| Mauritius |
|Location||Africa, Indian Ocean|
|Member of||African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie, Organisation of African Unity, UN|
|Island nation in the Indian Ocean. Now a tax haven.|
Mauritius is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean.
Craig Murray noted that "Mauritius is now a notorious tax haven; it offers zero tax and keeps company officers and owners secret."
CIA Election meddling
In 1982, the Reagan administration sought to bolster the election chances of Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolam by quietly providing 'low-level' support, including funding, propaganda and media expertise.
His opponent, Paul Bérenger from the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), was seen as a threat because of his vow to mount a diplomatic offensive aimed at securing the Mauritian claims to the Chagos Archipelago, which includes the key US military base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.
Officials in the government of then-Prime Minister Ramgoolam claimed that the MMM's election campaign was financed by Libya, a nation with strong ties with the Soviet Union. An American intelligence analyst said that the US was 'certain' that Libya was involved.
Prime Minister Ramgoolam's backers hoped to use television to turn the election tide against his opposition, and turned a group of media consultants brought in by the CIA. The consultants were rumored to be operating from the neighboring French island of Reunion. A series of television spots portrayed Sir Seewoosagur as a world statesman.
Ramgoolam's office, for its part, released a set of documents in Arabic supposedly describing commitments that Berenger to Libya. The documents were later revealed to be 'crude fakes,' pointing out among other things that the eagle on what was supposed to be a Libyan letterhead was pointed the wrong way.
The CIA campaign did not succeed. Berenger's movement won the June 11 1982 election in a landslide. As Finance Minister, Berenger did not deny that his country sought above-the-board financial aid from Libya and from whomever else it could get it. But he also said that Mauritius valued its ties with Western-supported financial institutions.