Opposition admits to Antigua meeting

NEw Democratic Party Vice-President St. Clair Leacock (internet photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) yesterday confirmed that its leadership recently visited Antigua were it met with potential investors in this country.

The confirmation came on radio from NDP Vice-President and Central Kingstown Representative Major St. Clair Leacock.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told reporters on Monday that he had “impeccable” intelligence that the NDP leadership met in Antigua two weeks ago with NDP financiers interested in an economic citizenship programme here.

The NDP financier, he said, would fund a no-confidence motion in his 14-month-old, one-seat majority government, said Gonsalves, whose Unity Labour Party administration discontinued the economic citizenship programme when it came to office in 2001.

“It is quite within the realms of legitimacy for us to explore every rational, legitimate means to bring and improved income stream to this economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. If we don’t so it, then the people of the country suffers badly,” Leacock said of economic citizenship. He further said there is “no sin in examining a citizenship programme here”.

“It is no secret for us to say that the leadership of the New Democratic Party went to Antigua recently,” he said, adding that the leadership of the NDP leaving this country together for the same destination will send up a red flag among the state intelligence gatherers.

“… from the time we sign our immigration form at E.T. Joshua Airport, the Special Branch will call the Prime Minister and say ‘Mr. Eustace, Mr. Leacock, Dr. Friday, Vynnette Friday and the treasurer of the party are at the airport and they are departing to a destination’,” he said.

“We are intelligent to know that but we don’t participate, as a party, in clandestine activities. We are not in illicit activities. We don’t have suitcases coming here from military planes and have people parked on the tarmac at E.T. Joshua Airport and defy customs procedures and bring money into the economy.

“We don’t deposit million-dollar cheques into a bank account and don’t say where it come from. You have never seen or heard the Director of Audit indicate in the audit reports that so many accounts are unexplained for. We have always been above board with what we are doing,” Leacock said of the party that governed this country for 17 years and was voted out of office amidst accusations of corruption.

“The facts of the Antiguan visit [are] that we are a real party, we deal with flesh and blood issues and we understand [that], sooner rather than later, we will be government,” Leacock further said of the party that lost the 2001, 2005, and 2010 elections – although it came one seat shy of victory in the 2010 vote.

“We can’t wait either until an election bell rings or, alternatively, as it is inevitable, we assume the reins of government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to begin to scratch whatever little hair we have on our head or comb out the grey hairs, as they are coming into my face now, to say what are we going to do for the people of ‘St. Vincent and the Grenadines?’” he said.

He said the NDP leadership has bent their backs and put themselves to work for a long time, produced a practical manifesto, which, on the economic side, is in keeping with the provisions of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and other leading financial institutions.

“But hope without work is dead and, therefore, we don’t go and turn on the tap to get water unless you were building a dam. And this is the time to do that kind of spade work,” he said.

He said the Antigua visit was to ensure that an NDP administration can fulfil its election manifesto promises and to cement discussions with international investors.

“I can say and reaffirm categorically now that you put a New Democratic Party government in office tomorrow and the level of foreign direct investment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will increase significantly and you will see within a short time, a significant increase in job opportunities for Vincentians because the moneyed-interest, who believe in the democratic tradition, as we are committed to in the New Democratic Party, are prepared to bring the money here and invest in very many agencies, airport development included if it is necessary, and ensure that we not only can balance our budgets but we can have the surplus provisions there and strong public sector investment programmes and capital programmes, that … things that matter to people are realised,” he said.

He described Gonsalves’ ULP government as a “left leading administration that is leaning even further to the left and at a clip such that people are not bringing there monies onshore in the levels, in the quantum, that is necessary for impacting in a positive and meaningful way in the lives of people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“That is what we went to Antigua for. And if it is that any programme that is self-respecting and legitimate and does not impact negatively on the sovereignty of our people, would enhance the lives of the working people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, well the New Democratic Party doesn’t have to hang its head in shame. We are going to pursue all and every legitimate means, respectful means to enhance our people’s lives,” he further said.

Leacock lauded the success of economic citizenship programme in St. Kitts and Nevis and said other countries in the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada are considering such a programme.

