Commonwealth Free Trade: a British straw man?

A Commonwealth Free Trade Area (FTA) would go down in India “like a lead balloon”. That’s the opinion of Indian Member of Parliament, Shashi Tharoor, as British Ministers and Empire-dreamers run around Britain trying to promote the idea that a Commonwealth FTA is a viable alternative to trade with the European Union (EU) which Britain has elected to exit. A harsher view is expressed by Columnist with the British Guardian Newspaper, Kehinde Andrews, who writes: “Rather than accept reality the (British) government has deluded itself into thinking that Britain can just install an update for empire and return to former … Continue reading

Alternative facts and undisclosed sources in Citizenship by Investment

The Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), operated by many countries in the world, including the US, Spain, Switzerland, Malta and Portugal to name a few, is particularly misrepresented in relation to the small countries in the Eastern Caribbean. At the outset, I make it clear that this commentary is not a defence or apology for any governments in the Eastern Caribbean – past or present – that have not administered and operated the CIP’s at a high international standard. Citizenship of any country is a most precious entitlement; its value should be safeguarded in the interest of the state and … Continue reading

Squandermania, Structural Adjustments, Referendums and Elections!!!

Squandermania, Structural Adjustments, Referendums and elections… were always with us … let me take you back down memory lane. I want to remind you of something said to me by former Prime Minister, thinker, historian, economist and author Mr. George I. Brizan who came to live in St. Paul’s with his family from Vincennes in St. David  in 1972. Before his passing he gave me two examples as to why we are not patient as a people, whom I will try to narrate in more ways than one based on my personal investigations and historical experiences. Mr. Brizan, said to … Continue reading

The Future of Financial Services in the Caribbean: International Tax Competition, Globalization and Fiscal Sovereignty

A presentation by Sir Ronald Sanders on Friday 17 February 2017 at a Conference organised by Goethals Consulting Corp in Panama on “Widening the Pathways to Open Societies” I have been asked to speak on “The Future of Financial Services in the Caribbean” in the context of “International Tax Competition, Globalisation and Fiscal Sovereignty”. As I speak, that future is bleak. Globalisation has been a one-way street of impositions by powerful countries; fiscal sovereignty has been violated by the strong; and tax competition remains under threat from the mighty. Indeed, if the current pattern of incursions, restrictions and false labelling … Continue reading

President Trump’s Policies and the Caribbean

The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, is systematically implementing the pledges he made during the Presidential election campaign.   Those who argued that limitations on Presidential power and the restraining hands of Cabinet and Congress, would cause many, if not all, of the President’s promises to fall by the wayside, are now becoming convinced of his determination. He had re-enforced that determination in his Inauguration speech when he told the world, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First”.   And he spelt out the detail in clear terms by saying, “Every decision on trade, on … Continue reading

Trump, trade and the Caribbean

Trade between the US and other countries of the world, particularly China, was a major plank of Donald Trump’s campaign for the Presidency.  He regarded all the trade deals as inimical to US interests.   So, is there reason for Caribbean Community Common Market (CARICOM) countries to worry about their trade relationship with the US under the Trump Presidency? Let’s examine the facts, by starting with what Trump has said.  On his own website, he has stated quite categorically that he will withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified; tell Mexico and Canada – the … Continue reading

The end of ‘wet foot-dry foot’ – parting gift for whom?

Tomas Regalado, the Mayor of Miami – long a hot bed for Cuban exiles – has described as a “parting gift” the decision of the waning Obama administration to end the US ‘wet foot-dry foot’ policy toward Cubans seeking entry to the US.  The question is: a parting gift to whom? President Obama announced the decision on January 11 in a three-paragraph statement on Cuban Immigration Policy. Regalado believes the decision is a parting gift to Raul Castro, the Cuban President, with whom Barack Obama worked last year to establish diplomatic relations between their two countries after more than five … Continue reading

Passports: Sale or Saviour?

On January 1st,, “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. The broadcast clearly had no purpose except to denigrate – if not to emasculate – the CIPs and … Continue reading

Outraged for black womanhood

After a lifetime in Caribbean and international politics, I thought the time had long since passed when I could be outraged by any event. But I was outraged last week and I continue to seethe over the fact that Pamela Ramsey Taylor, the Director of a Clay County, West Virginia, non-profit who was removed from her post after she called Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” in a November Facebook post, will be re-instated in her job on December 23.  What signal does this re-instatement send to Americans, black and white?   Indeed, what statement does it make to the rest … Continue reading

2016 Throne Speech: A Commentary

by William Joseph A standard feature of the British parliamentary system (Westminster) is the annual Speech where Her Majesty’s Government discloses its legislative agenda for the ensuing term. In Grenada, the Speech tends to be more about general policies and updates than legislation. The 2016 Speech does not contain a legislative agenda, as such. Interestingly, the Throne Speech is not a particularly popular political product among citizens; but investors, businesses and Trade Unions tend to pay it some attention. While promises excite ordinary voters, policies cause others to think! Thinking (reading, listening and reflecting/assessing) is not a widespread aspect of … Continue reading