You the Property of Your Government?
Nestmann Group, Ltd.
by P. T. Freeman: Overseas
Radio Network to Launch with P.T. Freeman as Host
As a former
U.S. citizen who has given up U.S. citizenship, Ive visited
dozens of countries using my Commonwealth of Dominica passport.
One of the
most interesting destinations has been the Republic of Cuba. Not
being a U.S. citizen makes the process of visiting Cuba much easier.
Due to a longstanding U.S. embargo against Cuba, U.S. citizens and
permanent residents generally must obtain a license from the U.S.
Treasury to visit and especially to spend money there. But, as a
citizen of Dominica, I merely need to show my passport to obtain
visa-free entry into Cuba.
In a recent
post, I discussed reforms taking place in Cuba, as well as the
loosening of restrictions on Cuban citizens. At the same time, the
United States is imposing more restrictions on its citizens. Both
my colleague Mark Nestmann and I have observed that from a civil
liberties standpoint, if present trends continue, Cuba and the United
States will pass one another
..but going in opposite directions!
aspect of Cuban law relates to nationality. Under current law, a
Cuban citizen born in Cuba doesnt have the right to give up
Cuban citizenship. Cuban nationals who acquire another passport
can travel internationally on that document. However, anyone born
in Cuba must use a Cuban passport to enter and exit the country.
Recently, a Cuban-born friend of Mark discovered this the hard way
when he was denied entry to the country using a U.S. passport. He
was required to use his Cuban passport, which he no longer possesses.
this policy to enforce its arcane, outdated, and Byzantine migratory
requirements, rules and regulations. Former Cuban President Fidel
Castro has always taken a dim view of those who wish to emigrate.
However, unlike the United States, Cuba does not tax its non-resident
citizens on their worldwide income.
States, on the other hand, still permits its citizens to give up
their U.S. nationality. However, it now faces the reality that the
number of former U.S. citizens doing so has increased
exponentially in recent years. Long waiting lists for expatriation
appointments now exist at certain U.S. consulates (e.g., Berne,
Switzerland). Its also clear that the U.S. government despises
this trend. U.S. law and policy actively discourage expatriation
and have gradually made life more difficult for those who take this
amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent people from
giving up their U.S. nationality, thus subjecting them to lifetime
taxation on their worldwide income and estate? Yes, its a
radical proposal, but similar proposals have circulated for at least
a decade. For instance, in 2001, the United Nations published
a report that proposed using tax policies as a tool to redistribute
wealth and income. One key suggestion was to create a global tax
collection authority, the International Tax Organization (ITO).
This agency would take a lead role in restraining tax competition.
for the ITO, the report suggested, would be to enforce the permanent
right of governments to tax individuals who emigrate from
their homeland. You would have no right to migrate from a high-tax
jurisdiction to a low-tax one. The ITO would follow you wherever
you go to collect tax. While the ITO hasnt yet come into being,
numerous initiatives to enforce global taxation are now in force.
wrote about one involving the exchange of tax information among
various high-tax countries here.
think its too strong a statement to suggest that if the still
relatively small number of individuals ending their U.S. citizen
status continues to skyrocket, the United States will impose much
stronger measures to stem the exodus. And in doing so, it just might
follow the Cuban example of forbidding expatriation. Acting under
the guise of simply following a United Nations initiative
would provide a convenient excuse for doing so.
could be a solution for you, start making plans
with permission from The
Nestmann Group, Ltd.
Freeman is a friend, business partner, and former U.S. citizen who
now resides in the Caribbean.
© 2012 Mark