Opposition suspected major driving force behind UK’s decision on visa requirement

The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) of Dominica has been extensively involved in the campaign of defaming the country’s renowned Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Opposition suspected major driving force behind UK’s decision on visa requirement
Opposition suspected major driving force behind UK’s decision on visa requirement

Roseau, Dominica: The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) of Dominica has been extensively involved in the campaign of defaming the country’s renowned Citizenship by Investment Programme.

It has ultimately led to major damage to the integrity of the programme, making the United Kingdom suspend the visa-waiver agreement. 

However, the claims put forth by UWP while tarnishing the image of the CBI Programme and the Dominica government have turned out to be hollow. They have presented no evidence to prove the leg of their stories. 

A Trinidad-based news organization- Writeups 24, recently published an editorial outlining the political dynamics within Dominica. It also sheds light on the ways adopted by the opposition UWP in putting the ruling government into negative shades by leveraging international media. 

The organization pointed out that the opposition remains the major driving force behind the UK’s decision. There was only a single piece of evidence which was a document signed by the Leader of Opposition Lennox Linton, stating that they would award diplomatic status in exchange for election funding. The document has received global attention. 

Al Jazeera, one of the world-leading news providers, uncovered the story behind the allegations with the sting operation. The entire scenario showcased the involvement of the UWP in maligning the integrity of Dominica, which has remained great implications for its citizens. 

Writeups 24 further cited an example of visa restrictions of Canada on St Kitts and Nevis. It clearly outlined that the opposition’s drama and propaganda led the country to face these restrictions during the tenure of Dr Denzil Douglas. 

The controversy was sparked by opposition after the government of Canada detained Alireza Moghadam (Iranian), who was the holder of a diplomatic passport issued by Dr Douglas’ government. The opposition coalition Team Unity launched a defamation campaign against the government, drawing the anger of the Canadian government. 

In response to the misuse of diplomatic status, the government of St Kitts and Nevis also revoked the passport of Moghadam. However, the matter was continuously dragged by the opposition making the Canadian government to revoke the visa-waiver agreement. They also made promises to reinstate the agreement after coming into power, their efforts over seven years bore no fruit. 

On the other hand, the visa-free travel agreement was reinstated in June 2023 when Dr Douglas was appointed as the Foreign Minister. 

Dominica’s case resembles with St Kitts and Nevis

The editorial asserted that there is a great resemblance between the two cases as the opposition and their leader Lennox Linton played a major role in influencing the international perception of the country rather than the actions of the government. 

While highlighting campaigns of the opposition, the editorial emphasized that Linton has also done interviews with several international news providers, including CBS’s 60 minutes and prominent UK channels and criticized the CBI Programme of Dominica. The political narratives and negative image building has made the country to loss the UK’s visa-waiver agreement. 

Besides this, the countries in the Caribbean were often seen granting citizenship to individuals of questionable character. However, unlike St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica, the oppositions in the other countries were witnessed while adopting a silent approach to safeguard the integrity of the programmes. 

Stance of other countries

Writeups 24 quoted the example of Antigua and Barbuda, where citizenship was granted to the fugitive Indian businessman Mehul Choksi. However, the take of the opposition was quite different from that of Dominica as they remained silent despite the reputation of Mehul Choksi is evidently questionable at the international level. 

Along with that, St Lucia is also on the list of these stances as its current CBI Minister, Dr Ernest Hilaire, has also included in issuing a diplomatic passport to Walid Jufalli, reportedly to help him evade a divorce lawsuit. However, there was no movement or agitation to be seen among the opposition.

Besides this, the Grenadian incident in which an individual used the passport of the country to travel to the US for money laundering purpose was reported in Al Jazeera. The incident didn’t spark any kind of agitation among the opposition. The entire scenario stated that two things, such as political motivation and a unified approach to preserve the integrity of the country, determine the approach. 

The Caribbean nations, also known as small island countries, often face constraint in the resources preventing them from establishing their own embassies or consulates around the world. They prefer to choose high repute individuals to serve as their diplomatic representatives abroad. 

The approach also signifies the building of the trust of these nations while placing their chosen diplomats. It has also sparked the possibility that our of every 1—person selected for any role, there is a chance of some of the persons engaging in untoward activities. 

However, the hard-work of hundreds of others in enhancing the country’s bilateral relations should not be judged in the parallel of the people engaging in illicit activities. These Caribbean nations have also responded to the unlawful activities with immediate action. They have revoked the status of the individuals having citizenship or passports of these Caribbean nations, signalling their seriousness in upholding their values and legal principles. 

Lennox Linton and Al Jazeera’s documentary

Al Jazeera also launched a documentary called “Diplomats for Sale” in 2019, citing the involvement of Lennox Linton, the leader of the opposition United Workers Party in Dominica, in offering a diplomatic passport in exchange for campaign financing.

He asked for election funding in exchange for a diplomatic passport. Linton’s signed document was shown in the documentary showcasing that the diplomatic passport would be given to the undercover journalist in exchange for $400,000 for campaign financing.

However, Linton denied all allegations and said that he had never met Seraphin, which was contradicted by the footage of Linton meeting with Seraphin. Seraphin also confirmed that he had offered to pay Linton for a diplomatic passport.

Political Defamation and Visa-waiver

Writeups 24 pointed out that there is a great link between internal political dynamics and the international implications. The traits of these linkages were perfectly seen in the case of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis. The cases showcased the influence of the opposition’s propaganda on domestic politics as well as the country’s international standing. 

There should be the implementation of the stringent approach against the political establishments in the Caribbean countries. They must work on strengthening their due diligence and protect the integrity of their programmes. It will not only protect the domestic integrity but also safeguard the international relations. 

Caribbean countries and the climate change

The effects of climate change are not invisible to the world, but the fact might be that small island nations such as Caribbean countries are prone to these changes. The countries are adversely affected by the climate shift, which is mainly caused by the countries, including Europe, the UK, and the US. 

Despite contributing less than 1 per cent to global warming, these island countries have become the major victims of the industrial activities of these developed nations. Category 5 hurricanes also trigger these countries and cause the lost of 200 per cent of their GDPs. 

Dominica, which was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017, caused an estimated $2.2 billion in damage. Several other Hurricanes, such as Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Mathew in 2016, and Hurricane Georges, caused the fragility of the economies of these countries.