My response to the Visa Interview Waiver from the US government to three OECS countries is a rational one, so says PM Gonsalves.
“Every single country controls its own immigration arrangements, I don’t what takes place in decision making in any particular unless am a part of it”.
“I can’t begin to presume what is the reason why a particular country would act in a particular manner”.
Gonsalves said he has seen like everybody else what was written as to why SVG, Dominica and Antigua did not receive the waiver, and persons are saying it’s because of our support for Venezuela, he noted.
“Our vote in regard to Venezuela at the last OAS meeting is a vote in defense of fundamental principles, which forms part of the charter of the United Nations, that is to say a strong position against non- interference of another country’s internal affairs”.
Gonsalves said SVG and the US does not have any diplomatic disputes pointing to the Annual Trade Winds program taking place here in SVG in 2019.
Gonsalves said he does not know how many persons the waiver is going to help positively.
Gonsalves said that if you don’t have to travel to Barbados it would help, but there are conditions to it and he does not know how many will be able to fulfil the conditions.
Gonsalves said he has chosen not to inquiry about the reason why SVG was denied the program because he believes at some time he is likely to find out.
“Not just the opinion of somebody as to the reason, but an actual explanation”.
Gonsalves said there are certain things in the conditions of foreign relations in which you may request certain explanations, however he did not request an explanation when the Peace Corp volunteers left the island.
“I got a call from the US Ambassador who said to me they were taken out of the country temporarily, I read the public statement and I understood they were saying it was a specific security reason, people went off and say it was punishment for SVG”.
Gonsalves says he does not plan to do anything about the refusal and will not speculate on the matter any further.