Anil Roberts and US Embassy Visa Denials

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Anil Roberts at the Emancipation Celebrations in Port of Spain
Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Anil Roberts at the Emancipation Celebrations in Port of Spain
Unnecessary row

Express Editorial – August 7, 2010

THE fresh row that has broken out between representatives of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the American Embassy in Port of Spain over the issuance of US visas entered a decidedly nasty phase last week.

As this country’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Anil Roberts, waded in to the embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, for remarks he made in response to the Minister’s earlier comments concerning the frustrations being faced by nationals.

To be sure, the matter has been an ongoing one inherited by the current administration, Mr Roberts saying he raised some concerns with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the very day that they were being sworn-in to office.

But without re-entering the substance of the latest contretemps, the Minister’s comments were clearly ill-advised, without tact or finesse and certainly out of place, given that he is not the minister responsible for foreign affairs.
Full Article :


Embassy may give reasons for denial of US visas
In the face of growing concern about denial of entry to Trinidad and Tobago (TT) citizens to the United States, US Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Beatrice Wilkinson-Welters yesterday indicated that attempts will be made to better handle the matter.

Embassy to give reasons for visa denials
You may know soon exactly why your visa application was denied. This was the statement made by United States Ambassador Beatrice Welters, during a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan yesterday.


Rowley: Reckless move by Roberts

By Ria Taitt – August 6, 2010

Saying the people of Trinidad and Tobago had nothing to gain by “insulting” the people who conducted American business in Trinidad and Tobago, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley suggested yesterday Sport Minister Anil Roberts’s criticisms of a US Embassy official should not be encouraged.
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US ambassador defends embassy’s visa process

By Aabida Allaham – August 5, 2010

UNITED STATES ambassador to this country Beatrice Welters has come out in defence of her consular officers, saying they always process visa applications according to the letter of the law.

“We take the letter of the law very seriously and, thus, all of our processes are according to US legal norms, especially those enshrined in the Immigration and Naturalisation Act of 1952,” she said in a press release.

Welters’s statement was issued following claims made by Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Anil Roberts the visa-selection process was not fair.
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US Embassy official ‘farse and out of place’

By Aabida Allaham – August 4, 2010

PUBLIC Affairs Officer at the United States Embassy, Matthew Cassetta, is “farse and out of place”, says Sport and Youth Affairs Minister, Anil Roberts.

“As a minister here to serve the people, if the media asks me a question, I choose to answer, I choose not to say no comment…because the media represents the views of the people,” he said.

Roberts was speaking at a press conference at the ministry’s head office in Port of Spain yesterday in response to criticisms by Casseta that he followed the wrong protocol in his response to an Express reporter who approached him after he spoke to someone protesting about the embassy’s visa system.
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T&T should use official channels

By Raphael John-Lall – August 3, 2010

T&T Government ministers should use the official means of communication that are available to them if they want to communicate their views to the US Embassy.

Public Affairs Officer at the embassy, Matthew Cassetta, told the Guardian that yesterday in a telephone interview in which he was commenting on media reports that relayed what Sports Minister Anil Roberts had said concerning US visa applications. According to media reports yesterday, Roberts said on Sunday the US Embassy needed to have a clear policy on visas and mentioned the names of two athletes who were denied visas to study in the US. Commenting on this, Cassetta said there were avenues for T&T Government Ministers to voice their concerns to the embassy.
Full Article :


Addil Abdullah held placards protesting U.S. visa policy during the Emancipation Celebrations in Port of Spain
Addil Abdullah held placards protesting U.S. visa policy during the Emancipation Celebrations in Port of Spain
Anil wants answers from US on visa denials

By Jensen LaVende – August 2, 2010

THE United States Embassy should give citizens of this country a better explanation for denying them visas, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Anil Roberts said yesterday.

Speaking with the Express during the re-enactment of the Declaration of Emancipation on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain yesterday, Roberts said he agreed with some of the issues raised by a man who carried two placards objecting to the US visa policy.

“As citizen we want a good relationship with the US, we are friends, we are trading partners but really and truly more explanation should be given to citizens as to why they are being denied,” Roberts said.

