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Anti-Jamaican sentiments prevalent among some in CARICOM, says Carib PM

Published:Wednesday | December 4, 2013 | 4:38 PM

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves says there is a residue of anti-Jamaican feelings among persons in authority in several CARICOM countries.

Speaking on Nationwide Radio this morning, Gonsalves said the anti-Jamaican sentiments are despite widespread Caribbean admiration and acceptance of Jamaica’s culture.

He was reacting to the issue of hassle-free movement throughout CARICOM, brought into focus by Trinidad and Tobago’s denial of entry to 13 Jamaicans on November 21 and the October Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling in the Shanique Myrie case.

Gonsalves said the anti-Jamaican sentiments are not perpetuated by Heads of Government, who he declares are enlightened.

The St Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister said immigration officials throughout the region are operating under outdated laws that were developed with the intent to restrict.

He said this is contradictory to the work of tourism departments that spend millions to entice visitors to their countries.

Prime Minister Gonsalves said it is important that regional officials read and understand the CCJ’s ruling that outlines how immigration protocols are to apply to CARICOM nationals.

The court used its ruling in the Shanique Myrie case to establish a number of benchmark treatments it says CARICOM nationals should enjoy when they travel throughout the region.

Yesterday, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, A.J. Nicholson concluded a two-day meeting with his Trinidad and Tobago counterpart Winston Dookeran that was initiated after the November deportation of the Jamaicans.

Dookeran said the teams addressed specific issues that would inform the agenda on immigrations matters.

He also revealed that a detailed set of recommendations were fleshed out during the two days of meetings.


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