Saint Lucia’s visa decision on Venezuela is careless, baseless and irresponsible: Browne

By SNO Staff

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Browne and Chastanet

(SNO) – Human and gender rights advocate Felicia Dujon Browne is the latest public figure to speak out against the visa restrictions being imposed on Venezuelan nationals by the Allen Chastanet-led Government of Saint Lucia.

Browne expressed her support for Venezuela, which is experiencing severe economic hardships due to internal and external challenges, in a Facebook post on Friday, July 27.

She implied that Venezuela is largely considered an ally of Saint Lucia and noted that the government’s decision is “careless”.

“Invoking a visa restriction on Venezuela is one of the most careless decisions to have been undertaken,” she wrote.

“As members of OECS and CARICOM, we should have recognized the importance of our friendship with our Latin American brothers and sisters. Every country has its allies and foes for various reasons. We should choose carefully which allegiances we should foster or severe our ties with. When our friends are on their knees, we do not close the doors in their faces. With good governance, we should act with dignity, humility and good conscious,” she added.

Since the news broke about the visa restrictions, government has attempted to reach out to the South American country through a one-day diplomatic effort.

In a press release, it was announced that Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, Hermangild Francis, was scheduled to lead a contingent to Venezuela on Friday, July 27, 2018 to “meet with the Minister of the Popular Power for the Interior, Justice and Peace Mr. Nestor Luis Reverol and the Director of the National Anti- Drug Organization Mr. Juan Grillo Gonzales”.

The press release said the Government of Saint Lucia visa requirements will be imposed on Venezuelans, with the exception of diplomats and genuine business persons, an action which was “precipitated by mounting national security concerns and the monitoring of unrelenting activities impacting the island’s porous borders”.

Minister Francis explained, according to the release, that the government has been “very thorough in relation to responding to some of the spin-off challenges emerging from the country’s current unfortunate economic circumstances”.

“Venezuela is still our friend,” Francis said. “We are not attempting to embarrass any nation, but suffice it to say that it is incumbent on the Government to take measures that will protect the country from security threats, and not compromise the security of our citizens or our borders. So this visit signifies that we are still friends and we will discuss mutual concerns and explore any solutions for going forward.”

Minister Francis called on the public in the press release to trust the government’s position, noting that it is not necessary to sensationalize this issue.

“This action is not unprecedented. It is not unprecedented that governments respond to their domestic concerns. We in Saint Lucia have visas imposed on us, and I speak of a country of less than 180,000 people,” he said.

The entourage for Venezuela included Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Dorian O’Brian, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia Leiff Esconlona, and representatives of the Office of the Mayor of Castries.

Minister Francis said he is looking forward to favourable talks, according to the press release.

Support for Browne’s opinion

The majority of the persons who responded to Browne’s post, agreed with her position.

John R. Lee called the decision, “Shameful and thankless move by the St. Lucian government.”

Augustin Francois expressed “I feel the shame”

Andre Pancho de Caires said “I concur.”

Victor Marquis Ingratitude found that the decision was unjust “, after the incredible number of things they have done for us”

Felicia Jules pointed out that “Many children have Spanish CXC by receiving free classes from Venezuela institute in St.Lucia”

And Smith Jn Philip said “I will support you 100percent ,,,,,,,brilliant words”

However, two people disagreed with Browne.

Keril Victor wrote: “Over 5 million people emigrated from Venezuela in the past 2-3 years during the economic collapse. We can help Venezuela but we must also protect our borders.”

Felicia Browne responded: “Protect our borders from whom? How many Venezuelans have migrated to our shores in the last 2-3 years. We need formal data to prove the claim that guns and crime are being perpetrated by Venezuelans. The erroneous statement from our Prime Minister is careless and irresponsible. This is a matter of Human Rights and denying people free movement based of presumed prejudice is unethical. Print the evidence to the claim that we have a migration problem with the peoples of Venezuela.”

Keril Victor bounced back, saying: “That’s precisely the point that we take such action before it happens. It’s a matter of national security. Yes, Saint Lucia owes Venezuela for their years of support whether through funding , projects , scholarships. But I’m saying we can still help Venezuela without exposing our vulnerable borders.”

The other person to have a differing view is “Aline Henry – chastenet”. She wrote: “st lucia has a right to protect its borders ,get a visa and come on over.”

Browne responded: “against whom? Who are the criminals? Is there any proof that we have a major crime problem with Venezuelans? It was a careless and baseless decision. It reminds me of what is currently happening in the US. We must never tolerate any form of injustice or intolerance to any group of persons. We are Saint Lucians first and foremost. It is not in our nature to behave in this manner.”

