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Will the truth come to light?


The Cast: (Clockwise) Castries Central MP Richard Frederick, US Embassy Charge d'Affairs Christopher Sandrolini, former Comptroller of Customs Terrence Leonard, Micoud North MP Jeannine Compton, Opposition Leader Kenny Anthony, former Attorney General Philip La Corbiniere.

Trust Machiavelli to get to the heart of it: “There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others. The first is the most excellent. The second is good, and the third is useless.”
Ah, but where to look and how to identify them: that is the question. The call-in shows might be a good place to start looking. The first category of intellect, alas, tends to stay away. However, once in a great while a particularly brave soul will be heard gingerly proffering in the fashion of the Socratic dialogues, an idea so commonplace as to sound clichéd in all ears save on this Rock of Sages.
Before you know it, this caller’s love for our exciting traditions will be put into question, as will his sense of nationalism and his political aspirations. Count on it, he will be also ominously accused of “copying de white man” and of being a traitor to his own kind—which is why intelligent contributions to call-in debates are in our particular neck of the woods as much a rarity as snow in William Peter Boulevard.

Of course, the absent intelligent contributor to national discourse is never missed. Not when there are so many who appreciate only what others comprehend and can hardly wait to show off.
Last week, it seemed every caller to every call-in show was determined to demonstrate his proficiency at interpreting words and phrases from the Saint Lucia Constitution. Totally lost on these Category-3 intellects who live only to echo the noise from political platforms is that “it is very useful in the construction of a statute to adhere to the ordinary meaning of the words used, and to the grammatical construction, unless that is at variance with the intention of the legislation to be collected from the statute itself, or leads to any manifest absurdity or repugnance, in which case the language may be varied or modified so as to avoid such inconvenience but no further.”

Top: Frederick’s unmarked US diplomatic visa. Bottom: His US visa contained in his St Lucian passport.

The quoted words were spoken by Justice Parke in the English case Becke v Smith. The judge later advised: “In construing statutes, and all written instruments, the grammatical and ordinary sense of the words is to be adhered to, unless that would lead to some absurdity or inconsistency with the rest of the instrument, in which case the grammatical and ordinary sense of the words may be modified so as to avoid that absurdity or inconsistency, but not farther.”
Now consider the following from a discussion of the plain meaning rule in Carminetti v United States: “It is elementary that the meaning of a statute must in the first instance be sought in the language in which the act is framed and if that is plain . . . the sole function of the courts is to enforce it according to its terms.” And if a statute’s language is plain and clear, the court further warned that “the duty of interpretation does not arise, and the rules which are to aid doubtful meanings need no discussion.”
Is there anything in the above that might discourage further casual invention of extraordinary meanings for ordinary words such as “immediately” and “as soon as possible” and “as soon as practical” and “as soon as convenient?” Alas, I doubt it. Not when so many of us take obvious pride in our Category-3 intellect and neither comprehend by ourselves nor by the showing of others.
