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Did Anna-Lisa Paul get it right?
Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2005

By Linda Edwards

The Express of Wednesday January 5, reports that the Bomb newspaper published Dr. Cudjoe Certificate of Naturalization, issued to him by the US government, in its Dec. 31 issue. Did Anna-Lisa Paul get that right?

How does a second rate newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago access the confidential document issued by the United States government to a naturalized citizen, when that document clearly states Do Not Copy, and is the personal possession of the issuee?

What other confidential documents on private individuals who are US citizens, does the paper possess? Were they bought and paid for, were they stolen? from whom? Were they secretly copied by an employee with access to them?

The implications of this are so serious that they are mind-boggling. Naturalization is not granted at embassies abroad. At least I have never heard of this procedure. It is done in the US, after a period of residence.

So, did Prof. Cudjoe loan them the document to add fuel to the fire between him and Sat Maharaj? Was somebody able to bribe an American Immigration employee in the city of issuance, or in the Washington office to get this copy?

This is the sort of incident that the American Embassy in Port-of-Spain should pull all stops out to investigate. It is one thing to ask for extradition of drug traffickers to be tried in US courts. It is another level to find that TnT's diplomatic pouches were being used to smuggle drugs. The unauthorized us of US issued documents by people other than the one to whom it was issued is another matter entirely, especially in these days of identity theft and global terrorism.

Cudjoe's mother's house was broken into and the old lady terrorised, now his personal US documents are being published in a local rag? Where will these people stop?

All law-abiding citizens who value free speech and democracy, must appeal for a full inquiry into what has gone wrong here. The owners and publishers of the Bomb, if Ms. Paul's facts are correct, have a lot to answer for on the moral plane. They should have even more to answer for on the legal and diplomatic plane.

After Prof. Cudjoe has an opportunity to comment on this note, I will formally send a copy to the American Embassy, and a copy to the Congressman for Prof. Cudjoe's US residence. This has to stop.

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