Government silent on latest revocation of US visa!

Acting Police Commissioner Vernon Francois (seated) with Assistant Commissioner Errol Alexander (L) and Deputy Commissioner Moses Charles.

It was almost as if he knew all along it was coming—another visa issue to remind of the precedent set in respect of Richard Frederick’s election-time revocation. Over and over he had challenged the special treatment being handed the Central Castries MP by both the then opposition party and by his UWP Cabinet colleagues. Several times he had suggested how wrong and unfair it was to be talking about public perception as if that were something equal to being proven guilty as charged.
In his first Sunday TALK of the new year on Choice TV, Rick Wayne painted systematically a picture of the mess the new government now faced, having acknowledged that yes, a visa issued a leading member of the police force had been canceled. Should the new government decide without any evidence that the officer’s visa had been revoked for possibly criminal reasons? If so, what to do about it? Demand that he be fired? Transfer him? Demote him?
Said the talk-show host on Sunday evening: “I have said it at least a hundred times. I have no special interest in Richard Frederick. I am concerned only with justice. A particular attitude was  adopted by both the opposition and the day’s government with regard to the cancelation of Richard Frederick’s US visa. In not so many words, the message was that the US authorities had for years been investigating Frederick and now had proven their case. What case? That was left to the imagination.
“When the day’s prime minister announced that no reason was given him for the minister’s visa revocation, he was dismissed as ‘the Lyin’ King.’ Well now the shoe is on the other foot. Can the present prime minister now tell the nation the reason Frederick’s visas were canceled? Does he know why the top-ranking police officer’s visa was revoked?”
Wayne recalled the then PM King had decided, before making a public announcement, to have his overseas diplomats inquire from the US authorities why they had cancelled Minister Frederick’s visa and finally an embassy official had written the then PM to say he was “not at liberty to say why.”                 The general response, especially from the then opposition party was that the prime minister was withholding information from the public in the best interests of his election chances.
“Over and over,” Wayne recalled, “people who obviously knew better were saying the US authorities wouldn’t dream of canceling a minister’s visa without explanation. A wonderful gift had fallen in the opposition’s lap and they used it to full advantage against the King administration. Well now, the plague has come back to haunt its inventors.
What applied to Frederick must now be applied
in the case of the police officer whose visa was canceled.”
The show host went on: “All of a sudden everyone in Saint Lucia knew exactly how the CIA operates. How long they take to do things and how persistent they are. No one stopped to consider the fact that there wasn’t a single case involving a visa when the US authorities issued the reasons behind their decision.”
Moreover: “You and I know that the high-ranking officer now in the spotlight is but a step away from the rank of police commissioner.     This police officer carries the responsibility for the nation’s security. So what’s to happen to him? Do we demand punitive action against him even with no idea why his visa was revoked? Do we act toward this member of the police force as we acted toward a Cabinet minister in the same position? Hey we don’t know the real reason for the revocation but it’s a safe guess it would have to be something negative, something criminal!”
Dramatically, Wayne said: “The ticking you hear is a time bomb called the Saint Lucia Police Force.” He said he had been reliably informed that a woman was recently denied a US on the ground that American Embassy had decided not to issue visas to any member of the force until an ongoing investigation had been completed.
“Yes,” said Wayne, “the applicant was herself a police officer.”
He saved the best for last: “At the time of the Richard Frederick visa situation I did some investigating and discovered that shortly before the action against Frederick the Americans had sought certain information concerning the deaths of a number of notorious citizens, which were being openly talked about here as extra-judiciary executions. The embassy officials heard the stories, both over Newsspin as well as some very important local mouths directly. They interviewed police officers here, to no avail. They questioned government ministers, to no avail. And it was only following those failed investigations that Frederick’s visas were canceled.”
He cited examples in other parts of the Caribbean where there was talk about police officers as members of death squads and the reaction of the US embassy.
He went on: “Vernon Francois seems to be our most liked commissioner with the populace, precisely because he put a stop to the spate of killings. But it is precisely that that the Americans are interested in. They have heard the rumours, they have heard from  certain very influential mouths and they decided to take certain actions. There will be more revocations!”

Share your feedback with us.

Comments are closed.

← Go Back | Headlines Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Inc

Lifestyle & Archives