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(SNO) — Legal adviser to the government of Dominica, Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan, has said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is acting like a “lone ranger” in a number of issues affecting the region.
His comments came in light of a meeting of five Caribbean leaders, including Chastanet, with US President Donald Trump on Friday where a number of issues, including China and Venezuela will be discussed.
Astaphan told state-owned DBS Radio that there is no unified position among OECS and CARICOM leaders on a number of regional matters, saying some are acting selfishly.
“Some prime ministers, like Mr. Chastanet, … how should I call them? The lone ranger?” he stated. “You cannot be a long ranger in Caribbean politics if in fact you are part of the OECS and CARICOM.”
The Chastanet-led government in Saint Lucia has taken a number of positions on regional issues which are contrary to the positions taken by other Caribbean governments.
For example, on the Venezuelan crisis, the government of Saint Lucia has said the election of Nicolas Maduro as president for a second term was illegal and called for new polls while at the same time maintaining diplomatic relations with Caracas. Other Caribbean countries have openly stood by Maduro while others have opted to remain silent on the matter.
On the issue of cash-strapped regional carrier, LIAT, Chastanet has made it clear that Saint Lucia will not buy shares in the airline unless it is free to make its own commercial decisions. Other governments have been calling more regional leaders to buy shares to keep LIAT afloat.
On the LIAT matter, Astaphans said Chastanet only has what Astaphan called, “his own pipe dream”.
Meanwhile, Astaphan said the meeting with Trump by the Caribbean is meaningless.
“In fact, I think the prime ministers, in particular the prime ministers from the OECS have shown complete disrespect for the unity of the OECS and CARICOM,” he said.