And just in case some might say otherwise, then let us examine the latest brouhaha that seems to take sustenance from the US Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9, which states, under Revocations That May Have Repercussions: “Consular officers should be alert to the political, public relations, and law enforcement consequences that can follow a visa revocation, and should work with the department to ensure that all legally available options are fully and properly assessed. The revocation of the visa of a public official or prominent local or international person can have immediate and long-term repercussions on our political relationships with foreign powers and on our public diplomacy goals in a foreign state. The visa laws must be applied to such persons like any others, recognizing that certain visa categories, particularly As and Gs, are not subject to the same standards of inadmissibility as others. Consultation both within the mission and with the department may result in a decision that the department, rather than the consular officer, should undertake the revocation, since department revocations pursuant to the secretary’s revocation authority provide more flexibility in managing the relevant issues.” (My italics)
I am especially attracted to the line about the State Department’s awareness of the political consequences associated with the revocation of a politician’s visa— especially on the eve of elections!
Was Richard Frederick afforded the opportunity to “dialogue” with embassy officials prior to the revocation of his diplomatic and visitor’s visas? The answer—if you can believe Richard Frederick—is no.
The prime minister seemed to be saying in his statement on Monday that he was informed only after the visas had already been withdrawn, without prior notification. So are both gentlemen-politicians lying? Is there evidence of such prevarication?
A visiting US Embassy official this week restated the official policy that requires the State Department’s consular office to first offer holders the opportunity to dialogue before their visas are pulled. Actually, this is how the policy—and its intent—are stated in the Manual:
“22CFR 41.122(b) requires the consular officer to notify the alien of the intent to revoke a visa if such notification is practicable. The notice of intent to revoke a visa affords the alien the opportunity to demonstrate why the visa should not be revoked. An after-the-fact notice that the visa has already been revoked would not be sufficient, unless prior notice of intent to revoke was found not to be practicable in the particular case.” (Itals mine)
Does anything in the above automatically mean Richard Frederick was notified? And what if such notice was after-the-fact?
Nicole Thompson, a spokesperson for the US State Department in Washington DC, when asked whether she could confirm Richard Frederick was invited to discuss his case before his visas were revoked replied: “I don’t know about this specific case but we do try to notify the visa holder and to physically cancel the visa.”
As for the recent visitor from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, he stubbornly refused to comment specifically n the Frederick notification and insisted on answering related pointed questions only in general terms.
Let us now turn to Frederick. How solid is his reputation for speaking the whole truth and nothing but the truth? What about the Americans? Politicians, whether government ministers or consular officials, are as notorious as are lawyers for speaking only such truth as serves their purpose. Richard Frederick is not only a lawyer. More importantly, he is also a minister of government and at all times accountable to the people. Rightly, his every word demands intense scrutiny—and corroboration!

