On Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, United Workers Party (UWP) Leader Allen Chastanet published his weekly address in a video/audio format, which was then transcribed by St. Lucia News Online. See full text below.
Fellow St. Lucians, what do we know about the Labour Party? We all know that if they are going to do something that is beneficial to St. Lucia and St. Lucians they would be the first to promote it.
But here, we have the appointment of Dr. ((Walid Ahmed) Juffali as ambassador to International Maritime Organization and we heard about his appointment through The Telegraph, we are also learning that his appointment was almost two years ago. So the question is: if he is so great, why didn’t the Labour Party announce and promote him when they made his appointment? But maybe they knew then what we know now. and that is after almost two years.
Dr. Juffali has made no investments in St. Lucia. In fact, all that Dr. Juffali has done is not attend one of the 27 meetings that took place at the IMO. One has to question Dr. (Ernest) Hillaire, who remained the high commissioner of St. Lucia in London after Dr. Juffali was appointed. So the fact that Dr. Juffali did not attend those meetings, the question is: did he turn a willful blind eye to what was going on?
The Labour Party keeps asking why are we concerned. We are concerned because the reputation of St. Lucia is at stake, security at a time in which international security is at peak level and our core partners, the United States, Canada, UK and Europe, have all expressed concerns about the Citizenship by Investment Program, in addition to selling passports that some countries have actually sold diplomacy.
All the evidence that we have seen in front of our very eyes suggest that is exactly what is taking place with Dr. Juffali. We are asking the government, if that is not so why not do the right thing: ask Dr. Juffali to step down, but no, instead the Labour Party continues to defend what appears by all of us to be indefensible.
Fellow St. Lucians, this is a serious matter, we cannot be found wanting with our core partners. In fact, we are going to start a Citizenship By Investment program, and the same person, Dr. Hillaire, who was the high commissioner, is now the chairman of that committee of the Citizenship by Investment program. It raises alarm bells because it suggests exactly what they were concerned with the other two islands, that St. Lucia is at jeopardy of doing the same thing.
We are not unfamiliar with this kind of behaviour. We saw it with Grynberg, where the Prime Minister signed a contract that did not go to Parliament nor Cabinet. In fact, not even the Governor General knew about it.
31 Cubans came through the doors of St. Lucia, even though they were announced that they were coming through, and that they were specifically coming to St. Lucia, so that they can get on a boat to go to the USVI. We did nothing. Same situation with Lambirds, where not only were the schools setup, we still don’t understand how it was set up. The students were advertised and promoted to come to St. Lucia to study and then to be able to get visas to go to United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. We have a situation where a vote at the Ukrainian UN was made and St. Lucia abstained. We have a situation in which the Prime Minister was invited to a meeting where vice president Biden was going to be at and he did not attend.
So while any one of these things by itself may not seem conspicuous, it is now the combination, because it shows a pattern. It is imperative that this government put St. Lucia back on the right track and start making amends for some of these decisions and to give answers, not only to St. Lucians, but also to the world as to what is going on in St. Lucia.
Fellow St. Lucians, United Workers Party will remain resolute in protecting the name of St. Lucians, and while we know all of us are concerned about the crime that is taking place in this country, and this is something that pains all of us, but when we start jeopardising the security of our country, when we allow the impasse situation to remain unresolved, when we start playing with the constitution and the civil liberties of our people, this is something for all of us to be fearful about.
I am asking the Labour Government to do the right thing, come clean, put St. Lucia back on track.
I thank you.