15 February 2019

EUROPEAN COMMISSION INCLUDES 4 U.S. DEPENDENCIES ON LIST OF "WEAK ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING / TERRORIST FINANCING REGIMES"


"The U.S. Treasury Department (STATEMENT) scolded the European Union for including (four of the five- OTR)  U.S. territories on a list of dirty money hotspots around the world, telling American banks to ignore EU directives in an unusual technocratic spat that highlights continued friction between Washington and Brussels. " FOREIGN POLICY

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European Commission

European Commission adopts new list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes

Strasbourg, 13 February 2019


Today, the Commission has adopted its new list of 23 third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.


The aim of this list is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows. On the basis of a new methodology, which reflects the stricter criteria of the 5th anti-money laundering directive in force since July 2018, the list has been established following an in-depth analysis.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “We have established the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world, but we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system. Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly. The Commission stands ready to work closely with them to address these issues in our mutual interest. "

The Commission is mandated to carry out an autonomous assessment and identify the high-risk third countries under the Fourth and Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives.

The list has been established on the basis of an analysis of 54 priority jurisdictions, which was prepared by the Commission in consultation with the Member States and made public on 13 November 2018. The countries assessed meet at least one of the following criteria:

*   they have systemic impact on the integrity of the EU financial system;

*  they are reviewed by the International Monetary Fund as international offshore financial centres;

; they have economic relevance and strong economic ties with the EU.

For each country, the Commission assessed the level of existing threat, the legal framework and controls put in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing risks and their effective implementation. The Commission also took into account the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter in this field.

The Commission concluded that 23 countries have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering/ counter terrorist financing regimes. This includes 12 countries listed by the Financial Action Task Force and 11 additional jurisdictions. Some of the countries listed today are already on the current EU list, which includes 16 countries.

Next steps

The Commission adopted the list in the form of a Delegated Regulation. It will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension). Once approved, the Delegated Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days after its publication.

The Commission will continue its engagement with the countries identified as having strategic deficiencies in the present Delegated Regulation and will further engage especially on the delisting criteria. This list enables the countries concerned to better identify the areas for improvement in order to pave the way for a possible delisting once strategic deficiencies are addressed.

The Commission will follow up on progress made by listed countries, continue monitoring those reviewed and start assessing additional countries, in line with its published methodology. The Commission will update this list accordingly. It will also reflect on further strengthening its methodology where needed in light of experience gained, with a view to ensuring effective identification of high-risk third countries and the necessary follow-up.

Background

The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is a priority for the Juncker Commission. The adoption of the Fourth – in force since June 2015- and the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives – in force since 9 July 2018 - has considerably strengthened the EU regulatory framework.

Following the entry into force of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive in 2015, the Commission published a first EU list of high-risk third countries based on the assessment of the Financial Action Task Force. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive broadened the criteria for the identification of high-risk third countries, including notably the availability of information on the beneficial owners of companies and legal arrangements. This will help better address risks stemming from the setting up of shell companies and opaque structures which may be used by criminals and terrorists to hide the real beneficiaries of a transaction (including for tax evasion purposes). 

The Commission developed its own methodology to identify high-risk countries, which relies on information from the Financial Action Task Force, complemented by its own expertise and other sources such as Europol. The result is a more ambitious approach for identifying countries with deficiencies posing risks to the EU financial system. The decision to list any previously unlisted country reflects the current assessment of the risks in accordance with the new methodology. It does not mean the situation has deteriorated since the list was last updated.

The new list published today replaces the one currently in place since July 2018.

ANNEX 
The 23 jurisdictions are:
(1)            Afghanistan,
(2)            American Samoa,
(3)            The Bahamas,
(4)            Botswana,
(5)            Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
(6)            Ethiopia,
(7)            Ghana,
(8)            Guam,
(9)            Iran,
(10)          Iraq,
(11)          Libya,
(12)          Nigeria,
(13)          Pakistan,
(14)          Panama,
(15)          Puerto Rico,
(16)          Samoa,
(17)          Saudi Arabia,
(18)          Sri Lanka,
(19)          Syria,
(20)          Trinidad and Tobago,
(21)          Tunisia,
(22)          US Virgin Islands,
(23)          Yemen.






