Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Antigua and Barbuda to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Monaco, and the Principality of Liechtenstein

Dario Item Ambassador


Allow me to introduce myself. I am very proud to hold the positions of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Antigua and Barbuda to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Monaco, and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Additionally I am fortunate to have been made the permanent representative to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Although protocol dictates that in official correspondence my title should be preceded by the initials H.E (His Excellency), I am more than comfortable being addressed as Dr Item, or even just Dario. The Dr part relates to the doctorate degree I attained when gaining a PhD in Criminal Law, back in 2009.

I also hold degrees in Law (1996), and Political Science (2004); going on to complete a Masters in Trust Law (2005), Legal Psychology and Psychopathology of Criminal Conducts (2006), and an LL.M in transnational Financial Crimes (2012).

My education saw me attend the University of Geneva in Switzerland and the Universities of Parma, Ferrara, Teramo and Genoa, in Italy. Following my law degree, I passed the bar examination two years later at the Court of Appeal of the Canton of Ticino, in Switzerland; then 12 months after that I was successful at my public notary examination. In 2001, I also became accredited to practice law in Italy.

As a consequence, I am well-versed in global and cross-border aspects of criminal law, fiduciary, and trust law. I also offer my services to international clients in various aspects of diplomatic, consular matters, investment banking, asset management and financial law.

It was in 2016 that I joined the diplomatic corps of Antigua and Barbuda and as a member of the European Caucus of Ambassadors and Honorary Consuls, I proactively help promote the growing tourism industry of the country.

My duties take me all around Europe and I am fortunate to have become fluent in not just English, but also the French, German, Spanish, and Italian languages.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Antigua and Barbuda

Head of Mission in Spain

I was accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain on June 21, 2018 and presented my Letter of Credence to the King of Spain, His Majesty Felipe VI, on January 16, 2019.

We have successfully established the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy in Madrid, in a wonderfully historic and architecturally delightful building, located across from the world-famous Prado Museum, affording us premium exposure. This is our twin-island nation’s only representation in Spain, enabling vital diplomatic relationships to be fostered with our host country, along with Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

As Ambassador, I have been thrilled to be able to have hands-on involvement and attract investors, tourists, and donors to Antigua and Barbuda, from the momentum my work and subsequent connections have brought about. This has provided opportunities for the implementation of specific actions, which offer sustainability in the tourism sector – hopefully for many years to come. Additionally, my position has meant that I have had the means to make significant contributions to the embassy’s digital presence.

Ambassador to the Crown Hereditary Prince of Liechtensten, Alois

I received the royal permission to officially exercise the function of ambassador on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda on 13 December 2018, when I presented my letter of credence to the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein, Luigi. Even though the protocol of these regulated ceremonies is very similar in each country, it was another really proud moment when holding a private meeting with the Head of State, which symbolically inaugurated relations between our two countries.

Ambassador to the Principality of Monaco

I was delighted to hand over my letter of credence and be accredited by H.S.H. Prince Albert II as Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda in the Principality of Monaco, on 28 February 2019. We established a consulate on 28 October 2022, which has a prime spot in the City of Monte Carlo and its opening served as a genuine acknowledgement of the strong diplomatic relationship that exists between Antigua and Barbuda and Monaco.

It opened another opportunity to promote our Caribbean nation for more investment, as well as showcasing it as an ideal tourist destination, while at the same time providing high-quality consular services to our citizens abroad, who may be transiting through the Principality.

Accredited to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

When UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili accredited me on 21 January, 2022, he made Antigua and Barbuda the 160th member of the organization, and the eighth from the Caribbean region. In appointing me as its head of the Permanent Mission to the Organization, it offered a reassurance that we can work together to promote the importance of tourism in Antigua and Barbuda. It played into our overall plan to significantly increase our network and diplomatic relations.

