With reference to the letter ‘US embassy officials accept and draw conclusions from any rumour presented to them’ (SN, September 18), it appears that the writer, Mr Urling, is misguided and has some dislike for the US Embassy in Georgetown and the US government. He claimed that the “US practises an outdated and antiquated foreign policy towards Guyana,” as evidenced by the WikiLeaks reports.
The WikiLeaks cables cover all countries where the United States has an embassy and are not restricted to Guyana alone. They are confidential reports from the embassies to Washington and it was Mr Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who got these confidential cables from a rogue US government official and published them.
These cables are not hearsay or rumour as Mr Urling thinks, but facts which can be proven. Before the WikiLeaks cables were published, many Guyanese were aware of the information in them, and only confirm what Guyanese already know.
The United States has the most modern, efficient and effective foreign policy compared to any other country in the world, and some have even called the US the “policeman of the world.”
Mr Urling made reference to the fact that the US Embassy in Georgetown does not ask applicants for documents when applying for non-immigrant visas. The embassy has its own rules and procedures for the issuing of visas, and no government or individual has the right to dictate to a government how they must run their embassy. The US Embassy said some time ago that Guyanese applicants must not submit any documentation when applying for a non-immigrant visa as most documents submitted are not genuine and they would assess the applicant at the time of the interview. Many applicants fail their interview because they lie at the interview by giving different answers to the same question posed to them.
From my dealings with the US Embassy, I can say that they are fair with applicants and even go the extra mile to help them.
They have replied to every letter and email I sent to them on behalf of clients compared to the Canadian High Commissions in Guyana and Trinidad which are more high-handed in relation to me and Guyanese applicants. Mr Urling accuses the interviewing officer of using guesswork when interviewing clients. This is a derogatory statement, as the visa officers are well trained in interviewing techniques and in understanding human relationships.
Mr Urling said that he applied through the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce to invest in the US and he has not had a reply from them after five months. He did not need to apply through the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce; he should have applied directly as an investor through the many programmes the United States has for investors instead through a third party organization like the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce.
The United States welcomes investors who are willing to invest US$500,000 to US$1M, depending on where they want to set up their business.
He could also look into the possibility of an L1 visa, which the US looks at favourably.
Many persons love to criticize the US, and in particular the US embassy when they do not get things in their favour, but they never examine the circumstances as to why they fail.