06 February 2019

CARIBBEAN WARNED OF DUTCH RE-COLONIZATION AND MILITARIZATION AS THE CRISIS IN VENEZUELA INTENSIFIES







"These major developments are contributing to re-establishing colonial regiments back in the Caribbean and these re-colonized territories are misused as this Venezuela case and crisis is unfolding to destabilize the region and vision towards a united and integrated Caribbean."
- James Finies, Foundation We Want Bonaire Back.


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OPEN LETTER TO SECRETARY-GENERAL OF CARICOM

James Finies, President Foundation We Want Bonaire Back

H.E. Ambassador Mr. Irwin La Rocque
Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Community
Caricom Secretariaat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown
Guyana

Bonaire, February 6th, 2019

Subject:  Urgent appeal from the people of the Dutch Caribbean islands to the CARICOM and Latin America.


Excellency,

I would like to congratulate your excellency and the secretariat on attending the upcoming meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay. In reference to the escalating Venezuela crisis and our previous letters of June 11, 2018 urging the CARICOM and the Caribbean region to intervene and object to prevent an armed conflict in the Caribbean and recent letter dated January 29th, 2019, as the crisis and conflict is deepening we herewith would like to request your urgent attention and call to action on behalf of the peoples of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Curacao and Aruba.

By now it is very clear and obvious that the provocation and escalation is initiated and led by mayor world powers headed by the UK, France and the Netherlands and backed by the US as we witnessing a continuing military build up in Curacao, the ABC islands. We the people of the ABC islands highly object to be dragged into this conflict.

As the discussion is fundamentally based on the issue of democracy and human rights, the so-called ultimatum headed by these colonizing powers is directed towards a new election to re-elect a democratic president and government for the peoples of Venezuela we would like to illustrate herewith the hypocritical position taken by the government of the Netherlands (member of the UN Security Council) a front-runner in this provocation and escalation of this crisis.

The autonomous democratic Caribbean islands forming the country Netherlands Antilles in the Dutch Kingdom was dissolved and disintegrated on October 10, 2010. The Netherlands which maintained ultimate unilateral legislative and judiciary powers in the Dutch Kingdom abused these powers to continue with colonialism in the Caribbean region.

The more dense populated islands Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curacao, something what is not so obvious to outside world, they were all stripped from their autonomy and are back under Dutch control and rule. The Dutch which controls and decides on the budget (and judiciary) of the Curacao government, headed by the Secretary of State Mr. Knops, a ex-military and ex-lieutenant active in the Iraq war,  forced the prime minister of Curacao, Mr Rhuggenaath which is subordinated to the Hague powers to escalation of the crisis. 

Curacao Prime Minister Rhugenaath publicly sided with the ultimatum for a new election causing a direct interference in the sovereign neighboring country Venezuela internal affairs. Curacao which as Aruba, the closest Caribbean islands to Venezuela, are equipped with a full US military forward base and with international harbors and airports of military standards  are at the moment converted in the most strategic war-campaign-bases. War planes are already landing and troops are deployed from the Netherlands towards the ABC islands under guidance of Dutch brigade-general Peter Jan de Vin which was deployed to Curacao to overseer this military operation along with State Secretary Mr Knops.


Dutch troops patrol in Kralendijk, capital of Bonaire (December 2018) 
The less populated in-defensive islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius and Bonaire were annexed, integrated and incorporated in the Dutch constitution without equal rights, with all administrating, democratic, judiciary, powers unilaterally re-positioned  under the Dutch parliament in the Hague and at the moment are being governed in a colonial status against the free will of the peoples and not of their choosing.

