Sunday, February 29, 2004

Bdos: Maybe Caricom refused to support Aristide

It appears that Caricom may have reserved its disdain for Aristide, rather than Haiti.

Haiti is not only the poorest nation of the Americas, it is also the loneliest and one need not go into a long history of Haiti’s relations with other countries to confirm this – one only needs to observed what has transpired over the last two months.

How would you feel if there was no one willing to share your highs or lend support through your lows – not even friends or family?

Or how would you feel if the people who should care did lend support at such times, but only giving the bare minimum so as to keep up respectable appearances? It is such times when you really get to know if you have any genuine friends and what others really think of you and the realisation that no one really cares can hurt a lot.

That is exactly what has happened to our Caribbean neighbour Haiti. That country’s bicentennial celebrations – acknowledging a great moment in history, when Blacks seized their own independence and became the first Black republic by defeating one of the most powerful armies in the world (the French) – was poorly attended even by its allies. In fact South African President Thabo Mbeki stood out as the only Head of State to attend the celebrations in Haiti, while Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie was the only Caribbean head of government in attendance, doing so on behalf of his country and the other 13 CARICOM member states.

A Jamaica Gleaner January 2, 2004 editorial suggests CARICOM’s response arose out of a fear of appearing to support the Administration of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the light of quarrels in that country concerning the legitimacy of the government.
This would explain the actions of Jamaica with regard to Haitian refugees.

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