January 25, 2017- The V Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States offered St. Kitts and Nevis and the Plurinational State of Bolivia the opportunity to formalize diplomatic relations and to sign a Visa Waiver Agreement. These Agreements were signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honourable Mark Brantley and Minister of Government of Bolivia, Dr. Carlos Romero Bonifaz and witnessed by the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, His Excellency Evo Morales.
According to Foreign Minister Brantley, although strong affection and cooperation existed previously between both countries, the signing of the Joint Communique formalizes the relationship. The Visa Waiver Agreement now allows citizens from both countries to travel freely through each other’s ports of entry. The Federation’s highest diplomat stated that as a small country we have had the privilege to interact with Bolivia in various international fora including the UN, CELAC and others. However, he views the exercise as an effort to encourage our people to interact with one another. “We share the view that our people should be able to travel and to forge long lasting relationships and to become closer. For us all diplomacy is ultimately about our people”. In concluding, Minister Brantley extended an invitation to President Morales to visit St Kitts and Nevis.
Bolivian Minister Bonifaz thanked the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis for the opportunity, noting how special the occasion was for his country, as acts like these help to not only solidify bilateral relations, but speak to the right which Bolivia defends, a right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose one’s residence, as espoused in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
After the exchange of instruments between both countries, President Morales, commenting on the Visa Waiver Agreement stated that St Kitts and Nevis was one of the first countries in the Caribbean of which it was easing visa restrictions. He added that St Kitts and Nevis will now be a door of entry to the Caribbean. The Bolivian President views the Agreement as an opportunity for our people “to engage, work together and share experiences to fight poverty”.
The signing was witnessed by officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries.