Friday, February 28, 2014

Former St Lucia minister sues over US visa revocation

Published on February 26, 2014

By Caribbean News Now contributor

WASHINGTON, USA -- On Tuesday, attorneys for former Saint Lucia housing minister Richard Frederick filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Washington, DC, claiming compensatory and punitive damages of $25 million in relation to the revocation in 2011 of his diplomatic and non-immigrant US visas.

Richard Frederick
Named as defendants in the action are Andrea Hillyer, a State Department employee at the US Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados; Susan Chainer, a former legal attaché at the same embassy; Eugene Sweeney, consul general at the embassy; George Deterville, the head of security for the prime minister of Saint Lucia; and two unnamed State Department employees.

The lawsuit has been expected for some months, following a Caribbean News Now articlepublished in September 2013, which has itself been referred to, and attached as one of the exhibits to the 18-page complaint.

Frederick is represented by well known Washington lawyer and former US Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose firm has been researching and preparing the case for a number of months before this week’s filing.

DiGenova explained this week that this was a very unusual case since the action for damages is brought in the name of the United States as plaintiff “for the use of Richard Frederick”.

The complaint comprises three counts:

First, that defendant Hillyer procured in 2011 the revocations of Frederick’s B1/B2 and A1 diplomatic visas at the behest of defendant Chainer and Frederick’s political enemies in Saint Lucia constituted willful malfeasance, abuse of power, and corrupt conduct in her office, and that the actions of the first unnamed defendant in revoking Frederick’s visas at the behest of defendants Hillyer and Chainer, and Frederick’s political enemies in Saint Lucia constitute willful malfeasance, abuse of power, and corrupt conduct in his office.

Second, that the actions of unnamed defendant 2 in denying Frederick’s subsequent application for an immigrant visa, on the basis of knowingly false allegations, constituted willful malfeasance, abuse of power, and corrupt conduct in his office.

Third, that defendants Hillyer , Chainer, Sweeney, Deterville, the two unnamed defendants, and other unnamed co-conspirators within the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and at the State Department headquarters in Washington, DC, formed an agreement to commit a wrongful act: to wit, to interfere in local Saint Lucia politics and to embarrass and humiliate Frederick by procuring in August 2011 the revocations of Frederick’s B1/B2 and A1 diplomatic visas to the United States on false information and without cause, and by continuing Frederick’s embarrassment and humiliation by denying in October 2012 his immigrant visa application. The object of this conspiracy was to cause consular officers to engage in acts of willful malfeasance, abuse of power, and corrupt conduct in their offices.

“An innocent man was falsely accused. This is his vindication,” DiGenova said on Tuesday.

Asked for comment on Tuesday's filing, Richard Frederick said, "I have every confidence in the American justice system and in my legal representatives, who are among the very best in the United States. I expect that justice will not only be done but will be seen to be done."

As previously reported it is believed that Frederick’s visa was revoked as a result of false information supplied by members of the SLP, then in opposition, in combination with a local propaganda campaign designed to tarnish Frederick’s reputation locally.

While these efforts were successful in having Frederick’s visa revoked, his personal political popularity apparently remained undiminished, although the news of the revocation of his visa may have played a part in his United Workers Party (UWP) being defeated in the 2011 general elections. 

In particular, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, then leader of the opposition, campaigned in the last general election on a promise, if elected, to make public the reasons behind the revocation of Frederick’s US visa. He has not yet done so since being re-elected to office in November 2011.

Frederick himself was returned as the parliamentary representative for Castries Central.

The events and circumstances leading up to the revocation of Frederick’s visas are described in detail in the complaint filed on Tuesday, including the alleged activities of defendant George Deterville, an SLP operative and a former police superintendent, who presently works in Prime Minister Anthony’s office. 

Around the time of the 2011 visa revocations, Deterville is alleged to have been involved in an improper personal relationship with defendant Chainer, a former US Embassy official, who had worked in the Bridgetown Embassy, where she is said to maintain contacts and influence.

