Wickham reveal details of corruption in DLP government to US Diplomats
By the TDN Wire Staff
September 3, 2011 3:30 p.m.
Bridgetown, Barbados(TDN) — Peter Wickham close friend, confidant and advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has revealed to the United States embassy in Barbados that Barbadian CLICO executive, former CBC Chairman and DLP supporter Leroy Parris “provided large sums of under the table money to the Dominica DLP in exchange for business and a diplomatic passport.”
Wickham provided information on coruption to US government.
The revelations are part of leaked confidential cables released by Wikileaks from the US embassy in Barbados. In the February 3, 2006 cable, Wickham told then ambassador Mary Kramer that “although the opposition
charged that China funded the ruling party (2005 elections), most of the money
came from wealthy Caribbean expatriates.”
Wickham confirmed that PM Skerrit did not deny opposition claims that Cayman Island resident Susan Oldie gave $400 000 in exchange for a diplomatic passport.
With regards to Parris, Wickham confirmed that “the
Government rewarded Parris with a particularly friendly
business environment and his company will soon finance
construction of a new housing development in Dominica.
Parris was also named a “Goodwill Ambassador” who will help
attract investment to the country.”
In the cable, Ambassador Kramer said “Note: The Government of Dominica’s interpretation of
“Goodwill Ambassador” appears to include real diplomatic
The ambassador went on to detail that in September of 2005 the embassy received a diplomatic note from the Dominica Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) requesting that a visa be issued for “Ambassador at Large” Paris.
According to the ambassador, “Despite
Post’s (embassy) repeated requests for an explanation of the capacity
in which Parris, a Barbados citizen, will serve as a Dominica
diplomat, the MFA failed to provide an answer.
The embassy subsequently returned the passport without the visa. More ominously, the embassy warned Washington that “Dominica also continues to have an active economic
citizenship program, through which individuals from various
countries of concern have previously purchased passports.
,p>Wickham who heads the Caribbean Development
Research Services, Inc. (CADRES), a Barbados-based consulting
firm specializing in public opinion polling counted several Caribbean governments as his clients.
He last appeared on the local media in Dominica in March of this year where he gave a rational for PM Skerrit to return to the polls. At the time it was believed that Skerrit on the advice of Wickham and fellow Barbadian consultant Hartley Henry was considering snap elections to avert his pending dual citizenship trial.
Skerrit allegedly backed down only after local lawyers informed him that any such action would be viewed as an attempt to preempt the Court’s ruling. The trial is set for September 5, 2011.
According to the US embassy, “the affable Wickham has met
periodically with Emboffs over the past several years to
offer his views on a variety of issues.”
Wickham also spoke to the US embassy about the funding by drug dealers of elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines, election funding by Allan Sanford in Antigua and other issue relating to the government of St Lucia.
Meanwhile, the Barbados Free Press is reporting that when news of the leaked cable was revealed, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) fired Wickham who hosted a radio talk show Talk Yuh Talk and had a live Sunday night program on CBC television.
It also reported that “the Barbados DLP government and CBC senior executives remain “outraged” after learning that Peter Wickham provided a series of secret briefings to US diplomats “over several years” where Mr. Wickham discussed and provided details about political corruption in the Caribbean.” Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is also said to be “beside himself” over the cable.
Paris is at the center of the ongoing saga involving CLICO in which hundreds of policyholders in Dominica and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean are in danger of losing hundreds of millions of dollars after CLICO nearly collapsed in the wake of the global crisis.