ULP manifesto permits SVG’s visa waiver deals — PM

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves holds up a copy of his party's 2015 manifesto at Monday's consultation with SVG diplomats. (iWN photo)

The Unity Labour Party manifesto on which it was elected to a fourth consecutive term in 2015 permits the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to enter into visa waiver agreements.

So said Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Monday, as he noted that the manifesto promised that the ULP administration would “establish diplomatic relations with yet more countries throughout the world to better protect our nation’s interests particularly in migration (visa waivers), investment, trade, development assistance, cultural and sporting links”.

He made the point as he, again, defended his government’s decision to enter into a visa waiver agreement with Russia.

Speaking Monday in Kingstown at the biennial consultation on the nations’ heads of mission and consulates, Gonsalves said:

“So when we set about with the United Arab Emirates, for instance, to have visa waivers, and when we set out with Russia to have visa waivers, I hear some people who, I pity them, what are you going there for. I told the people, we told the people in our manifesto what we are going to do.

“It shouldn’t come as any shock, as any surprise. And we want to do so with more and more countries; that’s what it says,” the prime minister said, adding that his country had already signed waivers with Ethiopia.

He said that some people don’t understand that SVG has visa requirements for only seven countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Lebanon.

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He said Kingstown regrets having to impose it on Santo Domingo and is considering removing it and is also considering a similar move with Abuja, noting the number of Nigerian students studying medicine in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Dr. Gonsalves, How many people do you think actually read your manifesto? You are doing good on foreign policy, as far as travel visas goes. But, where is all the development aid monies going to? Why haven’t you focused on the nations terrible economy in 17 years? Clearly, you can’t do the maths. Despite all your foreign policy know-how, most of our people are still living below standards and chained in poverty. That is shameful in this modern era. Good God. The figures are not in your favor. My hope is that SVG-people can read that.

  2. While our focus is on building tourism which involves a message of ‘welcoming’. To “establish diplomatic relations with yet more countries throughout the world to better protect our nation’s interests particularly in migration (visa waivers), investment, trade, development assistance, cultural and sporting links” would seem a wise move, which will surely improve the flow of visitors to our shores and also provide us the opportunities to reciprocate.

    However, we must not overlook that while this is being considered, we also have to invest in the security aspects as it relates to above-board regulations and modernized training for our Police and Custom Officers, especially our special investigation and other unit teams.

    Yes, let’s welcome others but never overlook the hidden fact of ‘what is in it for me’ within the world of business trading today.

  3. What does it say that we have waivers for countries where most vincentians don’t care to go because their standard of living would not be better. Come with something sensible. This shit is just distraction to make it.look like they are doing something.

  4. For real i agree with you charles it’s nothing else than distration . Why does he have to focus on visa waivers from those countries?. Vincentians shouldn’t settle for his craps at any level. That’s nothing else than bullshit . He has no vision at all where as to enhance the life’s of all Vincentians.

  5. Instead of bringing us visa waivers for nasty rogue states led by nasty rogue leaders, bring us visa waivers for the US, UK, Canada and all the decent countries who actually contribute so much to us.

    Instead of States that Vincentians have settled in and earned livings in and some earned fortunes in, he brings us rubbish and claims some glory in doing so.

    Instead of embracing our best friends Gonsalves wants to push us further and further into the crap by associating with the Worlds rubbish States. Russia is currently a rubbish state led by a rubbish thief and dictator, Putin the thief is well documented on YouTube.

    Decent Vincentian’s everywhere do not want to be associated with Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia and the Emirates. They want no part of dictatorship or communism.

    As so often has been said here scum attracts scum.

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