This program is vitally important and our membership provides the perfect platform for group discussion regarding not just the sustainable growth of tourism, but also the latest technological advances and the economy. We will be able to enhance the quality of services provided in the sector, which will allow us to position ourselves at the top, especially where international players are concerned, tapping into innovation and prioritising tourism education.

Legal Activities

As an attorney-at-law, I am a member of the Swiss Federation of Lawyers and Notaries, as well as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the international professional body for advisers who specialise in inheritance and succession planning. I am accredited to practice in both Switzerland and Italy.

I have expertise in the following areas:

  • Criminal Law and International Letters Rogatory
  • Trusts and Fiduciary Activities Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Law
  • Civil Liability Law
  • Litigation

In particular, I assist clients in relation to extradition proceedings and asset seizures, as well as mediating with investors who have found themselves the victims of prejudices, helping them avoid lengthy and costly proceedings. I also offer assistance and advice in disputes of diplomatic and consular law, and work on trust law and fiduciary activities for the protection of individuals and assets.

Since 2000, I have been been working in a consultancy capacity with both the multi-disciplinary law firm I&P Law Office SA in Lugano and I&P Trust and Family Office SA, offering a personalised service in discretionary management and dedicated investment solutions.

Credit Suisse AT1 case

My involvement in the state of affairs surrounding the Credit Suisse scandal that shocked the financial world and created great instability in the markets, brought myself and Antigua News a lot of positive publicity. I was pleased to bring public understanding to the alarming situation that I had been made aware was unfolding, by being the first person to publish critical documentation on my innovative news outlet, in a series of exclusive articles.

I was able to expose the contents of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority’s (FINMA) orders, in two separate features that I communicated back in March 2023. The first was entitled: “Credit Suisse AT1 Bonds write-down: Swiss Court orders FINMA to disclose documents to plaintiffs” – a commentary which received over half a million views on my Antigua.News website. This was followed just a few days later by: “Credit Suisse AT1: Bank challenges disclosure of documents related to FINMA order”.

In these compositions I highlighted serious contradictions in the statements from not just them, but also the Swiss government, the Swiss National Bank, and the CEO of Swiss Credit in the week preceding the bank’s collapse. I continued my involvement with the situation and in October 2023 I created a piece entitled: “Credit Suisse AT1s Case: The Unspoken Things” in which I succeeded in highlighting a complete lack of transparency being shown by the bank during the period leading up to the merger between Credit Suisse and UBS.

This was followed a month later by a further article under the heading: “Credit Suisse AT1 Bonds: The Missed Opportunity” in which I shed light on the inconsistencies in the bank’s behaviour towards its investors. Then to bring things right up to date, at the end of March 2024, I published an update headed: “Credit Suisse AT1: FINMA asks court not to show files to plaintiffs” in which I am again able to demonstrate a series of “surprising” actions and “highly questionable” strategies being adopted by FINMA.

Seeing my stories picked up by the likes of Reuters, and the Financial Times, plus the Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche, the venturesome Swiss blog Inside Paradeplatz, and Corriere del Ticino – the most influential daily publication in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland, brought me immense satisfaction. Then having my disclosures termed as “one of the most consequential European banking scoops of the year” is deeply humbling, yet at the same time really fulfilling.

FiNews have labelled me a “key figure in the tug-of-war over the bank’s multi-billion write-down on mandatory convertible bonds” and paid me a very kind compliment when reporting that the institution that is the Financial Times were: “repeatedly outpaced” by Antigua News, who they said “time and again reported faster and, above all, was exceptionally well-informed about the negotiations” with regards to the Credit Suisse scandal.

With my revelations being picked up by the world’s financial press, it led to, being awarded the “Best Online News Media of the Year 2023” for the entire Caribbean, which was a very proud moment.

Making a difference

The underlying purpose of my work as ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda is to shine a light on our fabulous country’s rich culture and outstanding achievements, whilst promoting the stunning opportunities for the tourism sector. “Lonely Planet” named us as the “Emerging Sustainable Destination of the Year” in 2021, highlighting amongst other things, our 365 (1 for every day of the year) beautiful turquoise beaches and commending us as a “paradisical territory”.

