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OPINION: Gabou’s Double Standards

by: - January 18, 2017
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By: Voter – Roseau South

Mr. Gabriel Christian, prominent Dominican resident in the USA must not be allowed to impose himself as the moral voice in the ongoing debate over Dominica’s Economic Citizenship (EC) and Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program(s) before he first answer certain questions about what he knows for a fact went down with the DASS funds and land. He cannot remain deafeningly silent on his active role as General Counsel to the DAAS when character mattered. It appears now to be convenient for him to impose himself on the Dominican psyche as the voice of reason, fairness and objectivity. He must be called to answer the DASS questions before his demands can even be considered. For the avoidance of any doubt, other than remaining silent when it mattered most to the Dominican public, Mr. Christian did not do anything wrong in the DASS money and land matter. Infact he acted legally and properly to restore the organizations property to its original and rightful owner. But Mr. Christian loud echo in this passport matter is practicing double standards.

Rather than ask Mr. Linton to bring on the evidence that he has with respect to the wrongdoings associated with the management of Dominica’s Economic Citizenship Program (ECP), Mr. Gabriel Christian is rushing to supposedly give support to Lennox, but only to repeat the same hokum that has already been debunked over those many years. Some people think that because they can express themselves with the written word, everything they say is correct. AS a practicing attorney, it is reasonable that Mr. Christian would demand that the relevant evidence is provided. No amount of emotional talk about nationalism, corruption and selling of Dominica’s patrimony can compensate for “hard facts” on charges of criminal wrong doing.

Mr. Christian has made several demands of the government of Dominica. He wants a commission of enquiry; he wants an audit of the ECP. He wants to know where money is deposited and in whose name. He wants to know how money was spent and who benefitted from it. He wants to know this and he wants to know that. Only then will he, that great moral voice be satisfied that the management of the ECP is done properly. He appears to want information. However, the tone and language of his commentary suggests that he verily believes what has been fed to him by Lennox Linton and others on Q95 that PM Skerrit is guilty up to his ears with personally benefitting from the EC and CBI programs. Where is the evidence Gabou? Yes, the hard Evidence. Bearing in mind that PM Skerrit has categorically denied any wrongdoing with these two revenue generating activities of government, the time for innuendos, name calling, rampant unsubstantiated allegations and assumptions must stop now. Let us take the matter to the “Next level”. Provide the evidence.

But before I can agree with Mr. Gabriel Christian on his demands I want to tell him that I am aware that the people of Dominica to whom he has appealed to give Thompson Fontaine a chance with the treasury of Dominica also have questions for him. Now that Gabou has reinserted himself into the partisan politics of Dominica, ostensibly as a neutral voice, he should be reminded that The DASS fiasco with the unauthorized use of money and land is still very much alive. This is so because Gabriel Christian wants Dominicans to look to Thompson Fontaine and the UWP as the savior of Dominica’s Treasury. But what is Thompson’s record in managing other people’s property – money and land? So I ask the following.

Can you Mr. Christian confirm the circumstances why, in your capacity as the General Counsel to the DASS, you wrote Thompson Fontaine several emails asking him to return money that Thompson had transferred from the DASS account to his personal account? Remember Gabou, Thompson was the Treasurer of the DASS – a not for Profit NGO. Did you Gabou write Thompson Fontaine and threatened to take legal action against him for not returning the funds as he was so instructed? You should also confirm that the money was indeed transferred from the DASS funds to Thompson’s personal account without permission. Did you Gabriel Christian prepare a “Power of Attorney” (PA) document for Thompson’s signature with respect to the delayed return of the funds? What was the true intent of that document? Was it to legalize the transfer of the funds into the name and account of Thompson Fontaine? Or was it to get the DASS to exercise its legitimate control of the funds? Did Thompson sign the PA as you demanded? Did you Gabriel Christian warned officers of the Board of the DASS that it was immoral and unethical for officers of the organization, DASS, to help themselves to the property of the DASS? Did you write such a warning letter/email, Sir? Finally, Sir, are you aware that even after you wrote this memo to the DASS board, two members of the board (the chief custodians of the property of the organization) became sole owner in one instance and part-owner in the other case of the DASS property at Rosalie? When the matter came to light in the public square, did you resign in frustration and disgust for not wishing to associate with such high level of dishonesty? Is this a fact?

I believe you acted fairly and properly in the interest of the organization. Let this be said quite forcefully too.

I am however moved to note that you seem to be exercising some double standards. The main culprit in the DASS (money and land transfer) matter like you is an avowed, no holes-barred critic of the government of Roosevelt Skerrit. In recent times you have broken your loud silence since the DASS matter came to light and now have come in defense of the same gentleman. He is the selfsame gentleman that is aspiring to be the chief custodian of the national purse. You remember him as a bright young, studious student aspiring to achieve with a good education. Obviously, you have followed his development path and find him to be a “distinguished Dominican”. And so you have asked the Dominican people to focus on the message and not on the messenger. I understand you to say that the gentleman is a fit and proper person to hold the position he aspires to. Are you serious Mr. Christian? How could the gentleman who could not be trusted with the resources of a small organization, an NGO be trusted with the national purse of a developing country?. Is hatred and utter contempt for the government of PM Skerrit clouding your judgement on these matters? Is utter hatred (politically) for PM Skerrit the qualification for reposing such confidence in the gentleman to manage our treasury? Is that what you saying.

You see Gabou “transparency and good governance” is not a governance principle only for PM Skerrit. It equally applies to anyone who has taken upon themselves the business of serving others. The property of the State, passports, does not belong to PM Skerrit as does the funds and lands of DASS not belong to Thompson Fontaine. You properly warned of that. How therefore, given this checkered behavior towards the property of others does Thompson Fontaine qualify to be Minister of Finance?

I will stand with you and ask the PM to consider your concerns and to act on your demands. At least I will go public in support of you. But you must first respond to those simple questions which I am sure you can answer. Double standards cannot be allowed to survive anywhere. By your silence over the DASS “money gate and land transfer gate” matter and now your loud condemnation of PM Skerrit without any evidence other than decades old assumptions, suspicions and innuendos, you are practicing double standards. I know you detest double standards.