Washington (Perhaps Unwittingly) Unleashes Another Onslaught On An Already Preca

Posted on Wednesday, November 22 at 08:57 by jensonj
On October 4, President George W. Bush signed into law the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which will severely impede travel by U.S. citizens to the Caribbean. Beginning January 8, 2007, U.S. citizens, specifically those returning by air from any Caribbean destination, will be required to carry passports. By June 1, 2009, more than two years and a half later, this mandate will also begin to apply to those taking cruises and making border crossings as well as start being applicable in Mexico and Canada. The leading Caribbean hotelier, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, has described the initiative as “the single most destructive economic catastrophe that could happen, short of a nuclear attack on Caribbean countries.” While this may be hyperbole, nevertheless, the effects of the WHTI are sure to be widespread and will prompt a series of damaging consequences upon the Caribbean tourism industry as well as causing significant job losses. Essentially, the WHTI translates into an act of trade war against a series of Caribbean nations with already marginal economies, and their ministers of tourism, who will soon witness an undeniable reduction in the inflow of U.S. dollars. Caribbean officials will have to stand by, watching a shrinking economic sector incomparably vital to the region’s survival. More crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and illegal immigration is sure to come about as a result of a loss of jobs stemming from cut backs in the local tourism industry. http://tinyurl.com/y8e7xa

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