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Nov 29, 2006

U.S. Embassy issues first visas from new location

Story PictureOperating from its new digs in the capital city, the United States Embassy announced today that it issued its first visa from the new location on Monday. And the recipients couldn’t be more deserving. According to a press release issued today, Ambassador Robert Dieter presented Belize City residents Alta Casares and her infant son Angel Castro with the documents during a brief ceremony in the lobby of the Consular Section. The mother and child are now able to travel to Richmond, Virginia on Thursday. Through the efforts of the Rotary Club’s Gift of Life programme, the eighteen month old boy is scheduled to undergo surgery at a hospital in that city to repair a hole in his heart. While we applaud the embassy for its action in this case, we are left wondering how the U.S. officials were able to dispose of the ever sticky issue of “privacy” to make the announcement. It may be recalled that when we asked the embassy to respond to the unjustified jailing of Belizean Georgia Ramsey in North Carolina, it said its hands were tied due to the State Department’s privacy policy–even though Ramsey was willing to sign a waiver allowing the publicity. Ramsey was detained in a county jail after she was wrongly accused of possessing a fake U.S. visa. Following a televised interview in which Ramsey described her harrowing ordeal; Consul Cindy Gregg declined to comment on the case, specifically citing the visa holder’s right to privacy.

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