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Chastanet Warns Of Possible Visa-Free Fallout Over CIP

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Opposition leader Allen Chastanet, citing security and transparency concerns regarding Saint Lucia’s Citizenship By Investment Programme (CIP), has declared that they could impact this country’s visa-free access to the United Kingdom and Europe.

The United Workers Party (UWP) leader’s remarks came in a press release  from his office which appears below:

The Prime Minister’s Office yesterday issued a press release that the Prime Minister has gone to Brussels to meet with the European Union to discuss the Citizenship By Investment Programme.

The Opposition has been reliably informed that in fact Mr. Pierre was summoned due to serious concerns about the operation of this Programme.

We, as a party have been sounding the alarm for almost two years since Government and the Prime Minister in particular, changed the rules governing the Economic Fund to allow Cabinet to use the CIP monies freely and due to their damning decision to continue accepting Russian and Iranian applications at the commencement of the Ukraine war in spite of international concerns.

In addition, the Government’s refusal to commit to the OECS joint protocols and the recent addition of an infrastructural option have collectively undermined confidence in our program.

This raises serious security and transparency concerns and threatens to impact our current visa-free access to the United Kingdom and Europe which will necessarily include Martinique and Guadeloupe.

There is also a very real risk that the US and Canada could reverse their recently granted concessions to allow us to apply and renew our visas online.

The Government recently announced during the Budget Estimates that the Donation Option within the CIP Programme only achieved 50% of its projected revenue as it was negatively affected by the Real Estate option.

Whilst no further explanation was offered, it has been reported that the Real Estate option is being sold unlawfully at a discounted price which the Government has to date not denied or confirmed.

The Government has also launched a new option which will allow certain approved developers to undertake infrastructure projects for the Government and to reimburse themselves by selling our citizenships for US$100,000 and receiving the funds directly.

The Government has to date, not informed the people of St. Lucia about this new option, but there is already evidence that a particular developer has begun selling this option and, even more concerning, is the sub-par selling price of US$80,000.

The OECS Countries with CIP programs have recently agreed to a common standard as recommended by the European Union, including a minimum price of US$200,000.

St Lucia, under my administration spearheaded this joint approach which was critical for regional security and to avoid each island undermining the others.

It is not only disappointing but extremely alarming that the Government seems incapable of understanding the far-reaching implications of its refusal to join this initiative using a pathetic excuse of a conflict with existing contractual commitments.

The recommended and traditional practice that CIP applications are forwarded to the Regional Security institutions for independent vetting is now being disregarded.

The consequent risks to the reputation of our Programme and to local and regional security are obvious to everyone but the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

The United Workers Party is warning this Government to stop their mismanagement and corrupt actions of the CIP program because the risks to our security and reputation are serious.

Many St. Lucians have to struggle to get visas to travel for health, education, shopping and visiting friends and family. The online process for the US and Canada has made things much easier but this could now be at risk as well as the visa-free access to other countries that we currently enjoy.

The fallout will likely result in further hardship to St Lucians by increasing the burden and cost of visa applications. It is time that the Government stops the reckless decision-making by irresponsible people seemingly incapable of understanding or indifferent to the devastating consequences we as a people will face.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. You and Fedee believes you’ll can fool, St Lucian’s.In 2015 under the Kenny Anthony administration in was 200,000.00, you came into office and reduced it to $100,000.00. Stop playing these games and further we’re not the jackassess you though we were

  2. Stop giving their airlines all these millions to come into St Lucia. The biggest hypocrites are these people. People are already switching to travel through the US even if it takes longer due to racist UK immigration policies and appalling treatment of st Lucian’s and other Caribbean people. Stop paying their businesses millions. Both UK and France should see this is not a a one way game. St Lucia needs to tighten CIp. Yes. But says a country who just reserves it’s tough immigration policies on Caribbean immigrants. Btw: both of u : UK and France prepare to pay reparations. For the people who made you all rich. This is not going to go away.

  3. This is an interesting story. So I gather that St. Lucia’s government is selling citizenship to anybody willing to pay $100,000, which is nothing to the rich corrupt bad actors of the world. Do not expect the United States government or people to support friendlier access to holders of St. Lucian passports. Russians? Iranians? How about Chinese or Cubans? Unbelievable that your government sells passports. Who gets the cash?

  4. I will reiterate! This program was doomed from the start. Both political parties are culpable and even more so the party in opposition. They were on a trajectory of selling us out for peanuts. The Pearl of the Caribbean comes to mind. When all the peanuts are eaten and gone, we will remain as buried in debt as always. The poor ST LUCIAN will be the hardest hit. The will find themselves in competition for survival with more affluent citizens by investment. There is no doubt that travel to US., “UK., CAN and French territories will become exceedingly more difficult because of CIP. The weirdest aspect of it all the is, the funds collected and how they are spent have remained top secret 0by both parties. We should have followed Gonzales of ST Vincent lead . Think people before you act, least you suffer the long term negative consequences of your nactions.Think of the future of your children and the people you are serving before your pockets.

  5. ST LUCIANS DO NOT FORGET
    When the present LOO came into office as PM in 2016, he changed the CIP amount from $200K to $100K leading a fellow Caribbean PM to call our CIP, a RUSH TO THE BOTTOM.
    CIP Chastanet style was giving Teo A King our passports to sell and keeping the money in a foreign bank account.
    CIP Chastanet style was never telling us how many passports he gave Teo and rejoicing that Teo was going to sue SLU, after HE didn’t hold to HIS end of the agreement he quickly signed after elections in 2016.
    CIP Chastanet style is him believing all the crap Teo tell him about 23 islands and giving him most of VF for nothing while VF ppl have nothing.

    That and more is CIP Chass style

  6. I have asked that question several times and we are not getting any answer. Chas how many passports did you sell during your reign in office? Anyway we are not bothered because we can go to the US without visa now. Am I correct? America is jealous of us, who made this statement?

  7. Whatever parties ruling,no good should come,except we wait daily watching at heaven’s door, because they are “Ungodly People and Sinful 😈 nature !!
    And it will always be :
    Servants at the table and Slaves for harboring the grain,or at the winding mill (hard labor)❗

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