St Lucia still subject to Leahy Law despite additional forms of appeasement

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US Ambassador to Saint Lucia Linda Taglialatela (Centre Right) and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (Centre left) with US Embassy Bridgetown Senior Defense Official Steve Charnon, and Saint Lucia government representatives.

By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav St Lucia still subject to Leahy Law despite additional forms of appeasement

WASHINGTON, USA – The recent announcement that the “US renews security assistance to Saint Lucia” is tantamount to the description of “carrot and stick” relevant to US foreign policy vs that of the government of Saint Lucia in an election year, in need of relevance.

Despite the government of Saint Lucia pontification and worthless utterances that lack the relevant understanding of foreign policy and national security, the genuineness of the situation is such that Saint Lucia is still subject to Leahy Law despite the additional form of appeasement that is no different too (April 7, 2017): “Donation to DPP’s Office by US is “Vote of Confidence” that says: “The United States Embassy on Thursday, April 6, 2017, announced the donation of office equipment worth EC$100,000 to Saint Lucia’s Crown Prosecutions Service.”

As previously referenced and still stands: “St Lucia police still subject to US sanctions” (April 20, 2017): “The United States does not provide assistance to entities that fall under the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. We continue to support the efforts of the government of Saint Lucia to improve safety and security for its citizens and visitors,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement, US ambassador to Saint Lucia Linda Taglialatela, Friday, June 18, stated:

“The United States would be able to resume security cooperation and assistance to select units within the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) with immediate effect. The announcement comes eight years after the suspension of cooperation and after a review that included extensive consultations across US government agencies.”

The statement continued: “We have been able to identify a number of RSLPF with which we will be able to resume full cooperation and engagement,” said ambassador Taglialatela. “This means that units such as the Marine and Immigration units will again be able to enjoy the full benefits of US security assistance that we are planning to begin in the coming months,” she continued.

“The RSLPF units will be eligible for security assistance including through the regional multimillion-dollar Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. Some Saint Lucia security units may also benefit from professional military educational and technical training courses provided through the United States Department of Defense; State Partnership Program exchanges with the Florida and US Virgin Island National Guards; and regular maritime maintenance support through U.S. Southern Command’s Technical Assistance Field Team.

Saint Lucian prime minister Allen Chastanet responded: “This is a step in the right direction. We are encouraged by this announcement by the United States.” He continued, “I was heartened to hear that $500,000 that was set aside for our Marine Unit will now be available to upgrade the units we now have. The Marine Unit has played a critical role during the COVID period. This is welcome news.”

As referenced in the article “St Lucia opposition seeks clarification on IMPACS investigation”: “The RSLPF officers involve in ORC/IMPACS “are desperately negotiation their own future…”

US ambassador to Saint Lucia Taglialatela concluding sentence in the press release referenced, Friday, June 18, says: “ The United States looks forward to expanding its cooperation and engagement with Saint Lucia, and an important part of this process is to ensure full accountability on allegations of extrajudicial killings.”

Following Fridays attempted illustration in some sections of the local media and the attempted political exploits of the government of Saint Lucia, to the illusion that getting USA support to RSLPF is an achievement and/or US has restored assistance to RSLPF – will resume full cooperation – is unwittingly celebrated to imply ORC/IMPACS has been solved – is misguided and dangerous.

The Leahy Law, named after its principal sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, is a US human rights law that prohibits assistance to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.”

It is noticeable that the government of Saint Lucia in an election year requires a fairytale story to change the narrative of despair on the island remains very active and desperate. Moreover, the government of Saint Lucia lacks a full bright understanding of US foreign policy and its workings in the Western hemisphere.

US foreign policy and interest has not changed, except its re-engagement with a Biden administration.

South of the border inclusive of Saint Lucia remains a major drug transhipment / human trafficking hub that poses a continuous problem for US and Europe (Martinique). Therefore, it is in the interest of the US to curtail such.

Notable in April 2021, a “police-related homicide” a “container of cannabis” and last week “cocaine” drop-off on the East Coast of the island remains a mystery, albeit a police operation in Castries that nabbed drugs, an illegal gun and ammunition.

These events compound the RSLPF – new but old and outdated administration – that can be qualified as politically subjugated and otherwise influenced. It further appears that the legitimacy of the RSLPF has little influence to change the core of an asymmetrical and destabilizing behaviour, except the presence of being proxies.

There should also be the focus of concern about the ability/willingness of the authorities to allow the RSLPF to be segregated and/or segmented into micro-units simply to receive financial assistance and training. This will further impact departments cohesion one vs another and serve as a countermeasure, and a disservice to Saint Lucia’s national security, and by extension, the RSLPF which is already in disrepair.

The current construct to which “US renews security assistance to Saint Lucia” says:

The United States would be able to resume security cooperation and assistance to select units within the RSLPF” and “we have been able to identify a number of RSLPF with which we will be able to resume full cooperation and engagement,” said ambassador Taglialatela – is rather edifying.

Whether or not the US has increasingly appeased the government of Saint Lucia, which is desperately looking for a fairytale ending to their disastrous five +years in office; therein lies the sophistication in delivering a foreign policy that upholds – Saint Lucia is still subject to Leahy Law – while US foreign policy and interest has succeeded in offering Saint Lucia all carrots, while keeping the stick.

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