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Commentary: St Vincent and the Grenadines consulate fiasco in New York: What is the impact?
Published on March 6, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By D. Markie Spring

An international dilemma surrounds the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) deputy consul in New York; creating political fallout between the two camps back home.

Evidently, it has become a political issue – which should not be – yet I understand why.

The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada
For the same reason, sources have revealed that the deputy consul was recalled from his duties based on allegations of misconduct – performing duties outside those of his office. However, many reports out of SVG are indicating that there has been a cover-up of the deputy consul’s actual behaviour and misconduct. As a matter of fact, reports out of St Lucia revealed that the deputy consul boarded a connecting flight to SVG; however, additional information out of Kingstown is saying that the deputy consul flew off to the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago – why?

Also, bear in mind that the deputy consul is a government official and representative in New York. His duties are generally to assist and protect the citizens of the deputy consul’s home country – SVG -- in addition to facilitate trade and association between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the allegation of misconduct diverged the Vincentian public, both at home and in the Diaspora; building up a plaque of debates and speculations, and creating enormous animosities on the political spectrum surfacing from the media and social media alike.

Finally, further reports disclosed that the prime minister and his son who is minister of foreign affairs attempted to clear the airways purporting that the deputy consul had not done anything contrary to his duties. Furthermore, some reports are indicating that, although the deputy consul had a past of misconduct, he was hand-picked for the prestigious job – a very important point raised.

More so, the leadership and lack of transparency sparked surrounding this issue have rejuvenated million-dollar questions and concerns!

If the deputy consul had not done anything wrong, why was he recalled? Why did he leave his portfolio in New York? And why he is not in St Vincent and the Grenadines to answer questions concerning the allegations?

Through my own assessment of the information provided, these questions are not being adequately answered by leadership and have left a vacuum in the minds of most Vincentians craving for answers. This too can have enormous negative impact on SVG and its government and people.

Let’s discuss these terrible dilemmas SVG has found itself in lately!

First, the international community would recognize SVG as a threat and could stall trade agreements; hence, construct a serious roadblock to economic growth. Furthermore, if the information received is correct, the deputy consul’s behaviour clearly aggravates injustice, ethics and undermines stability in vulnerable economies, such as SVG’s. Moreover, these actions can divert resources away from impoverished SVG and poverty-eradicating efforts, and sustainable development. Last, his action could stifle transparency and the need to openly serve the people.

As a Vincentian, creative thinker, and an impartial and unprejudiced individual, I am committed to share some recommendations – to the government, opposition and citizens of SVG:

Initially, the government and opposition should be working together on this issue, instead of the opposition making the issue a political outrage. Clearly, the deputy consul’s action could have occurred under any government. Also, the government, opposition and citizens should encourage people who are affected to come forward with valid information and evidence against the deputy consul for the justice system. Henceforth, to reduce actions like the present, thorough investigation and background checks should be carried out before selecting a deputy consul – although some sources indicated that the government is aware of some insidious behaviour prior to selecting him.

In this capacity, the government and opposition should also embark on a journey to employ an independent body to investigate the issue. Meanwhile, the deputy consul should be in SVG to answer any question: prompted by the government, citizens and opposition.

Unless we pursue these recommendations and further effective unbiased suggestions from other entities, the right-wing politicians and supporters will continue to cover up these actions; hitherto, crippling social, political and economic development while the left-wingers continue to speculate and push the issues, even in a colourful political direction. Opinionatedly, the right and left should meet the author of this article in the middle, look at the issue from the centre and find solutions collectively.

In my view, both the government and opposition, and their followers are on the wrong paths of solving this problem! All they are doing is clogging the arteries of expressions and creating a bigger divide.

Come together, assess the deputy consul’s actions, find impartial solutions and put politics to rest!
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