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Friday, September 30, 2011


The turn of events around the revocation of Richard’s diplomatic visa has been baffling to say the least; but should “baffling” be our right frame of mind? He has apparently caused untold damage to St. Lucia’s image worldwide; and like a kid holding a grenade in his hand, he acts as if he is either blissfully unaware of what lies before him and the implications or that he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

The news about his visa revocation assumed international proportions paralleling the international publicity St. Lucia received when Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1992. It has saturated the international press as well as the social media networks; the news has spread from the Caribbean to China and Taiwan; from Europe to the USA, Latin America and Canada; from Australia to Africa to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh etc. It is simultaneously being widely broadcast on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  It cannot be a good moment for that innocent and tiny speck of dust called St. Lucia.

Richard wants the world to believe that he is an innocent person framed by certain elements in St. Lucia, even citing Wikileaks to support his claims. On the one hand, he claims that his two American visas were revoked without any basis; or on the basis of hearsay. If that were the case, then it’s a serious indictment on the credibility of the Bridgetown Embassy and also the US States Department; (and some St. Lucian journalists including Timothy Poleon, Rick Wayne, Andre Paul) seem to believe his story completely). On the other hand, he proceeds to simultaneously falsify his own conspiracy theories by claiming that he does not know the reason(s) or circumstances for the revocation.

The revocation of a diplomatic visa of a minister especially from a friendly nation by the world’s superpower is an extraordinary, earth-shattering event much bigger than this small island. If what Richard says is true in respect of the baselessness of the US action, then the entire staff of the US embassy and the US State department should be summarily dismissed and Richard should be compensated in proportion to the magnitude of the injustice against him. But Richard himself is overwhelmingly confused, hovering between two contradictory versions of what he perceives to be the truth; and in the heat of the moment, he may not have given deep thought about his pronouncements.  

I believe in the presumption of innocence until proven guilty; but Richard gives the impression that he is guilty of something: whether it be he feels guilty about his hitherto non-disclosure of the truth or it means that he is coming down with an extremely guilty conscience weighing crushing his soul – and that may be the “third dimension” of the revocation which we all seek.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It never rains but it pours; and from all indications it is now “pouring” on the UWP (or should I say the Super-8). It has been brought to our attention the UWP is about to face another major setback.

It is reported that Foreign Minister, Rufus Bousquet is now in neighbouring Martinique undergoing treatment for allegedly two different terminal conditions. We have been reliably informed that he is under heavy medication and one of the conditions may require urgent surgery.

We wish him well; but we also look forward to him to be honest and transparent with us in Choiseul/Saltibus by making full disclosure to us in that regard.

In the event he wins (which is highly unlikely), we would not wish to go through another episode like that of Sir John who knew beforehand that he was afflicted by a terminal condition and passed away in less than a year after assuming office.

Mr Bousquet, please come clean with us and let us know about your illness.



Chen Shui-bian now in Jail
What do Ambassador Chou, Rufus Bousquet and Richard Frederick have in common?  Mr Chou was appointed by former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian who has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on charges of corruption. Mr Bousquet has served two prison terms in the USA (for identity theft and grand theft auto) and continues to collaborate with Mr Chou in the breaking of the supreme law of the land.

Now that Uncle Sam has revoked the personal and diplomatic visas of the embattled Minister for Housing, will the next move be to seek his extradition, in the same way that he sought the extradition of “Dudus” Coke?

At the moment, unconfirmed reports are rife that the Cabinet of Ministers fearing for their political future has mandated the PM to fire the embattled minister. Whether fired or resigned, will the departure of the Minister remove him the deep quagmire he has put St. Lucia and himself? What are the implications of his departure from Government?

The “HOT, COOL & VICIOUS” is an analogy or even an allegory “indexing” the character of our government.  It makes some stunning revelations about the nexus between our sacrosanct ministers of government, the media and the underground narco-trafficking network.

The Hot: Wang Tao
Many of us may have seen the Movie “The Hot, The Cool and The Vicious” starring Delon Tam (The Cool), Wang Tao (The Hot) and Tommy Lee (The Vicious). In the movie, “Mr Cool” and “The Hot” (Government Officers) set out on a mission to investigate an underground counterfeiting and drug trafficking network operated by the Mayor of the Town (Mr Wong).

When the Mayor found out that he was under investigation, he hired the vicious (a notorious bandit) to protect him and to go in pursuit of the investigators and to kill them both.

The movie ends with the Cool and the Hot combining their superior Kung Fu skill to defeat the chief crook (the Vicious). They also effectively destroyed Mr Wong and his network.

 As is the usual case with Kung Fu movies, ”The Hot, The Cool and the Vicious” is an action-packed thriller but it also has a nice, simple yet relevant moral. The narrative of the movie (which coincidentally was filmed in Taiwan) has many striking similarities to real life in the Caribbean, where allegations of corruption and criminality about government officials - who use their positions of power to cover for their illegal and criminal activities - abound.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica is believed to have distinguished itself as a violent society. In fact, it is referred to in the international press as “the murder capital of the world”.

