The Trinidad and Tobago Express reported on June 21st 2009 that Patrick Manning’s PNM (Trinidad) received hefty donations from the CL Financial Group, including this cheque for TT$ 5 million. CL originates from Colonial Life - CLICO stands for Colonial Life Insurance Company. The CL Financial Group owns the CLICOs.)

Lawrence Duprey’s CL Financial Group provided scarcely imaginable largesse to the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) party in the last general election at a time when it was already on the ropes-short on cash and highly leveraged.

The by-then cash-poor conglomerate bankrolled the 2007 election campaign of the Patrick Manning-led PNM party to the tune of some TT$20 million, according to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. …

Whatever the truth, Duprey’s CL Financial group spread a lot of wealth around the PNM in the last decade. And the point man who distributed a lot of that CL money around the ruling party was Duprey’s right hand man, Andre Monteil, who, until recently, was numbered among the party’s most formidable power brokers.

If these allegations are correct, I would assume that political patronage is more important than cash in Trinidad. But what about Barbados?

Did Barbadians Politicians also Benefit from CLICO?

Barbados Free Press reported that Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson went to Trinidad on a private jet. It is rumoured that this jet was owned by CLICO. Barbados Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has referred to a private jet owned by CLICO. Barbadian politicians are not required to declare donations, so nothing is officially known. However, many people believe that CLICO does make political donations to Barbadian politicians. Here is a quote from an anonymous comment on the BFP article:

The PM shows up in a private jet owned by a foreign corporation, who used to be his major client when in private practice. A foreign corporation that is known to have donated major funding to his political campaign.

You promised transparency. How much did CLICO donate to your party, Mr. Thompson? How much?

Does CLICO Have Too Much Political Influence in the Caribbean?

CLICO Holdings in Barbados is the holding company that owns the Barbados assortment of “CLICOs”. In turn, it is a subsidiary of CL Financial.

Too much influence? Look at this list: