Sunday, February 29, 2004

T&T: Defence Force may be Haiti bound

The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force has been put on alert to form part of an imminent peace-keeping force to the troubled Caricom nation of Haiti, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said yesterday.

At a news briefing at the Red House, Port of Spain, yesterday during the Parliament tea break, Manning said:

"We believe that it (peace-keeping mission) ought to take place under the umbrella of the United Nations auspices or, failing that, the OAS (Organisation of American States) but of course, we prefer the UN because it is worldwide and France is a member of the Security Council; it's not involved in the OAS."

High time those boys had something constructive to do.

Also, this:
Manning, who described the situation in Haiti on Thursday as "calm but tense", reiterated yesterday that Caricom was not in support of the unconstitutional removal of an elected Government.

In response to other questions, Manning said Aristide was free to resign, if he so desired.

On the possibility of political refuge for Aristide in this country if it became necessary, Manning said that would have to be determined by the Cabinet.

"We have maintained that a lasting solution to the Haitian solution must involve an economic recovery plan and a social intervention (plan). Both those things are the crux of the matter as we see it because the situation is as it is in Haiti because the people of Haiti have not been able to attain the standard of living to which they aspire," he said.

Does Manning mean that if the standard of living were better in Haiti that people would accept Aristide's brutalities? Or, does he mean that the reason for the uprising is economic? What culpability does Aristide bear in PM Manning's view?

At least Caricom is consistent. They were also not in favor of Saddam Hussein's removal either. What does that say about the heads of Caricom? Do they prize political process more than the constituents of a country? If they do, that does not augur well for Caricom nations.

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