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9 thoughts on “Opposition admits to Antigua meeting

  1. Is SVG Special Branch operating illegally in foreign countries? I remember Gonsalves in the past said he knew every word that was spoken in a hotel in Barbados.

    Barbados government and Antigua authorities need to beware of Vincentian secret police operating illegally in their countries.

    Beware of this evil Marxist regime from SVG.

    I am also worried about telephone and internet tapping and spying on electronic communications.

    US Embassy, and all other Governments in the Caribbean keep watching this regime.

    Posted by Peter | March 8, 2012, 12:18

    Posted by F.U.D.Z. | March 8, 2012, 13:48
    • F.U.D.Z, can you please explain how this economic citizenship works? How not doing it, constitutes valuing our Vincentianhood and why is it PIMPing the country. While you are at it, tell us if when we pay money to get a visa or citizenship to go America to live work and do business, if the Americans are pimping their country and selling their Americanhood. Explain why the Canadians, Americans and the other countries do it and benefit from it. Tell us why in this light, it is detrimental to SVG. I hope you can do this for us please so that we can check to see if your comment is based on knowledge of what you are speaking about or whether you are not just a ULP parrot.
      (No disrespect intended) I will await the education.

      Posted by roinuj | March 9, 2012, 11:07
  3. The NDP HAS A TERRIBLE PR TRACK RECORD AND THEY SEEM OBLIVIOUS TO THIS FACT AND HENCE IS DOING NOTHING TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE. What is so hard in the NDP issuing a public statement stating that they the leader is going to Antigua for a meeting to seek investment opportunities in the interest of the country. Had they done this, Gonsalves wouldn’t be coming in his press huggings to talk all this bullsh^# about some apparent clandestine operations by Eustace and co.

    Mr Cooke step your PR game up. You letting Gonslaves dictate and allow to spin YOUR message his way…stop being reactive and be proactive..the fact that Mr Leacock is NOW admitting that the PM was indeed right on the Antigua issue; an issue that most NDP SUPPORTERS WERE NOT AWARE OF, SPEAK VOLUMES TO THE SHORTCOMINGS OF THE NDP PR MACHINERY.


    Until the NDP starts singing from one hymn sheet with one clear voice…they going nowhere. Barring a monumental miscalculation on the part of Gonsalves…I cannot see how the NDP can force themselves back into office before 2015…my advice to the NDP is to start cleaning house, get rid of some dead weight and old timers.“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

    Posted by Saadiss | March 8, 2012, 16:40
  4. Saddist I do not agree with all that you have said here. I believe that the THE NDP loss the election largely because ULP use TOMAS to bribe poor Vincentians with Galvanize, lumber and cement. They said they would ah do that subsequent to the referrendum vote. NDP loss because people who should know better are easily bought. They are selfish and care very little about the national Good. i BELIEVE The NDP won those contituencies where there was a higher level of consciousness, and so, bribery could not be done easily.

    Don’t complicate the issue here. ULP is a immoral party with an immoral leader who is unprincipled and decency-void . Look at all the sh*t Ralph dun do and greedy people put them back dey. The NDP should hear you advice, I agree. But what about we the people? The power to change government is in our hands. Not NDP or ULP. When we keep voting back this crap government after all the sick things it have done to our blessed country, what does it say about us the people?

    Gonsolves and the ULP has gotton away with sh*t otherwise unknown or experienced in this country.. WHY?.. because we the people have allowed it to happen. For example, where in any decent democratic, christian and God loving God-fearing society could a leader of a country be charged for rape. The leader use the DPP’s office to nullifiy the thing, and christian-posing people hold a rally to support the accused and make excuses for that leader? Worse the leader is re-elected to governance. There are very few countries in the world where this could have happen. Yes. I agree that the NDP needs to clean house. But we the people of this country need to clean this country from the political septic waste that this ULP have dumped on our door steps. NDP has its works cut out for it but so do we the people of SVG.

    Posted by roinuj | March 9, 2012, 10:43
  5. ROINUJ, do you actually BELIEVE the NONSENSE you WROTE?

    Either you BELIEVE it or you are trying to put the WOOL over the EYES of the UNSUSPECTED.

