The “unwise” and narrowly partisan framing by the political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) against the functioning of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) has to be yet another blot on his plate, and surely another sign that he is being less patriotic than one would imagine from a person claiming to want to lead Antigua and Barbuda in the future.
Caribbean Times can take no comfort in the fact that Senator Harold Lovell would rather go out of his way to score political points, than to bring real mechanisms to the table than can strengthen the integrity of the CIP, and to ensure that there is enhanced accountability and transparency with regards to this economic facility that has helped to ease much of economic forlorn that was brought to bear on the country due to the many failures of the broad macroeconomic policies instituted under the UPP before it was overwhelmingly voted out of office in June of 2014.
The fact is that Senator Lovell’s desperation in what may be described to be a naked grab for the Office of Prime Minister becomes more apparent with each of his incredulous mouthing, backed by a Senator Damani Tabor, himself an alarmist. Some are even suggesting in public circles, that Tabor’s squeamish outbursts and unfettered loquaciousness present him to be more akin to being in enmity with the progress of Antigua and Barbuda, than a friend of the local population. Surely, Antigua and Barbuda is in need of investments and other economic activities from the proceeds of the CIP?
Indeed, the CIP has been innovatively enhanced and put in a position to be able to withstand the toughest scrutiny from countries such as the USA and Canada. The CIP inflow of capital has managed to be used in such ways as to lower the multiple and huge debts bequeathed to the 20-month old, Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) administration. Put differently, the CIP has been a very useful short and medium term strategy tool to repair the country’s fiscal situation while at the same time, being used in part to stimulate growth and to cater to some social engineering which were largely devoid under the lack-lustre performances of the UPP when in government.
It is malicious, ridiculous, and absolutely counter-productive to make benign the CIP which the UPP introduced to this country, hugely because the ABLP is at the helm of government. It is a partisan nonsense coming from the jaundiced approach and ironic selfishness of the UPP key spokespersons. Without any sense of thought before deed, they have become anatomically unbalanced in their utterances when they use scare tactics to ward of potential investors and potential contributors to the CIP.
Senators Lovell and Tabor in particular, are not simply being unwise in shouting ‘illegality’ because a board is not in place; but they are willing to take bread out of the mouths of our nation’s children and deny many people that were previously unemployed or underemployed from grabbing a job as opportunities open up with the growth of the economy.
The languishing Lovell and the terrifying Tabor are willing to take the low road to political office, by using the most debase ways of criticism and stirring up mischief. The high road appears to ethically straight or morally defined for them; this is, knowing full well that the Antigua and Barbuda economy is dependent on this welcomed revenue source privileged through the CIP. Shameful, Lovell and Tabor! Caribbean Times wants to know how far you will go Senator Lovell to achieve your political ambitions while the country falls apart, and people hold their bellies from the hunger pangs which you first brought to the citizens and residents during your tenure as Minister of Finance? Please be tactical in opposition, rather than suggesting that you would be tyrannical in government.
Caribbean Times urges you to stop with your pessimistic charade and start thinking of the damage that you will do to your fellow countrymen and women realising the benefits of a CIP that is being commended for having appropriate safeguards. Yes, criticise the Government, bring things in the open, and while you are at it, provide realistic and workable alternatives. But please, stop bad mouthing and castigating everyone that wears a red shirt. Stop lambasting the foreign entity that wants to go through the legal processes to obtain an Antigua and Barbuda passport while contributing to the national wealth.
Finally, as a step in the right direction, Caribbean Times is urging you to carry out a forensic investigation on the UPP. If the UPP is to become a party capable of once again sitting in the seat of government, there are too many things that have been publicly stated over the last nine months or so that demand internal investigation. Investigate and then give a subsequent report to the public. The country needs to know why it is that a UPP Member of Parliament, one elected by the people, would be referenced in terms of being a ‘traitor’, when in fact, some recent statements by you and other UPP persons appear more fitting to hold such a label. This is a conclusion based entirely on your misstatements and veiled threats being directed at the CIP and holders of citizenship obtained under the CIP intiative.