(8)(16)
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27 comments

  1. Whenever Venezeula gets back on its feet i bet they will remember who back them in their time of need. And Saint Lucia will certainly not be on that list... i hope the US of A can help subsidize of oil imports?

    (1)(1)
  2. This is like white people saying black people are monkey's they are thugs and thots.....we can't be discriminating an entire nation on one set of people's actions...

    (2)(1)
  3. Drugs are dealt with at sea with gofast boat

    (1)(0)
  4. Vaughn A R Blanchard

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article215663355.html

    (0)(0)
  5. Vaughn Blanchard

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article215663355.html

    (0)(0)
  6. The Efficacist:
    The Efficacitics: From a Finance n Global Market Perspective:
    Venezuela, especially under President Hugo Chavez made Some Serious Patrimonic n Economic Mistakes… They have an Oil-based Budget and Very Poor Relations with The Mighty USA… President Obama reset The Patrimonics of the US Economy… Inevitably, the Venezuelan Economy would Rapidly Collapse because of The Obama Oil-Finds n corresponding Oil-Market-Price Decline…
    Since circa 2005/2007 under President Bush, Venezuela had to Re-program their Social Economy with a Foreseeable Significant Revenue Decline Trajectory… The Patrimonics n Economics Remained Overly Ambitious n Optimistic… They did not Undertake The Requisite Public Socio-Economic Recalibration and Marketing necessary to Prepare the Venezuelan People for the Anticipated Negative Impacts of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars at that time… and The Unexpected 2008 Financial Crisis Complicated the Simplest Tasks of Arithmetic, Forecasting, n Projecting of All Budgets…
    In short, The Venezuelan Govt’s Finance Technocrats made Some Serious Errors by Not Insisting that The Govt could Ill-Afford a Protracted Hostile Economic Environment, with a Monolithic Oil-based Economy, with the Adeptly- Diversified Economy of the USA….
    So, therefore, thus, n consequently… when The Efficacitics of The USA vs Venezuela vs St. Lucia are Understood… The Implications n Ramifications for the various economies at Both the Patrimonic vs Economic vs Hegemonic Levels… There is Proper Justification for Instituting Common n Ordinary Visa Restrictions on The Venezuelan People at This Time… Hopefully, We Remain Good Friends Into The Foreseeable Future… God Bless The USA… All the Best to Our Caribbean Peoples… Caribbean-People-Efficacy… God Bless Us All…!!!

    (0)(5)
  7. Best island in the Caribbean keep telling yourself that by watching the Pitons ,Venezuelans always had drug and gun illegal trade with T&T they are our neighbour dispite our crime and murder rates increase since Venezuela recession and conflicts. T&T has over 100.000 illegal immigrants st Lucia does have that problem but is now placing visa requirements for a nation that in the past help them is shameful all of a sudden cruises ships arrivals and added tourism economy strong in st lucia is now become US puppet state.
    Remember we are in hurricane season and things can go in reverse god still in control live thy neighbour as thy self is missing in st lucia

    (4)(6)
    • The Government uses protecting St. Lucia's borders as a convenient excuse. If you require a visa it means that you are coming in legally by arriving at our airports or seaports. The problem with crime and the illegal drug trade within our region is the unpoliced waters and open bays that are characteristic of various territories. How then can the imposition of visas on Venezuelans protect our borders? Does the border begin and end at the sea and airports? Is the government suggesting that no Chinese, American, Canadian, British National, French National, Trinidadian, Guyanese, etc. is ever a threat to our security? If yes, then why not impose visa restrictions on them? Are we suggesting that Chinese are law abiding citizens everywhere they go? Honest responses to these questions will reveal how dishonest the government is in its explanations on this matter.

      (7)(1)
  8. 🌍The shitstem is rigged🌋

    This reminds me of the black slaves mentality....fighting their fellow brothers(venuzula)but being passive to their masters (china)...are you guys thinking from yall behind.....we gave yall a job to please and into accordance of the ppl but it seem yall choose to do what ever that pleases u......we are sitting from outside looking in and things really dont seem rite......and im speaking from one who supported to give yall that chance....you guys really not humble...like we just gave urll the status to enlargen yall scrotums.i must emphasize on this move is very wrong.

    (7)(6)
  9. St.Lucia has to take measure until another country has to come and help your ass. America Canada has visas on you'll. They deport you'll and reject you'll like rag dolls. So shut up and stuck up for those who has been there for you..fools! VENEZUELA will rise again someday and will kick st.lucia when it us done. Act like a small island and stay in your lane.

