Latest Jamaica News (McKoy’s News): The recent revelations that Cayman could ease the visa restrictions it imposed on Jamaica more than a decade ago, has not impressed some Jamaicans, as they claim the British territory was disrespectful to have established such a regime in the first place.
They were responding to a post made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness who highlighted the visit by Premier of the Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughin to Jamaica during the Independence period.
“Recently, I met with the Premier of the Cayman Islands, The Hon. Alden McLaughin. Our discussions covered investment opportunities between our two countries and reviewing the existing visa system for travel between our islands. I look forward to strengthening our relationship for the greater good of our nations,” the Prime Minister noted.
While Holness’s post was applauded by many, some firebrands dismissed the Caymanian leader’s overtures.
“Keep unnu visa. Why did they want Jamaicans to have visa in the first place? Did Jamaica drop back visa on them or Jamaica is as usual licky licky. The hospital need fixing, schools, corruption and crime. This is not important,” Dell Brown flatly stated.
“If we need visa, they should require it too. The country needs the revenue,” Knotoya Libertatem declared.
But Damion Campbell, added another twist to the debate, claiming that the Prime Minister would be encouraging a mass exodus of Jamaicans from their homeland to Cayman.
“Wow really Mr. PM. Not every move you making is best for Jamaica. There isn’t anywhere like it. Stop encouraging Jamaicans to leave the country.”
On his recent visit to Jamaica, the Caymanian Premier had said he and the Holness-led Government had reviewed the existing visa system for travel between the countries and that they had initiated discussions to ease some of the requirements.
“The current arrangement now from the Cayman perspective is that Jamaicans who hold a US, UK, or Canadian visa who are travelling to Cayman from one of those countries do not need a Cayman visa to enter, nor do persons under the age of 15 or over the age of 70,” McLaughin had said at the time.
“From the Jamaican perspective, Caymanians who do not have a full UK passport require visa to enter Jamaica. So what we explored were ways that we could ease this requirement without creating new security concerns,” he added.
During McLaughlin’s visit, the long-standing issue of clearly defining Cayman’s maritime borders with Jamaica was also placed on the agenda, with the hope that an agreement will be reached over the next several months, subject to approval by the UK.
The Cayman Islands was once a dependent of Jamaica. During the days of colonialism, the reins of government were loosely held by Jamaica, until the triple island colony established a legislative assembly in 1831.
The constitutional relationship between Cayman and Jamaica remained ambiguous until 1863 when an Act of the British Parliament formally made the Cayman Islands a dependency of Jamaica. When Jamaica achieved independence in 1962, Cayman opted to remain under the British Crown and an administrator appointed from London assumed the responsibilities previously held by the Governor-General of Jamaica.