Former Attorney General and founder of the 12th of July Movement, Bernard Wiltshire, is criticizing the much talked about Citizenship by Investment (CIB) Program, arguing that Dominica cannot be developed by selling passports.
He made that statement while addressing the 203rd Anniversary of the Death in Battle of Maroon ‘Chief Jacko, held at the Old Market Square on Sunday.
The CBI Program offer investors the opportunity to legally acquire a new nationality or second passport.
“Look at our country. What are we doing? We are selling the country off,” Wiltshire argued. “We think we can develop the country by selling passports. What a shame, what a disgrace. In effect, they are giving the country away. What happened if you say you are depending upon selling of citizenship? Total strangers with equal rights to every single one who was born in this land and you continue to sell and sell because you want to make more and more money. What will happen? You don’t have to think hard about it.”
Wiltshire indicated that a time will come when there are more people who bought their citizenship than there are citizens who were born in Dominica.
“And that is how they will be dispossessed finally and we will deserve it,” he stressed.
According to him the Bible says, “those who have more will be given and they will have in abundance but from those who have not even the little that they have will be taken away, because they have ears and they cannot hear, they have eyes but they cannot see and they have no understanding.”
He then called on the spirits of the ancestors to assist Dominica.
The country’s CBI program has been stoutly defended by the government.
During a meeting in Soufriere on May 23rd 2016, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit defended its legitimacy saying it has met international standards for due diligence.
The Prime Minister has previously described criticisms of the program as malicious and unfounded and promoted the program as an important tool of economic activity in Dominica.
In January 2016, Dominica’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Dr. Vince Henderson said the program was managed properly and it had raised about $124-million in six months.
Dominica’s CBI program gained the last spot in Henley & Partners’ Global Residence and Citizenship Programs for 2016. Henley & Partners is a residence and citizenship planning company. However, the report was trashed by Founder and President of Apex Capital Partner, Nuri Katz, who said Henley is only interested in promoting its own products. Apex Capital Partner is working with the government of Dominica on its CBI Program.
St Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda are the two other Caribbean countries that are part of the CBI Program.