(Antigua Observer )The cost of establishing a United States Embassy in Antigua and Barbuda or any other member state of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) would be prohibitive.
That is the view of the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the U.S. embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Joaquin Monserrate, who shared his perspective during a recent exclusive interview with our newsroom.
He was asked about the possibility of the embassy establishing an office here, given the volume of people who are required to travel to Barbados on an annual basis for visas and other services.
“Every year embassies have higher and higher requirements which include security and other measures. It is not just a building, it becomes a significant undertaking,” Monserrate said.
He said the absence of a local office in Antigua in no way affects the embassy’s ability to communicate and dialogue with government officials, noting that a representative is on island almost every quarter.
“What we are probably saving from not having to do the huge funding of an embassy, we are investing in making sure that we have a constant and deep and meaningful presence in Antigua and Barbuda,” the U.S. diplomat said.
The U.S. embassy, based in Barbados, covers five countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.