Tuesday, September 24, 2013

St Lucia-US Relations on a thread!

Dr. Kenny Anthony
This is an extract taken from the article  "St Lucia-US Relations on A Thread!". The article was Written by Rick Wayne | September 23, 2013 and published in The Star.
".................Let us fast forward to the 2011 elections and his visa revocation, as had been predicted by leading Labour Party honchos. While in opposition the current prime minister had repeatedly instructed the nation that the US embassy would not have revoked an MP’s visa without explanation to his prime minister.   But two years later the current PM still has not done what his predecessor had failed to do.
A high-ranking police officer also had his US visa revoked, with no official explanation. As if that were not bad enough, the police commissioner was recently prevented from attending a police meeting in Philadelphia.    This time the prime minister blamed human rights violations, “suspected extra judicial killings” is how he explained it, committed during the previous administration’s Operation Restore Confidence.
Later, at a meeting on the steps of the Castries market, the prime minister repeated an earlier denied, then acknowledged, suspension of US funds that for several years had financed special police operations here.
Never before had he sang so lustily for his American supper. He underscored in straight talk that without American green backs it would be more than ever open season in Saint Lucia for traffickers in drugs and sex, to say nothing of local law enforcement problems. Did the prime minister know he was being monitored, even as he spoke, by personnel in his audience connected to the US State Department?
Many were taken aback when the prime minister added that his justice minister had recently visited the US embassy in Barbados. Moreover, that new arrangements for US funds had been made. What the prime minister said was true but only in part. What he did not say was that the US promises were based on what his government does about those earlier cited human rights violations, and importantly, how quickly.
Actually, the justice minister was given a deadline by which to move certain personnel from their present extra-sensitive positions. My information from impeccable off-island sources is that at least three more police visas were recently revoked following polygraph tests conducted here last week, during which some candidates sang like canaries on Chairman’s Reserve.
Believe it or not, on the line is the US visa of the justice minister himself, whose deadline for action, not more talk, is only a couple days away. So what does the prime minister know that his Cabinet (surprise, surprise!) does not know, let alone the House opposition?
What does the police commissioner know that the public needs to know?
And then there’s this other highly combustible matter about to bust wide open, involving the Financial Investigating Unit of the Financial Investigating Authority. Its director is local lawyer Paul Thompson. The rest of the unit comprises representatives of customs and the police force.
For the time being, I need only ask, again: What does the prime minister know about this ticking FIA bomb that Richard Frederick may or may not know, about which Philip J. Pierre and fellow Cabinet members have not a clue?
What does the State Department know? What are the Americans demanding? Especially vital: What do Paul Thompson and his team of investigators know that they may well be wishing they did not know?
And this time around who will be the sacrificial lambs?"

Source: http://news.stluciastar.com/st-lucia-us-relations-on-a-thread/

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