'Action Ann' grounded

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'Action Ann' grounded

MP denied US visitor's visa

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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The local political directorate is again seeking answers from officials in the United States after another member of parliament (MP) was refused a visa to visit that country.

Last Thursday, Ann-Marie Vaz, the MP for Portland Eastern, had her application to renew her visitor's visa turned down with the usual no explanation from the US Embassy in Kingston as to why.

She became the third sitting MP, after her husband Daryl and the Opposition's Phillip Paulwell, to be denied permission to visit the US in recent weeks.

Yesterday Daryl Vaz confirmed that his wife had been denied a US visitor's visa.

He told the Jamaica Observer that following the revocation of his US diplomatic visa some two months ago, the diplomatic visa issued to Ann-Marie was also withdrawn, as it had been issued on the basis that she is his spouse.

He said his wife subsequently applied for renewal of the expired visitor's visa, which she has had for several years, but when she went for an interview at the US Embassy she was turned down.

“Ann-Marie is presently in the process of pursuing this matter with the US Embassy in Kingston,” added Vaz as he declared that he was not in a position to provide any other information.

But Government sources yesterday told the Observer that the action by the US Embassy has left several members of the political and diplomatic community fuming.

The sources noted that as usual the US Embassy did not say why the visa was not renewed but high-ranking individuals in US diplomatic circles had previously been given assurances that the action to revoke the visas of Daryl Vaz and Paulwell would not impact their families.

“The minister of foreign affairs [Kamina Johnson Smith] needs to have a sit down with the US ambassador [Donald Tapia] and try to get an understanding about what is happening. Right now it is a case of everybody wondering who will be next,” said a source close to the Government.

According to the source, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is overseas on official business, has been informed and is watching the developments carefully.


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