1. US action against St Lucia may be connected to visa
By Caribbean News Now contributor
WASHINGTON, USA -- According to informed sources, the recent action
taken against Saint Lucia by the United States under the so-called Leahy
Law could be connected to the circumstances surrounding the revocation in
2011 of the diplomatic and non-immigrant visas of former housing
minister Richard Frederick.
It is now believed that Frederick’s visa was
revoked as a result of false information
supplied by members of the St Lucia Labour
Party (SLP), then in opposition, in
combination with a local propaganda
campaign designed to tarnish Frederick’s
While these efforts were successful in having
Frederick’s visa revoked, his personal
political popularity apparently remained
undiminished, although the news of the
revocation of his visa may have played a part
in his United Workers Party (UWP) being
defeated in the 2011 general elections.
In particular, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, then leader of the
opposition, campaigned in the last general election on a promise, if elected,
to make public the reasons behind the revocation of Frederick’s US visa.
He has not yet done so since being re-elected to office in November 2011.
Frederick himself was returned as the parliamentary representative for
Now, it seems that the recent cutting off of security-related assistance to
Saint Lucia by the US may be an undisclosed and unforeseen consequence
of the US effectively being duped or deceived in connection with the visa
2. No reason has been given by the US government for the apparent disparity
in the treatment of Frederick, which was based entirely on hearsay and
innuendo and apparently fabricated allegations, contrasted to the continued
ability of two prominent Saint Lucian government officials to enter the US
and effectively travel freely and with immunity/impunity on diplomatic
passports when they have a known history of violent sexual assault.
Inquiries with US law enforcement sources have produced no evidence
against Frederick and no interest in him on their part. Indeed, in the
opinion of one such source, it would have made no sense for the US to
cancel his visa when the possession of such a visa would have enabled him
to travel to the US, where he could have been detained and questioned if he
had in fact been a person of interest.
Well known Washington lawyer and former US Attorney Joe DiGenova,
who represents Frederick, said he has never seen anything like this in his
40 years of practicing law. He said he is certain that Frederick was
“It is abundantly clear that false information was provided to harm Richard
Frederick and certain individuals violated US law by providing such false
information. At the appropriate time we will take civil action in the
matter,” DiGenova said.
According to separate research, the individuals manipulating and/or
influencing US embassy officials and, in particular, making false
statements to US authorities may have committed a federal offence under
Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code (18 USC § 1001). This
statute applies in a wide-ranging context and, most commonly, the US
Justice Department uses this law to prosecute cover-up crimes such as
perjury and false declarations, and in obstruction of justice and government
The US government is believed to have launched an investigation into the
events and circumstances leading up to the revocation of Frederick’s visa.
In particular, one or more Saint Lucia women are reported to have traded
sexual favours to procure the co-operation of US embassy officials in
3. As a result, according to so far unconfirmed reports, certain State
Department and/or US embassy officials have been demoted and/or
otherwise disciplined over the incident, although the continued existence of
a “backchannel” line of communication between the Bridgetown embassy
and elements in Saint Lucia sympathetic to the SLP has been uncovered
just within the last few days.
Furthermore, Anthony and four other senior government officials – foreign
affairs minister Alva Baptiste; national security minister Phillip La
Corbiniere; commissioner of police Vernon Francois; and George
Deterville, a former police superintendant now working directly in the
Prime Minister’s Office -- were reportedly asked to attend a meeting
concerning the matter at the Bridgetown embassy over one year ago -- on
or about Monday, July 16, 2012 -- when they were told to provide specific
information as to the nature and sources of the allegations against
Frederick and given a deadline by which to do so.
The prime minister’s press secretary has not responded to a request for
confirmation and comment about the meeting in Barbados in July last year
or the outcome thereof and, although acknowledging our inquiries, neither
the State Department nor the US Embassy in Bridgetown has so far
provided any substantive comment.
However, a subsequent failure to meet the US ultimatum to provide the
required information may have played a major role in triggering the
punitive measures against Saint Lucia, although ostensibly presented and
explained as action pursuant to the Leahy Law (named after its principal
sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont), which prohibits assistance to
any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the secretary of state
has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of
Anthony confirmed in a nationally broadcast address on August 20 that the
United States has in fact suspended all assistance to the Royal Saint Lucia
He also claimed that the prohibition under the Leahy Law was grounded in
the killing of 12 individuals by security forces in Saint Lucia in 2010 and
2011, which he pointed out took place under the previous UWP
4. Anthony went on to explain that the Leahy Law prohibition will not apply
if the US secretary of state determines and reports that the government of
Saint Lucia is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of
the security forces unit to justice.
However, as such a determination is entirely within the discretion of the
secretary of state – whose officials may have been deliberately and
criminally misled by Anthony’s SLP over the Frederick visa issue – some
doubt must remain as to the likelihood of the State Department taking a
sympathetic or objective approach to the situation unless and until the
matter is resolved to its satisfaction, which could involve the criminal
prosecution of those responsible.