Skip to comments.U.S. accusation creates vexing financial worries for region (Caribbean money laundering nations)
Posted on 05/26/2017 10:30:37 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
CARICOM leaders are in a state of shock, dismay and disbelief after the United States accused 14 of the 15-member states of money laundering. News reports indicate that this accusation was included in the March report from the International Narcotics Control Strategy of the U.S. Department of State.
According to a report in Caribbean Life, the countries that were included are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
Other Caribbean territories and countries also labeled as money launderers in the U.S. report are Aruba, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic and Saint Maarten. The country of Montserrat was omitted because it is still considered a British territory.
Of course, big brother (United States) can hand down the kind of consequences that will paralyze the already fragile economies of the Caribbean. This means that financial institutions that facilitate worldwide transactions whether coming in or going out of the Caribbean countries mentioned may no longer do so.
The United States has always known that many Caribbean countries depend on off-shore banking to keep their economies afloat. The question is why is it making these accusations after all of these years. What changes does the Trump administration have in store for the Caribbean region and who is to benefit?
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, originally passed in 2010, took effect in July 2014. It created a whole new level of reporting responsibilities for foreign banks with accounts held by American citizens. It has a mandate for foreign financial institutions to report information about their American account holders citizens and Green Card holders, regardless of where they live to the Internal Revenue Service.
Millions of taxpayers were impacted. Many of them are not even aware that there are rules governing where they bank their money.
The international financial houses as they are called have the power to refuse any suspicious transactions and the news reports confirm that historically they have.
Irwin LaRocque, the current assistant secretary-general for trade and economic integration at the CARICOM Secretariat, shared his concerns regarding the U.S. blacklisting of the identified countries.
How did the U.S. government come to this conclusion, he wants to know and get further details to clarify the decision. La Rocque does not want to sit and wait this one out. He wants to mount a stiff lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., meaning that all Caribbean leaders should reach out to political leaders in Washington to turn this thing around.
Leaders of the accused countries are hopeful that at an upcoming CARICOM meeting in Barbados members will brainstorm to create a strategic plan on how they will overcome this blemish on their reputation. LaRocque emphasized that in fighting these allegations it is of the utmost importance that CARICOM members comply with the international norms for fighting money laundering blacklisting.
The question then becomes: Could the United States be working toward dismantling CARICOM? Hopefully this is not the case because this decision would weaken the bargaining ability of the Caribbean bloc in terms of trade and ultimately affect dealings with the United Nations and the World Bank.
Some Caribbean Americans may have a small account back in their homelands to assist family members. It is a fact that Caribbean governments rely very heavily on remittances to help to stabilize the region and to keep their economies afloat.
As life becomes more challenging and jobs dry up, we must all do our part to try to fight this. It is therefore of utmost importance that we continue to vote for individuals (here in the United States) who have the best interest of ALL of the people that they represent at heart.
Everyone of these Americans who bank in Aruba, or St Kitts, or Dom Rep....know why they go there and leave their money in those banks. I’ll bet that just out of the Atlanta region alone, there are at least 3,000 folks who bank off-shore. People from both the GOP and Democratic Party have zero interest in fixing the issue.
Hang them out to dry...
Trump has in his tax plan a one time lowerinf of the repatriation penalty. That’s the carrot.
This is the stick.
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