WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today introduced legislation to expand American diplomatic efforts across the Caribbean. The United States–Caribbean Partnership Act of 2014 would establish new American embassies in five countries—Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines—with which the United States shares diplomatic relations but has no permanent diplomatic presence. In 2011, an amendment authored by Rep. Engel to establish these embassies was unanimously approved by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
“They say you can’t conduct diplomacy from a bunker; it’s also true that you can’t conduct diplomacy from hundreds of miles away. The United States shares close ties with so many of our Caribbean neighbors, whether through our governments’ efforts to curb drug trafficking, our shared work through the OAS, or the constant exchange of citizens among our countries. My bill would ramp up our diplomatic efforts across the region and improve services for American citizens living in these five countries,” said Rep. Engel.
At present, all diplomatic relations with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are run out of the American Embassy in Barbados. This situation presents challenges for conducting in-person diplomacy and providing full consular services for American citizens living in these countries.