    (6)(5)
  10. Venezuelans have problems with Venezuelans. Yeah you may not have an increase in crime rate, but look at the gangs and crime rate in Venezuela. To think that wouldn't carry over to St. Lucia is ignorant. You can assist Venezuela in funding and relief aid with medications, supplies, etc without exposing the St. Lucian borders. I'm sure tourism would take a hit if Venezuela became a refugee safe haven. The last thing a tourist wants to do is come out to their car with someone leaning against it demanding money "or else". If they want to come to St. Lucia, get a visa, just like every single person that wants to come here.

    (9)(4)
  11. Every country has to protect our country, because st.lucians need a visa to go to the United States of America.

    (6)(4)
  12. I am very much concerned about St Lucia with very little regards to any specific party. I can only support what I see and hear that is fair. In regards to the screening of our neighbors from coming to St Lucia I am in full support. The same goes to us also. That’s prevention. The person that is requesting the data to prove is just being provocative. Lets forget about the party saga and let’s focus on St Lucia first. St Lucia is too small to not find data if you need data just ask around you will find.

    (9)(5)
  13. Friends or no friends St. Lucia has to take cautious measures to protect itself. For years the Venezuelans have traded drugs through our borders. Ask the Marine Police and Richard Frederick and Walters who have on many occasions defended them in court. Requiring visa's for Venezuela is not a crime, it is not even an issue that the international community would frown upon from a human rights stand point. The Government is not saying Venezuelans can't come to St. Lucia, what they are saying is simply we need to know why you are coming before we allow you to come. America has being an ally for a long time but we need visa's tom get there. England has being an ally for as long as St ; Lucia has had self Government but there are some Visa restrictions. So Browne if you have an ax to grind or looking to make a name wrong subject my sister.

    (19)(9)
    • There is absolutely no axe to grind, period. What this government mentioned has done is reprehensible, unjust and careless!. The question you must answer is how much drugs and ammunition has been intercepted at our ports of entry that can be linked to any legitimate immigrant from Venezuela? The answer is almost zero!

      The reason for your government's actions is the LIMA group. This group's agenda is to seek to overthrow the Venezuelan government under the guise of peace. Just read this and you will see what the minister said about "Venezuela is our friend" is just a load of garbage. https://www.google.com.ai/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1IM19G

      (5)(16)
    • Miss independent

      I agree with you 💯% because not only that the Venezuelan is drug trafficers they also kindnapp and kill innocent children. I resides in Abruba and they are causing maeham over here not talking about they in curacao.so I agree with the visa restrictions.this woman needs to find herself an occupation and leave well alone because this situation is bigger than her.ms Browne do your homework and get the facts straight before you open your mouth. Please leave Pandora's box close.

      (5)(3)
      • This is like white people saying black people are monkey's they are thugs and thots.....we can't be discriminating an entire nation on one set of people's actions...

        (0)(0)
  14. Some people do not have a government to run. So, they run their mouths instead.

    (14)(6)
    • So what you saying? Because people are not running government they should not have or express opinion. You mean you much still a house slave. Emancipate yourself NOW. Hurry!!!

      (0)(0)
  15. "Red herring", don't cry for Venezuela, we should be concerned with the impending Chinese Invasion.

    (13)(2)
  16. Venezuela over the years has been and continue bee a true friend of St.Lucia.This is not the time to drop kick the suffering nation.If the Gov decides to introduce a Visa system for Venezuelans it should be done very fairly cause I think we need a Visa to travel there.

    (1)(10)
  17. Yeah felicia Browne in your mouth.
    Trading guns for food and cash is tge norm now in TnT.
    Wait let the influx begin the we say why didnt we have visa restrictions.
    These drug guy would come over set up base and boom Largest hub for drugs trans shipment instead of best island in the caribbean.
    Sit you bum down Browne

    (22)(7)
    • Best island in the Caribbean keep telling yourself that by watching the Pitons ,Venezuelans always had drug and gun illegal trade with T&T they are our neighbour dispite our crime and murder rates increase since Venezuela recession and conflicts. T&T has over 100.000 illegal immigrants st Lucia does have that problem but is now placing visa requirements for a nation that in the past help them is shameful all of a sudden cruises ships arrivals and added tourism economy strong in st lucia is now become US puppet state.
      Remember we are in hurricane season and things can go in reverse god still in control live thy neighbour as thy self is missing in st lucia

      (0)(4)
    • Wow! And the Chinese will never do that. You anonymous idiot!

      (1)(0)

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