Howie Prince, Consul General to the United States, has said that he was not prepared to be dragged into any non-existent controversy regarding his recall.
Prince called in during a radio discussion on July 24, and thanked Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who was in studio, and the rest of the Cabinet, for the time he was allowed to serve as Consul General.
“I can boast that things are good at the Consulate as I speak, and as we get ready to handover to Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh, that he inherits a proper stage,” Prince said.
And in turning to what he said was clearing the air for those who wanted to drag him into controversy, Prince said, “I spent most of my time trying to avoid political controversies, I have worked here as the Consul General for five years and 10 months, and I have avoided getting in any kind of politics – concentrating on the task at hand and that is managing the Consulate, establishing good relations with those in the Diaspora, making sure that people are able to get services.”
According to Prince, persons have been reaching out to him for comments, but he gave the assurance that all was well and that he wanted to convey his gratitude to the government for the opportunity that he had been given to serve.
“People have to understand that political appointments are what they are and that at some point or other, government will see the need to make some changes,” Prince said.
“When you have been given the chance to serve for five years and 10 months, that’s a significant time and for that I am extremely grateful,” he continued.
No reason for recall
In an article which appeared in the Jull 22 edition of THE VINCENTIAN, Prince had indicated that he was not provided with any reason for his recall.
He disclosed that he was on an annual contract which was renewed at the end of May this year, but a subsequent government notice in late May indicated that he will be on a month-by-month basis until further notice.
On June 24, he received a notice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that he was being recalled.
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that not because Prince was being recalled, meant that there was any wrongdoing.
And it did not mean that Prince had to return to St Vincent but that he had come to the end of his contractual period, Gonsalves added.
According to Gonsalves, a Consul General posting of almost six years was a long time.
He explained, though, that in the region it was a norm for persons to remain in diplomatic positions for longer periods of time.
He mentioned Cenio Lewis, the High Commission for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Kingdom, who has been in that position for the entirety of the Unity Labour Party’s time in office, and Dexter Rose who spent seven years in Cuba as this country’s ambassador.