A Change of Mind on Dual Citizenship
I have been carefully reading the comments made to my "Bad Mind?" post and in a conversation with Kim-Marie Spence who heads up CAPRI - the Caribbean Policy Research Institute -- a light-bulb went off.
She gave me a realistic example that stopped me in my tracks.
"What would Daryl Vaz do if he had to visit Cuba on state business?"
"Oh-Oh, I said. That would be a problem."
By serving Jamaica's best interests he could be forced to choose between breaking US law, and doing what's right for us, Jamaicans.
He actually could face arrest if he visited the USA as a private citizen.
Also, right at this moment, he could get a call from the US about his taxes, and the IRS could decide to launch an audit of his finances at any time.
Hmmm... while the odds of him being called up to fight in Iraq are slim to nothing, IRS audits and other government organizations are been used to harass Americans who the government have found to be
out of favour.
Also, what would happen if took up the charge to champion Cuba-Jamaican relationships, only to receive a nice call one day from the U.S. Ambassador asking to meet with him. She might have nothing in mind other than a courtesy call, but he might attend the meeting with the thought that the recent letter from the IRS might be a response to his Cuban activities, and that she is here to "help make the point."
Poor Daryl. Or more to the point, poor Jamaica.
Some think that a compromise is in order, and that dual citizens should not be in cabinet, and can serve as MP's. (Why the Governor General is exempt from these requirements is beyond me... the post of Director of Elections certainly seems to be one that would actually benefit from having someone who is a foreigner, but that's another matter.)
I do stand by my belief that Jamaica would benefit greatly from those who have a foreign perspective, but in today's geo-politicalworld, they just cannot effectively occupy the pivotal, decision-making roles. Instead, they can serve in other positions, and this should be made clear to all Jamaicans in the diaspora.
"No," you cannot be Prime Minister, MP, Senator, etc. without renouncing other citizenship, but "Yes," you can be any of the following positions.... <>
The upcoming Diaspora Conference in June is sure to address some of these issue, for those who are interested.