The call came against the background of 38 Cuban nationals, caught trying to get into the United States, reportedly having St Lucian tourist visas in their passports even though St Lucia has no such requirement, and the Lambirds Academy debacle in which more than 70 foreign students were issued visas to study in the country but were subsequently discovered to be victims of human trafficking.
The students from Nepal, Bangladesh and India are now stranded in St Lucia, following the arrests of the owners and operators of the academy. They were charged with human trafficking, fraud and money laundering in the alleged scam that lured students with promises of all inclusive boarding, an education and job placement overseas.
“It should also be noted that our government’s eventual admission that it had issued a trade licence to the proprietors of Lambirds to operate in St Lucia has done very little to quell the growing suspicion that it may not be sufficiently equipped to deal with matters which pose a direct threat to the security of our nation,” the LPM contended, saying that it was “deeply concerned” about these national security breaches that had occurred under Anthony’s leadership.
“Therefore, given our government’s private and public missteps in the Lambirds affair and now the Cuban visa scandal, which may well be evidence of a vast underground criminal enterprise aimed at circumventing St Lucia’s sovereignty as a nation, the LPM is calling upon the St Lucia Labour Party government to scrap its ongoing plans to introduce the Economic Citizenship Programme.”
The LPM argued that the government should instead be focusing on providing adequate security in an effort to combat criminal activities within St Lucia’s borders.
Government is currently carrying out an investigation into the report that the Cubans had St Lucia visas.