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Opposition Accused Of Being “Economic Terrorists” Allegedly Trying to Destroy The Country’s Economic Citizenship Programme

Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  The Denzil Douglas-led government came out swinging in parliament Tuesday in defense of the Federation’s Citizenship by Investment programme (CIP).

Describing the CIP as a global brand being emulated by others, Prime Minister Douglas charged that the Parliamentary Opposition was attempting to detail the programme.

Team Unity Leader Dr. Timothy Harris has been suggesting that a government decision in July to exclude Iranians and Afghans from the Economic Citizenship Programme was prompted by Canadian concerns over an Iranian national entering Canada on a St Kitts and Nevis diplomatic passport.

Alizeera Moghadam is quoted as having told Canadian authorities that he paid one million dollars for the passport.

According to Dr. Harris, the Canadians expressed security concerns, causing the authorities in Basseterre to voice privately, the fear that the visa-free travel afforded by Canada to nationals of St Kitts and Nevis could be in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Douglas has in response, accused his former Senior Minister, Dr. Harris, of attempting to destroy the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

“This is Mr. Speaker, the continuing attempts by the opposition, performing as expected, their role as economic terrorists, economic terrorists, trying to disrupt and destroy the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, the country of St. Kitts and Nevis. Trying to destroy the Investment by Citizenship Programme,” Dr. Douglas told Parliament on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Patrice Nisbett had earlier explained to the House, the relationship between Moghadam and the government.

He revealed that the government in January 2013 approved the appointment of Iranian Alizeera Moghadam as a special envoy after he had acquired citizenship under the Citizenship Investment programme of St Kitts and Nevis.

Patrice NisbettNisbett said Moghadam had been “issued with a diplomatic passport”.

He was expected, the minister explained, to “explore areas of interest to the Federation” in two countries including Turkey.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also indicated that Canadian authorities had sought “to confirm his role” when Moghadam travelled to the North American country with the diplomatic passport.

However Dr. Harris, speaking on WINN FM Tuesday, said both Prime Minister Douglas and Minister Nisbett failed to answer the question in relation to the Moghadam issue.

“Did Mr. Moghadam pay for a passport of St Kitts and Nevis?  Is it true or is it not true that he said to the border officials in Canada that he paid one million dollars for the passport,” the Team Unity Leader queried.

According to Dr. Harris, this raises the question “of how diplomatic passports in particular are being issued by the government of St Kitts and Nevis.”

While addressing parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Nisbett indicated that the CIP was being further tightened to ensure that it addresses security concerns, including noting place or birth on passports, a provision which was removed earlier this year.

Prime Minister Douglas says he has recently been promoting the Citizenship by Investment programme in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

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Comments  

+4 #4 CACTX2 2013-11-28 11:49
The PM charging the opposition of being “economic terrorists” is uncalled for and is an attempt to shift the responsibility of creating grave security concerns for the Canadians and Americans. The North Americans spend billions protecting their assets against the likes of Iranians, of whom former president Bush termed “an axis of evil.”

Lest we forget, the Caribbean is often referred to as “the third border of the United States (North America).” For that reason, we in St Kitts-Nevis (the government) have a critical role to play in the security concerns of North America. To that end, we are afforded many privileges such as visa-free access to Canada. Consider also, we (the Caribbean) were one of the last places that the USA phased out passport-free travel for Americans. British colonies in the Caribbean still enjoy visa-free travel to the United States.
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+4 #3 CACTX 2013-11-28 11:48
The North Americans may have their faults but, we are far more indebted to them than them to us. So it is rather disturbing an Iranian has been granted full diplomatic immunity and privileges on our country’s behalf to explore the prospects of direct foreign investments from Turkey and Iran but instead frightened the Canadians. A diplomat on our behalf from a country that is synonymous with terrorism? A terrorist is someone who hides and imparts fear in his victims. Forgive me but, who is hiding and imparting fear? Obviously, there are many questions still to be answered. Yet the government is downplaying the severity of this security failure, albeit crafted in St. Kitts, to a local level when the international repercussions are enormous. Obviously, somebody is hiding from us. And in so doing, they are imparting a tremendous amount of fear in us. The government must be aware that they cannot hide behind the opposition on this one. We the people demand more answers.
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-6 #2 DM 2013-11-27 14:45
The Prime Minister and members of his Cabinetare spot on here. The fact is that both Timothy and Sam were in the Cabinet and in fact Sam was Minister of Foreign Affairs when this person got a diplomatic passport.

They then said absolutely nothing, only now to make up this fake belated outrage for the political platform.

This revelation is a clear indication of how easily Tim and Sam are willing to attack themselves in an attempt to hurt PM Douglas' Administration.
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+6 #1 Federation 2013-11-27 13:53
I thought the issue here, is the ease of obtaining a CIP with little or no real background checks been done? What is there to hide by Two Faced removing info re: place of birth of these applicants? I think that casts us in a negative light as if we are dealing with dirty hands. Lord Help Us, Amen
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