    The ULP won the GENERAL ELECTION because they had a CLEARER VISION for the FORWARD PROGRESS of this BLESSED NATION and had a MULTITUDE of ACCOMPLISHMENTS that gave the majority of the voters the CONFIDENCE to VOTE them back to CONTINUE their GOOD GOVERNANCE in this the WORST GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS since the GREAT DEPRESSION of the 1930’s.

    We know of this current government’s PLANS, PROGRAMS, POLICIES and ACCOMPLISHMENTS in this REGARD.

    The NDP on the other hand has no VISION of WORTH to MOVE this NATION FORWARD. Unless of course you believe that SELLING VINCENTIAN PASSPORTS to UNSCRUPULOUS FOREIGNERS is the way to go.

    Moreover, when it comes to LEADERSHIP, only those who are CHALLENGED or DISINGENOUS would pick the INCOMPETENT Arnhim Eustace over Dr. Gonsalves.

    Furthermore, when you look at the FUTURE of each POLITICAL PARTY, the ULP has all the BRILLIANT YOUNG CANDIDATES in their camp…like a Saboto Caesar, a Luke Browne, a Rochelle Forde, a Michelle Fife and even a Camillo Gonsalves. I am CONFIDENT that there are more on the HORIZON, thanks to the EDUCATION REVOLUTION.

    Posted by VINCY POWA (@VINCYPOWA) | March 9, 2012, 15:35
  6. @ Ronjj after reading your piece I had to comment. You believe that the ULP won the last election because of bribery but people are smarter than you think . Listen even if you give people a million dollars and they dont want to wote for you they WONT..I remember the NDP was tellig people to take the stuff the ULP had to offer and still vote them out. How come people did not listen to the NDP?.. The people voted for the ULP because they WANTED to….plain and simple…… Voting is a secret thing,……No one had any gun to anyone’s head……. Listen in the refferandum it is said thst the ULP give 200 dollars to every school child to BUY the Yes Vote. And what happened? They still lost they referendum……. How come the money given to almost every house hold in SVG did not secure a larger majority voting YEs for the 2009 referandum? I am putting it to you the ULP won because the NDP is not united. They were confusing at best and totally off track on the issues at worst…one day they are for the airport and the next day they are against….a week before the elections they had all kinds of plans….. So stop this nonsense about bribery. The majority of the people voted for who they WANTED to vote for.

    You say the ULP is an immoral party and am sure there are some members who lack scrupples. But take a closer look at some members of the NDP. You are harping that the PM was accused of rape but i know of at least one memeber of the NDP who got a girl pregnant and she had to leave the Carapan Secondary School in form 3….. Is that not rape also?…the girl was bout 14 years old……. So stop with this damn holier than thou attitide. Both parties have persons with huge skeletons in their closets. However it is very clear that most vincentians think the Ralph Gonsalves is a better leader than Arnhim Eustace and the ULP can do a much better job than the NDP. And that my freind is the bottom line….

    Posted by poor you | March 9, 2012, 16:34
  7. Roinuj has asked some valid questions that should be addressed. I am not sure of what Arnhim plans are, but I think he’s heading in the right direction to generate jobs for the un-employed youths. I would like to see a time period of 2 – 3 years before citizenship is granted. This will give the government enough time to investigate the applicant.
    By the way what does rape have to do with this topic? You guys sound like a bunch of commess women, that can’t think of something positive to discuss.How low do you want to go?
    I tend to agree with the idea and I am not going to disagree with those who oppose it. We have to allow others to express their own opinions. To do otherwise is dictatorial and shows the George Bush mentality: “You are either with me or against me”. So who the hell are you that I can’t have a different opinion? Stop this school yard bullying, get serious about the issue and help to find employment for our youths.

    Posted by Vere | March 9, 2012, 22:05
  8. Hasn’t Gonsalves sold citizanship to people who have purchased property in Bequia? isn’t that what he accuses the NDP of?

    Gonsalves is a very nasty little fat Marxist mischief maker, living in the past, Humpty Dumpty the 20 dollar fertilizer man.


    Posted by Peter | March 10, 2012, 21:29

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