The protester Addil Abdullah, who said that he did not want a US visa, held placards during the emancipation celebrations in Port of Spain.
Full Article :

28 thoughts on “Anil Roberts and US Embassy Visa Denials”

  1. Anil is right. The PNM did not have the courage to ask for answers to visa problems with the U.S. The embassy must be able to explain the criterion for getting a visa. If a person applies and their money is taken then they DESERVE an explanation or their money should be refunded. Money taken without explanation is simply stealing. Over time these applications can become a form of fund raising, we all know that America needs the money. And they can “jack up” the cost of application at any time. Let us hope the U.S. will treat Trinis as friends and not allow a few bad apples who prospered during the PNM years to tar the nation.

  2. America is often guilty of handing out brutish,abrasive and domineering behavior towards other nations; however, America screams loudly when other nations react in like manner.

  3. Well guys, there is still Canada, Australia , and England, who seems to be more welcoming. Refugee cries worked well in 1986 , when Anil was obviously learning to spell politics, Super power, and backward , clueless, Third World country.
    What jokers these political comedians, and gullible fans are!
    Four mounts ago , they again embarrassed themselves on the grand stage , by rolling over backwards and tweaking their immigration policy in a politically charge move ,and allowed an American alleged Kamla handler,and Obama 4th tier advisor, into the country cart blanch , and so feel that this entitled them to some quid pro quo privilege in return.
    Would someone tell them , you only acquire respectability as a serious political player , when you learn to develop some sense of self worth , and quit groveling to every foreigner, disguised as an expert, that appears on the horizon- in part, because 90% of our citizens lack a national identity, and patriotic bone in their big toe, ehhh cousins Kheim and T-Man?

    1. “Well guys, there is still Canada, Australia , and England, who seems to be more welcoming. Refugee cries worked well in 1986” -Neal
      The issue that Anil raised have nothing to do with refugees or refugee status. It is simply getting a visa to the U.S. to meet friends, see America, meet family or conduct business. Neal you have a way of connecting nonsensical dots all over the place. The U.S. has increase cost for a Visa application and given NO explanation. People like you Neal have no problem with that. If the American embassy have legitimate cause for concern they can decline an application. However, people with millions of dollars cannot get a Visa. What does that say??? And the declination jumped under Obama from 9% to 25% indicating a shift in policy towards Trinidad. So the hero of black people tightens the screws on poor Trinis and Neal you agree with that… By the way the nations that you mention are accepting refugees are no longer doing so…

      1. It must have been something President Obama saw at the Summitt of The Americas. I agree with Neals comment,” 90% of our citizens lack a national identity, and patriotic bone in their big toe”.

      2. It is the Indian people that screwed things between Trinidad and Canada, when I left trinidad for Canada, I did not have to get a Visa, but in 1990/1992 when all of those Indians from trinidad came to Canada, and was claiming refugee status by claiming, that the negro people were beating and raping them, and to find out that it was not true, that is when Canada and England decided to implement visas to enter their country, the indian people are the ones that made it bad for everyone else, that want to travel to those countrys, and the adjustment on the fee for the visa was made by president Bush, before he left office and all Obama did was to inherit all of the mess, that Bush created before he left office just like he inherited two wars, that sent the whole world into a reccesion,and last but not least you people can no longer blame manning for the flood like you always did, you are all a bunch of ungrateful pepole, but when you all come overseas, you all will start KISSING ASS like if it is a job, you people make me sick you even give up your citizenship, does the American or Canadian does that, No, because they are proud of where they came from, what can you people say about that when you come over here, all you do is to bad talk trinidad, just try breaking the law or commit a crime you or your children, even the ones that was born over here, their ass will be posted right back to Sweet Trinidad, after they do their time in jail, and to let you all know, I still am a trini and will never give up my passport, to any other country in the world I also represents my country in poetry competitions, and have won several awards, so to all of you so called ungrateful Trini, put that in your pipe and smoke it

  4. Why is Anil making such a big deal with this. As far as the americans are concerned they do not want trinidadians in their country. I think they should start declining all trinis including “LOUD” mouth Anil. He has made it bad for all trinis who adore and wants to go to america. To make matters worst, its not even his portfolio. Anil you got something you did not expect so shut up and go about your real job. You have made yourself a BIG FOOL as usual. You so want to represent trini but at the end of the day YOU JUST SCREWED anyone who doesn’t have a visa and trinis are so stupid that they are backing you and think you did the right thing. YOU IDIOTS!!

