CASTRIES, St Lucia, Tuesday August 15, 2017 – St Lucia is looking to impose visa restrictions on Venezuelans seeking to enter that country, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced.
At a news conference yesterday, he said he was concerned about ongoing turmoil in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country, where more than 120 people have died since anti-government protests erupted.
The Prime Minister said he had instructed the Ministry of Immigration to prepare a document for cabinet to consider in relation to the visa restrictions and, “barring any impediment”, those restrictions will be imposed.
Chastanet expressed fear that the ongoing turmoil could be a potential security threat to St Lucia, given Venezuela’s proximity to transshipment points for the illegal drugs and guns trade.
“….People are short of cash and therefore people are bringing drugs and bringing arms to sell in St Lucia and other Caribbean Islands,” he observed.
“I don’t think that we should make it any easier than the logistics already have for Venezuelans to come here,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chastanet has cast a wary eye on Washington after President Donald Trump announced that he would not rule out military intervention to bring an end to the turmoil in Caracas.
The St Lucian Prime Minister maintains there should not be any foreign intervention in Venezuela.
“St Lucia has always had the position that we would not support any foreign intervention in Venezuela, whether by the United States or anybody else – inside this hemisphere or outside this hemisphere,” he maintained, adding that the hemisphere had let down Venezuela by failing to have a clear mechanism in place to solve problems.