As the Dutch government is preaching or claiming to support democracy and human rights in Venezuela meanwhile Bonaire is in a heavy humanitarian crisis by neutralizing and erasing their democratic and human rights. Imposing unilaterally laws for a systematic institutionalized ethnic cleansing of the local population, explosion of the crude death rate over 60% and massive immigration over 400%  increase of non-Bonerians. At the moment in a short period the local Bonerians became a minority on their own island and there is no stopping to this displacement and extermination process.

On Sint Eustatius the democratically elected local government were un-democratically removed from power, with claims of corruption without proof or formal investigation by the Dutch government with abusive use of legislative , military and police powers. The Dutch appointed a non-democratic ruler to govern and erased the peoples democratic rights by stopping elections on the island till further notice. Note that the government of Sint Eustatius is the only Dutch Caribbean island which stood up against the Dutch government because illegal annexation on October 10, 2010 and presently are in court-proceedings against the Dutch  government.

These major developments are contributing to re-establishing colonial regiments back in the Caribbean and these re-colonized territories are misused as this Venezuela case and crisis is unfolding to destabilize the region and vision towards a united and integrated Caribbean.

Our urgent call to attention and action is towards the Caricom countries and our Caribbean and Latin American brothers and sisters for supporting our islands of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius in our quest to get re-inscribed back on the list of the Non-Self-Governing-Territories of the United Nations and fall back under the scrutiny of the international community on our way back to regain and restore our fundamental human and democratic rights.


Yours sincerely,
James Finies, President 
Foundation We Want Bonaire Back 




31 January 2019

VENEZUELAN CRISIS IS ULTIMATUM TO CARIBBEAN TO UNITE


"We wish to make a dramatic call to all Caribbean leaders to use this moment to serve as wake-up call, to stand up for all Caribbean peoples. As we all came with the same boats, we all are still in the same boat, with the same common right to emancipation and freedom, to unite and fight together to maintain a peaceful Caribbean, and to actively help to decolonize the Caribbean as there is no free Caribbean until all Caribbean peoples are truly free." - James Finies, President Foundation We Want Bonaire Back





OPEN LETTER TO THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY 
from
James Finies, President 
Foundation We Want Bonaire Back

January 29, 2019

To: CARICOM and all Caribbean leaders

Subject: Ultimatum for Venezuela equals ultimatum for the Caribbean to unify to maintain a peaceful democratic Caribbean

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:

With reference to our attached letter of June 11, 2018 urging the CARICOM and the Caribbean region to intervene and object to prevent an armed conflict in the Caribbean we herewith would like to bring the following to your attention:

We regretfully took note that the Dutch government continued on its path to destabilize the peaceful Caribbean region after serving last year a term in the UN Security Council which primary objective is to prevent conflicts.

After the UK and France launched an ultimatum against the sovereign state of Venezuela recently, the Dutch Foreign Minister Mr. Blok announced that the Netherlands will join them if Venezuela does not comply. Yesterday, this provocation escalated when the Prime Minister of Curacao Mr. Ruggenaath, whose government which last week ha been forced by the Dutch government to surrender their limited autonomy back under Dutch control and rule, declared the same. 

Curacao, together with Aruba and our island Bonaire being the closest neighboring island to the Venezuelan coast can be considered a direct escalation, provocation, and violation of UN Charter guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention and respect for sovereignty and affairs of states is directed by the Dutch government from The Hague.

This is a highly hypocritical approach by the Dutch government which has continued colonization of its Caribbean dependencies and recently has erased the democratic rights of the Dutch Caribbean islands by:

  • forcing the democratically elected Curacao government to surrender their limited autonomy and accept direct higher supervision from The Hague with control over the budget and all judiciary powers and intervention powers remaining unilaterally in the Dutch Parliament in The Hague;

  • destabilizing and forcing the democratically elected government of St. Maarten after the natural disaster of hurricane Irma to surrender their limited autonomy and border control, budgetary, judiciary and went as far as they will have to approve or who will be appointed in the government positions and are completely back under Dutch rule and control;

  • forcing the local government of Bonaire, which has surrendered already all the tax-revenues and powers to the Dutch government, under threat to accept an undemocratic program-manager above the locally elected government to govern and only accountable to The Hague;

  • undemocratic abusive actions of their unilateral legislative powers and military and police powers to depose the legitimate elected government of Sint Eustatius and appointing a non-elected ruler and depriving the citizens of St Eustatius of their democratic rights by blocking a free election.

