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Eustace suggests 250 Cubans granted citizenship

Eustace suggests 250 Cubans granted citizenship


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Godfred Pompey says there is no merit to the suggestion that every Cuban worker attached to the Argyle International Airport has Vincentian citizenship and a Vincentian passport.

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, speaking during a rally which was held at Sion Hill on Wednesday night, called on the Government to say how many Cubans have been granted citizenship and given passports.

“Is it true that every Cuban worker at the Argyle International Airport has Vincentian citizenship? Every single worker from Cuba at the airport, is it true that every one of them have Vincentian citizenship and were able to vote at the last election in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace asked on Wednesday.{{more}}

The Opposition Leader and President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) also asked whether or not there are 250 Cubans living in St Vincent and the Grenadines that also have Vincentian citizenship and passports.

“You know, I asked these questions to give people an opportunity to answer otherwise; the evidence will be provided as to who have those passports,” said Eustace.

He said that issues of this nature must be discussed because, “you know the situation here.”

The NDP president said that while Commonwealth citizens are allowed to vote in local elections, “other things are being done and providing opportunities to persons who have no right to vote here, except they are suddenly given that right by the government.”

But Pompey encouraged Eustace to provide the evidence that 250 Cubans have been issued citizenship accompanied by a Vincentian passport.

The Permanent Secretary said that over the years, only about five Cubans who married Vincentians or who have been living here for an extended period of time have been granted citizenship.

He said Cuban workers are required to apply for work permits and when they do, given the nature of the jobs they do at the airport, the fees are normally waived. He said, through arrangements made by the CEO of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), their passports are normally endorsed with a stamp, allowing them to remain in the country for the period of their contract.

“There is no widespread granting of citizenship to any worker at the airport. If he has the evidence, bring forward the evidence…,” said Pompey.

Eustace said that going into the December 2015 Elections, the NDP was concerned about the state of the country and the economy. He told persons then what the NDP would do to better the situation in the country if they got into power, but “the election was completed and we know the election was stolen and the government is not legal.”

Thanking the people for remaining loyal to him and allowing him to win his East Kingstown seat for the fifth consecutive term, Eustace said that the NDP will do all in its power to make sure the country gets the government that was elected last December. (LC)