There is a school of thought among native Jamaicans that the culture of violence has its genesis in an incipient “cultural revolution” in the ghettos, allegedly masterminded by former JLP Edward Seaga in the pursuit of his ambitions for political power. Two of the major bye products of that revolution are believed to be “garrison politics” and a dynasty of Dons (such as the Coke family).

Up to today, places like Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens (Jungle), Mountain View, Water House, August Town and a host of downtown communities are regarded as “garrison constituencies” run by Dons who are not only intermediaries between the politicians and the electorate; but also major beneficiaries of shady “vote-catching” government contracts. While those phenomena have brought political and economic gains to politicians, they have at the same time also significantly contributed to the destruction of the moral fabric of the Jamaican society. They have encouraged a culture of dependence and mendicancy especially within the corporate area.

In the context of what is happening in St. Lucia, an appropriate question worth asking is: Is the Jamaican political model being imported here? Are we developing or have we developed a Don culture facilitated by politicians like Richard Frederick Rufus Bousquet, Doddy Francis and Mr Chou? You will remember that the former President of Taiwan who appointed Mr Chou is now saving a life sentence for corruption!

 Indeed, the proliferation of “political” contractors who are campaign managers, heads of constituency groups and the chairpersons and members of the towns and village councils appointed by Richard Frederick dominate the political landscape in St. Lucia. That was exactly how the Don culture in Jamaica started; and it was out of that culture of political patronage that the Coke dynasty emerged.

The mission of the “Dons” is clear: to ensure victory for his candidate by any means necessary. The role of Mr Chou (whose tenure is currently under review by Taiwanese government) and the involvement of politicians with questionable character (like Richard Frederick and Rufus Bousquet) are creating a new “Super-Don” in St. Lucia. I refer to the phenomenon as “Super Don” because of the involvement of legislators, foreign diplomats and elements of the local press (newspaper publishers, talkshow hosts and newsmen who act as a protective belt for the offending legislators and the diplomats).

That phenomenon explains why certain atrocious and politically inappropriate phenomena (such the criminality of Bousquet, the CIA/FBI allegations of narco-trafficking, customs fraud by ministers of government, Tuxedo affair and allegations of murder against at least two Ministers) are perennially pushed under the carpet of journalistic amnesia. To put is differently, some elements of the local press/media are obviously paid to do the dirty laundry of Ministers with criminal records and/or history.

Of course, collusions between the media and criminal elements in any society (especially if those elements are entrenched in government) are extremely dangerous and even potentially treasonable and can substantially impact on the growth and quality of our democracy with serious implications for our national security. In a parliamentary democracy, a lot devolves on the press. A problematic press that trades professionalism for underhand silver mirrors a problematic democracy and in fact may even be a factor in the degeneration of that democracy.

The introduction of Mr Chou has confirmed some of our worst fears about the integrity of media. It is obvious that the press/media has thrown a protective belt around him. While we are not privy to the exact nature of the interface between them, we have enough anecdotal evidence to help us formulate rational conjectures that point in the direction of an existing unholy alliance between them.

 It is in the context of those conjectures that we seek answers to the following questions: (1) Why haven’t the media taken issue with Mr Chou’s violations of the constitution and Finance Act? (2) Why is Mr Chou being defended by the most popular talk show hosts in St. Lucia? (3) Do the answers have to do with the protection of the government by the press/media? (4) Is it a special “red envelope” contract with Mr Chou? The media can always prove us wrong.

Mr Chou can do anything in St. Lucia in the name of diplomatic immunity. He can’t face the judiciary. But the Ministers can – at least in theory. Except for the former controller of Customs who arrested a minister for customs fraud, will the judiciary ever arraign a minister of government for violations of the law? In other words, will the public servants ever arrest and prosecute their bosses? And if they do what will be the outcome?

Remember, the public servants (the police and their magistrates) take their policy directives from the Ministers; the Ministers provide policy leadership; the public servants follow their directives and instructions. Will a minister of Government therefore issue a directive to have him or his cabinet colleague arrested for breaking the Finance Act and the constitution? These may happen in advanced democracies like Britain, USA and Germany but do we expect it happen in St. Lucia, especially under the King Administration, except under “earth-shattering” public or external pressure as was the case of Walter Francois and Richard Frederick.

What is happening in St. Lucia today has an embarrassingly “striking parallelism” to the events in the Movie “The Hot, the Cool and the Vicious”. [j2] In that movie – as is the exact case in St. Lucia - the very persons who were the threats to national security are the ones calling the shots. In the movie, the mayor of the town (Mr Wong) who was in the centre of a deadly counterfeiting ring was also the authority who gave instructions to the law-enforcement authorities.