Ironically all this is happening at this same moment and is kept under the radar where the Dutch government is taking the front-line in this provocation towards an armed conflict where its re-colonized ABC island inhabitants - all innocent humble friendly Caribbean peoples - would be in the first line of retaliation and can easily be wiped out and ethnically cleansed. Meanwhile, the command will remain safely in The Hague, Europe. 

It would be no coincidence, because the ABC islands, all within eyesight's from each other, all are equipped with an international military standards airport and deep harbors could be the major reason behind this war-campaign, as through war-economics and military actions they enriched themselves to become one of world’s richest countries. This is nothing new for the Dutch if we glance back at their horrific colonial past.

We would like this letter to be a serious warning to the Caribbean as the colonizing powers headed by UK, France, and the Netherlands, and backed by US, who all share the major colonial interests to remain in the Caribbean region. They have finally shown their real intentions that they are back on track to repossess their former colonies, and attempt to turn back the colonial clock if possible.

The intentions and tactics are very clear, as the Dutch promoted, supported and financed the division, destruction, and dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010 and recolonized the Dutch Antillean islands. The same tactics of destruction are carried forward to the Caribbean level, to divide the Caribbean and stop the unification and integration process of the Caribbean.

We wish to make a dramatic call to all Caribbean leaders to use this moment to serve as wake-up call, to stand up for all Caribbean peoples. As we all came with the same boats, we all are still in the same boat, with the same common right to emancipation and freedom, to unite and fight together to maintain a peaceful Caribbean, and to actively help to decolonize the Caribbean as there is no free Caribbean until all Caribbean peoples are truly free.

The CHamoru Language of Guahan: Life, Love and Peace


28 January 2019

ARGENTINA REAFFIRMS SOVEREIGNTY OVER MALVINAS ISLANDS





Letter dated 3 January 2019 from the Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General 

Upon the instructions of my Government, I have the honour to transmit herewith the official press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina on the occasion of the 186th anniversary of the usurpation of the Malvinas Islands by the United Kingdom, marked on 3 January (see annex). 

I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 47, concerning the question of the Malvinas Islands. 


(Signed) Martín García Moritán 
Ambassador Permanent Representative



Annex to the letter dated 3 January 2019 from the Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

 Press Release 
Question of the Malvinas Islands
 Buenos Aires, 3 January 2019



On 3 January 1833, the Malvinas Islands, which are an integral part of the Argentine national territory, were illegally occupied by military forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

The Argentine Republic, since its beginnings as an independent nation, has expressed, through government acts, its firm resolve to exercise its effective sovereignty over the archipelagos and maritime areas of the South Atlantic, as the rightful successor to Spain. That exercise of sovereignty was interrupted 186 years ago with the start of the British occupation, an act that Argentina protested immediately and to which it never consented. 

The recovery of the effective exercise of our sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, in accordance with international law, while respecting the way of life of their inhabitants, is a permanent and unrenounceable objective of the Argentine people, as reflected in the national Constitution. 

The United Nations recognizes the existence of a colonial situation in the Malvinas Islands, where the underlying sovereignty dispute must be resolved by the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom through bilateral negotiations, taking into account the interests of the inhabitants of the Islands. 

The Argentine Republic continues to receive the support of the countries of the region for its legitimate sovereignty rights in the question of the Malvinas Islands, both bilaterally and through various regional forums. Other multilateral forums, such as the Organization of American States, the Group of 77 and China and the Ibero - American Summit, have called for a resumption of negotiations. 

The Government of Argentina has expressed its willingness to resume negotiations to find a solution to this sovereignty dispute and reiterates its readiness to continue working to build a climate of trust that is conducive to such an outcome. 

On this date that is so significant for our country, the Government and people of Argentina reaffirm once again their legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty rights over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.