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Devastating consequences foreseen from UK visa restrictions on Dominicans

Devastating consequences foreseen from UK visa restrictions on Dominicans

Atty. Gabriel J. Christian

Gabriel J. Christian

(02 August 2023) —

UK visa restrictions

Visa restrictions imposed by the United Kingdom on the Commonwealth of Dominica on July 19th, 2023, are set to have profound and far-reaching consequences. This article explores and highlights the devastating effects of these restrictions on Dominica and its people.

Despite the protestations of prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit that his government engaged in robust vetting of passport sales applicants, the UK government disagreed. In a blistering condemnation of the Dominica visa regime, the UK government accused it of a “clear and evident abuse of the CBI program.”

Hence, the UK government ended a long-standing arrangement which allowed holders of Dominican passports to enter the UK without first obtaining a visa. The prior arrangement allowed Dominicans to enter the UK as visitors for business or pleasure, as well as to study. Now, Dominicans will be subjected to a rigorous vetting and qualification process to obtain a UK visa.

Indeed, democracy activists have been warning for at least a decade or more of the rogues, scalawags see, scoundrels, mafia elements, money launderers and assorted criminals who were arrested while in the position of “Dominican diplomats.” Prime minister Skerrit has failed to come clean with an independent commission of inquiry into that catastrophic series of diplomatic appointments and embarrassment and why and how such a sordid group of undesirables came to hold such exalted positions as diplomats of Dominica.

The enormous damage to Dominica’s reputation cannot be denied. Truly, the action of the United Kingdom government was fully expected, and other countries may follow in imposing sanctions on our nation. This was unnecessary as the prime minister was warned about his misconduct in office for many years and took no heed to cease and desist from his behavior. The only consolation we have as a nation is that none of those arrested were Dominicans. The entire lineup of arrested diplomats are foreign associates of prime minister Skerrit who got diplomatic passports under his watch and not without his specific approval.

Who are these people? Here is a small sampling of a few of those pseudo-Dominican diplomats who have been arrested or charged.

  • Ng Lap Seng – A Chinese mobster and money launderer. Arrested by the FBI, convicted and jailed.
  • Francesco Corallo – appointed as Ambassador of Dominica to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization- An Italian mobster, tax evader, and money launderer. Arrested by Italian police.
  • Allision Madueke – disgraced Nigerian Minister of Oil who defrauded her nation of an estimated 9 billion dollars. A money launderer who was arrested by Scotland Yard.
  • Theobald Boesinghe – A Belgian neo-Nazi appointed as Dominica Ambassador to Ireland. The government of Ireland rejected his appointment.
  • The Iranian spy – a UN sanctions buster and money launderer Alireza Monfared. He was arrested by Interpol. He is Jailed and is awaiting possible execution by Iran for fraud, larceny, and other criminal acts.

What are the consequences of such irresponsible behavior by the Skerrit government?

Economic setbacks

The imposition of visa restrictions by the UK severely limits the ability of Dominicans to travel, study, work, or establish business connections in the UK. This restriction will hamper economic growth and opportunities, as individuals no longer have easy access to the UK market to seek employment or establish business ventures. Dominica’s industries, such as tourism and services, will suffer as potential investors, tourists, and students are deterred by the added complications of obtaining a visa.

Education and skills drain

The UK has always been a prime destination for Dominican students seeking higher education. Visa restrictions will limit their ability to pursue educational opportunities in the UK, resulting in skills drain and hindering the development of a highly educated workforce. Consequently, Dominica’s ability to compete in an increasingly globalized and knowledge-based economy will be compromised, negatively impacting long-term growth and development.

 Diplomatic relations

Visa restrictions from the UK strain the bilateral diplomatic relations between the two nations. This may lead to a deterioration of diplomatic ties, reduced cooperation, and strained bilateral negotiations. The perception of a strained relationship can also negatively impact Dominica’s standing among other international partners, potentially affecting international aid, trade, and investment opportunities.

Atty Gabriel J. Christian

Social and cultural isolation

Visa restrictions create a sense of isolation for Dominicans who have family and cultural ties to the UK. For most of the 20th Century, the largest community of Dominicans overseas resided in the United Kingdom. Almost every Dominican has a family member or relative in the United Kingdom. In addition, there are thousands of second, third and fourth generation United Kingdom citizens of Dominican heritage. The inability to visit loved ones, attend important events, or connect with the diaspora community in the UK carries significant emotional and psychological impact. Furthermore, it limits cultural exchange, collaboration, and mutual understanding between the two nations, hindering the development of strong people-to-people connections.

Dominica Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit

Global reputation and perception

The imposition of visa restrictions by the UK casts a shadow over Dominica’s reputation globally. It may be misconstrued as a reflection of the country’s security concerns or immigration issues, leading to negative perceptions among other nations and potential investors. The stigma associated with visa restrictions can hinder foreign direct investment, tourism, and collaborations, impacting Dominica’s overall economic prospects.

Collective negative impact

The imposition of visa restrictions by the United Kingdom on the Commonwealth of Dominica on July 19th, 2023, presents devastating consequences for the island nation. The economic setbacks, education and skills drain, strained diplomatic relations, social and cultural isolation, and negative global reputation are profound impacts that will hinder Dominica’s growth and development. It is essential for the UK and Dominica governments to engage in dialogue and find solutions that balance security concerns with the necessity of fostering global connections, mutual prosperity, and shared opportunities.

Flag of Dominica

It is clear prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit lacks the capacity to deal with any responsible foreign democratic government. Given Skerrit’s lack of credible leadership, he should choose the moral and honorable course and resign now. With his resignation, a transitional government should be installed to oversee new elections to allow for restoration of rule of law and democracy in Dominica.

A law abiding, and democratic government may be able to restore better relations with the United Kingdom and other democracies. Prime minister Skerrit has had almost twenty years at the helm and has been found wanting. He has overseen, a pattern of bankrupt diplomacy, diminished rule of law and abysmal performance in agriculture and industry in Dominica. The imposition of sanctions by the United Kingdom was the last straw. Please do our country a favor and go now!

(c) Gabriel J. Christian/The Ward Post

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About the author

Gabriel J. Christian, Esq.

An attorney in Maryland and a Georgetown Law School graduate, attorney Gabriel Christian is a highly-skilled veteran trial lawyer. He is deeply involved in community service, offering his time to the citizens of Maryland, business organizations, religious organizations, the school system, and the Caribbean community.

Admissions: Admitted to the Maryland bar, 1991; U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, 1992; U.S. Supreme Court, 1997.

Education: University of the District of Columbia (BBA, 1986); Georgetown University (J.D., 1991).

Professional Associations and Memberships: J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, Prince George's County Bar Association, Maryland Bar Association, National Bar Association, Alan J. Goldstein Inns of Court, American Bar Association, Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences, Tuskegee Airmen Association- East Coast Chapter, Board Member- Caribbean Research & Policy Center.

Published Works: In Search of Eden: Dominica, The Travails of a Caribbean Mini-State, 1992; Rain On A Tin Roof, 1999; Death by Fire - The Explosive Story of the 1963 Carnival Tragedy, 2007; For King & Country - The Service and Sacrifice of the Dominican Soldier, 2008; For King & Country-The Service and Sacrifice of the British West Indian Military, 2009; Mamo! The Life and Times of Dame Mary Eugenia Charles, 2010.

Appointments: Appointed a Judicial Commissioner on the Maryland Courts of Appeals Nomination Commission in 2007 by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley; Appointed a Commissioner on the Governor's Commission on Caribbean Affairs in 2012 by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

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