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Camillo Gonsalves, our Prime Minister-in-waiting. (IWN file photo)
Camillo Gonsalves, our Prime Minister-in-waiting. (IWN file photo)
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines will use the visa waiver agreement it signed with the European Union last week to re-launch its lobby for the reinstatement of a similar privilege for Vincentian passport holders wishing to travel to Canada, Minister of Foreign Affairs Camillo Gonsalves has said.

Canada imposed visa restrictions on Vincentians in 2012.

“They made an erroneous claim that it was due, in some way, to the sanctity of our travel documents, the validity of our passport, and we fought that claim very vigorously,” Gonsalves said.

“And we pointed out, and they conceded, that it was due more to the fact that an inordinate number of Vincentians were applying for refugee status in Canada,” he said.

Gonsalves said that the Schengen visa waiver that SVG signed with the European Union last Thursday “is a validation of our claim once again”.

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He noted that the waiver allows visa-free access to 26 European nations, a population of 400 million people.

“… and they have done a full analysis of our passport structures, our security, our birth certificate and this decision to grant this status to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other countries in the region is an endorsement of the strength of our travel documents,” he said, adding that has been instructed to point out this development to Ottawa.

“… I have already been mandated by the Honourable Prime Minister to point this fact out to the Canadian government, that the Schengen zone has deemed our passports certainly sufficient and has placed sufficient trust in the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to afford them this privilege.”

Gonsalves noted that St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently signed visa-waiver agreements with Brazil and Uruguay.

“We are going to try — and we have made these heavy investments in our travel documents and in our security — to remove any doubt in the minds of other countries that we treat our travel document in a cavalier manner,” Gonsalves said.

“And, the European decision, we believe, is an endorsement and a validation of the money we have spent and the effort we have put into securing our travel document and identity papers. And we will be pointing this out the Canadians, and, as we have been doing regularly, to respectfully request that the reconsider their decision to make that imposition on us,” he said.

5 replies on “St. Vincent to use EU visa waiver to lobby Canada”

  1. Camillo you must also tell the Canadians how we supposedly burnt all the dodgy passports which allowed people to change their names without a record of their previous names in the new passports. People who were deported from Canada could return with a new passport and a new name. That was one of the things that really annoyed the Canadians.

    Problem is, those passports should never have been burnt, they should have had each page stamped “cancelled” and had a corner of the covers clipped. Each unused passport could then be verified against the number issued and a proper audit of where each of the dodgy unissued passports is. Now burnt, all evidence and ability to audit the whereabouts has gone. There may well be hundreds of them sitting in the draw of an office desk somewhere.

    Camillo your comrade daddy-kins also told the Canadians that the women who were seeking asylum from SVG in Canada claiming brutality, rape and sexual assault, were all making false claims and were in fact economic migrants.

    Whilst we are at it perhaps Camillo would like to comment on the Wikipedia “He [Gonsalves] fathered another child out of wedlock and the mother lived for the first year of the child’s life in Canada until she was deported recently from Canada for being undocumented. While in Canada the mother and baby were financially supported by the Prime Minister.”
    The above information has been there for years now, is it true? I hope not. But I would like to ask, if it is true, if this woman was an economic migrant also?

    The thing you need to explain the recent exposure of an Iranian government money launderer, that was based in the Caymens, who the US said had Vincentian citizenship. The PM has disputed that, but that is not good enough, a full explanation needs to be made. He would not appear to be one of the Iranian citizens that were made by the NDP regime, which included a doctor.

    “Canada severed all relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran as of Friday 07 September 2012. Canada has closed its embassy in Tehran. Ottawa announced it was expelling all Iranian diplomats from Canada within 5 days. As of Wednesday 12 September 2012 there is no longer any official Iranian diplomatic presence in Canada. The issuance of Iranian tourist and visit visas has moved to the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC USA.”

    The Canadians are very up tight when it comes to Iranians. So perhaps Camillo you should explain our special relationship with Iran and our connections via ALBA and also how you yourself have voted in the UN General Assembly in a way that supported Iran. Tell the Canadians how Iran gave us money, and since then and with instructions from ALBA how we have put our full support behind Iran.

    Then explain the dozens of people who have SVG diplomatic passports but are not diplomats, singers, runners, and an assortment of people. Then explain how Vincentian Canadian called Morgan came by a Diplomatic passport in 2001, only to be caught at London airport in 2004 carrying a kilo of cocaine. He was using that very diplomatic passport, despite having a normal Vincentian and also a Canadian passport. He was not a diplomat nor was working for the SVG government. I hope daddy-kins has properly briefed you Camillo.

    Because as always with these initiatives there is more in the mortar than the pestle.

  2. Gimme a break. How serious are we about getting Visa waiver for Canada when the Prime Minister never even stepped foot up there to deal with the issue. He sent a letter, a letter could you imagine that? And this is a guy who goes to New York all the time, but can’t even go next door to Canada to have high level talks about this. Just ring the bell man. Too much talk, all you all do is talk SVG need someone who can do.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Sheer nonsense. Few Vincentians want to travel to any of these 26 countries, Brazil, or Uruguay, except Great Britain, where they were able travel already without a visa.

    Most want to go to America and Canada, mainly to look for illegal work because they would not qualify for either a work permit or green card via a normal residence application.

    Everyone knows this so why is this man spouting this nonsense?

  4. Luther Bonadie says:

    C Ben,
    That’s typical small mindedness of small island people.
    I’ll add this, you must learn to mind your own business.

    1. LB, who on earth do you think you are to tell David to mind his own business. You are one of the most ignorant people that come here, you write crap in support of crap.

      I suppose you think you are some kind of big I am, well news for you, you are little more than a paid collaborator. You and your like are responsible for selling out the Vincentians to this nasty Marxist regime.

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