The Opposition, Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) views the imposition of visa facilities on Venezuelan nationals and the simultaneous granting of visa free access to Chinese nationals with suspicion, as this scenario presents a disturbing dichotomy.
First, the Prime Minister’s rationale for imposing visa facilities on Venezuelan nationals is seriously flawed. Mr. Chastanet argues that it was for security reasons. He insinuated that the 60 homicides in 2017 as well as most of the guns coming into Saint Lucia had to do with the mass movement of the said nationals towards the Caribbean. The fact is, we do not have a problem with Venezuelan nationals at our ports of entry.
Hence the imposition of Visa facilities on Venezuelan nationals has nothing to do with the security interests of Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians. Therefore, the Prime Minister needs to clarify this allegation as he seems clueless on issues of National Security. It was this seeming deplorable ignorance, which led him to further state that no Coast Guard boats were operational when he came into office in 2011. The truth is all except two boats were operational. The only two boats that were inoperative at the time were PO4 and PO6, which remain so to this day.
Consequently, the Opposition dismisses Mr. Allen Chastanet’s comments on the aforementioned national security issues as mere propaganda. The Saint Lucia Labour Party would like to make it abundantly clear, that it rejects the arbitrary withdrawal of this privilege to our long-time friend and ally, and upon our return to office, we will immediately restore the mutual respect and friendship with Venezuela by reinstating the previous visa protocol. The SLP also condemns, in the strongest possible terms, assassination attempts on democratically elected leaders in our hemisphere or any other part of the world.