In the wake of a looming threat of UK and EU visa waiver revocation, St. Kitts and Nevis has taken the unprecedented step of banning citizens from several countries, including Cuba, from applying for its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. Cuba, known for its long-standing diplomatic and friendly relations with St. Kitts and Nevis, finds itself on the list alongside Afghanistan, Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.
This decision comes as a difficult one for Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Terrance Drew, a Cuban trained professional, who was left with no choice but to include Cuba on the list to avoid significant consequences from the UK and EU. The most significant repercussion was the potential revocation of visa-free access for St. Kitts and Nevis citizens to the UK and EU, which could have far-reaching implications for the nation’s citizens and businesses.
In the face of this predicament, former Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris publicly advised PM Drew to initiate immediate engagements with European countries. The aim is to prevent any pending restrictions and find a resolution similar to the talks held in 2016 and 2017 when then-PM Harris successfully negotiated with UK officials.
The CBI Programme has been a significant source of foreign investment and economic growth for St. Kitts and Nevis. However, the threat of visa waiver revocation has put the nation’s leadership in a delicate position, balancing the need to maintain diplomatic ties with countries like Cuba while safeguarding their citizens’ benefits and privileges.
As the situation unfolds, St. Kitts and Nevis will strive to navigate these challenging waters diplomatically, ensuring that the interests of its citizens are protected without compromising their longstanding relations with friendly nations, including Cuba.