Of course that is a major selling point, but I am committed to championing everything else great that we offer, with a focus on our environmental initiatives that are making such a difference and which will assist greatly to our economic prosperity. We take enormous pride in being the only country in the Western Hemisphere to establish the Green Flag Program of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which as a consequence, has encouraged greater respect of the magnificent flora and fauna of the islands.

We were especially pleased when Lonely Planet praised how innovative we are in involving our local communities in the tourist value of both islands; never better exemplified than by the Wallings Nature Reserve, the islands’ first national park, and solely managed by Antiguans, be that employees, or just voluntary workers.

Our on-going initiatives are helping to push forward governmental revenue streams, which create jobs and drive economic development. Together we are creating frameworks that will support the ideal conditions to not only attract tourists, but also have a transformative impact on the country as a whole.

I am pleased that through negotiations with Google, I have been able to secure our nation’s inclusion in the “Google Street View” project, which began in February 2024, and which further enhances our digital visibility. I am also very hopeful that as a result of my networking within the film industry, we have a great chance of future film productions taking place on our islands, which naturally will open up fresh avenues for further economic and cultural exposure.

Our pioneering “Citizenship by Investment Program” – in which Antiguan citizenship is granted to those investors who contribute capital to the islands’ regional projects – continues to flourish, along with the biannual visa-free stay for remote workers, which we called the “Nomad Digital Residency”, both of which have received hundreds of applications.

I was particularly thrilled to be able to convince the popular Italian producer Andrea Iervolino, of the Merchant of Venice fame, to become a citizen of our great country, through citizenship. He has already indirectly announced his intention to shoot more than one film in Antigua, by the fact that he is establishing a base of operations on the island.

Heightening my vision for our country, more than $100 million has been invested in real estate projects on Antigua, which has had the knock-on effect of generating employment opportunities for many locals; and of course I remain committed to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, hence my role at UNWTO.

Promoting the passport

The benefits associated with the Antigua and Barbuda passport are now considered to be amongst the strongest in the world. It can offer visa-free travel to over 160 countries, including elsewhere in the Caribbean, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, many Asia locations, and multiple nations in the European Union. Passport holders from our country also have the ability to apply for second citizenship, allowing rights to live and work in their “second” home.

The passport also represents a valuable asset when considering investment in business. We are politically stable and has a well-established democracy, with a track record of peaceful transitions of power. Our international reputation is growing ever stronger and this lends itself to my vision of making Antigua and Barbuda a safe and attractive place to live and invest.


Grand Collar – O.M. of the Portuguese Royal House
Grand Collar – R.O. of the Eagle of Georgia
Knight Grand Cross – R.O. of St. Michael of the Wing
Knight Grand Cross – R.O. of the I.C. of Vila Viçosa
Knight Grand Cross – Order of Emperor Menelik II
Great Star – R.O.C. of the Georgian Kingdom
Senator Grand Badge – R.O. of Queen Tamara
Caballero – Maestranza de Caballería de Castilla
Caballero – Órden del Tercio de Extranjeros
Medal – Cruz de Distinción del Ejército de Asturias
Medal – 1300° A. Proclamación del Rey Don Pelayo
Medal – Regimiento de Infantería Asturias n. 31


Whilst I would never seek praise from any quarters, it is always pleasing to receive acknowledgements, especially when they arrive from the Prime Minister. For Gaston Browne to recognise my commitment as ambassador to boosting the country’s economic wealth and development, is very rewarding.

Foreign Affairs Minister E.P Chet Greene spoke of my work being “unparalleled” and Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez acknowledged the “tireless” attention I give to the role, saying I had “significantly contributed” to the “tangible benefits of the people of Antigua and Barbuda”. Both very pleasant statements of appreciation, and for me they just add to my determination to push ahead towards the continuing betterment of our nation.

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