Tag Archives: St. Kitts & Nevis

Venezuela Declares Right to fly Warplanes over sovereign Caribbean Islands

Venezuela Air Force Sukhoi

by Peter Binose

In a speech on national television, Venezuela’s president Maduro reports that the air defense areas of the country have been expanded beyond the Windward Islands all the way up to St Maarten. President Nicolas Maduro, said that his country has the right to defend itself in the skies above the Dutch Antilles.

Venezuela is already a bully of the seas claiming areas that it does not own, now it appears they are trying to bully the airspace.

We have to remember how PM Ralph Gonsalves supported Venezuela’s sea grab of Bird Island. Just what kind of betrayal was that?

The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.

The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.

Under the International Law Of The Sea Aves Island is classified as a rock which does not get the 200mile economic zone, however Venezuela hasn’t signed the UNLOS treaty. This rock effectively removes a significantly removes most of the OECS’ economic zone.

… from Notes from the Margin article How Venezuela Controls the Caribbean Sea

“St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the OECS had accepted Venezuela’s sovereignty over Bird Island and that he would not allow anyone to dictate whether or not he should put pressure on the Government of Venezuela in relation to the issue”. Speaking at a press conference at the Caricom secretariat, Gonsalves said, “Nobody is going to tell me which questions are important.”

When public support for this type of Venezuelan communist regime wanes at home they try and turn public attention from local matters to the international theatre.   Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister shows the world what corruption is all about.

St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Douglas knows nothing about US$95,000 cheque.

There is a story brewing in St. Kitts and Nevis that is just one more example of what happens when those in government use their insider positions, knowledge, authority and influence to put money in their own pockets – or in the pockets of their close family members. It’s really all the same, you know.

It turns out that Kate Woodley, the mother of the children of recently re-elected Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, has a “consulting business” that received funds from the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party. It gets worse: she is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee at the St. Kitts and Nevis Consulate in Manhattan, New York.

That’s really all you need to know. Sure, we’ll tell you how those funds were directed and cleaned and processed to end up in the Douglas family bank account – but it really doesn’t matter.

All you need to know is right here… “Money donated to the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party by voters and businesses ended up in the personal bank accounts of family members of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.”

It gets worse…

During the recent election campaign the opposition People’s Action Movement had distributed copies of documents that appeared to show large sums of money passing through Lex’s accounts over the years, as well as copies of cheques including one for US$95,000 dated December 30th made out to Dr. Denzil Douglas.

Wednesday, Dr. Douglas acknowledged that his son, also Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, lived at the same address as the home-based company, but dismissed any knowledge of a cheque from Lex made out to him, the Prime Minister.

“I don’t know what cheque you’re speaking about,” the Prime Minister said.

… from the Winn FM article No Conflict Of Interest With Lex Says PM

It gets much worse…

Prime Minister Douglas is using the old “Nothing to see here, folks. Move along” defense…

“Several Government employees have private businesses, so that is nothing new.  There is no conflict of interest there,” Dr. Douglas said.

Public records indicate that Lex Consulting (LLC) is managed by Kate Alex Woodley, the mother of the Prime Ministers two children.  WINN FM understands that Ms. Woodley is an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assigned to the St. Kitts and Nevis New York-based Consulate Office in Manhattan.

Speaking at a press conference in the Parliamentary Lounge a Government Headquarters, the Prime Minister reiterated previous statements that Lex had provided consulting services to a number of companies including the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party.

… from the Winn FM article No Conflict Of Interest With Lex Says PM

Did any of Lex Consulting’s clients obtain government contracts at any time?

This gets worse because here is the way it happens… A government official will issue a government contract to a company we’ll call “Company A”. Company “A” then hires a “consulting” firm that just happens to be owned and run by the wife or lover of the same government official who issued the government contract to Company “A”.

Very slick.

The “consulting” done by the government official’s wife or lover is never on the project for which the contract was issued. It’s always some nebulous job like “office automation consulting” or “marketing consulting” – and the money is often deposited overseas.

For instance, into the New York bank account of the consulting company run by the Prime Minister’s ex-squeeze.

Slick. Very slick.

Probably No Rules Broken because like Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis doesn’t have Integrity Legislation

For over forty years Barbados politicians of both major parties have promised to introduce Integrity Legislation and conflicts of interest standards. The current DLP Thompson government is no exception. Thompson said he would implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct “immediately” upon forming a government, and would introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws within the first 100 days.

That was over two years ago – but the DLP have become very slick indeed at managing the political fallout from failing to keep their promises.

The latest ploy by the Democratic Labour Party and Prime Minister David Thompson was to suddenly announce that their proposed integrity legislation will include the private sector as well.

That just about guarantees failure for passing the legislation and the PM knows that. That’s why he included the private sector!

DLP Stage Managing to ensure failure of Integrity Legislation

So here’s the drill… The DLP will introduce something in late 2010 that will eventually die in process. Given just a little more time and the next election campaign will be approaching. The DLP will pull out a couple of old BLP scandals that they have been hoarding for the event. Thompson will wave around another couple of cheques at a rally similar to 2007 when he showed everyone the “campaign donation” cheque that then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur put into his personal bank account.

Thompson will claim that the BLP is blocking the legislation etc etc etc and that he needs a mandate from the people… and off we’ll go into the next election.

And Thompson and the DLP will have had four solid years of operating without Integrity Legislation or Freedom of Information laws.

That’s the way it is near Grape Hall on a Wednesday morning.

PM Thompson Says His Use Of CLICO's Business Jet Is None Of Your Business

As to transparency and conflicts of interest, one of David Thompson’s first official acts as a newly-elected Prime Minister was to borrow the corporate jet of a company that does business with the Barbados government – and to refuse to release any details of the costs and arrangements.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption