared on a United States television programme that was critical of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
DIGICEL has commenced the New Year providing customers with even more value and amazing offers. On Wednesday the company announced its ‘’New Year’s Resolution’ Text to Win promotion aimed at assisting customers in setting and achieving their goals for the new year.
PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet held his first press conference of the year on Thursday evening, addressing a wide range of issues. During the 90-minute briefing held at GIS Studios and carried live on NTN, Chastanet fielded questions from the media, including many related to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and the Desert Star Holdings Ltd. (DSH) project…