Apology may be in order for Gonsalves following GAIA incident

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves may get an apology from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but he does not deserve any, says General Secretary of the Unity Workers Union Caswell Franklyn.

St Vincent's prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
St Vincent & the Grenadine’s Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves

The workers’ representative told Barbados TODAY he came to this conclusion today after carrying out an in-depth analysis of what transpired after Gonsalves arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA)  en route to his homeland on April 14.

General Secretary of the Unity Workers Union Caswell Franklyn.
General Secretary of the Unity Workers Union Caswell Franklyn.

Franklyn, who was retained to represent an airport security guard, who dealt with the Vincentian leader, said that after examining the details of the case, the Chief Executive Officer of GAIA, David Barrow, did not think management could have built a case against the guard.

Giving details of the incident, which was reported publicly for the first time in a Barbados TODAY story last night, Franklyn said security personnel did not recognize Gonsalves because he was not accompanied at the time by protocol or special branch officers.

The union official said after Gonsalves was asked to take off his shoes after the security equipment went off, he protested and reportedly asked: “Do you know who I am?”

Franklyn condemned Gonsalves’ response.  “These people have become too big for their boots,” he said.

5 Responses to Apology may be in order for Gonsalves following GAIA incident

  1. Bajan May 1, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Mr. Caswell the PM could not have reached as far as the security search area without them checking his travel documents at the check point prior to confirm that he was a legitimate passenger at the right location. That means they saw his passport and read his name. It would be more embarrassing if he held a diplomatic passport when the ID check was conducted. This alone suggests that Security had to know who he was and if they did not they should be reassigned. Secondly, have you heard of diplomatic privilege? From when are we subjecting Heads of States to searches at GAIA? And what is wrong with him asking “Do you know who I am?” Thirdly, whether or not he was accompanied by officials is no excuse for not recognizing him and for the breach of standard protocol at GAIA. Fourthly who are you referring to by, “These people?” Do you mean Vincentians or Heads of States or just Heads of States that are Vincentian? Have you no respect for the contribution made by this honourable West Indian leader to our region? Has he not defended Barbados on more that one occasion over the past few years, more recently with the LIAT fiasco? Give respect and honour where its due.

    • harry turnover May 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

      @ Bajan……security personnel check travel documents NOT IDENTITIES ( passports ) prior to going through the door.

      Once inside,the security checks.. carry on luggage and personal effects, NOT IDENTITIES ( passports )


      Stop ranting and raving about things you don’t know about.The guard did NOTHING WRONG

    • Andrew The Voice May 1, 2015 at 7:50 am

      @ Bajan, its this type of thinking that is perpetrating nonsense in Barbados, the guard to the best of my knowledge followed established procedure for conducting HER job, if some one else failed to do they job, she/he is not responsible. Comments like “Do you know, who I am” should NOT sway that person, from following established procedure PERIOD.

  2. jr smith May 1, 2015 at 5:20 am

    would this sort of behaviour be any different if the right honourable gentle, was a Caucasian ,from the US,Canada, or the UK.
    Our big issue ,the so call region is way behind ,technology, lessons are to be learnt by this bad occasion. Why we are always having issues at our airport, who is running this part of bim.

    • harry turnover May 1, 2015 at 7:43 am

      You too DO NOT KNOW what security at the Airport does.

      The Airlines check IDENTITIES ( passports ) at their desks.Before you go to get scanned ,security on the outside check TRAVEL DOCUMENTS…..they DO NOT DO IDENTITY CHECKS.

      Once inside,you are told by security to empty your pockets and put ALL carry on bags through the scanner.THEY DO NOT LOOK AT PASSPORTS.

      If the buzzer goes off when you proceed to go through ,you are told to take off your belt,shoes etc.

      I have seen Caucasians whether they were from the
      USA,England ,Canada or from any other place TAKING OFF THEIR BELTS ,SHOES etc when the buzzer goes off as they go
      through the detector .

      Get your facts STRAIGHT before you are made to look like a fool.


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