According to the complaint, Chainer, at Deterville’s urging, conspired with US Embassy officials, including defendants Hillyer, Sweeney, and the first unnamed defendant to create a false and improper basis for revoking Frederick’s visas, and then to revoke those visas to cause political embarrassment to Frederick for the political gain of the SLP and Deterville.

Sweeney, in his position as Consul General, supervised the embassy officials responsible for the improper revocation of Frederick’s visas. In his supervisory capacity, Sweeney would have been consulted and approved the revocation of the B1/B2 and A1 diplomatic visas of a sitting Member of Parliament and Cabinet-level minister such as Frederick.

The SLP operatives, and the US embassy consular officials who conspired with them, were also allegedly aware that the decision to revoke Frederick’s visas is not reviewable under US law and that they could therefore deny Frederick any chance for adjudication or vindication. 

“It was the perfect political crime to commit against a respected Saint Lucian politician and lawyer,” the complaint says.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Is Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency Ready For The 50th Anniversary Celebrations?

Allen Chastanet - Political Leader
 You know, there is an old saying which says "The more things change the more they remain the same." One would have thought with the new restructuring of the Party, one would see dynamism, commitment and and a sense of co-operation from members and supporters especially in the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency. This seem to be a far-fetched idea.
   One will recall that at a meeting held at the Mongouge Club 60 building last December, where Ezekiel and Lennard were present, the Branch Executive made a commitment to hold monthly meetings as enshrined in the constitution section 12, to bring persons abreast of developments within the Party. It is not far-fetched to let one know that from the time this executive was formed that not one meeting has been held with supporters/members, of course barring the one in December that was called at the behest of concerned supporters.So what now?
  The Party's 50th anniversary celebrations are about to kick off and  it's a damn shame to know that the supporters, members and well wishers have not felt the hype which is suppose to be attached with such a celebration. Why? Poor administration? An attempt to boycott the activity? A lack of a sense of purpose? and the list could go on and on.
Gale Rigobert _ Parliamentary Leader Of The Opposition
The Party's  anniversary planning  committee has put out  a program for the celebrations. it follows:

UWP 50th Anniversary Events
Theme Yesterday Today and Beyond

Anniversary Date March 31st 2014

Main Activities to mark this golden jubilee

50th Anniversary Logo Competition
Deadline for submission was January 14st 2014.

Family Picnic Day
Scheduled for February 23rd 2014
Venue: Sandy Beach Vieux Fort
Fund Raising Dinner/ Auction 
Scheduled for Friday March 28th 2014
Church Service and Rally
Scheduled for March 30th 2014
Honoring our Stalwarts or elders of the party
This event is to express our deepest appreciation and to say a special thank you for their years of service and contribution to the United Workers party
Constituency Activities
All constituencies will be hosting a series of activities throughout the year with and aim of improving the life of our people
Youth Activities
 These activities are commencing during our 50th Anniversary celebrations and extended throughout 2014.

      With this in mind one would have believed that the Choiseul executive by now would have met with members/supportrs or even form a committee to plan activities to celebrate this milestone of the Party. not on aorta of information is being disseminated to supporters. How sad!
My suggestions, if a meeting was called and I was invited, these are the recommendations I would propose to celebrate this 50th anniversary in our constituency:
 Sunday - Church service and Cricket Match - East Choiseul vs West Choiseul [mixed teams]
> Monday - A talk on 'Community Capacity Building' [member [most likely from outside the constituency]
> Tuesday - Indoor games night
> Wednesday - General knowledge quiz first round [in Kweyole]
> Thursday - General knowledge quiz second round
> Friday - Domino competition among divisional groups
> Saturday - Fund raising activity - BBQ and dance or bingo
> Sunday - Children's spelling, or general knowledge quiz to be held at about 2:00 pm and adults General knowledge finals
Petra Nelson _ President Of Women's Ar
     Of course through discussions dates would be fixed so as not to clash with the Party's program. But "awah, nuttin happenin" with these guys.
Choiseul On The Move is of the opinion that plans seem to be afoot by this present executive to boycott 50th anniversary activities, and why, because they have always and continue to be in KING.s corner. This blog stands corrected.
     One can only hope and pray that good sense prevail and Choiseul/Saltibus  Constituency play its role in this milestone that the Party has achieved thus far.
In closing the Annivery theme speaks volumes as to what we ought to think. Is our local exec cognizant of such? Time alone will tell.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

