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Stop fooling around with international affairs

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16.MAR.07

Editor: Can someone explain what we pay all that tax money for our foreign missions for? What exactly do they do for our citizens abroad? The recent decision to issue a single CARICOM visa should be seen as a step in the right direction and may possibly be maintained long after the World Cup has gone.

What baffles me is the exceptions for countries like Italy, Germany, France and Spain, citizens from these countries do not need a CARICOM visa.{{more}}

Now correct me if I am wrong but I have never seen a batsman wearing lederhosen to play cricket so why the exception for a country, that never even heard about cricket, but requires a visa for CARICOM citizens when they visit Germany? Some “clever” person decided that allowing German tourists to continue to come to the entire Caribbean was more important than inconveniencing a few tourists. Those same clever people travel freely too

Europe and the US who are on diplomatic visas so they never have any hassle. As a Caribbean citizen I am made to feel like a second class human being every time I have to apply for a visa, the Australian government has done a marvelous job of securing visa waivers for its citizens in Europe and Canada why can’t our lazy governments follow suit? Reciprocity would turn away thousands of tourists from visiting our sandy shores, yes, so why not then try to secure the same, equal privileges for our people?

The Caribbean is the home of peace and tranquility, we don’t fight up in terrorism, we don’t blow anybody up and we have no fight with any nation. Keep the CARICOM visa but make those foreign officers work for their money and demand visa waivers for Caribbean citizens in Europe and Canada. We generally don’t need a visa for the UK and Ireland, so why for mainland Europe? Our artists, trades people, businessmen and women, and tourists must not be made to feel the shame and hassle of visa application, they should be proud of their country and stand as equals.

Stop fooling around with international affairs, we must demand parity for our citizens abroad.

Vincentian Abroad

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