Cultural Ambassador to take up a real diplomatic post

By Admin. Updated 6:50 p.m., Tuesday, July 12, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Left: Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh (Cultural Ambassador) and Right: Mr. Howie Prince (outgoing SVG Consul General to the USA – photo on the right: API)

Sales and Marketing professional, entertainer, and cultural ambassador – Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh will replace Howie Prince as this country’s Consul General to the United States of America on August 1, 2022.

In a statement issued on July 12, Mr. Howie Prince, the current Consul General said:

“The word is out so let me confirm that the Government of SVG has recalled my appointment as St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Consul General to the USA and has appointed Mr. Rodney ‘Luta’ Mc Intosh as my replacement as Consul General. My last day in office is effectively, July 31, 2022”.

“This essentially signals my full retirement from the Public Service after 44 years of unbroken service except for two and a half years (2010 – 2012 on secondment) working for the UNDP in Trinidad and Tobago as Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean,” Mr. Prince added in his statement.

In his statement, Mr. Prince thanked the prime minister and the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for having confidence in him.

consul, in foreign service, a public officer who is commissioned by a state to reside in a foreign country for the purpose of fostering the commercial affairs of its citizens in that foreign country and performing such routine functions as issuing visas and renewing passports. A consul, as such, does not enjoy the status of a diplomat and cannot enter on his official duties until permission has been granted to him by the authorities of the state to which his nomination has been communicated. This permission, or exequatur, may be revoked at any time at the discretion of the government of the country in which he resides.

Encyclopedia of Britannica

Mr. McIntosh who will replace Mr. Prince has served as a cultural ambassador, based on his contribution to music.

Cultural and sporting ambassadors, though they hold diplomatic passports, are not considered diplomats in their positions.

Who is a cultural ambassador?

According to iWitness News, Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, when announcing new cultural ambassadors in 2014, said:

“… and we have had many important contributors to our sporting and cultural development who have been accorded the honour of being an ambassador — cultural and sporting — and to have the dignity and the privilege to carry a diplomatic passport of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“He noted that the practise of appointing sports and cultural ambassadors began shortly after his Unity Labour Party government came to office in March 2001,” iWitness News reported on November 25, 2014.

According to the Vincentian Newspaper, in 2014, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, while naming 15 cultural and sporting ambassadors, said:

“These appointments reaffirm our government’s conviction that culture, the arts, and sports, as well as other uplifting aspects of live and living, are vital to our nation’s well-being and the further ennoblement of our civilization.”

This means that Mr. McIntosh’s appointment has set a precedent for current and future cultural and sporting ambassadors to represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines at a higher level.

The announcement of Mr. McIntosh’s appointment, however, has been met with mixed reactions.

Some people are of the view that the post of Consul General requires someone who is trained in diplomacy or someone who has worked extensively in public affairs.

Some have also slammed the decision as a political appointment for Mr. McIntosh who has publicly caucused with the ruling Unity Labour Party.

Other people, however, have welcomed the position as an opportunity for people in the Cultural and Creative Arts Industry to represent the country at high levels.

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