Thursday, January 5, 2017

Citizenship + Bananas = Same

So says Sam Raphael. Mr. Raphael is on Q95's The Hot Seat with Mathias Peltier today putting up a defense for a programme from which he earns an enormous amount of money, in both fees and investment dollars. In his interview, Mr. Raphael belted out what we consider a rather ridiculous and offensive comment; he equated the sale of our citizenship to the sale of bananas.

Mr. Raphael, you need to apologize to Dominicans for this. Your reference to protecting a banana and tourist industry as equivalent to the sale of our national identity is egregious and deserves a forceful response from Dominicans. In fact, we suggest that since you believe our identity is equivalent to a tropical fruit, we have a suggestion for all Dominican farmers; please assist Mr. Raphael in the construction of his new project at Soufriere by dumping loads of bananas on his property. He should have no problem selling the bananas in Dubai to earn cash for his hotel project.

Mr. Raphael presented a vigorous defense of the CBI programme, which we expected. This is Mr. Raphael's cash cow, we should expect him to do what is necessary to protect it while giving the appearance of being impartial in the debate. But Mr. Raphael is not and cannot be considered to be an impartial arbiter in this debate.

Sam started off by accusing CBS of doing a hit job on the CBI programmes of the Caribbean. We've heard this before; last week, Vince Henderson and Anthony Astaphan used the words "economic terrorism" to describe the CBS programme. "Hit job" and "economic terrorism" in this context are two sides of the same coin, so who is Mr. Raphael fooling when he says that he was not on Q95 as a government spokesman.

He went on to admonish UWP political leader Lennox Linton's appearance on 60 Minutes, saying that he, Sam Raphael, would never participate in any programme where the objective was to cause damage to Dominica. This sounded like what Vince Henderson said on Kairi last week as well. Mr. Raphael even told us that at the commencement of his interview with the CBS producers, he recognized that the line CBS was taking was negative. Mr. Raphael, if you recognized from the start  that the interview was going to be a "hit job", (which by your own admission you would never participate in), and you say that you stopped the CBS producers from proceeding, why did you then continue with the interview? You obviously did, because you began to lament the fact that your interview was not used, "cut out" as you put it, from the final production, which you surmised may have been because you were not a "government official" or had high name recognition.

Is that the real reason that you are upset at Mr. Linton? Mr. Linton exposed your rationale when he questioned you as to what you believe was the difference between what you volunteered to the CBS crew in your interview and what was presented by Chris Kalin. You sidestepped Mr. Linton's question but it goes to show why your interview was excluded. Mr. Raphael, if you're a CBS producer and you have two proponents of a programme saying the same thing, which of the two interviews would you go with? The interview with the architect of the programme or the interview of a salesman? Mr. Linton's query laid bare that fact.

Mr. Raphael challenged Mr. Peltier and callers when asked about well-reported flaws in the CBI programme. In an aggressive tone, Mr. Raphael challenged Mr. Peltier and the callers to present proof of the flaws, yet in the same breath, when attacking the US's EB-5 programme as riddled with problems, Mr. Raphael could not identify one issue. Could that be because he does not earn one cent from the US programme?

Generally, Mr. Raphael's presentation today was well-rehearsed and presented, a far cry from the vitriol last week. We understand Mr. Raphael's position; he is determined to secure his income at all costs. We view Mr. Raphael appearance today as simply putting a new, more pleasant face on the same pig. Unfortunately for Mr. Raphael, the vile and brutal words of Anthony Astaphan, Vince Henderson, Petter St. Jean and others, continue to ring in our ears. Nice job Sam, but you've got more work to do.

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  1. Sam,how dare you equate my heritage, having been born in Dominica with a banana.Hell with you Judas.All over the world people fight and die to defend their heritage,but as a commodity,if someone is producing and marketing their products more efficiently and cheaper than you,you don't go to war to defend that market.I hear you saying that for a few dollars you would maybe sell your own kids,if you don't understand what heritage stands for.You are a greedy and selfish individual Sam,and make no sense.Will you understand that CBS didn't need Lennox to be on the program, because they had enough information in two years of preparation to produce a program to send the message that they were not comfortable with how we are doing business selling our citizenship and issuing diplomatic passports.Tony Astaphan said it is treason to sell Dominican nationality especially when there is no tendering for the agents and sellers of passports.I agree with him and to have a treasonous person now equating selling the nationality to selling bananas is nothing short of criminal in my book.

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