The Insidious Creep Of Connections In Barbados And How They Can Be Used To Undermine The Rights Of Ordinary Citizens
Submitted by Yardbroom
I was fascinated but yet discomforted, by a story on another Blog, about “allegations” of rudeness by an immigration officer, to a young lady on her return to Barbados. The story in summary, is that the young lady on arrival at Grantley Adams Airport from America was spoken to rudely – she said without justification – by an immigration officer.
The essential feature of her story being, that she was asked to wait in a room, until certain investigations the officer thought necessary were made. After some time had elapsed, she refused to do so, and a verbal confrontation ensued. The “allegation” is that in this exchange she was rudely spoken to.
If I accept that on her recall of the confrontation, there is a prima facie reason for complaint to the authorities to investigate the matter, it would therefore be necessary to hear the immigration officer’s side of the story. What was particularly alarming, was this young lady “allegedly” – and I have her word for that- solicited a telephone call to be made through her connections, to the Attorney General on her behalf and a complaint was made. The tenure of her report indicated that the Attorney General sprung into action on her behalf.
The complainant cannot see the contradiction in her position as she infers “societal attitudes” in Barbados – where she now resides – have contributed to her distress. She therefore brought the matter to a wider public, so that these issues can be addressed, particularly as Barbados is a tourist destination. Some have said that this occurrence at the airport, would not have happened in America – obviously they have not travelled.
May I ask a rather pertinent question would she, her friends or connections been able to make a telephone call to the Attorney General in America because they were detained for a short time, or even spoken to rudely by an immigration officer at JFK Airport.
If it is that those with connections, believe that they have an unfettered right of passage, without let or “necessary” hindrance, denied to ordinary citizens. And if that right is questioned even in a way deemed rude, they also have the right through connections to solicit the highest officers in the land by a telephone call. Something is very wrong in Barbados, that the traveller was white and the immigration officer black. . . is irrelevant to the basic principle here.
The principle here is the “alleged” use of connections to a public officer of high rank to intervene in what most would call a relatively minor matter. That that officer of high standing could be summoned by a telephone call is regrettable, in any country which treasures its values of fairness.
I have to add, I do not question the veracity of the young lady’s reports, however fairness dictates the full picture could only be ascertained with an input from the immigration officer. . . which is most unlikely. Fairness also dictates I should not believe the “allegation” that a public officer of the standing of the Attorney General of Barbados, was asked in a telephone call to intervene on behalf of a traveller because she was inconvenienced and spoken rudely to at Grantley Adams Airport. I have only stated what was reported by the individual involved, to my mind they are “allegations”.