I need not discuss at great length the reputation of American politicians as truth tellers and as manufacturers of impeccable evidence supportive of their truth.
We need only recall Colin Powell’s Oscar-performance before the United Nations Security Council, and the world via TV, on the eve of America’s attack on Iraq. If Powell’s assurances that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in his arsenal that he planned imminently to unleash on other Middle East States, and possibly on Americans, speak volumes about American credibility. Even more important is the fact that what the former Secretary of State said on that unforgettable day at the U.N. does not even begin to count as America’s best demonstration of its indisputable special talent for inventing persuasive truth. Doubtless my old buddy Matthew Lubin, Saint Lucia’s unofficial Cuban ambassador, would attest to that. Even Kenny Anthony, by all a U.S. ambassador reported to the State Department, has his lingering doubts about American foreign policy, especially in relation to Article 98!
But then you may rightly ask, dear reader, why would the US Embassy in Barbados—despite its warning that while “the revocation of the visa of a public official can have immediate and long-term repercussions . . . the visa laws must be applied to such persons like all others” have turned around and treated Richard Frederick differently from any other visa holder?                 Doubtless it is a question that might easily be answered by the great USA’s former close friends, from Noriega to Saddam Hussein (if he were still around) to Osama bin Laden (who is in no position to tell tales) to Papa and Baby Doc to near comatose Hosni Mubarak.
But let us revisit Nicole Thompson at the State Department. When asked if there was even a remote chance Richard Frederick’s visas were revoked without prior notification or discussion, said: “I cannot say yes or no to that!”
What is without question is the unexplained fact that the visas in Richard Frederick’s passports, regular and diplomatic, remain pristine—unmarked by a revocation stamp—despite that he had recently traveled to the United States. Had he been earlier notified of the embassy’s intention to revoke his visas, would Frederick not have moved hell and high water to save them, including a quick visit to Barbados or Washington on the first available flight out of Saint Lucia, perchance to avert the worst? Are we ready to believe Frederick received notification of his visa cancelation yet ignored the opportunity to dialogue with embassy officials—despite that he has family commitments in the United States that require periodical visits?
Again I refer to the Manual where it speaks of informing an alien of an intent to revoke a visa: “22CFR 41.122 requires the consular officer to notify the alien of the intent to revoke a visa, if such notification is practicable. The notice of intent to revoke a visa affords the alien the opportunity to demonstrate why the visa should not be revoked. An after-the-fact notice that the visa has already been revoked would not be sufficient, unless prior notice of intent to revoke was found not to be practicable in the particular case.”
Further: “If a decision to revoke the visa is reached after the case has been reviewed, the consular officer must print or stamp the word ‘REVOKED’ in large block letters across the face of the visa. The consular officer must also date and sign this action and enter any new ineligibilities or derogatory information into the Consular Lookout and Support System.”
If as some continue conveniently to insist without evidence Frederick was notified of an intention to cancel his visas, and if indeed he dialogued unsuccessfully with embassy officials, then why is there no ‘REVOKED’ stamp on his passport visas as demanded by the State Foreign Affairs Manual?
The public has understandably been asking: “Why only now?” Might the question be usefully extended to: Why now, just before elections?  Consider this State Department cable dated a couple years ago, and released courtesy Wikileaks:
“Terrence Lenard, controller of customs, still plans to charge Frederick with customs evasion as soon as he receives evidence requested under the US-St. Lucia-Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. Although a successful conviction might merely result in a fine, Lenard hopes this would be enough to derail Frederick and block his rise to power.” (Emphasis mine)
Is that what Frederick’s arrest in the full glare of press publicity was about? The suspicion that unless stopped in his tracks by whatever means necessary he could end up in the prime minister’s chair?
Is that why on the recalled occasion the police chose not to interview him at his ministry or at his Castries office or at his private residence? Is that why Frederick was held at the Gros Islet police station for some six hours without a charge, with the press in attendance? Is that why the exercise was repeated, then abandoned?
How many others, besides Kenny Anthony, his attorney general and Lenard Terrence, are actively engaged in an evidently on-going attempt “to discredit Frederick and block his rise to power?”
How far are they prepared to go to keep Frederick—described in the Wikileaks cables as “powerful, wealthy, charismatic and popular”—from winning another general election and then supplanting a perceived “weak Stephenson King” and becoming prime minister of Saint Lucia?
I am here reminded of Paul Theroux’s sentiments, taken from his book “Sir Vidia’s Shadow” and reproduced in the first chapter of “Lapses & Infelicities”:
“It is a good thing that time is light, because so much of life is mumbling shadows and the future is just silence and darkness. But time passes by, time’s torch illuminates, it finds connections, it makes sense of confusion, it reveals the truth. And you hardly know the oddness of life until you have lived a little. Then you get it. You are older, looking back. For a period you understand and can say: I see it all clearly. I remember everything!”
Does anyone remember the night in William Peter Boulevard, soon after the 2006 Central Castries by-election, when a winning Richard Frederick ceremoniously and symbolically shed his Independent green tee shirt and replaced it with the UWP’s yellow version?
Does anyone recall the words of a humbled John Pilate Compton on the occasion?                 “You asked for him, I give him to you!” Remember?
Meanwhile, with bated breath, St Lucia and its prime minister await from the State Department details of the housing minister’s visa revocation. Will the department refuse to divulge the information or will it cooperate with the prime minister who according to Wikileaks, it considers “weak” and at the mercy of Frederick and his perceived supporters in Cabinet?
Will the State Department refuse to cooperate, even if it means leaving the country exposed to serious security risks?
Ah, how the plot thickens!


