Islamist Terrorists Never Take Cruise Ships To Cricket World Cup – Only Airplanes

Muslim Terrorists Fearful Of Sea Travel – Therefore Visas Are Not Necessary For Cruise Ship Passengers

IF THE TITLE of this article seems rather absurd, it is no more so than the Cricket World Cup visa policies laid down by “Mama Mia” Mottley and the CARICOM Security Committee that she chairs. For the last while, Mottley, the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, has been hitting the stumps telling all who will listen that “It’s all about security” and the ever-useful put-off, “It’s secret. You just don’t understand.”

If it were it only so.

Swiss Catholics Aren’t The Only Threat… Gotta watch New Zealanders as well. Those Killer Kiwis can’t be trusted!

According to Mottley’s CARICOM Security Committee, Catholic citizens of Luxembourg and Switzerland pose a far greater risk to Barbados than, say, identified Muslim terror cell members in Canada, America and the UK who are able to attend the Cricket World Cup without a visa.

The “security” aspect of the CWC visa policy is an absolute farce, but Mia and her peers can’t bring themselves to admit it.

Here are a few words about Cricket World Cup visas from two no-nothings: Barbados hotelier Adrian Loveridge, and ex-Caribbean diplomat, Sir Ronald Sanders.

Take it away, Adrian and Ronny…

It was explained to us that the reason why a Caricom visa was required and belatedly implemented for certain nationalities including citizens from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and even neutral Switzerland was due to ‘security concerns’.

We are asked to believe that citizens from these particular countries pose a greater threat that others.

Of course, without the information the authorities have, it’s a difficult point to argue.

But wait a minute! If these nationals are a higher risk, why is it that they can arrive on and be accommodated on one of the ‘up to 18 cruise ships’ moored in Bridgetown harbour and not require that same ‘security’ Caricom visa?

This according to a query I made to the Caricom IMPACS team who eventually responded stating ‘Cruise ship passengers on ships in port for less than 24 hours are not required to have the Caricom visa, despite their nationality’.

Is the rationale that those people contemplating terrorism acts only arrive by plane?

That should make it considerable easier for our security services!

Adrian Loveridge
20 January 2007

And Now From Sir Ronny…

To visa or not to visa: The challenge of tourism and terrorism

Anyone who has marketed or promoted tourism to the Caribbean knows that it is a tough business. Caribbean countries are competing amongst themselves and against many other countries around the world, and the slightest inconvenience imposed by one destination sends the potential tourist seeking a more accommodating location.

Therefore when hotels, tourist boards and tour operators have spent years of time and lots of money cultivating a market, they are rightfully seriously disturbed when events take place that adversely affect it.

Such is the case with the special visa now required by ten Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries for visitors between February 1st and 15th May except for certain designated states.

The ostensible purpose of this special visa was to create into a single space those ten countries that are hosting the 2007 Cricket World Cup (CWC) tournament. Persons in possession of the visa would not need to get 10 separate visas.

In other words, the visa was meant to facilitate ease of travel between the countries.

Logically, the special visa should have applied to those countries whose nationals previously required visas to enter any or all of the ten CARICOM host countries.

Thus, nationals of India and Pakistan, for instance, who always needed a visa to enter certain CARICOM countries should have been able to get one visa for travel to all the countries where the CWC games are to be played.

And, nationals of those countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, who did not need visas in the past, should continue not to require visas and should be able to travel freely to these countries to see the games.

Further, nationals of non-cricket playing countries, who have not needed visas in the past to come to the Caribbean on holiday, should continue not to require visas.

Curiously, the idea of one visa for all ten countries in order to facilitate the tens of thousands expected to attend the CWC games got turned on its head.

The special visa is no longer a document to facilitate the travel of people coming to more than one country for cricket; it has been transformed into an instrument to combat terrorism.

In this connection, people from countries that never required a visa now have to have the special visa. Thus, Australians and New Zealanders (two cricket playing countries) have joined Indians and Pakistanis in the requirement to have a special visa. But, nationals of South Africa and the United Kingdom (two other cricket playing nations) don’t need visas even though both Britain and South Africa require nationals of some Caribbean countries to have visas to enter their countries.

