The term "money laundering" was pronounced on the global psyche immediately following New York’s 9/11 attacks. Since America claimed this nefariously well-executed attack was perpetrated by 19 Arab terrorists financed through $400,000 of simple money transfers, it introduced and executed heavy-handed dictatorial policies compelling the entire world to comply with its new dictates, unmindful if not uncaring of the destabilising implications slowing the economic progress of small and developing Caribbean countries all of whom never harboured a modicum of ill-will on this unilaterally narcissistic behemoth, nor have any of them experienced homegrown terrorism.
Since life is inescapably interwoven with cause and effects, it is absolutely necessary we evaluate why the far-reaching bloodied hands of the world’s uncompromising aggressor would cause unknown minions to perpetuate such abhorrence, animosity, and revenge against their over peddled "greatest country in the world" mantra, albeit with its plethora of injustices to their own people languishing in jails from prosecutorial overkill, unashamed of having the world’s largest prison population, inevitably destroying families.
This aggressor used 20 million gallons of lethal chemical "agent orange" in its assault on Vietnam, killing millions while creating lingering birth defects, yet lectured Syria on assumed chemical gassing of its people calling it a "moral absurdity". It has toppled duly elected governments whose ideology they found incompatible to theirs, and with a history of "mistakenly killing civilians" they have conducted drone attacks on hospitals, weddings, and funerals killing dozens just to murder two or three they deemed "terrorists". They have destabilised many economies through their "economic hitman", engaged "sanctions" on nations whose elected leaders they despised, notwithstanding patently suffering poor citizens through suspension of medicines, food, SWIFT transfers, etc.
Following its humiliating 9/11 defeat, they aggressively arrested 780 "suspects" transporting them blindfolded and group chained to Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay where they were tortured, waterboarded, had vicious dogs savagely attack them, soldiers urinated on their holy Qur'ans, most held for over 12 years without trial, family visits, attorney visits, and in defending its negotiated release of five prisoners in exchange for their captured Sargent Gergdahl, the Government claimed they were released because "we have nothing to charge them for," albeit after 13 years detention enduring blatant human rights violations.
Venezuela’s President Maduro reminds us that America has no friends or allies in the world, just total self-interest, while Fidel Castro died greatly admired for having never capitulated to them and for over 50 years unconquerably stood his ground despite relentless pursuits to destabilise Cuba, even assassinate him. After 60 years this mighty nation cannot forgive Cuba for its 1959 revolution deposing a dictator, forever holding its population to ransom, forever undermining their prosperity.
British judges have on numerous occasions refused extradition requests to return Americans to their homeland citing feared violations of their human rights, or have demanded assurances to the contrary. But, America demanded our Jack Warner and without question Trinidad captured him with indecent haste, ready to relinquish a citizen serving his country with distinction, brought us fame, catapulted our football to global prominence, and quite possibly the only national who interacted with so many world leaders. They were ready to ship him to rot in American jails for years for allegedly depositing money in a US bank.
All of the above salient facts are necessary to comprehend the real objectives of "money laundering" humiliations which only propelled after 9/11 revenge, following which the US State Department was mandated to create Egmont Group as the driving force establishing global Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) demanding the entire world be ground agents commanded to report "suspicious" transactions however legitimate. It propagated America’s mantra of "preventing terrorism financing" taking no responsibility for its chequered past, fighting even its own karma with brutal force.
Now detectives overwhelmed with compliance, cynically distrusting customers, banks are losing focus on innovative banking, utterly parochial about their destabilising actions on sovereignty and economic progressions, while governments are threatened with suspensions of SWIFT transfers, forcing all players into panic mode when newly dictatorial laws as demanded by Egmont are slow in Parliament’s promulgations.
Our opposition leader recently accused the AG of coming to Parliament with "such grave convictions in bringing dictatorial and draconian legislation aimed at the small man". Despondently, we are unaware that Caribbean bankers or governments have ever admonished these draconian encumbrances, negotiated better for their citizens, or demanded respect of their sovereignty, having instead chosen credulously capitulating paradigms, implying tacit support.
Trevor Hosten is an entrepreneur and consumer’s advocate, and founder of Public Interest
Research Group (PIRG) which petitioned Government for, and obtained Trinidad’s Banking
Ombudsman (now the FSO), and the Bankruptcy & Insolvency ACT of 2006.