Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Browne: Government should meet with Stanford Victims Coalition

Parliamentary representative for the St. John’s City West constituency and Deputy Leader of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), Gaston Browne, is advising government to meet with the group calling itself the Stanford Victims Coalition (SVC) in an attempt to work out an amicable solution to the current impasse between both entities.

“Clearly these so-called victims are making some progress in waging what is considered by many as a form of “economic terrorism” with their dishonest and downright malicious “Anti-Antigua Campaign,” Browne said.

He added that the SVC recently circulated 20,000 leaflets at a tourism promotion show in the USA as a counter strategy to our delegation’s efforts to promote Antigua and Barbuda as a premier tourism destination.

The MP continued by saying that in the leaflet the SVC characterised the UPP government as corrupt and asserted that the UPP government is pursuing a brazen act of thievery by seeking to expropriate hundreds of millions of dollars in assets owned by R. Allen Stanford and have established a Web site to wage their smear campaign.

Browne said that, “Notwithstanding the claims against former regulator Leroy King, which incidentally, are yet to be proven, there is no evidence of collusion by the government past or present, confirming that the government colluded with Stanford in any way to defraud depositors.

"The Stanford Victims Coalition members must, however, understand that they are not the only victims, all of the stakeholders to include, the former employees of the Stanford Group of Companies and the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda are victims of this unfortunate development.

Therefore, it is patently wrong for the SVC members to hold the Antiguan and Barbuda government exclusively responsible for what, if proven, would have been a global crime spanning 28 countries including the USA, which incidentally had similar regulatory responsibilities. This “lose-lose,” selective, economic terroristic strategy that is being pursued by SVC is self-defeating and begs the question as to why aren’t they targeting the US regulators and the US government, whose regulatory control was equally defective. I imagine this is a typical bullying tactic against a vulnerable small island state which should be resisted.”

Browne said, “The chairman of the SVC indicated during a recent radio programme on Observer Radio that they are reluctantly pursing this destructive course of action out of frustration and that they are willing to meet and settle the issue amicably.

“Rather than allowing this problem to fester to the detriment of the state, the government should indicate unequivocally, to all stakeholders, including the SVC members, how it intends to treat these assets to avert the anxieties, frustrations and counterproductive actions of the victims here and abroad.

"The UPP government should constructively engage all stakeholders to include SVC members, the former staff members of (SGC) and others to develop a national response to this problem, instead of running the risks of antagonising 500 individuals of means who, clearly, are prepared to utilise their influence and financial resources to sully the name of Antigua and Barbuda and to damage our tourism product, he concluded.

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