July 17, 2023 -A diplomatic dispute has been brewing between Washington and Kingston, straining the historically strong ties between the United States and Jamaica. At the center of the conflict lies Jamaica’s refusal to grant accreditation to the spouse of an American diplomat, a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Diplomatic Row Erupts: Jamaica Rejects Spouse’s Accreditation Request
Earlier this year, the United States government formally requested approval from the Jamaican government to extend diplomatic immunity and privileges to the married partner of a diplomat set to be posted in Jamaica. Notably, the diplomat and their partner are in a same-sex relationship, an aspect that has added complexity to the situation since same-sex marriage is not recognized in Jamaica.
Sources indicate that the Jamaican government failed to respond promptly to the initial request made by the United States. Frustrated by the lack of a timely response, American officials sent another diplomatic note urging a swift reply. In a disappointing turn of events, the Jamaican government eventually rejected the United States’ request.
According to a senior government source who spoke to Radio Jamaica News, granting approval to the request would require Jamaica to acknowledge same-sex marriages, an act that remains illegal within the country’s legal framework. This refusal by the Jamaican government has triggered a series of retaliatory measures from the United States.
Caribbean National Weekly’s efforts to reach out to Oliver Mair, Jamaica’s Consul General in Miami, have proved futile, as there has been no response as of yet regarding their position.
Retaliatory Measures: United States Revokes Visas of Jamaican Diplomats
Reliable sources reveal that the United States, in response, rejected a separate request from Jamaica to extend the stay of three diplomats stationed at the Jamaican embassy and consulates within the United States. Consequently, these diplomats have been instructed to leave the country immediately following the expiration of their five-year diplomatic visas.