43 Responses to Will the truth come to light?

  1. Gate says:

    Monday 19th Sept calls increased for minister’s resignation. Friday 23rd Sept Frederick returned to radio 100 show and vowed not to resign. Sat 24th Sept media houses announced PM to address nation. Same day Richard addresses nation and announce resignation effective Monday 26th Sept. Just wanted to remind that also on Friday 16th US Embassy Charge’ d’Affairs Sandrolini spoke to media about Visa revocation rules and said all protocols were followed, and dispatched a letter to Stephenson King, after he requested it, on the 22nd of Sept. It is this letter which is now in question, as to what it said rather than what it didn’t say. PM we need to hear from you.

  2. Gate says:

    Let’s look at how this story unfolded: Thursday 15th sept Kenny and SLP hold Market step meeting and reveals that Jennine was sent to B’dos to help investigate Rufus and Frederick and says there is more to come but didn’t reveal those. Friday 16th Sept Richard comes on his Radio 100 program claiming there were people making secret attacks on his political career and mentioned Jeannine’s name. That same evening Jeanine confirmed Kenny’s and Wikileaks story that she was sent to B’dos by King and revealed further that Fredrick’s visas were revoked. Richard and King claimed to be shocked by the news.

  3. Botox says:

    He is such a nice guy, can you imagine that he is being treated like a common criminal. St. Lucia does not part take in money laundering or coke, we are a God fearing nation with good morality. He looks like a very honest and caring man, I would trust my mother with him.

  4. Truth says:

    Frederick said that the constitution did not say he needed a visa to be minister, so why he got a diplomatic visa in the first place. What is important now is the amount of trouble and hot water Frederick has put the UWP in. Take some time to think of that. Frederick said he resigned to free the party from any distraction, but he still claim he will run for the seat again and some of the voters in Castries still want him. If he has to go up for election on a UWP ticket he will have to be on their platform which is a big distraction. If he go up as an independent UWP will have to send another candidate which will split the votes and SLP will win the seat. So UWP is between a rock and a hard p

    • MKaks says:

      How did Fredrick put the uwp in hot water? Truth is the UWP been in warm water since they won the last election, the water got hot now cause they are not prepared and have a sorry bunch as elections get closer.

  5. noozieboy says:

    let’s be patient people..for there is one thing i know for sure it’s that the truth will come to light.

  6. Will the truth come to light? BOYO BOYO BOYO! what an article.It was well digested with lol. In my opinion a good one and deserves much interactive debates and discussion amongst all our people at all levels including secondary scholars,higher ed students and our political interlectuals as well. well done Rick! Allways knew you were of solid stuff.Perhaps another nomonation may not be far away,what!

  7. lucian_in_oz says:

    Rick would have us believe that Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama et al wear red t shirts and they want to destroy Frederick so Kenny can come back in. I’d rather ask, “what does the US know about Frederick that we do not know that would make them so nervous about someone like him being PM? Forget about if and when he knew the question is WHAT DOES THE US KNOW TO CANCEL HIS VISAS?

    • Botox says:

      The USA has eyes and ears everywhere, so Ritchie’s skeletons are well reviewed and the autopsy looks bad. You can’t hide certain things that shout out to being noticed. I detest those who hold anyone as an example for children to follow, this includes Lucifer and Jesus.

      • Lion of Lucia says:

        you mean jesus only said lucifer to fool some in believing that you are impartial but you are not.

  8. Botox says:

    There is no real version of truth in St. Lucia, we are all a big fabrication because we encourage a type of make believe existence. My feeling is this is the new age of Obeah.

  9. Same old shit says:

    zotie i agree with u 100 %

  10. Lucian to d bone says:

    Richard’s visa was revoked for no other reason but “by association”.

    Too many illegal-lies and undocu-mentalities in the US.

    Someone had to take the fall. And it might as well be someone in high office to send out a loud and clear message.

    Hi-tech sophistication rules!

  11. Lucia4life says:

    Hope we hear from the Bar Association…After all he is a practicing lawyer…over to u Andie

    • MKaks says:

      And what exactly do you want to hear? that since his visas was revoked he will be disbared. My friend we have bigger problems than that to deal with in the country, why cry over spilled milk.We need to move on and focus on some real issues like who will lead the country for the next 5 yrs and how we can get away from the mickey mouse politics in the country.

  12. Vanguard says:

    Then there is the issue of the call Frederick received….the letter King makes reference to…come on people, there are several in congruencies here….let us open up our minds, and really look into this matter. Personally, i think Mr Frederick should move away from politics due to the political repercussions his visa revocations might have on St Lucia. I urge Mr Frederick to put St Lucia first and do like Walter Francois….if you want to continue working for the people of central castries, do so in non political ways.

  13. Vanguard says:

    This piece leaves a lot to be desired; really thought it would have been more factual and objective. The tone of this piece seeks to defend Richard and as usual, put some blame on Kenny. The writer actually claims that Kenny and some others seek relentlessly to discredit and block Richard’s rise to power…this is so absurd! I mean this is politics, Richard too has been attacking Kenny, so whats the point. Let me just say that I sense that both Richard and King knew before hand that the visas were being looked at by the US. Why would King send Jeanine to Barbados to check on Fredrick’s visa? Why didn’t Frederick go in person? oh, maybe he didn’t want the REVOKED stamped on his visas….

