Visa programme reinstated but Mexico, Grenada barred

In 1979 US President Jimmy Carter cancelled the Aeromexico route out of Chicago Tourism Minister Olga Ferrer says the seven countries that make up the bi-national visa programme will welcome back American travellers, except…

Visa programme reinstated but Mexico, Grenada barred

In 1979 US President Jimmy Carter cancelled the Aeromexico route out of Chicago

Tourism Minister Olga Ferrer says the seven countries that make up the bi-national visa programme will welcome back American travellers, except for Mexico and Grenada.

The nations that participate in the programme include Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa and Venezuela.

US President Donald Trump had cancelled that part of the programme, as well as passports for citizens of the Caribbean island nations of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.

The order was blocked by a federal judge in Washington D.C.

Trump cited the high cost of the Visa Waiver Program.

But the countries concerned in July condemned the move.

“The cancellation of the US Visa Waiver Programme remains illegal due to its failure to provide any real or substantive safeguard against terrorist infiltration and hijacking,” the Foreign Ministers of Mexico, Barbados, Cuba, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago said in a joint statement.

“The five countries as well as the ICPC (Indian Association of Caribbean States) regret the decision which has affected millions of Latin American and Caribbean citizens”

The decision to reinstate the programme was announced by the minister in Trinidad and Tobago’s parliament on Monday.

“We shall be welcoming travellers of the United States, but only to areas that we have declared safe,” she said.

Mexico is among the countries issuing passports to American travellers through a shorter, cheaper programme.

While the American-Cuban Friendship Bond Program has been in effect since 1961, the new diplomatic process between the countries began in July 2015.

The visas have long been considered a significant obstacle in migration relations between the two countries and a significant source of tension between them.

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