I am writing this letter to relate a very unpleasant experience that I just had with the Guyanese Honorary Consul in Barbados. I am currently residing in Barbados and my passport will be 15 years old in less than six months. I called Mr Norman Faria and explained that I am unable to travel to Guyana at the moment but I may need to travel to the United States.
He told me that since my passport is 15 years old I will need to travel to Guyana to get the new machine readable passport. He also explained that Guyanese passports had never been issued here in Barbados but that his office in the past would facilitate Guyanese nationals receiving new passports here. He went on to say, however, that this is now being discouraged since the implementation of the new passports.
I said I understand if it is being discouraged but I do need a new passport and I don’t mind taking the old type of passport since I cannot go home right now. He said that I will have to take two days and get it done. I thanked him and we ended the conversation.
A few minutes later I decided to call him back to see what other avenues there might be. I identified myself again and said I had a question.
Then I asked him if the policy for all Guyanese living overseas is that they needed to return home to get a new passport. I was stunned when he rudely replied, “I do not want to get into this argument.” I tried to tell him that I am just trying to see if there are other options I may explore, but he continued to raise his voice.
He informed me that he had already told me what I had to do and I just had to do that and that he was going through the door. He then said if I have any other questions then I should take my passport and go to the Consulate Office, and then he hung up the phone.
I was completely shocked and disappointed at this treatment. I have never even been treated like this at the hands of any Barbados official since I moved here.
How can Mr Faria demand that Guyanese be treated better here when this is the type of service he provides. Also, who is going to answer my questions now? All I want to know is what my options are for trying to get a new passport since I am unable to go home at this moment.
We sent this letter to Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Barbados, Mr Norman Faria, for any comments he might have wished to make, and received the following response:
“I remember the call. I don’t know if it was from a Lloyda Nicholas because she never identified herself. She asked the questions and I gave her the information, as she indicated.
She then started on a line of questioning in a belligerent and disrespectful manner, complaining about the Guyana government’s policies on issuing passports for Guyanese overseas.
I don’t get into this type of conversation on the phone, especially with people I cannot identify. I indicated, as she said, she should come to the consulate with her passport, which she apparently refuses to do. The caller spoke in a belligerent and argumentative manner and I had to end the conversation. Her charge of my being rude is her interpretation.
Ms Nicholas, if that is her name, has to follow legitimate instructions and come to the consulate with her passport so that any further possible assistance may be provided.”