  14. Truth says:

    The question I have which is very interesting is, why all of a sudden the US embassy is blamed by some to be bias against the Uwp? I thought the Uwp was alway pro USA and always the right wing party whiles the SLP was always thought as the left wing party? What has changed all of a sudden?

  15. Same old shit says:

    Rick when the story of Richard Frederick visa came out I was hopping to see an article form u on ur website, but no not until now. Here u r defending Frederick all the way, trying to prove that it might be possible that the US Embassy did not notify Rechard Frederick. instead of trying to find out whether the PM and The Minister is being honest with the public and for what reason the Visa was revoked , u choose a different path and as usual always trying to put Kenny Anthony in it. Can u write an article without using Kenny Anthony’s name or a matter related to him? I think by now, we Lucians have gotten it when it comes to Kenny and the bad decisions he have made.

  16. ALLISON says:

    As per your question,will the truth come to light.The ansewer is (YES).
    The light is his vias is revoked,and he can not do nothing to get it back.
    His best move is to stay away from the political arena,and lick his wounds like Walter Fancois.I do not belive most Saint Lucians like BOASTERS,and that is his demise.

    It is a good time to work on pearsonality.

  17. Elias Dubois says:

    I was expecting a more informative and factual piece. As usual I am disappointed, I will therefore ask you RICK a direct question: If as Fredrick states the constitution does not state that a parliamentary representaive requires a USA visa to serve his country, then why did Fredricks resign?
    Please respond Rick!
    On newspin you suggested that the USA manipulates its VISA as a manner of influencing government actions . My question is why of all the other MPS(uwpS) was Fredrick the chosen one?

  18. sugar says:

    If indeed Richard and Rufus and the others involved mistreated Sir John,which contributed to his strokes I will tell you today UWP will lose the election and Fredrick will win his seat. Dove come out give us all you know of what happened in 2007 regarding Sir John and all is doomed for UWPwee. I personally believe that UWP will be better off with a fw of these guys.

    • Truth says:

      Well now there is no more seat for Frederick, he has resigned, if he run as an independent there will be a Uwp candidate to share and split the votes.

  19. sugar says:

    In my opinion the US embassy did notify Richard fredrick of their intent to revoke his visa. the notification does not state that it must be in writing. This notification could have been “oral” or in writing. from my understanding Richard said he was notified by phone but beat his chest that he had nothing in his possession to state his visa was revoke. Richard as a lawyer you know full well that notification can be verbal or in writing. The question to ask is whether King or Fredrick was notified verbally. king address the nation taking about a letter he received. what we want to know from both men whether they were notified verbally. we need answers king

  20. zotie says:

    Rick, you deliberately picked up the quotes that would make your man look good. How comes you did not pick up any of the quotes where the DEA refers to him as being involved in narcotics? He is innocent until proven guilty but are you asking us to believe that the US Govt. revoked a sitting member of parliament’s visa without cause? If the revocation is solely on the words of Leonard, how comes they are doing it in 2011 when they did not in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010? Act as a journalist and not a UWP hack. Get over the fact that Kenny fired you. I am not SLP or UWP but I am tired of you pretending to be a journalist. You a attempting to settle a score; this is not journalism.

    • Sherlock says:

      The DEA quotes OTHERS as SAYING he is involved in narcotics. NOWHERE in Wikileaks does the DEA say this as a fact based on its own first-hand information. Also Leonard arrested Frederick based on information he requested and had not received from the US. The SLP when in office should have pulled all the stops to get evidence on Frederick. After all it’s not today these unsubstantiated rumours have been circulating about him.

  21. kentry charles says:

    Richard complains about being targeted, but at every given oppertunity he targets Kenny and tries to discredit him. like I said in another comment, he made reference to an individual being deemed unfit to hold public office, yet he sat in cabinet with one so deemed(unfit)by the court and made no public statement. He speaks about conspiracy! I want to know how he terms what happened in the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and the eventual removal of Ausbert form cabinet. What goes around, surely, comes right back around. Conspiracy?