    1. “He has made it bad for all trinis who adore and wants to go to america” true Trini.
      My understanding is that it was already bad for Trinis going to America. The Americans have decided based on Anil’s action to review their reasons for not accepting visa applications. So it is going to get better. True Trini it is people like you who over-dramatize a situation without looking at it reasonably. Change can only come at times when there is conflict. Think about that..

  5. I agree with Anil, we should stand tall and not grovel and beg for a visa, once again america shows its blatant diregard for a third world black country. we can survive without them ,there are many more countries for us to trade with,as the us is but a big slum,with major financial and social problems. Trinidad can be truly blessed if we can love and respect each other and reverse this growing and festering race issue between indians and african trinis

  6. Notice a pattern here folks ,Venezuela is America 3rd largest export market in the Latin American region, and for all of Baby Castro ,Chavez , the bombastic, buffoon’s empty media posturing yapping , his country is the world’s fifth largest exporter of crude,and the No. 4 supplier of the United States, to which it sends 1.5 million barrels per day, according to official figures.
    I don’t even have the energy , or rather inclination to investigate my one time loving country’s track record on that score. Would someone again tell these fools , that the only way you can stand up to a powerful force , is by showing some spine , and using your assets to your advantage, in pursuit of long neglected ,national interest.
    “The U.S. has increase cost for a Visa application and given NO explanation. People like you Neal have no problem with that. “You are absolutely correct khem , and it’s due to the fact that both my self, as well as national ingrate , and joyous Englishman ,Trini ,Uncle V.S Naipaul , is eating in the same non patriotic calabash , and could care less if America invade Trinidad , make it a ward of Tobago, then decide to call Scarborough the capital – as that would some justice.
    The difference is that he Naipaul started despising his country the day he acquired his Oxford scholarship , I instead , decided to use May 24th , as my ‘jump off point.’ Talk to me again some time in 2014 , or earlier, if Jack our PM in waiting don’t decide he want’s a divorce , to end the tenuous , political charade, and quickly cash in on his exorbitant financial investments.What’s that ,”people with millions cannot get Visas?”Thanks America for looking out , now perhaps this closet crooks and bandits can start to invest some of the loot at home. Ah shocks, the internet can give one access to the offshore bank accounts. Well, you can’t win them all.

  7. Khem I really think your response”over dramatize a situation” should be directed to the Loud mouth.America will not be looking at any processes, their process in their mind is already sound. Very surprising that you people can’t see pass your nose. It’s a little premature so you all will see. BAD MOVE by loud mouth.

    1. “Khem I really think your response”over dramatize a situation” should be directed to the Loud mouth” –True Trini.
      True Trini sometimes you have to be a loud mouth to get action. The Obama administration reject 25% compared to 9% the previous year. Why when a black man takes charge over a nation suddenly black people becomes less important??? People like you True Trini likes to “pussy foot” around the Americans. But Trinidad, True Trini does not have a history of bowing down to the Yanks. When it was time for the Americans to leave Chagaramas after WWII Trinis started a campaign for them to leave. The word was “Yankie go home”. Soon the Americans packed up and left. Huh…

    1. Too bad you can’t just walk over and get amnesty from the Obama Administration.-Curtis. I was in New York about a month ago. I have no problems with the Americans. They are good people whom I love dearly. But I am NOT blinded by love. I see the other side also. As for amnesty, I would not want to live in America.

  8. No Curtis , that could have only work up to May 24th 2010. Today ,we are instead on the part to being a vibrant, thriving multicultural democracy,where good governance, equality , security, economic prosperity , political transparency , and peaceful coexistence is the norm. ‘Your country,’ is the one that now offers amnesty.

  9. I am shocked that Neal has so quickly lost his patriotic and spirited love for country which he so often shouted from the rooftops. Neal, your stripes are showing!
    Just keeping them honest.

  10. Ah T-Man my brother,that hurts . Ever the sly rascal , ehh? Ok , I must confess, that in the words of- you guess it- the wisest woman that ever lived,I am just “playing dead to catch cobeaux alive.” De man or woman that could make me hate this blessed land , ain’t born yet, my friend. I still envy Uncle V.S. though, and no it’s not for his writing skills, as I too stop reading after Miguel Street, and The House for papa Biswas.
    Keep the faith, and congrats on your victory. Let democracy reign.

