Share Tweet Share Share NewsRegional I QUIT: Senior Jamaica minister resigns citing several unsubstantiated allegations by: – May 25, 2011 Sharing is caring! 35 Views no discussions by Kathy BarrettKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Energy and Mining Minister James Robertson Tuesday resigned from the Jamaica government, citing “recent events which include several unsubstantiated allegations (that) have taken a heavy toll on my family and me”.In a brief letter to Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Robertson said he had decided to submit his resignation with ‘immediate effect” after holding discussions with his wife, Catherine and his daughters.While he did not indicate the “unsubstantiated allegations”, Robertson said he was confident “that this matter will be resolved once given the opportunity and due process.“Under the circumstances, I believe my resignation from the Cabinet is the correct course of action at this time,” he told Golding.Late on Monday, Robertson confirmed that the United States had revoked the visa given to him and his wife. He said the visas were cancelled last Friday. “We readily acknowledge that as a sovereign nation it is the prerogative of the US Government to issue and revoke visas,” Robertson said.“However, no details have been provided as to the basis for the cancellations although we are of the view that this could have resulted from the uncorroborated statements forwarded to various departments of the US Government in support of a failed application for political asylum,” he said.Robertson’s reference to a failed application for political asylum stemmed from a case involving Ian Johnson, a former activist with the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).On December 17, 2010, Johnson filed a claim in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, making damning allegations against Robertson. However, in January this year, a Florida court threw out the suit. Robertson said he and his wife have since written to their U.S based attorney in the hope of seeking an audience with the relevant US officials in an effort to ascertain the basis for the cancellations of the visas.He said all appropriate channels will be utilised and expressed confidence that once given the opportunity and due process, the matter will be resolved.The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), in a statement issued before Roberston announced his resignation, said it was concerned over the decision by Washington to revoke the minister’s visa.“This must obviously be a matter of serious concern. It is very exceptional and unusual for the US government to take this action against a high government official of another country and we will have to assume that it was not done arbitrarily,” said PNP general secretary, Peter Bunting.“Therefore, the question that the Prime Minister must now weigh is can Mr. Robertson continue to function effectively as a minister of government,” Bunting said, adding “it is going to cast a cloud over him that will affect his ability to perform his function as a minister, particularly functions involved in overseas travel, conferences, negotiations etcetera”.Political commentator Lloyd B. Smith said the move by Washington will have implications for both the government and the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). “Mr. Robertson is not just an ordinary member of the JLP, he’s one of the members of the hierarchy of the party. He’s a Deputy Leader, he’s seen as a very influential party person and he’s a full fledged minister.“Surely this type of high profile embarrassment where his visa and that of his wife have been revoked will put a dent in the JLP,” Smith said.Another political commentator, Martin Henry, said that although the reasons for the visa cancellation have not been made public, Golding will be forced to make an announcement.Meanwhile, the PNP Youth Organization (PNPYO) has welcomed Robertson’s resignation but has also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Golding. In a statement, the PNPYO said the Prime Minister has been tainted by several controversies that have brought into question his credibility and moral authority to continue leading the country.It also pointed to the revelation by the international whistle-blowing organisation, WikiLeaks published by in the Sunday Gleaner, indicating that the United States Embassy here has labelled the Golding administration as “two-faced”.The US Government document uncovered by WikiLeaks suggested that the Prime Minister was less than truthful on at least two occasions when he first responded to questions in Parliament about the extradition request for alleged drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. “In many other countries the Prime Minister or President would have already done the noble thing and stepped down,” the PNPYO said in its statement. The PNPYO said it was now time for the Prime Minister to do the honourable thing by stepping aside and saving Jamaica further national and international embarrassment.