Georgetown; – While the world was busy roasting US President Donald Trump for wanting to enforce a technical ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, no one had seemed to notice that a handful of Caribbean countries, including Guyana, have similarly strengthened or continue to utilize tough existing laws which indirectly aims to deter nationals from the same group of Muslim nations from entering their countries.
The Guyana Guardian understands that while the visa entry requirement for these nationals to travel to Guyana and Trinidad are already tough, airline ticket bookings for that grouping of passengers on transatlantic flights, are subject to a silent security review by the United States, who can in turn direct the carrier to refuse to transport the passenger(s), even though they may be traveling to Guyana or Trinidad and Tobago.
According to data from Passport Index, which evaluates the passports and visa restriction policies of almost 200 countries worldwide, Dominica remains the most friendly Caribbean country for Muslim travelers targeted by the ban, followed by Haiti, and to a lesser extent, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia.
Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados, and the Bahamas, remains among the grouping of Caricom countries that are somewhat indirectly supportive of the Donald Trump seven-nation policy, and remains technically hostile to immigration considerations for nationals from the US banned Muslims countries.
Ironically, even though Guyana and Trinidad especially, maintain strong diplomatic relationships with several predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East, critics have argued that their respective immigration policies towards citizens of the nations banned by Trump are not reflective of a friendly relationship at all.
Sources at Guyana’s Ministry of foreign affairs were rather reluctant to discuss the matter, but another contact at the Ministry of National Security in Trinidad has since indicated that the silent policy will remain for the foreseeable future, but is not necessarily directed towards every citizen of those countries or towards any Muslim that is coming into a religiously tolerant country such as Trinidad and Tobago.
Jamaica, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, St. kitt’s and Nevis, and Grenada are the other Caricom countries that have since added tough Donald Trump style travel restrictions for nationals of the seven Muslim countries, that are banned by the US.
The banned Muslim countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, all of whom the United States has labeled as nations that harbour terrorists.
The Guyana Guardian was reliably advised that passengers carrying passports from those countries, including children, are automatically detained for further interrogation before entry is allowed into Guyana, Trinidad, or the other Caribbean countries identified, in addition to Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, and France, among others.