PNP calls on Vaz to make 'full and transparent' disclosure on US visa annotationSaturday, September 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Hours after being reinstated with his United States visa, Cabinet member, Daryl Vaz, is being called upon by the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) to urgently make a "full and transparent" public disclosure on a relative to an alleged waiver on the visa.
"If he refuses to do so, he (Vaz) should either resign or be removed from the Cabinet," said the PNP in a statement from its General Secretary, Dr Dayton Campbell.
Vaz is the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology and is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Portland Western.
Vaz's visa was snatched by the US in November in 2019, but on Friday, he was issued a one-year visitor's visa by the US Embassy.
But the PNP is alleging that the visa contains an annotation that required urgent clarity.
"... This visa contains an annotation that reads '212(SMALL D) (3) (A) WAIVER of 212 (A) (2C) (1)' which is a provision that, under US immigration law, applied to controlled substance traffickers or their knowing aiders and abettors," the party claimed.
"Mr Vaz is a sitting member of the Cabinet, and the need for this waiver raises immediate concerns which must be addressed, as it indicates that the consular officer had reason to believe that Mr Vaz is associated with drug trafficking," it alleged.
The PNP said that, while it understood that "the visa revocation under this section of the US immigration laws" does not rise to the standard of proven guilt in wrongdoing, Vaz "must clarify for the people of Jamaica what circumstances have given reason to believe he has been associated with drug trafficking, leading to the need for this specific waiver".
Against that background, the Opposition reiterated its calls for Vaz to "immediately make a full and transparent disclosure" on the circumstances that led to the annotation being made.
To date, no formal reason was given for the revocation of Vaz's US visa.
However, Vaz has maintained that he was not guilty of any wrongdoing.