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Jun 1, 2017

P.M. Says No Impropriety Behind Revoked Visa

Edmond Castro

Prime Minister Dean Barrow broke his silence today in respect of a raft of issues plaguing his administration. First, there is the embarrassing cancellation of Edmond Castro’s diplomatic and tourist visas, despite the reasons given by the Minister of Transport and NEMO to downplay its significance.  Castro is on record stating that the revocation of both travel documents by the United States Embassy is the result of a lack of interest on his part to renew the visas.  Castro says it’s his choice not to meet with embassy officials to discuss the renewal of the visas. When asked today about it, Prime Minister Barrow says he stands by what Castro says, despite the poor optics that has come along with it. The revocation of diplomatic visas of any minister by the US government is indication that something is awry, but PM Barrow says that while he is somewhat confused by the turn of events, on the surface there is nothing to suggest that Castro’s visas were pulled on the basis of impropriety.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I am, to some degree, perplexed because I only know what I have heard from Minister Castro and what I have seen in a letter that he shared with me from the U.S. Embassy, meaning that there is no indication of any reason for the revocation of the visas, except that the minister declined to come in when invited to do so to discuss the whole issue of renewal of the visas since those visas were about to expire.  As the minister has said, and that’s clear from the letter that, what he said was confirmed by the letter, he refused to go in because he’s saying that he’s not interested.  In other words, had the visas not been revoked, had they been allowed to expire in the next couple of months he would not have sought any renewal.  In that context, while speculation will no doubt run riot, there is nothing at all to go on that can sustain any allegation, any contention that the revocation was for impropriety.  Certainly the U.S. authorities have never, ever approached me with any kind of complaint or expression of concern about the minister.  I know that, for example, there are police officers who’ve had their visas lifted and I understand, secondhand, that they are always told why it is that their visas are being pulled.  In these particular circumstances where all there is, is the fact of the minister not being interested in a renewal and not being prepared to go in to discuss the issue of the visas, I am afraid all I can do is to say that it is then a personal matter for the minister.”

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