Others requiring visas are nationals of Sweden, Denmark and Austria who are among those tourists who come to the Caribbean during this time of year. But, Japanese are exempt even though they constitute a smaller number of tourists to the Caribbean than the Scandinavian countries and Austria.

The criteria used for deciding which countries should require visas and which are exempt is, of course, unknown to us. However, all the official statements point to a necessity to ensure the security of the host countries from terrorism.

Logically, if one were to strictly apply this criteria, nationals of Britain and Canada should require a visa. For the British police have confirmed that there are approximately 200 terrorist cells in the United Kingdom that are under surveillance, and there have been two terrorist incidents there since 9/11. Similarly, Canada has had warnings of terrorism from militant groups.

There have been no reports of terrorist cells in Denmark and Sweden and, indeed, none in New Zealand.

The further curious thing about this Special Visa is that the application form requires no information that could reasonably help to identify a terrorist. In fact, it is less investigative than visa application forms used by some CARICOM consulates abroad. For example, it requires no evidence of a return ticket or a list of the hotels (or other places) where the visitor intends to stay, or proof that the accommodation has been paid for.

It does ask if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence – a box which any terrorist would be most unlikely to tick in the affirmative.

At the bottom line of all this, those officials charged with the security of the 10 countries that are hosting the World Cup Cricket tournament have a tough job.

If something happens, they will be criticised heavily for not doing enough and for not adequately vetting visitors during this important period when tens of thousands of persons are expected to pour into the area. Their extreme caution is, therefore, understandable.

But, instead of requiring visas from countries that did not previously require one, and which will revert to not requiring one when World Cup Cricket is over, would it not have been a better way to vet potential terrorists by getting the cooperation of the authorities in the US, UK and other countries to provide a list of people on their watch list and to compare passengers entering the country against such a list?

Such lists do exist. After 9/11, US authorities sent governments all over the world a long list of people suspected of financing terrorism with a request that their assets be seized. What is more airlines are required to send passenger lists with detailed information prior to landing at US airports so that immigration and security officials are prepared for doubtful persons.

As it is, after World Cup Cricket, hotels and tourist officials will have an enormous task wooing back those visitors who have been turned off, and explaining to them that a visa will no longer be required. And, then, of course, the Caribbean still has to find an effective way of dealing with any potential terrorist threat long after the games are over.

… Sir Ronald Sanders at Caribbean360.COM (link here)

18 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Cricket, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption, Religion, Traveling and Tourism

18 responses to “Islamist Terrorists Never Take Cruise Ships To Cricket World Cup – Only Airplanes

  1. John

    CBC news tonight says it isn’t taking 21 days to process the visa, the Trinidad office is doing it in 4 days.

    http://www.cbc.bb/content/view/9148/10/

    A stamp and a signature …. this sounds like it is getting done over the internet.

    Wonder if the bogus caricon site will do any business?

  2. reality check

    these people running our affairs would be unemployable in just about any other first or second world country

    unforuneately its not a comedy skit

  3. ignorance

    pathetic headline. you have some good stories but when you come up with these sort of headlines and stories about indian journalists writing antigua and barbados in an article you diminish the quality of your site.

  4. Hants

    So the Caricom VISA is really a special VAT.

  5. BFP

    Hi Ignorance

    Sorry you didn’t like the headline. It seems to be a natural conclusion based upon the criteria being applied to Caricom visas.

    What type of headline would you like to have seen? How about some examples?

    Thanks!

    Cliverton (With a very foxy lady at the door. Bye for now! 🙂 )

  6. Jupiter

    Quick Aunty Moses.

    Cliverton like he up to some mischief up dey.

    Anybody home with him?

    Aunty where are you?

  7. BFP

    Clive is back at school.

    Probably just getting some tutoring in history.

    Yes, that’s probably what is happening. 😉

    Robert

  8. From last night’s CBC news it seems that so far as Mama Mia and her colleagues in other islands are concerned, SECURITY measures take priority over cricket.

