Basseterre, St.Kitts (July 14th 2010)The US Embassy in Barbados is recommending that smaller countries in the Caribbean and in particular the two mentioned in corruption allegations in a recent statement by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates should create laws that would restrict the chances of dishonesty and questions of integrity among government officials.
Charge’d Affairs at the US Embassy in Barbados, Mr. Brent Hardt, during a radio interview said that corruption makes smaller countries , including St.Kitts and St.Vincent as mentioned in Defense Secretary Gates corruption charges, more vulnerable to drug trafficking. He added that the temptation for corruption always exists among senior government officials and ministers . The Charge’d Affair went on to state that Caribbean governments, in particular the governments of smaller countries should pay more attention to creating laws that severely restrict or retard the chances or development of corruption .
“It can be addressed in different ways,” said Hardt. “Government can develop more transparent policies for senior members of government down to other officials who would be in a position where they might be susceptible to corruption. This issue of corruption is part of the dialogue we have raised with countries in the region,” Hardt explained
In reference to the US Defense Secretary’s comments about the corrupt governments of St.Kitts and St.Vincent Hardt diplomatically stated “ I would just say that issues of corruption are present in every country throughout the world, including our own.”
Hardt was in the federation as part of Barack Obama’s Caribbean Basin Security Initiative which aims to combat the link between drug trafficking and violence which is threatening to destabilize the region.