  22. kentry charles says:

    Having heard those negative things, you decide not to employ that person, is the person who gave you the information to blame? And do you say that this was a conspiracy? I don’t know if the things being said about Richard are true, but he too should be careful what he says about others. In my mind, the then attorney general had every reason to seek assistance from the US authority to investigate Richard, since he had now become a public official. I also don’t know what information the former comptroller of customs had about Richard to feel so strongly that he didn’t want to see him gain political power, and therefore cannot support the conspiracy theory.

  23. kentry charles says:

    Are people suggesting that the former comptroller of customs and former attorney general started the allegations of wrong doings by Richard? Those who are of that belief were not leaving in St lucia prior to 2006. Are we suggesting too, that an attorney general should not seek assistance to investigate a person who is seeking to hold the highest office in our land, from authorities that are better placed than ours? If someone applies for a job at your business place, would you be wrong to make enquiries about that person? And if someone were to tell you that they have heard some negative things about that individual wouldn’t you be interested in knowing what those were?

  24. Ben says:

    When Richard and King tells it. They have the whole story and can’t fool St. Lucians. See it just a situation of a Comptonless bunch with no direction and no Rick they can’t be steered into the right direction because they are each going in the direction they prefer. You work our one situation for them one week and then they create another the other week. See undesirables.

  25. PASS says:

    Note to Rick Wayne: When the US says it will revoke a Visa and place a stamp on it, that doesn’t men the visa in the passport of the individual, as is the case of Richard. The stamp would be placed on the database so that all officers could see.. How else would they be in possession of his passport to stamp it unless he tries to travel to a US jurisdiction. Further he wouldn’t travel to Barbados to get his visa stamped. makes sense?

  26. chichi says:

    “the consular officer must print or stamp the word ‘REVOKED’ in large block letters across the face of the visa.” For that to happen the consular must be in possesion of the passport and the only way that can happen is if Richard had gone to the embassy in person or have somebody take his passport to Barbados.

    • Tonx says:

      That is precisely the point. Had he known that there was intent by the US authorities to revoke his visas, he would have definitly gone to the embassy to protect himself from such actions by them. Thus proving the point that he was not informed!!!! Guilty or not of accusations against him, we need to stop saying that he and the PM is lying.

      • chichi says:

        Tonx, you can not protect youself from having your visa revoked. A lengthy background check is done, these things can take years, as they have to investigate you, your friends, your family and if they find a sliver of you know what, then bam, the visa is revoked. All that info is classified so the PM is not able to say anymore than he has said.

        • gxt says:

          Chichi u place more faith in the US system than is obvious – all u need to do is ask around St Lucia u will hear stories of the amount of visas that have been canceled/denied
          on very little evidence. And if you travel to the US one thing u will find is that an immigration officer can and WILL revoke your visa at their own discretion – with NO consequence. The US is only accountable to US citizens – period.

      • Jason says:

        Your logic is flawed.

        First of all he could have been notified by mail/email or any other medium about the intent to revoke the visas and under which grounds. He may have also been given a timeline by which to challenge and refute the allegations and prove his innocence.

        However, he may have chosen to ignore it and not challenge it knowing that he was guilty as sin and simply never bothered to travel to the embassy.

        Isn’t it strange the your Minister of Planning hasn’t traveled to the US in “sometime” now according to the words of Rufus Bousquet.

        Maybe it’s just coincidence.

  27. Botox says:

    The passport picture looks guilty to me. When the police escort you through customs it’s degrading. Must be strange to never be able to go to Miami or New York, I mean you are persona non grata now. The cockroach can arrive in fist class but you are banned. I could not imagine the embarrassment of being rejected by the coolest country in the world.

    • John C says:

      Correction ,The coolest country in the world is not the US…What happened to “Sweet St.Lucia”? I believe some of us are heading in the wrong direction,stick to the situation at hand…be more Patriotic, citizen.

      • Botox says:

        Patriotism is a type of mental enslavement. This tribal propaganda is instilled into the unknowing child from a very early age. I am for one world, I belong to nobody and have borders, unlike Ritchie. lol.

    • Sandy Brown says:

      LOL….sooo funny!

    • Ian Alexander says:

      Coolest country in the world eh ? Why don’t you try asking the families of Troy Davis and George Junius Stinney Jr. about how cool the U.S is. It’s my opinion that the Great Big U.S.A is still the most racist country in the free world. But you obviously worship them.

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