Guyana, Barbados working to remove immigration problems
Guyana Chronicle
July 18, 2002

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REPRESENTATIVES of the Guyana Immigration and Customs units have been invited to visit Barbados to examine that country's immigration system and identify areas where Guyanese travellers are experiencing problems.

Guyana and Barbados recently signed an agreement that provides the framework for discussions on a number of issues, including problems faced by Guyanese at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados.

Appearing on the Government Information Agency weekly television programme `ANSWERS', Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rudy Insanally said it would be advisable for the Guyanese officials to take up the offer and help identify the problem areas.

Noting a point made by Barbados Deputy Prime Minister, Ms. Billie Miller, Minister Insanally reiterated that there are a number of Guyanese who are comfortably living and working in the sister Caribbean Community (CARICOM) state.

He noted too, that of the large number of Guyanese who have migrated to Barbados, only a few have reported unfavourable treatment by the Barbados immigration officials.

Expressing the hope that all Guyanese travelling to Barbados or any other country would respect the laws of that country, the Minister was, however, adamant that in genuine cases where Guyanese are being discriminated, he will not hesitate to make representation on their behalf.

Over the years there have been cases where Guyanese have complained of being discriminated against at the Grantley Adams Airport. Some had reported that they were not allowed entry into the island.

Guyana's Foreign Ministry has been criticised for the way it has handled the problem with Guyanese travelling to Barbados. However, the Ministry has been calling for the support of travellers to help iron out the problems.

Guyanese who think they were mistreated at any port of entry are being asked to report this to the ministry or nearest Consulate. This does not mean that the ministry will only pursue cases that are reported.

It is within the mandate of the Foreign Ministry to provide service to Guyanese in Guyana and abroad.

Under Protocol Two that caters for the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy and to which both Guyana and Barbados have signed, the free movement of nationals is provided.

Both Guyana and Barbados are committed to ensuring that travel between the two sister CARICOM states is not restricted.

The bilateral agreement that was signed during the recent Heads of Government Conference here also caters for discussions of trade and economic issues, sports and culture and the environment.

It is expected that the agreement will pave the way for enhanced and improved relations between Guyana and Barbados. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY)