Second citizenships from the Caribbean have been in the news recently. This time, however, it’s nothing to do with the economic citizenship programs of Dominica and St Kitts!
Many politicians in Caribbean nations hold multiple citizenships. It’s quite normal for people from small countries, many of whom have gone abroad to work, acquired citizenship there, then come home to play a more active role in island politics.
Recently, however, a minority of extreme nationalist politicians have been making it into an issue, leading to resignations and to other politicians renouncing citizenships publicly. It’s been in the news most recently in Jamaica, but also in St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
Most voters seem to take a reasonable approach. BBC, for example, quotes a Jamaican businesswoman Thalia Lyn as follows:
“A lot of them go abroad because they want to make money and then come back here and pick up from where they’ve left off.
“And to say to them that if you want to make a contribution to your country it’s not allowed and you would then have to disclaim the country where you might have made your fortune, I don’t think that’s quite right.”
If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need much convincing of the fact that dual or multiple citizenships are beneficial – not just for the individuals involved, but also for the countries in this case who get to benefit from people with more international experience… as they say “travel broadens the mind”. In government, surely an open mind is essential!
You can read more about this issue in the following BBC articles:
We also recommend this Q Wealth webpage if you haven’t yet seen it: