CIP Saint Lucia: According to a media report by MenaFN, Saint Lucia has made a massive reversal in its foreign policy. Reportedly, One month after a memo stating that Saint Lucia resumed processing Iranian applications.
In a statement, while announcing the cancellation of CIP for Iranians, Saint Lucia announced, “ Having monitored the ongoing global challenges and as a follow-up to official memorandums previously sent regarding the matter at the subject, please note that the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit shall not accept citizenship applications from nationals of the following three countries: The Russian Federation, The Republic of Belarus and, Iran,”.
Many agents and business leaders were taken aback by CIP Saint Lucia decision to adopt an on-and-off-again policy.
In the Caribbean region, there is still conflicting information about CIP. The program’s numerous variations produce few noticeable development results. There isn’t a single Caribbean/CARICOM position on CIP going forward, aside from a few well-documented CIP programs and development projects.
The CIP importance
For the unaware, the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), is a significant source of foreign investment and income for Saint Lucia, and is crucial to the development of the nation. By participating in the program and making a qualifying investment in Saint Lucia, foreign investors and their families are given the opportunity to become citizens of the island nation.
The CIP offers a different revenue stream that diversifies economy of Saint Lucia, which is heavily reliant on tourism. The money raised through the program can be used to support social programs, other government initiatives, and infrastructure projects like roads, hospitals, and schools.
Though, there is no concrete evidence to prove the fact that Saint Lucia has benefited significantly via Russian, Belarussian, and Iranian investment. Yet, the Saint Lucian CIP has been a great booster for the economy.
Also, there is a wave of Russian businesses and oligarchs scarpering away from the war, so, Castries had a chance to turn the opportunity into pure gold. However, the influence of the west on its foreign policy has always messed up Saint Lucian opportunities.
Read More: UK backstabs the Caribbean!
The influence of the West
Saint Lucian foreign policy has had a very deep influence of Western minds. The most recent CARICOM meeting proves so. In the most recently concluded CARICOM meeting, top officials from the US arrived. Whereas, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau himself was in the Bahamas for the meeting.
The leaders didn’t fall short of promoting Ukraine and asking them for aid. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for Caribbean Nations to take a stand in the war. And St. Lucia took a stand by closing the doors for Russia and its allies.
In the UN, Saint Lucia has been one of the most fierce opposers of Russia. From Voting for kicking Russia out of the human rights council and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Castries has been a pure-hearted West supporter.
Read More: The Road Ahead: Priorities and Opportunities for CARICOM
However, It needs to be argued that Saint Lucia would have been better off adopting a separate foreign than too closely aligned with Western powers. This would have allowed the nation to maintain more flexibility in its foreign policy and better position itself to advance its own interests on a global scale. However, in the end, it is up to Saint Lucia’s own people and leaders to decide what path its foreign policy will take.
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