The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

An international dilemma surrounds the fomer St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) deputy consul general in New York, creating political fallout between the two camps back home.

Evidently, it has become a political issue, which should not be, yet I understood why.

For the same reason, sources have revealed that the deputy consul general was recalled from his duties based on allegations of misconduct — performing duties outside those of his office. However, many reports out of SVG are indicating that there has been a cover-up of the deputy consul general’s actual behaviour and misconduct. As a matter of fact, reports of out St Lucia revealed that the deputy consul general boarded a connecting flight to SVG — however, additional information out of Kingstown is saying that the deputy consul flew off to the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Why?

Also, bear in mind that the deputy consul general was a government official and representative in New York. His duties are generally to assist and protect the citizens of SVG, in addition to facilitate trade and association between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the allegation of misconduct diverged the Vincentian public, both at home and in the Diaspora, building up a plaque of debates and speculations, and creating enormous animosities on the political spectrum surfacing from the media and social media alike.

Finally, further reports disclosed that the Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his son, Sen. Camillo Gonsalves, who is Minister of Foreign Affairs, attempted to clear the airways purporting that the deputy consul general had not broken any of SVG’s laws. Furthermore, some reports are indicating that although the deputy consul general allegedly had a history of misconduct, he was handpicked for the prestigious job –a very important point raised.

More so, the leadership and lack of transparency surrounding this issue have rejuvenated million dollar questions and concerns!

If the deputy consul had not done anything wrong, why was he recalled? Why did he leave his portfolio in New York? And why is he not in St Vincent and the Grenadines to answer questions concerning the allegations?

Through my own assessment of the information provided, these questions are not being adequately answered by leadership and have left a vacuum in the minds of most Vincentians craving for answers. This too can have enormous negative impacts on SVG and its government and people.

Let’s discuss these terrible dilemmas SVG has found itself lately!

First, the international community would recognize SVG as a threat and could stall trade agreements, constructing a serious roadblock to economic growth. Furthermore, if the information received is correct, the deputy consul general’s behaviour clearly aggravates injustice, ethics and undermines stability in vulnerable economies, such as SVG’s. Moreover, these actions can divert resources away from impoverished SVG and poverty-eradicating efforts, and sustainable development. Last, his action could stifle transparency and the need to openly serve the people.

As a Vincentian, creative thinker, and an impartial and unprejudiced individual, I am committed to share some recommendations — to the government, opposition and citizens of SVG.

The government and opposition should be working together on this issue, instead of the opposition making the issue a politically outrage. Clearly, the deputy consul general action could have occurred under any government. Also, the government, opposition and citizens should encourage people who are affected to come forward with valid information and evidence against the deputy consul general for the justice system. Henceforth, to reduce actions like the present, thorough investigation and background checks should be carried out before selecting a deputy consul general — and although some sources indicated that the government is aware of some insidious behaviours prior to selecting him.

In this capacity, the government and opposition should also embark on a journey to employ an independent body to investigate the issue. Meanwhile the deputy consul general should be in SVG to answer any question: prompted by the government, citizens and opposition.

Unless we pursue these recommendations and further effective unbiased suggestions from other entities, the right-wing politicians and supporters will continue to cover up these actions, crippling social, political and economic development, while the left-wingers continue to speculate and push the issues, even in a colourful political direction. The right and left should meet the author of this article in the middle, look at the issue from the centre and find solutions collectively.

In my view, both the government and opposition, and their followers are on the wrong paths of solving this problem! All they are doing is clogging the arteries of expressions and creating a bigger divide.

Come together, assess the deputy consul’s actions, find impartial solutions and put politics to rest!

D. Markie Spring

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

6 replies on “SVG New York consulate fiasco in New York: What are the impacts?”

  1. Urlan Alexander says:

    Oh Markie Spring are you living in SVG? My reason for asking that question s that you call on the government and opposition to work together. Are you talking about the government f SVG? I doubt that because everything that the incumbent gov’t does is politically charged. Every appointment made in the government service is colored with politics. The gov’t is NOT going to work with the opposition that is no no. While I see the rationale behind your proposal its not going to happen in SVG under the ULP. The record shows that the ULP is the perfect government. They have NEVER admitted to any wrongdoings on their part no matter how embarrassing it is. From PS stealing monies in ministries to diplomats taking monies from Vincentians abroad under false pretence. If you do a survey you will see how much this government has erred and no one has been punished. Persons of no significance might be the ones hauled before the courts. The big fishes continue to enjoy their status no matter how much their actions embarrass SVG. So again Mr Spring good points, however the reality is we are living in SVG.

  2. Markie,

    I may be wrong but I think if you look at the situation from a Corporate Governance approach you may understand why what he did may have been wrong but he didn’t break any laws so as to amount to criminal charges.

    For example in the US they have a rules based approach to Corporate Governance (Sarbanes Oxley act etc…) but however in the UK they have taken a more principles based approached meaning we expect you to act a certain that may appear right in the eyes of the public (for lost of a better or exact phrase).

    Now if and I say if he has broken any laws in the US then by all means he should be charged once it is in there legal right to do so. But I have yet to hear from the public what laws citing the specific law that he has broken.

    I also have a question I was hoping someone can answer;

    Did he actually succeed in assisting anyone in getting a green card?

  3. Jennifer Davis says:

    I completely agree with the writer of this article. It is time to come together and resolve this issue. The international community is watching The current government and the opposition party need to stop their “self serving” attitude and think of the people of SVG.

  4. We have a government that refused to make a joint speech to help stop crime because it would, in their minds make the opposition look good. And now that same government hired and fired the DCG in New York, without even a a word but people here are asking the opposition to stop playing politics???

    Hahaha. I see why SVG went down the hill, because we have to many idiots asking the wrong people questions and applying pressure to the wrong people. The opposition are suppose to “oppose” and if they do not oppose the government on the way they handle this matter, that is surely going to affect all Vincentians badly for years to come then they wouldn’t be doing their jobs. Do you want the opposition to hold hands and sing???

    Hahhaah Vincentian people boy a tell yo.

  5. Mr. Spring stop throwing around words so loosely, like “international dilemma… political fallout… building up a plaque of debates and speculations, and creating enormous animosities on the political spectrum”… Nothing of the sought! Where we going with this again?
    It appears you’re nitpicking, under the guise of creative thinking.
    No crime was committed. We’ve heard this over and over. In my opinion, it was simply an oversight on Mr. Augustus’s behalf; where he sought to make some money on the side, by helping undocumented individuals to acquire legal status in the USA through some contacts of his. I have heard that he was successful in this endeavor with a few persons.
    The story surfaced, was looked into, acted upon promptly by the Government, and Mr. Augustus was terminated and recalled immediately. End of story.
    Mr. Augustus is left to nurse his wounds, and we need to give him some time to heal. This was just a bad call. Enough already!

  6. Folks this was a political appointment, so how in hell can you remove politics from the issue. And why shouldn’t SVG nationals ask questions, especially with the lame duck excuses by Ralph and Camillo. Then again he was in trouble before he got the job, so why shouldn’t SVG nationals question the wisdom of this government in choosing this culprit. Stop trying to blame the opposition and concerned Vincentians. They had nothing to do with this appointment.

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