St. Lucia imposes visas on Venezuelans

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Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro

The main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is questioning the decision of the government to impose visa restrictions on Venezuelan nationals while granting visa-free access to Chinese nationals.

In a statement, the SLP said it viewed the situation “with suspicion, as this scenario presents a disturbing dichotomy”.

It questioned the rationale behind the decision to impose the visas on Venezuelan nationals which the government said was for security reasons.

The party said that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has linked the 60 murders reordered here last as well as most of the guns coming into the island as a result of the mass movement of Venezuelans fleeing the South American country where opposition and other groups are engaged in protests action to remove the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

“The fact is, we do not have a problem with Venezuelan nationals at our ports of entry. Hence the imposition of visa facilities on Venezuelan nationals has nothing to do with the security interests of St. Lucia and St. Lucians. Therefore, the Prime Minister needs to clarify this allegation as he seems clueless on issues of National Security,” the party said in a statement, adding that it has dismissed Chastanet’s statement on national security concerns.

“The St. Lucia Labour Party would like to make it abundantly clear, that it rejects the arbitrary withdrawal of this privilege to our long-time friend and ally, and upon our return to office, we will immediately restore the mutual respect and friendship with Venezuela by reinstating the previous visa protocol. The SLP also condemns, in the strongest possible terms, assassination attempts on democratically elected leaders in our hemisphere or any other part of the world.”

It said the government’s rationale for granting visa free access to Chinese nationals was that China is now a major global player and is the second largest economy in the world.

“This was the prevailing scenario under the former SLP Administration and visa free access was not granted on this basis. In fact, visa free access is not granted to a country on the basis of GDP per capita, the size of its economy or how affluent its citizens are.”

The SLP said that while visa free access is not always based on reciprocity, visa free travel to countries depends on the basis of main factors (such as) the principle of reciprocity/privilege status…historical factors and trends about the pattern of migration between the countries”.

“We do not share this with China. While the Opposition readily appreciates that there is no mystery to the granting of visa free access to foreign nationals, the abrupt and unilateral granting of the facility of visa free access to Chinese nationals has cast a shadow of doubt and cynicism on the true intentions of the Government. “

St. Lucia enjoys diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

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1 COMMENT

  1. What do you expect with a sellout Uncle Tom as the PM? Don’t you remember how he voted at the OAS on the Venezuela issue? He is NOT to be trusted.

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