Relations with Venezuela behind U.S visa waiver decision says government


Antigua and Barbuda’s exclusion from the visa renewal waiver with the United States is based on its support for Venezuela, the government here has said.

The Cabinet yesterday held a discussion on the United States Government’s decision to exclude citizens from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent, three of six OECS countries, from an announced waiver which eliminates the need for citizens to pay in-person visits to the Barbados Embassy in order to renew visitor visas.

“The Cabinet is firmly persuaded that the exclusion is connected to the friendship which the three states have developed with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” a statement from the Cabinet said.

“Further, the decision by these three states to adhere to the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of member-states, has been identified as the principal reason. It cannot be that Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent can be persuaded to abandon principle and a solid friendship, in exchange for a compelled trip by their citizens to renew visas” the Cabinet statement added.

The statement said that Antigua enjoys good relations with the United States “but the USA cannot compel Antigua and Barbuda to act in a manner inimical to Antigua and Barbuda’s interests, and contrary to good international law.”

The government says relations with Caracas are also solid.

Venezuela recently forgave a debt of US$250 million dollars, owed to it by Antigua and Barbuda through the PDV Caribe.

The PDV Caribe program continues to deliver much good for hundreds of families whose incomes fall below a certain threshold, and whose age would classify them as elderly.

When Hurricane Irma struck last year, Venezuela airlifted hundreds of tons of relief and emergency supplies, and provided a military aircraft to fly nearly 600 Barbudans to Antigua in order to escape from an impending storm.

 Venezuela has been a friend since 1974 when President Carlos Andres Perez came to the rescue of a bankrupt LIAT forty-four years ago; and when President Hugo Chavez rescued Antigua and Barbuda from the brink of collapse by lending US$50 million to the Spencer administration, in 2009.


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    Lack of ‘…Understanding the United States’ could be problematic
    for small developing nations.

    There are three fundamentals to remember;
    (i) …Its national Security;
    (ii) …Its Economy; and
    (iii) …Its citizens.

    These, it considers highly among its national interests and supersedes
    all other interests.

    Understand that ‘…Foreign Relations Policies’ are formulated and guided
    for the protection of these interests.

  2. What a picture. Two of the top candidates for worst manager of the decade award. Hope A&B isn’t in for the same kind of suffering Venezuela is going through.

    • Don’t be so harsh in your criticism. Remember it was Baldwin who called up Chavez in the dead of night to ask for a 50.

      • Yes, Chavez was a different kettle of fish, he had oil money and could afford to be generous. Of course eventually corruption set in,Chavez died, oil prices fell and the bus driver took over and ran everything into the ground. Now the country is bankrupt with citizens fleeing if they can to escape starvation.
        It is not in A&B’s interest to continue this relationship no matter how you spin it.

  3. So you make you bed is so you lay. If it is in your country’s interest to be friends with a rogue state then be prepared for the consequences and move on irrespective of whether it is coming from the USA or any other country.

  4. America is all about AMERICA.. They appear to be getting more and more selfish as the days go by.. Why should they tell anyone what to do? Are they God’s gift to planet Earth? They sit on their earthly throne and make all sorts of immoral and Evil laws in the name of Human Rights,defying all the principals of anything Godly..Why should anyone listen to them? The Sanctions that will be coming on them won’t need a vote from any man,it will be weeping and Gnashing of teeth..

  5. Y the shit people killing to visit a country that dont want them there gtfoh with that i staying put,and by the way they killing black people up there ……

  6. First it was Canada , now its the US and all we’re getting from this incompetent clueless ALP government is excuses. If you cannot manage to raise our living standards you have no business in office.
    Ron Saunders needs to be fired. We might as well save the money we’re spending on him in Washington because he has not done a single positive thing for antigua except live high and smell sweet.
    You make the UPP look like the best thing since slice bread.

    • Oh hush! From since me bron you always needed a Visa to go to the US that is nothing new. Further I I the same UPP who you said is the best thing since slice bread sign and an agreement named ALBA. From ALBA came the PeroCaribe PVP programe which senior citizens and less fortunate families benefit from. While the USA where we want to so desperatley go up to this day has not settle the ruling from WTO in which we won our case. Instead they are going all out passing all kind off laws to kill pur offshore sector.

  7. Retarded sweetiepie, USA policies against Venezuela caused them to be in this situation. They never like Chavez
    (I wonder if it then that kill him off) and believe that the whole of planet earth belongs to them.

    • Sure but they left him alone and still bought Venezuela oil. Chavez was a charismatic leader who did a lot for his people with oil money but his social programs were unsustainable when prices fell. The bus driver is not a leader. He is an opportunist and his policies have gutted the economy and made the currency worthless reducing the population to desperation. Blame the US for his idiotic and corrupt policies? I think not. Just because the current occupant of “Crazytown” is going off half cocked over Venezuela with sanctions doesn’t mean the people of the US do not feel compassion for the suffering they are enduring. Presidents come and go (thank God) but human rights and democracy are still pretty popular in case you haven’t noticed.

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