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CUBANS VISA ROW

Gov’t Orders Probe, UWP Wants An Explanation.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter "Vigilant."
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter “Vigilant.”

ON the heels of the controversial Lambirds affair, St Lucia finds itself involved in another immigration issue, this time involving Cubans.

The St Lucia government yesterday announced that it had launched an investigation into reports that 38 Cuban migrants caught trying to sail into the United States were carrying tourist visas to St Lucia when they were intercepted at sea by U.S. Coast Guard.

The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) also issued a statement yesterday saying it was concerned about the matter and called for an explanation from the Government of Saint Lucia in answering and informing the people of this country as to the following: Who were these visas issued to and for what reasons? For what period in time were the visas issued? Who issued these visas on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia?

An Associated Press (AP) report over the weekend said the Cubans had been stranded on the Coast Guard vessel waiting for permission from the Cuban government to return home. The Cuban government on Saturday said they would be allowed to return to their homeland.

The 38 migrants were among nearly 100 detained by the Coast Guard in April and who would ordinarily have been quickly repatriated under an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba intended to discourage risky sea journeys by people seeking to reach the United States.

But a U.S. official said Cuban authorities had balked at accepting the migrants, arguing they did not qualify as migrants in transit who should be immediately repatriated because they had legally left their country and obtained tourist visas from St. Lucia. The migrants were held on board the Coast Guard cutter Vigilant until the situation could be resolved.

A resolution apparently came Saturday. A statement issued by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington said Cuba’s government notified the U.S. it would allow the migrants to return even though they do not qualify for repatriation under the terms of the 1995 agreement.

The Cuban government faulted U.S. immigration policy, which allows migrants from Cuba to quickly become legal residents, and eventually citizens, if they make it to U.S. soil but turns back those caught at sea. The policy prompts many to try to reach third countries and find alternate routes to avoid Coast Guard patrols.

The U.S. should end this “preferential policy,” the Cuban government said. “It is the principal stimulus to illegal migration from Cuba to the United States and to the irregular entries of Cubans to U.S. territories through third countries, undermining the commitment made by both countries to promote legal, safe and orderly migration.”

The Government of Saint Lucia said it was aware of the AP report and had ordered an investigation “to determine how the alleged visas appeared in the passports of the Cuban nationals, since Cuban nationals do not require tourist visas to visit Saint Lucia:”.

A statement from the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister said the Government of Saint Lucia was in touch with the Cuban and American authorities on this matter.

The AP report quoted “U.S. officials” as saying that the would-be immigrants had tourist visas to Saint Lucia when they were intercepted at sea by the Coast Guard.

It quoted one official as saying that the Cuban government had refused re-entry to the island because their return does not comport with a repatriation agreement with the U.S. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the situation by name. But Cuba had a change of heart and later decided to allow the migrants to return home.

Under U.S. law, Cuban nationals who make it onto U.S. soil are granted permission to come into the country and can quickly become legal permanent residents and eventually U.S. citizens. Migrants caught at sea generally are sent back to Cuba. The Cuban government has historically allowed U.S. authorities to quickly repatriate those migrants caught at sea.

The decision to keep the migrants from returning had threatened to cause a diplomatic rift as both governments have been negotiating conditions for re-establishing diplomatic relations. Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced the effort in December.

The United States and Cuba are trying to wrap up an agreement in the coming days that would allow them to re-establish embassies and post ambassadors to each other’s capitals after a half-century interruption. Officials from both governments were planning to meet in Havana Friday to discuss the situation.

The St Lucia government is curious about how the Cubans came to be in possession of tourist visas to St Lucia. This incident comes in the wake of some 60 Asian students being left stranded in St Lucia after an education al institution, Lambirds Academy, which they enrolled to attend suddenly shut down and its principals arrested by local police on money laundering and human trafficking chargers. The case is currently before the courts.

Two weeks ago, seven of the students left St Lucia illegally for Grenada and were sent back here by the Grenadian authorities.

A promise by the St Lucia government to investigate what has been known as The Lambirds Affair has so far not materialized.

Yesterday’s United Workers Party statement wanted reasons why Saint Lucia visas “for the second time in recent months seemed to result in embarrassment for this country”. The party demanded a full and detailed explanation and investigation from the Dr. Kenny Anthony administration.

7 Comments

  1. Cuba, St.Lucia, and Venezuela, perfect together; after all, ‘birds of a feather flock together’.

    1. Who is worse than an ingrate ? Again, is there anything more lowly than the INGRATE ? Cuba and Venezuela has done so much for you, yet you repay them by biting the hands that feeds you. From educating our people to helping you afford gasoline to building roads and bridges.

