WASHINGTON, D.C. (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A spate of U.S. visa cancellations have led Jamaican dancehall artists to wonder if the reggae community has been caught in the crossfire of an international dispute between the two countries.
According to a report in Billboard, 5 different dancehall artists have seen their visas pulled, including Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Aidonia and Ricky Trooper. The cancellations followed closely on the heels of the revocation of the visa of prominent Jamaican businessman Wayne Chen.
Speculation on the motivation for the visa revocations centers on Chen. Chen is a longtime associate of Jamaican prime minister Bruce Golding, who has been refusing to extradite alleged drug and weapon trafficker Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who is currently facing a panoply of charges in the U.S.
The U.S. State Department declined Billboard's request for comment, but cited statutorily "broad authority" in issuing and revoking visas.
The revocations have left promoters in the U.S. scrambling to adjust lineups, and at least 4 of the affected artists had been on the bill for Best of the Best concert, set for May 30 at the Bayfront Ampitheater, Miami. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers