Report: US confirms revocation of Denzil Douglas' diplomatic visa

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts — Contrary to denials by the former prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Denzil Douglas, that his United States diplomatic visa had been revoked prior to last month's general elections, US officials have reportedly confirmed that the revocation was part of a gradual process, although not done deliberately to coincide with the election campaign.

As previously reported, the diplomatic visa of the former prime minister was said to have been revoked before the February 16, 2015, general elections over concerns the US government has regarding the management of the citizenship by investment programme.

Journalist Ken Richards of WINN FM news, based in St Kitts, reported that "the Americans are quoted as saying that the timing of the revoking of the visa was not done to deliberately coincide with the election campaign, but was the result of a gradual process."

Douglas has refuted the claims that his US visa was revoked, stating that the whole story is untrue and simply an effort to tarnish his reputation.

In the meantime, the new Team Unity administration has yet to issue an official statement regarding the matter. However, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris did comment on the revocation of the visa by the US government when he addressed his constituents in a town hall style meeting last Wednesday.

"The United States, the most powerful country in the world, determined that Denzil Douglas was improper and unfit to be accorded a US diplomatic visa and it is a shame and scandal for any national leader to have had such a condemnation put on him,"

Harris told the audience.

In a comment made to another St Kitts-Nevis based media house, Harris described the revocation of the US visa by the Americans as "indeed a sad occasion".

Douglas has been at the centre of a number of scandals involving the country's citizenship by investment programme that resulted in heightened scrutiny by the US government and the withdrawal of the visa waiver for St Kitts and Nevis nationals by the Canadian government.

His 20-year rule of St Kitts and Nevis came to an end on February 16 when the opposition alliance led by Harris, known as Team Unity, defeated the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in the general election.

Douglas had been seeking to be the first prime minister to win a fifth straight term in office.

-- Reprinted from Caribbean News Now

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