How does a small helpless country like St. Lucia deal with that “fictional” dilemma currently engulfing us? Our options are limited, perhaps zero; and I am sure that our foreign minister understands that, it is in these prevailing circumstances that the watchful eyes of the eagle have come into play under the framework of the “Roosevelt Corollary” (RC). Under the RC, Uncle Sam has appointed himself as the hemispheric policeman; and every embassy in the Caribbean are playing the role of police outpost if not an outright hemispheric US police station.

While the Roosevelt Corollary (which is an outcome of the Monroe Doctrine) has its disadvantages, it also has many advantages. In Grenada, it ensured that the murderers of Maurice Bishop could not sit in as a legitimate government. In St. Lucia, it is ensuring that drug barons clothed in ministerial attire do not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

To ensure that we are all on the same wavelength, let us conclude by unraveling together the mystery of “The Hot, Cool & Vicious” operating in St. Lucia. I claim the Commissioner is “Mr Cool” and the FBI/CIA is “The Hot”. Does Mr Cool have the courage and resources to break the back of Mr Wong’s Network? Obviously no. He needs the support of the “Hot”! who has far more “intelligence” and resources. In fact, “The Hot” has proactively delivered a crucial first blow to the network by revoking Mr Wong’s visas. There is a need for “Mr Cool” and “The Hot” to work together to investigate the legendary mayor of the town (Mr Wong) and neutralise his underground narco-trafficking network operating in St. Lucia. Mr Wong is (or was) a Minister of Government with responsibility for the entire Local Government Network. Sometime ago, he walked through Customs with over US$300,000 in cash without declaring it. He was not searched by Mr Cool; but he was searched in Puerto Rico by “the Hot” who was probably angry at Mr Cool’s ineptitude. The Vicious is an “element” in the Press/media led by a newspaper publisher and his sidekick TP.  


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


“It’s my understanding – and that’s one of my disappointments in all of this – that this actually transpired quite some time before we heard about it.”- Tucker

That’s how Tucker “de-manti” his partner Richard; and Richard will eventually find out that he can’t take anything the foreign minister says “to the bank”. He may wish to use “Spider” as a reference in that regard.

It is apparent that in his attempt to avoid full disclosure on the visa revocation issue, Richard has been hiding behind a mountain of untruths and conspiracy theories. However, the conspiracy theories are pointing to a naked truth which Richard is eager to hide at all costs. Like a cornered Pit bull, Richard is firing at everybody in all directions citing conspiracy theories as the basis for the revocation of his visas. He pretty well knows the diplomatic protocol of the US State Department precludes any public disclosure about him. Unless a smart investigative journalist had perchance made the discovery, if Janine had not, then there’s a possibility that we would have never known the truth for a long, long time.

Let us look at the general trajectory of Richard’s defense since the disclosure was made. When the news was broken to him, he denied any knowledge about it and he said he was shocked. One week later on his “Can I help you” show, he revealed that he received confirmation of the revocation of his visas; but he never got notice of the intention of the revocation. He said he did not know of the reasons for the revocation of his visas. He has invariably blamed the revocation on third parties, citing conspiracy theories as the major thrust of his attacks. The question therefore is: if he knows “WHO” caused the revocation of his visas, then why he does not know “WHY” the revocation happened? I guess we will have to wait a couple more months for Mr Assange to tell us the truth.

I don’t believe Bousquet’s double-entendre pronouncements. He said, he was aware that the revocation “actually transpired quite some time before we heard about it”. It’s ironic that he was able put a time-lime on WHEN the revocation happened but he claimed he never knew that it happened. That is obviously a half-truth! I believe Bousquet would have had knowledge of the matter by virtue of his position as foreign minister, unless the Americans did not trust or recognize him in that capacity because of his own “persona non-grata” position in the US. Nonetheless, I believe that he had both knowledge and understanding of the revocation; but he wanted to protect Richard to protect his own self.

In addition to highlighting a fundamental constitutional/democratic flaw, the visa revocation issue has taught us a very important lesson.  The constitutional flaw has allowed an issue of high profile, national importance to turn on conjecture and spin; and not fact and truth.

The Richard Frederick visa revocation controversy has presented us with an opportunity to strengthen our democracy by amending our constitution to include a provision for public hearings to investigate critical “public stakeholder” issues which may adversely impact the governance of the country.  I am talking about a provision which makes it compulsory for parliamentarians/Ministers of government and senior public servants to testify under oath before a parliamentary and/or the integrity commission (headed by an independent High Court judge) to facilitate honest disclosures on a range of critical matters of national importance. Ministers escape with murder when it comes to disclosures.  I believe this mechanism would give meaning to accountability and transparency which remain largely theoretical concepts in our fledgling democracy. Ministers must realize that their “knowledge and understanding” of public issues/phenomena are not their personal preserve; but the property of the public they serve.