St. Kitts and Nevis: A pretty but unhappy couple
This is my second time in St. Kitts. People keep telling me it’s the “last undiscovered island in the Caribbean.” I was here about two years ago, and people kept telling me the same thing.
It doesn’t look undiscovered to me. I see a lot of people everywhere I look. I think what people mean when they say that is that it isn’t over-run by resorts. True enough, St. Kitts has only one big-time, “branded” resort, the Marriott. It’s a huge thing, with a casino reputed to be the biggest in the Caribbean, and an excellent golf course with seriously beautiful views.
St. Kitts, together with nearby Nevis, forms a two-island nation. It surprised me to learn they are a member of the United Nations.
But, Nevis wants to secede, like Anguilla before it. Both islands are making the transition from agriculture to tourism, and Nevis is known for its offshore banking. In fact, the island has about 9,000 offshore businesses – that adds up to about one offshore business for every resident. They’re all run under strict secrecy laws.
That’s one reason Nevis wants to divorce; it doesn’t want the stricter controls St. Kitts does. I’m with Nevis on this one: what would happen to our American corporations if all these Caribbean islands decided to quit being havens for money laundering and places to hide corporate profits from taxes? Their economies and most likely ours would collapse.
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The issue is more than likely to come up again...
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