Monday, October 11, 2010

Caricom wants to free the Turks!

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has issued a statement about the Turk & Caicos, which became so corrupt and chaotic that Britain had to adopt direct rule last year:
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has noted with great concern the recent decision of the British Government to postpone indefinitely general elections in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Those elections were due to be held in July 2011. This decision will result in the continuation of the imposition of direct rule from London for an undetermined period and, consequently, in a delay in the return to constitutional government.

This recent disquieting development reinforces the view of the Caribbean Community that the imposition of direct rule is totally at odds with the development of good governance, including improved fiscal and administrative management, in the Turks and Caicos Islands – the professed aim of the policy of the British Government. That objective cannot be met by the continued disenfranchisement of the Turks and Caicos Islanders, by the denial of their inalienable right to shape their own future nor by the artificial widening of the voter base.

Good political and fiscal governance cannot be handed down. Its nature and contours have to be moulded by the people of the territory. The Caribbean Community therefore once again calls for direct rule to be replaced by self rule and for a return to democracy for the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands an Associate Member of the Caribbean Community.
Well, there's nothing too problematic with all of that -- except for that large grey pachyderm sitting rather quietly in the corner of this particular room: that self rule is a sham. The Turks & Caicos, (which has a history of being a rather mucky little secrecy jurisdiction, achieving a remarkable 0 percent transparency rating from our Mapping the Faultlines project) never was independent. It is a British Overseas Territory, partly controlled by Britain. Just take a look at the flag. And note what Wikipedia says about these places:
"The head of state in the overseas territories is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. . . . The Queen appoints a representative in each territory to exercise her executive power. . . . a Governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government, usually a retired senior military officer, or a senior civil servant."
In short, Britain is in control for the stuff that matters on the international stage -- that is, the tax havenry -- while the locals have a veneer of control for that pesky domestic stuff. This is just one more pointer to what we have been saying all along: Britain has been the most important force in the offshore world for half a century.

Reminder: read something about how it all happened, here.

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