The United States government has given the Tillman Thomas-led government in St. George’s a stern warning on the Derek James issue.
James was reportedly appointed to perform duties as Consul General in New York in the aftermath of the July 2008 victory at the polls by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Thomas.
He was offered the post by his close friend, then Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister, Peter David.
The U.S government is now claiming that it has no records to show that James who is believed to be a U.S citizen or legal permanent resident of New York was accredited to perform the diplomatic job.
THE NEW TODAY was able to obtain a letter dated November 29, 2012 that was sent by a high-ranking U.S government official to Grenada’s Ambassador to Washington, Gillian Bristol on the Derek James issue.
As a public service, this paper has decided to reproduce the letter:
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Madam Ambassador:
It has come to the attention of the Department of State that Mr. Derrick James has been representing the Government as its Consul General, in New York. Department of State records reflect that the Government of Grenada has a career consular post in New York, but that there are no personnel accredited to that mission.
Records further reflect that the last Consul General notified to the Department of State was Mr. Allen Morgan McGuire who was terminated by the Embassy on July 31, 2008.
Please be reminded that persons may not perform consular functions or portray themselves to be consular officers without having been accepted and recognised by the U.S. Government. Therefore, it is requested that you inform Mr. James to cease further representations as Consul General or any consular representative of Grenada.
The Department of State further understands that Mr. James may be a legal permanent resident of the United States. If this information is accurate, please be reminded that the Department does not accept American citizens or legal permanent resident as diplomatic agents or career consular officers.
Although Department policy precludes American citizens and legal permanent residents from serving as diplomatic agents and consular officers, the United States will accept persons holding such status in certain capacities.
An embassy may employ American citizens or legal permanent residents in the capacity of Administrative and Technical staff or service staff. A consulate may employ American citizen or legal permanent residents as consular employees or consular service staff.
Any individual who is an American citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States may also be eligible to serve as an honorary consular officer if the Government of Grenada determines that it would like to open an honorary consulate.
The Embassy is requested to advise the Department of State, Office of the Chief of Protocol whether the Government of Grenada intends to formally request recognition of Mr. James. As there are no career consular personnel at the Consulate General in New York, the Department would assume that the Government of Grenada will close this post.
The Embassy is also advised that U.S. law provides for the fining and imprisonment of any individual who, “with intent to defraud within the United States, falsely assumes or pretends to be a diplomatic, consular or other official of a foreign government duly accredited as such to the United States and acts as such, or in such pretended character, demands or obtains or attempts to obtain any money, paper, document, or other thing of value.”
We trust that this information is helpful and we look forward to receiving communication from the embassy with regard to Mr. James and the Consulate General.
Assistant Chief Protocol