Today’s Editorial: The cold shoulder switch

POSTED: 04/15/11 12:31 PM

The Justice Minister has provided clear responses to a number of concerns around the implementation of a visa requirement for citizens of Jamaicans and Guyanese. He has also created yet more questions. Before we get to that though, there is a necessary assertion that must be made: The key to avoiding chaos is to communicate, and even then one may yet have questions.

Let us remember back to the introduction of the requirement for United States citizens to obtain a passport for when they travel to and from the Caribbean and Mexico. The American government gave its owns citizens three months to comply (November 22, 2006 to January 23, 2007). In 2007 they delayed the measure until the summer of 2008.

Just from this one example is it wrong to think that it is best to give people information before hand?

In all his responses about a transition period the minister ignores a key fact. Much like others who come here on holiday, or for other reasons, Jamaicans and Guyanese plan their travel. Very few of them get on planes from one day, one week, one month or several months to the next.

To be crystal clear the issue with the timing is not a disagreement over border security. Instead it is an issue of the friendly country, suddenly giving part of a region it seeks to join through planned membership in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) a cold shoulder.


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