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Grenada says Taiwan out to cripple economy

BERT WILKINSON Special to the AmNews | 11/4/2011, 5 p.m.

"None of these companies wish to get themselves embroiled in any lawsuit involved in Grenada. [They don't] have any dispute as to who should get money, who should not get money or who they should pay to."

Grenada first made nice with Mainland China in 1985 but quickly dumped Beijing in less than half a decade. By 1989, Taiwan was in but was kicked out in 2005, triggering the bitterness between the two countries.

Word now is that Grenada plans to seek the help of its neighboring Caribbean sister islands like St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Vincent, which all have diplomatic relations with Taipei, to mediate a settlement.

Part of the reason Grenadian authorities switched back to China was a generous aid package they offered the island after Hurricane Ivan battered Grenada in September 2004. A loan for $10 million from Taiwan even helped build a compound housing the prime minister's office.

One of the loans from Taiwan, also for $10 million, was taken by the Mitchell government in January 2000 to help build the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in St. George's. Another loan for $6 million was contracted from Taipei to help build the first national stadium at Queen's Park, which collapsed during Hurricane Ivan.