      I am beginning to despair of the hopelessness that is the result of the irreversible brain-damage suffered by the mis-educated Negroes who worship the Naked Caucasian as God and obeys the word of God in his Bible :

      Ephesians 6

      4. Fathers,b do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

      5. Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

      6. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

      7. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

      8. because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

      SO, THE SLAVE MASTER HAS TAUGHT YOU TO HATE CUBA AND VENEZUELA AND YOU ACT LIKE THE PERFECT CHRISTIAN.

      WILL INGRATES LIKE YOU BE IN HEAVEN WITH THE NAKED WHITE MAN ? I say YES ! You’re such a good self-hating negro, John Wayne Kane.

      1. “… mis-educated Negroes who worship the Naked Caucasian as God and obeys the word of God in his Bible”
        ——————————————————————-
        This same response to every conceivable topic on this forum is becoming stale and worn-out.
        It’s time to come with something new; but then again you are stuck in reverse; maybe it’s time for a new transmission also known as a new brain.

      2. John Wayne Kane:

        It is astonishing how similar your arguments are to the other ninnies Rick John Wayne and Jeff Fedee although there are similar characteristics with the Crusader TOM TOM, who because of his residence in the Great metropolis of New York is exempt from making such babbles.

        Somewhere I read these two pronouncements; one was about throwing pearls to swines, and therefore I am hesitant about the next.

        “Perseverance gives power to weakness, and opens to Poverty the world’s wealth. It spreads fertility over the barren landscape, and bids the choicest fruits and flowers spring up and flourish in the desert abode of thorns and briers.

      3. John Wayne Kane:

        Surah Al-Maarij/The Ascending Way
        In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

        A questioner questioned concerning the doom about to fall (1)
        Upon the disbelievers, which none can repel, (2)
        From Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairways (3)
        (Whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years. (4)
        But be patient (O Muhammad) with a patience fair to see. (5)
        Lo! they behold it afar off (6)
        While we behold it nigh: (7)
        The day when the sky will become as molten copper, (8)
        And the hills become as flakes of wool, (9)
        And no familiar friend will ask a question of his friend (10)
        Though they will be given sight of them. The guilty man will long to be able to ransom himself from the punishment of that day at the price of his children (11)
        And his spouse and his brother (12)
        And his kin that harboured him (13)
        And all that are in the earth, if then it might deliver him. (14)
        But nay! for lo! it is the fire of hell (15)
        Eager to roast; (16)
        It calleth him who turned and fled (from truth), (17)
        And hoarded (wealth) and withheld it. (18)
        Lo! man was created anxious, (19)
        Fretful when evil befalleth him (20)
        And, when good befalleth him, grudging; (21)
        Save worshippers. (22)
        Who are constant at their worship (23)
        And in whose wealth there is a right acknowledged (24)
        For the beggar and the destitute; (25)
        And those who believe in the Day of Judgment, (26)
        And those who are fearful of their Lord’s doom – (27)
        Lo! the doom of their Lord is that before which none can feel secure – (28)
        And those who preserve their chastity (29)
        Save with their wives and those whom their right hands possess, for thus they are not blameworthy; (30)
        But whoso seeketh more than that, those are they who are transgressors; (31)
        And those who keep their pledges and their covenant, (32)
        And those who stand by their testimony (33)
        And those who are attentive at their worship. (34)
        These will dwell in Gardens, honoured. (35)
        What aileth those who disbelieve, that they keep staring toward thee (O Muhammad), open-eyed, (36)
        On the right and on the left, in groups? (37)
        Doth every man among them hope to enter the Garden of Delight? (38)
        Nay, verily. Lo! We created them from what they know. (39)
        But nay! I swear by the Lord of the rising-places and the setting-places of the planets that We are Able (40)
        To replace them by (others) better than them. And we are not to be outrun. (41)
        So let them chat and play until they meet their Day which they are promised, (42)
        The day when they come forth from the graves in haste, as racing to a goal, (43)
        With eyes aghast, abasement stupefying them: Such is the Day which they are promised. (44)

  2. I say a year from now, it will be a different voice, a different shade, a whole new set of politicians, with Cuba rubbing shoulders with a new president of the U.S.A.
    What say you, St. Lucia???

  3. Yes a different ball game completely in the U.S., different direction in the U.K., new government in Canada, Russia making territorial gains and advances into Europe, China land grab with no opposition, Muslims killing each other non stop. Now closer to home, Arabs buying out big chunks of St. Lucian business, revolutionizing the economy is it for the better or for the worse, can you argue with money? stop, take a partner, shall we dance?

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