  11. Long Live the Trini’s=
    Trini is Boss- imagine waiting One whole year for a Trini Passport appointment, after the appointment you have to wait another Two months for De Passport up in New York- whoo-ray for Trini’s- Long Live this Blessed People !!!!!!!!

  12. The fact that a racially segregated ,Third world country is blessed with an abundunce of natural ,underground,economic resources,does not automatically elevate it to a progressive,enviable political,and economic player Sam.
    Don’t worry though,your newly minted government,will soon embark on a costly fact finding ,witch hunt exercise,then again sccumb to the urge to have a tribal purge ,and replace incompetent lifelong political stooges,with clueless, political bums.
    It’s the kind of change we can all believe in,yes?

  13. Trini-& Technology ????
    Seems as if Technology has taken these third world nations on a spinning field- A spinning field backwards !!! When we have 17th and 18th century mentality trying to fit this 21st century mindset without an educated transition we would fall into a 20/20 Vision.This is what actually Happened-
    This 20/20 Vision has given us this blindness, those who have eyes to see cannot see, we are willfully blind. Good perspective here Neal, point well taken…

  14. Has the US Embassy considered that perhaps we DON’t want to run away and live in their country because their economy is terrible, their own people can’t get jobs and they are currently on a fast track to poverty?

    We jus want to visit for a lil holiday….go Disney, walk on Times Square, take a few photos & ride back home to Trinidad where we all have a wuk and could afford to shop in de grocery.

    I wonder if they know that by letting us visit, we will be adding money into their economy…

  15. The greatest BS I ever heard was that it takes $800 to process an application. Then some people say that the officer just watch you, hold your papers, give them back to you and tell you you do not qualify. What processing cost? Is the officer’s time for 5 minutes and use of the Embassy’s precincts while standing for about 2 hours worth $800? The US Embassy has to come up with another justification. I think US is so broke – after fighting an illegal war in Iraq – that they have to get money to pay the officer’s salary.

  16. Sorry KDD, that country did not become the leader of the free world just by rolling over , so as to play dead ,and let folks like you conniving Trickydadians run over them , my friend.It was the same story that was given to the Canadians in 1986 when Panday, Suraj Rambachan, Sudama, Ramdath, and Awe wee Bouy was in charge . Certain unmentionable stated that all they wanted to do was go aand seee the CN Tower , and Niagara Falls , then whalla , refuge status request.
    Keep the faith,and one love.

  17. “NEW DELHI: India may drag US to the World Trade Organisation for its new “protectionist” move in hiking professional visa fees, a step that will make Indian IT companies less competitive in the American market.

    The fee hike is expected to cost Indian companies, mainly IT outsourcing firms, about USD 200 million annually.”

    The Americans need money to protect it’s Mexican border so it is simply a case of Peter paying for Paul. They are doing this to all third world nation. European nations remain unaffected. It is the black man who have to pay when the black man in charge.

  18. Lol @ neal….you’re right.
    But i cant help but feel iz only a stupid trini who would want to run and hide in the US at this time.
    They are no longer the land of milk and honey.

    I rather stay home & plant 2 tomatoes in my back yard if tings get tough.

  19. american embassy breaking there own law denying citizen of this country according to the inspector general report if citizens look at that report there is concrete evidence to show an it can be challenge

  20. Quit whining concern citizen, for your PM recently came to the US to do the usual jig and dance prostrations at the feet of big daddy America ,in keeping with a new political regime wishing to stay in proper social standing with the big boys on the grand stage.
    Mind you ,there were some initial hiccups when initially,the misguided new regime ,embarrassed themselves by ignoring an initial Caribbean COnference visit invite ,to pay tribute to and all powerful neo feminist global leader ,in Secretary of State Hillary, and so this Visa pimp slap ,was the blow back.
    I think that the lesson was learned that there is a certain pecking order that must be adhered to , irrespective of some phony ,Time magazine article listings as to which women were the political bosses ,and most importantly C, comes before K, yes?
    In the event that you are too dense to decipher what I am referring to, then let me know.I’ll be more than willing to educate.

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