    Mia pointed out that when the West Indies agreed to host CWC, there had been no 9/11, no Osama Bin Laden, no Al Quaida. We were geared to welcome all cricketing tourists with open arms.

    But with 9/11 etc. came the new priority. Safety first for our peoples! Millions were spent for new sophisticated equipment, and the bright idea of a Common Caribbean Visa could incorporate the high security we now needed. More or less.

    To hear Mia speak it sounds as if she will consider CWC a success so long as there is not a single terrorist incident. To Hell with the cricket!

    In other words, we have been pulling in two different directions; 1) to maximise the benefits of thousands of cricketing tourists on our shores, and 2) to install new security regulations to protect us, even if this means reducing the number who make it here. All very confusing to the folks doing their best to host a worldclass sporting event, and unfair to the hoteliers hoping to fill their rooms, and win returning guests.

    Proper security is important, sure. But it would be a shame to jeopardise the success of CWC in the process. If the threat of international terrorism on our shores had been known before we made the commitment as hosts, think how many millions we might have saved! Perhaps Bin Laden did think the test matches would be an ideal event for a terrorist incident? It’s not Cricket, but all’s fair in Love and Terrorism.

  9. West Side Davie

    Pandora, don’t be deceived.

    The “security” measures have been necessary since 9/11 and even before that, but let’s stick with 9/11 as the date when it started.

    That was over six years ago so why announce the cricket visa requirements a few days before Christmas 2006? Why let people purchase vacations and make their cricket plans all over the world to come to BDS and then only a few weeks before they leave for their big trip – announce visas for such terrorist havens as Switzerland and New Zealand?

    It is a crockup all the way.

    Think of the terror bombings on the Spanish trains, London subway and buses. Think of the hundreds of islamic terror sympathisers in London and the USA. Consider the big undercover investigation by a tv station in the UK where dozens of Muslim clerics in the UK were recorded on video urging jihad and celebrating the deaths of UK soldiers.

    No visas are necessary for citizens of the UK, USA or Spain – three big terrorist bases with hundreds of jihadists.

    Now consider switzerland.

    There is no sense to these “security” visas. None at all.

    It is a crockup and our tourist industry will pay dearly for it in the future.

  10. West Side Davie

    I forgot about the big story in the article, that no visas are necessary for terrorists arriving by cruise ships, only terrorists who arrive by airplane.

    That exposes Miss M’s statements for what they are.

    Idiocy!

  11. Red Lake Lassie

    The Nation is up to old tricks again. On there web site is a story ‘Barred’ and it says that Mottley says terrorists are “barred” from coming to Barbados.

    The reporter never asked how she was going to bar terrorists from cruise ships if they don’t need no visa!

    stupes!

  12. Get In The Action

    They have really screwed this one up! Unfortunately they are dooming us to the steriotype laissez faire mediocrity and incompetence that the rest of the world sees us.

    Wasn’t CWC sold to us as this wonderful opportunity to showcase our islands to the world.

    What a way to start the innings – 2 wickets down and no runs on the board.

  13. Bajanboy

    I wonder what security checks are going to be performed on someone applying for a visa? Are they really going to scan each applicant for terrorist links? Why has the BHTA not commented on the impact this will have on tourism? Are they afraid of of “Mama Mia”?

  14. Wert.

    I sense a dropoff in attendance due to sheer hassles and difficulties, but u never know

  15. Justice

    This “security” reason has been frequently used since 9/11 to justify all sorts of things…limitations on civic freedoms, racial and ethnic profiling, due process etc. Now it is being used after the event so as not to do a U-turn on what was nothing initially but a poorly planned money making ruse. Was not our bid to host CWC2007 made after 9/11? Were we not aware of security then? Gi’ me a break, man….

  16. John

    If as the Nation says all criminals can’t get no visa, than the ones the US are deporting can easily be barred!!

    I guess we better be careful how we go overseas and misbehave otherwise we won’t be able to get a visa to return, ………. who knows, we could get rid of a few politicians using this angle!!

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