UWP Logo And Website To Be Launched

The United Workers Party will on Thursday February 13, 2013, launch its new
website and reveal the winner of its 50th
anniversary logo competition. The new website, which will go live on the same
day, will offer quick and easy access to essential
information on the party and is part of ongoing
efforts to enhance the quality and availability of
information to members and the wider public. The website boasts a modern, colorful design and
is divided into several sections, which include the
history of the party, current and future events, all
press statements, and policy statements, among
many others. The website will also be used as an
avenue for all interested persons to apply for full membership in the party. After receiving several submissions, the party will
also unveil the winning logo of the just concluded,
50th anniversary logo competition. The winning
logo will be used on all 50th anniversary
promotions and at every upcoming event leading
up to the party's biggest celebration yet in March. Just coming to hand the website has been launched and the site can be accessed at

Source: In part from

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shamalyn's High Hopes For The National Independence Games

Shamalyn at the blocks
This is the story of young female heptathlon athlete. She is 19 years old Shamalyn Albert, born in May 1994.She has been with the Choiseul Athletics Club for the past 7 years. Over the years she's been participating in Various Club Games and have been very competitive in her main events. As a beginner, being introduced to field event, she began with Long jump, High Jump,Javelin and Shot Put. Her track events have always been sprints from 100m - 400m. In 2009, her high jump career was cut short due to an incident which occurred while at school  - Choiseul Secondary at the time. However she continued training in the 6 areas. As time went by her passion for track and field grew stronger and she has committed herself to learning more things and better her techniques.
Posing for the camera
 At least a year later, after being approached, she began training with a throws specialist by the name of Terry Finisterre. He had then realized that Shamalyn had lots of potential in throws and decided to assist her with techniques and setting goals. His commitment and determination and hard work was and will continue to be one she'd be thankful for, since he has been her coach for the past 3-4 years. In 2011,he (Terry Finisterre) introduced Shamalyn to combined events which is a series of multiple events over 2 days. The reason for his decision is that athletes were only allowed to do 3 individual events,and that she was capable and had the talents to complete multiple events over 2 days. She began with the Pentathlon, which consists of 5 events over 2 days. She completed her first Pentathlon in 2012 and then decided to try out the Heptathlon which consists of 7 events over 2 days. She continued her track and field career as a 'hept' athlete. She completed her first full heptathlon at the 2013 edition of the National Individual Championships with a score of 3885, including personal-best marks in all three track events which are 100m hurdles 18:53, 200m 27:09 and 800m 2:45:39. The year 2013 was very tough and challenging.
Doing the Fosbury flop

 In addition, her pre-season training has been coming along perfectly. She's now preparing for the Annual Independence Championships Dated for 22nd and 23rd February 2014. She will be completing her 2nd full Heptathlon and celebrating her 2nd anniversary as a combined event athlete. Her aim for the Independence Championship is to get a score of at least 5000. Her theme for the championship is "GO HARD OR DIE" along with her club's theme "WINNERS NEVER QUIT AND QUITTERs NEVER WIN". She is therefore asking that her fellow Choiseulians to come out to support   the Choiseul Athletics Club on February 22nd - 23rd 2014.

What a leap!
Shamalyn, nicknamed "RedOx" would like to extend special thanks to her coach Terry Finisterre, for his continued  hard work and support, the head coach of Choiseul Athletics Club for her encouragement, and not forgetting Dane Magloire, Jumps Specialist and Fabian Felix and her team members for their words of encouragement and continued support.
The Hurdles
  Choiseul On The Move wishes the Choiseul Athleteics Club and Shamalyn all the best and may their team be victorious.